Shanelle Bennett is so much more than executive director of National Evangelisation Teams (NET). As the ministry approaches its 25th year in Australia there's time to reflect on the spiritual and emotional motherhood she's offered to more than 600 young people, sent forth to proclaim the Gospel as "NETTERS", reports The Catholic Leader.
"I love the fact we've trained so many ... (but) I don't often think about it," purposeful Shanelle said from her office at the Emmaus Centre for Renewal and Evangelisation, in the Brisbane suburb of Paddington.
The mother of three and grandmother to five - with another "on the way" - said God allowed her "to see some of the fruits" of the outreach at the September Ignite Conference, run by Emmanuel Community.
"They called up anybody who has ever done NET," she said. "Hundreds of kids came up on the stage.
"There were some from New Zealand ... (and) another from Uganda who was there because he's now an MGL (Missionaries of God's Love). "A lot of them are still involved in the Church in all different ministries.
"I turned around to (husband) Shayne and said, 'We trained all of them'. "That was only an eighth of them and was incredible."
Shanelle, who first was a NET counsellor, said she "can't remember life without NET training" - six weeks at the start of each year, mid-year and an end-of-year "debrief". "It's a huge process," she said.
"I do remember life with training through different stages ... like taking my kids there, bringing them back in the last week to go to school and leaving Shayne to finish. "My kids don't remember not being on training either."
The Bennetts are a self-confessed "NET family". Danielle, their eldest, is married to Robert Schroeders, who works in the pioneering NET university ministry in Brisbane, and the couple is expecting their second child.
Mark, who works for the archdiocese and has led NET Ireland, met and married Caitlyn who came from America to serve NET. They have two children.
Opening up the Truth for young people (Catholic Leader)