Skip to main content

Unprecedented

Virtual Summer FOCUS

The Moses said to him, "If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here.
Exodus 33:15

Much of this summer has been spent watching and waiting to determine what ministry will look like in the fall. News on COVID is constantly changing so decisions from UTA for the fall have been slow. Recently the school announced they would do a mix of classes online, in person, and hybrid. All of this would be done in a way to maintain social distancing. I had also put in requests for rooms for the start of the semester in case we would be able to meet in person on campus. They just recently were rejected because they couldn't provide social distancing conditions for us. I really think this year is going to be a year of leaning on the Holy Spirit. FOCUS as a ministry has been around for over 20 years. Our staff has experience in how to do college ministry well. None of us have encountered how to do that in the midst of a global pandemic. The ability to lean on our own skills and knowledge has been taken away. While this is daunting I also see it as an opportunity to grow in our trust in God and dependency on his Holy Spirit. Please be praying for the creativity and faithfulness of our staff that we would push to be innovative and think pastorally in how to lead our students in this unprecedented time. Like Moses may we go with God's presence rather than expect him to follow us.

(This song gets at the idea I was discussing. It has ministered to me time and again so I thought I would share: I don't wanna go by: Chris Renzema)

Socially distanced after event. It was sweet to see each other in person.

Ministry has continued in full force. I have started a new FOJ with a girl named Melanie. It has been so sweet getting to dig into the narrative of scripture with her. Alexandra and I finished FOJ but are reading John together as she hasn't read a full gospel before! FOCUS also hosted two weeks of what we call Bible Bootcamp where students getting to read whole books of the bible together over the course of a week. We had students participate in person and virtually. 

Sweet roommate moment

As the summer comes to a close I am pushing through the last bit of fundraising for the year. Currently, I need to fundraise about $4000 more to be fully fundraised by August 1st. God has been so gracious to provided as much as he has already. If you would join me in prayer for this last bit I would so appreciate it. Thank you again for your generous support and prayers! Don't forget to check out the student testimony below!!

Many Blessings,
Emily Umstead


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Let Justice Flow

Earlier this month we had Summer Leadership Training (SLT). It was a three day training for all the potential and past student leaders in our ministry. (Most of it was held online with the option of some social distancing in person.) Since we couldn't take our students to SICM (Student Institute of Campus Ministry) up in Seattle, Washington like we normally do we developed this three day training as a replacement! Students learned new ways of walking with God, what servant leadership and discipleship is, why we do core, how to ask good questions and more! Each day we got to discuss with our small group what we had learned that day. Over 100 college students dedicated three whole days investing in their growth as leaders and disciples. This is not normal. I often forget how countercultural it is to value something like SLT. Yet these students have caught the vision. They are fired up and excited to spread the good new on their campuses.  


Every year we fundraise our salaries. And ea…

Steadfast

 Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God  who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations. Deuteronomy 7:9
If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself. 2 Timothy 2:13
The first two weeks of the school year are a time of stepping out in faith and perseverance. We spend much of those two weeks on campus meeting new people, getting numbers, and inviting, inviting, inviting. We use our lunches and dinners, classes, and school events as opportunities to meet God's children. Those who know Him already and those who don't. Those who love Him and those who are suspicious of Him. It can be a fun, overwhelming, fulfilling, and exhausting two weeks. But God is so faithful to respond to our efforts. He is steadfast in opening doors and moving in the hearts of those we meet. 

I am beyond excited to see what God does with this new year! Core starts this week! Please be praying God…

Unified

9 After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. 10 And they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” Revelation 7:9-10
We have been doing a sermon series on Ephesians the last couple weeks and I have been reflecting a lot on what unity in the body of Christ looks like and what our response to the grace of the Gospel should be.  When researching for a sermon I came across the Basilica of the Annunciation which is in Nazareth, Israel. It was built to commemorate Mary being told she was to have Jesus.


This church has commissioned Christian artists from all over the world to depict Mary and Jesus in their cultural styles and symbols and the results are beautiful. Here are a few of my favorites.





I see this artwork and I reali…