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Adam Umbarger's latest prayer letter from UW-Green Bay
 
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Things I Learned This Year

Here are a few things that God has done or taught me this year through my work with InterVarsity at UW-Green Bay:

  • GIGs are important. Groups Investigating God, our seeker Bible studies, are a great way to bring our seeker friends to Jesus. In addition to leading a small group, Stephanee led two GIGs this year with international students. I also led one with a student, and I’m hoping to lead one this summer with some of Alison’s coworkers. 
  • Student-led Small Groups are growing. All three of our small groups this year were student-led, which is a first since I’ve been here. Koua’s group really took off this year, doubling in size and growing in outreach. The group invited 3 seekers they had been praying for to the Hmong Christian Collegiate Conference this year. I’ve been able to take a step back from being involved in leading the groups and allowing the student leaders to grow.
  • Small Groups have influence. I don’t enjoy having difficult conversations with students over their life choices; but at the end of the semester, I had a talk with a student about her decision to live with her boyfriend and his family and the negative effects this could have on her small group members next year. The next time we met, she said she told her small group about it, and they told her it was a bad idea too. They prayed for her, and afterwards she said she wanted to find some alternative for housing next year, even thought it would be difficult. I’m so grateful for her small group and the way they held her accountable, but were supportive nonetheless. This is what small groups should be like.
Koua and Mackenzie, our graduating seniors

In the Summertime

After the crazy rush at the end of the semester and Chapter FOCUS Week, I get to shift my schedule a bit and start getting ready for next academic year.

Right after Memorial Day, we began Summer IV for the students still in the area. This year we have a few Green Bay-natives from UW-Eau Claire and UW-Steven Point joining us. We’ll be studying Haggai and Malachi, building fellowship, and praying about the upcoming fall semester. This also gives us a chance to do some planning to connect with the new freshmen during the first critical weeks on campus.

We also plan to launch our first large group meeting this fall. Jacob, our chapter president, and I will be starting to figure out the details of what that will look like. Our hope is that this can be another way for students to connect to our chapter and for us to live out our vision of being a multiethnic community of students and faculty who encounter Jesus and share Him with others.

IV students at the Year-End Cookout

Spring!
by Alison Umbarger

I didn’t know what to expect when it finally became spring. It has been so exciting watching the flowers poke out of the ground, and then discovering what they are as they bloom. There are lilacs at the side of our house, beautiful purple irises in our front yard bloomed last week, and peonies in our front garden should bloom within a week. I planted vegetable and flower seeds in pots a couple months ago, and like a little kid, I eagerly monitored them to see which ones actually germinated. I just transplanted them to our garden today. There is even a robin’s nest next to our front door, and I spent last weekend watching the baby robins poke their beaks out of the nest, waiting for their mother to bring a scrumptious worm to eat. To me, the robins were a reminder about how God cares about the robins, and how much more he cares about us.

The birch trees in our front yard leafed out over Memorial Day weekend while we were gone on a short backpacking trip. Adam and I went backpacking along Pictured Rocks on Lake Superior to celebrate our third anniversary. There was ice still floating in the lake that weekend, and we spent one night listening to the quiet crashes as icebergs broke and fell into the lake. The ice, unusual even for Superior in late May, foiled our original plans of taking a ferry to a nearby island to backpack there, but it was still an excellent trip. It was a good time to catch up after Adam spent two weeks at Cedar Campus with students.

For those of you who read my last letter, the Boston Marathon was a good experience. My time was twenty minutes slower than my qualifying time and security was much tighter this year. However, ten family members came to cheer me on, so it was fun to spend Easter weekend with all of them. I bet I am one of the few Boston runners that can boast that I had people from six different states cheering specifically for me. The race was also fun because I got to talk with many runners that had competed in the marathon in previous years, and I ran into an old teammate in the airport on the way home.

Forward to Friend

A New Year

Thank you so much for your prayers and financial support this year! Through you, God has allowed me to engage the campus with the Gospel, train leaders in the chapter, and invest in lives of students.

Going into next academic year, I need to raise an additional $2200/month to be sustainable in my ministry. This summer I am working to expand the team of people that invest in me and care for the work happening at UWGB.

Would you consider joining me by becoming a monthly supporter or making a special financial gift if you haven’t already? Would you also pray that God would provide out of His abundance for the ministry to which He has called me? Thank you!

Financial support information is located at the bottom of this page.

Links of Interest

Paying off Student Loans Quickly - an article I recently wrote for the InterVarsity blog
Colleges and Evangelicals Collide on Bias Policy - NY Times piece on campus access issues relating to InterVarsity

Prayer Points

Summer Break
Summer is often a dry time spiritually for many students. Pray for students to stay connected with God and good fellowship, that they may return this fall refreshed and deeper in love with God.

Ministry Partnership
I will be hosting two events to connect several area churches, individuals, and alumni with current IV students. Please pray for encouragement and new ministry partnerships to develop.

Key Dates

June 30: Ministry Partner Night in Green Bay
August 21: Summer IV Cookout
September 2: Fall Semester Begins
Become a Monthly Partner!
Copyright © 2014 Adam Umbarger, All rights reserved.

 
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