New Beginnings

UTA Staff this year!!! (Left to right: Sarah, Me, Jalen, Emily M, Austin)
August is here! In two weeks students are going to flooding UTA's campus ready to make new friends and learn. Some will be returning to a university they are familiar with, ready to get back to the flow of the school year or to do things differently this time and make new friends. Some will be coming to this campus for the first time wondering who their friends are going to be and what life is going to look like. Some of these students already know Jesus and want to deepen their relationship with him. Some knew Him once but don't now for any variety of reasons. And still, some don't know Jesus at all. We are going to get the honor of meeting these students where they are at. The honor of offering them deep friendship and the opportunity to know Jesus who is the only One who brings us real and lasting life.

This past week I got to spend several days with the rest of UTA staff on a retreat. I am so thankful for these coworkers and friends and for the opportunity to reset before we jump into the school year. While on retreat we got to read In the Name of Jesus by Henri Nouwen, a book of his reflections on what Christian leadership is supposed to look like. By using the temptations Jesus faces in the wilderness, Nouwen points out temptations are real and present in the everyday life of ministers and disciples and how to combat these temptations with different disciplines. Once again I was reminded how important it is to stay connected to the vine. Without God and His guidance, I bring nothing. Spending time listening to God and being in His presence has gotten me even more excited for this new school year. God is moving in big ways and I am so thankful and humbled I get to be a part of it.

Please be praying for the first two weeks of school (Mav Stampede). For the staff and student leaders would be bold in reaching out to others. For God would prepare our hearts for the new students who are going to enter our lives and that he would move in those friendships. And most importantly, we would stay connected to the vine as we go out to make and mature disciples.

I also wanted to thank everyone for being on support team! Whether you have joined or stayed on. Your generosity is what makes this possible. Thank you so much and God bless!

In Christ,
Emily Umstead


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