Why I did NET in a different country
After graduating college, I went to work in my field (engineering). I had a nice pay cheque, I had friends I would go out with, I had family I would visit, but after every day I still felt empty. I found myself asking, "Why? I've followed society’s plan for my life, making money, hanging out with my friends, etc." And yet, I felt unfulfilled. I wanted more...
Perhaps that sounds familiar to you? Maybe it really strikes a chord?
One day in prayer, I asked God if He had a different plan for me. Where would He want me to go? And no joke, Ireland popped into my head. I, of course, didn’t believe that’s where God was calling me, it sounded too exotic (my honest thoughts). So, I just continued asking and Ireland kept coming to mind. Around the same time, I stumbled across NET USA and its mission to spread the gospel to the youth. I told God, “ok, this NET thing seems right, if there is a NET Ireland, then I will at least apply”…. And I’m sure you can guess the rest.
To be honest, I had no idea what I was really getting into, but I trusted God and His plan for me. Though, it was scary quitting my job and telling family and friends what I was planning to do. I got some weird looks, but the impact of my mission was already evident. I could see in my family and friend’s eyes how such a huge step meant that I was serious about who God is to me.
I do not, for a second, regret doing my year as a NET Ireland missionary. Spreading the gospel to people of a different culture has been a life changing experience. Despite being far from home, the Irish people have always made me feel welcome (and warm, haha). It is so special to be able to not just be a tourist in Ireland, but to LIVE in Ireland and experience their every day and learn what they view as good craic (fun). I have learned how to make a great cup of tea, but more importantly I have learned God is still God even in Ireland.
He loves me here too, and He loves each person He puts in front of me.
One of my favourite experiences from NET has been meeting and living with people from different cultures. I was one of four people on my St. Finbarr’s Team. Each one of us was not only from a different country, but a different continent (How cool is that!); New Zealand, USA, Germany, and Uganda. While still pursuing our mission, I got to learn why Marmite is better than Vegemite (New Zealand), or how to make a Chapati (Uganda), or how to say the name “George” more accurately in German. We were so open and receptive to each other’s opinions and way of doing things because our core belief was all the same. We were striving to live out Jesus’ golden rule of loving our neighbour. Also, our main goal was to help spread the love of Jesus to the youth in our area, and God had chosen each of us specially for this mission.
The world will tell you that in order to be fulfilled, you have to look within. You have to do everything that will make you feel good. But God calls us to live differently. Our true purpose is to live for Him.
When God calls you, what will you say?
Hannah served with NET in 2019-2020 on the Irish Road Team as well as the St Finbarr's Team in Co Cork during the covid-19 lockdown.