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April Ministry Update

UTA staff. Love getting to work with this crew. They are seriously the best.

Another month in the books! Here are a few ways God has moved this past month.

The above two pictures are the CCF students(and some staff) who came down from washington to do ministry on our campus for their spring break!

This past week we had some students and staff from CCF (Christian Campus Fellowship, a campus ministry from Bellingham, Washington) come to our UTA to do outreach on our campus all week for their spring break! They call this week Student Spring Impact (SSI). Lots of acronyms I know! CCF is a ministry that FOCUS has had a really neat relationship with for years. In fact, they are the same ministry that we connect with to send our students to SICM. These students gave up their break, which many students use to party or simply relax to come and help us spread the gospel at UTA. I was so encouraged by their commitment and boldness to reach out to those who may be far from God. They were so willing to step out and do things even when it made them uncomfortable or anxious and it challenged me to do the same. I have come away from that week even more convinced of our need and call to spread the word and that God will be with us when we do so.

One of our displays where we asked people what they worship, whether religious or not.

One of the things we did while the SSI students were here was something we called a spiritual reading. Now we weren't reading palms or anything like that but we wanted to display to draw in people that a normal display wouldn't draw in. Basically what we would do was tell people that we are Christians and believe that God still speaks to us. Then we would pray in silence and ask God if he had anything he wanted to say to that particular person. Usually, two or three of us would be praying for each person and once we were done doing that if we felt that God had given us something we would communicate it to that person. This was way outside of my comfort zone. I am more used to have spiritual discussions with people and asking them questions. I had never done anything like this before. Despite my uncertainty, God showed up. One of the people I got to pray for was a guy that I will call M here. As I was praying for him I felt like I was coming up against a barrier. I was concerned that maybe this was my unbelief or lack of experience doing something like this. I also heard the word love over and over. As the other two girls shared about what they got I found myself doubting what I had gotten in the prayer. I don't remember exactly how I said it but I basically shared with M that I felt like I had sensed a barrier when praying. Maybe it was a barrier between him and his belief or it was a barrier between him and God that was keeping them distant. I asked if that meant anything to him and he said yes but that he didn't want to share what the barrier was with us. There were tears in his eyes. I then shared that I had heard the word love. Maybe God wanted M to know that he wanted a relationship with M, no matter the barrier. That his love wanted to push past M's barrier and break it down. We got to pray for M and that barrier that God would break it down and bring healing in M's life. I was in shock. I cannot explain that at all except through the holy spirit. God had spoken through me! I think God speaks through us more than we realize but that was a moment when it was so obviously God and NOT me. God is so good to use us. And I am so thankful that I got to participate with my Washington brothers and sisters in SSI last week.

UTA core!!
Also don't forget that Spring Showcase is happening this weekend, April 6th! It is not too late to get tickets and come out to help fund the next generation of FOCUS student leaders' trip to SICM where they will be equipped with ministry skills to reach those around them. Buy your tickets here! And please join us in prayer for Spring Showcase that it would go smoothly and that God would really provide through it so we can get all of our students to SICM this coming May.

Thank you again so much for so generously supporting me and praying for this ministry. Don't forget to check out the student testimony below!

Many Blessings,
Emily Umstead


  1. Hey Emily, thanks for sharing! The spiritual readings were definitely a new thing for most of us. I love your story about praying with M. I really do believe God spoke through you, and he will continue to do so as long as you let him!


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