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August Ministry Update

Here is a picture of all the apprentices. Back row from left to right: Ryan, Sam, Darby, Drew.
Front row from left to right: Jesse, Alex, Reagann, Brittany, Amber, Emily U., Emily M.
 [Not pictured: Abbie]

I can't believe the day is finally here! The apprenticeship has started! I have wanted to do the apprenticeship since my sophomore year in college so it's been a long time coming and I am so excited for what is to come.

I officially moved to Arlington a week ago and have loved getting to know my sweet roommates. There are five of us total so there is always someone to hang out with at the house which I love. They have all been so good about inviting me into their lives which has made the move a whole lot easier. I am so thankful for them.

The view from the ranch we stayed at for staff retreat.

This past week we had staff retreat where the whole staff from all campuses comes together to fellowship, worship,  and prepare for the new school year.  The whole experience was incredibly encouraging and humbling. That I get to be a part of this team and bring the gospel to Arlington is such an honor. Two moments from staff retreat stand out to me.

1) During worship we sang the song Who You Say I Am by Hillsong Worship. God really used this song to minister to me. The bridge of the song says: I am chosen/Not Forsaken/I am who You say I am/ You are for me/Not against me/I am who You say I am. I found myself overwhelmed with emotion when singing this part almost to the point of not being able to sing it due to my tears. This reminded me that I was there for a reason and that God had chosen me to work on staff with FOCUS. I don't need to try and impress anyone on staff or impress God. I wouldn't be doing the apprenticeship if God didn't want me to or staff didn't think I could do a good job. God and the staff already love me and are already proud of me I don't have to earn it. Being reminded of this frees me up to just do my best job and minister to others. It frees me from worrying about fitting in or trying to constantly measure up.

2.) During one of our group meetings we took time for everyone to share two or three events that shaped their lives. This was cool because I got to know the others on staff a little bit more but also got to see how God's hand was in each of our lives. For most of us coming to FOCUS was a huge shaping point in our lives. God even used really difficult/sad events in our lives to bring us to this community in some way. It was really encouraging hearing how God pursued each of us even when we weren't pursuing Him.

If you could join me in praying about the next few things, I would be so thankful:
1.) Please pray for all the student leaders that are going to be leading this year. That God would prepare their hearts and minds for a year of loving on their peers and that they would be bold in doing so!
2.) Please pray for all the students we will be reaching out to this year. That God would put a desire to know Him in their hearts and that we would be faithful in receiving them.
3.) Please pray for the apprentices and our studies. We are going to be diving into the Old Testament for the next two weeks. Pray that we are faithful with what we are learning and that we take time to reflect on it and really soak in God's word.

Here are some FOCUS staff and apprentices!
Kelly, Me, Sarah(My mentor for the year!), Emily M., and Brittany.

Thank you again for supporting me, either financially or through prayer. I would not be able to do this if it wasn't for all of you and your generosity. God is really moving on these college campuses and changing lives. You are a part of that! I hope the student testimony below encourages you.

Many Blessings,
Emily Umstead


  1. Hey Emily! I am so pumped to have you in Arlington this year! You are going to have a blast at UTA.
    Thanks for sharing about staff retreat, especially that song that we sang. It was really meaningful to me, too. God already loves us and thinks we're worthy, we don't have to try to impress him or convince him of anything.
    Praying for you guys as you begin your Old Testament studies! Love you!


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