Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of June 29, 2009
Net Ministries was blessed to nurture 'loggers of men'
CANADIAN CATHOLIC NEWS
OTTAWA - NET Ministries Canada founder James Mikulasik calls himself a "logger of men," instead of "a fisher of men" because of his 12 years in the logging industry in his native British Columbia.
That's why NET alumni gave him an axe with their signatures on the handle June 7, as the ministry marked its 15th anniversary in Canada with a weekend of celebrations and worship in Ottawa.
"I am logging men for Christ," Mikulasik told the 100 alumni from across Canada who attended.
"It's so beautiful to see the youth evangelizing youth," Mikulasik said, noting how that evangelization spread to families, from priest to priest, to evangelizing one's fellow workers in the workplace.
"This is the new evangelization the popes lately have been talking about," he said. He praised their "ministry of hope" that gives people "hope in the Lord Jesus Christ."
Mikulasik, 46, and Tiffany Scott, 37, originally from Anola, Man., were the first NET Ministries team to minister in Canada 15 years ago.
Since then, 400 people have participated as members of the National Evangelization Teams (NET) in Canada and have touched thousands of lives across the country through parish and school ministry.
Scott, who is now finishing up a doctorate in clinical psychology, said she learned how a ministry reaching many lives could grow from something very small, from simple beginnings.
"When the two of us just started, we didn't know if this was what God wanted," she said. "Looking back now, it was really blessed by God and inspired by the Holy Spirit."
Ottawa Archbishop Emeritus Marcel Gervais, who served as NET's president from 1994 to 2007, recalled how he first met Mikulasik.
"I don't know this man. I have never seen him before," Gervais said. "He comes to the archbishop of Ottawa and says, more or less, I want to change the world."
Because Mikulasik did not have any money, the archbishop welcomed him to his residence where he lived for a year establishing the ministry.
Gervais said seeing lay people in such numbers getting involved evangelizing was a dream come true.
Mikulasik said Gervais had told them their being poor was the secret to their success and why the ministry had grown so rapidly.
Tracy Emmons, 32, of Ottawa belonged to a NET team that travelled across Canada in 1998-99.
Now married and the mother of four girls, she said her experience formed her faith, taught her how to pray and how to have a relationship with Jesus.
It also taught her teamwork, communication skills and the importance of loving the people around her. This has helped her in her life as a wife and a mother, she said.