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December Ministry Update

God has continued to be so faithful this past month. Here are a few highlights!

Here is a picture from Pizza Theology. Gives you an idea of how many students from all the FOCUS campuses come. I am always so blown away and encouraged by it!

Pizza Theology happened earlier in November and went so well. Hundreds of college students came out to learn about God and His word for several hours on a Sunday afternoon. That alone is a testament to God working on our college campuses. A big take away from that night was that the only way to be fully human is to follow Jesus and become empowered by the Holy Spirit. Jesus modeled this for us. Where we failed by falling into temptation, Jesus succeeded. Jesus didn't reach for glory or power outside of God. He was completely to faithful to God. By obeying God and walking in the Spirit we can have restoration now! What a powerful message for our college students. So many of the students I talked to were impacted by this in one way or another. I pray that God continues to draw them in and that these students continue to engage their faith intellectually.

Our annual Keep FOCUS Growing campaign was a smashing success this year. God was so good to provide us with not only generous donors that helped us reach our goal but also generous donors willing to pledge matching funds! We haven't been able to get a total yet but all $29,000 of the matching funds were used!  God continues to bless this ministry in amazing ways. We will be able to pay for admin costs, outreach materials, 1-1 bible study materials, advertising, and so much more with these funds. Thank you for your prayers and for supporting this ministry!

Some of the girls from my UTA core. I love these girls. (From left to right: Hope, Veronica, Natasha, Mariane, me, Courtney)

Core has been going so well. I love watching my core girls really become friends and love on each other while becoming more like Jesus. God is really using core to redefine friendship and what it means to be a follower of Jesus. I am so thankful that I get to be a part of that. A few of the girls I do one on ones with have started to really read scripture for the first time. They are really taking ownership of their faith in a way they haven't before. It is so exciting to watch them explore God's word. 

Daniel in the Lion's Den by Briton Riviere (Copied from

We've been exploring new ways to approach our quiet time with God and one of those ways was by looking at art. I was struck by this painting when I first saw it. Daniel looks so calm while these ravenous lions are ready to eat him. That calmness would take faith. I realized that I wouldn't be that calm, that I am not that calm. I can get pretty anxious and worry about the future and all that needs to get done. I get so caught up with everything around me and 
forget to lean on the Lord and look to Him. I want to have faith like Daniel in this painting. To trust God that deeply. Moving to Arlington was a leap of faith in a lot of ways. Transition is hard and scary but God has been so good. I could go on and on about the ways He has been faithful. So why do I still struggle to trust sometimes? I have a feeling this whole apprenticeship is going to be an exercise in my trust in the Lord. 

Please be praying that students and staff finish the year well. Also that students would continue to pursue the Lord during the break and that they would take what they have learned and grown in back to their families when they go home!

Thank you again for supporting! Be sure to check out the student testimony below.

Many Blessings,
Emily Umstead


  1. Hey Emily! I am thankful for your decision to trust God and do your apprenticeship in Arlington! I have been blessed to have you as a teammate.

    I also think it's so cool that you are exploring new ways to encounter God in worship. That painting is incredible! You should definitely share what you're learning with our students so they can see God in art, too.

    Love you Emily!


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