Taking on the challenge by NET (National Evangelization Teams) Ministries to engage in sharing the Gospel through retreats and events with other youth is Riverbank resident Stephanie Argumedo. Through this challenge the 20-year-old will leave behind her family, friends and job and devote nine months of her life to serve with a NET team.
Involved with St. Joseph’s Church youth group in Modesto, Argumedo heard about the NET program and thought that it would be a great experience. Making her way to Chino Hills for the weekend in a solo trip to interview for the opportunity recently, the adventure had begun. Three weeks later she was informed that she was accepted into the program.
There are two different teams that she can be a part of, the Traveling Team or the Parish and School Team. The Traveling Team will travel around the United States conducting retreats for youth at different churches spreading the word of God. The participants of the Parish and School Team will be planted in a parish or Catholic high school engaging in spreading the Gospel with other youth with the hope to make their faith stronger.
Argumedo will start off in St. Paul, Minnesota which will be a huge step for her since she has never been out of the state before and has never been away from her family. After a few days in St. Paul she will travel to Wisconsin for five weeks of faith training. Once she returns to the NET center in Minnesota they decide which team she will be on; Argumedo said she hopes to be named to the traveling team.
Set to leave Aug. 17, Argumedo has to raise $3,000 before then for a total of $6,000 to participate in NET Ministries.
“To raise the $3,000 you have to get partners throughout the city like from the church or people you know,” stated Argumedo. “Once you get the $3,000 they send you your own luggage so you can leave by Aug. 17 and then after that you raise the rest of the money throughout the year.
“I am not just asking people to donate to me, but to partner up with me to help send a missionary out to help other people with their faith.”
With the possibility of entering a career in criminal justice, Argumedo believes that this experience will help her quite a bit.
“I am hoping to grow a lot in my faith,” added Argumedo. “I am really into the core team right now at St. Joseph’s. It is not just about church or religion. It teaches you about responsibility like how to be away from home, how to do things on your own, and how to work as a team because we are in teams of 12 sometimes and you are with that team for the whole nine months.”
According to www.netusa.org/mission, every August, 175 young Catholics aged 18 to 28 leave behind their jobs, school, family, and friends to devote nine months to serving with the National Evangelization Teams. Divided into 16 teams, they travel across the U.S. for nine months to share the Gospel with young people and their families. Since 1981, NET teams have led over 30,000 retreats and ministered to more than 1.8 million young Catholics.
For more information or to donate go to www.netusa.org/donate and enter the team name Stephanie Argumedo.