Sunday, August 16, 2009


Dempsey US Ministry Assignment

After 11 years in Brazil we are going to be in the U.S. for the next six months (return to Brazil-27th of January) for our first furlough/sabbatical. We have several key objectives and we need for you to be a part of this important time of evaluation, renewal, planning and preparation for our next season of ministry. Although we will take a few opportunities for vacation with our families this is not a six month vacation. Rather, it is time of disciplined rest and preparation for our on-going ministry in Brazil. Listed below are some of the objectives and plans for our time in the U.S.


· Spiritual, emotional and physical rest & renewal

o Time away from field ministry responsibilities for personal study & development


· Personal, family and ministry evaluation

o Feedback & input from mentors and professionals


· Investment in marriage, kids and extended family

o Marriage development retreat

o Children’s exposure to U.S. schooling (Meg-6th grade, Duncan-3rd, Kate-kindergarten)

o Vacation, holidays and reunions with extended family


· Training, planning & preparation for next season of ministry

o Seminary courses on biblical counseling

o Develop 5 & 10 year family and CO Belo Horizonte plans

o Campus Outreach Directors meetings in October


· Financial support development

o Visit & update current supporters (we hope to see as many of you as possible)

o Raise needed new support for next phase of ministry

Contact info

· Demps

o Email: ddempsey@campusoutreach.org

o Cell: 864-630-5106

· Kristy

o Email: kdempsey@campusoutreach.org

o Cell: 864-915-9072

Sabbatical prayer requests


· That God would use this time of investment to renew us and prepare us for our on-going responsibility of leading Campus Outreach Belo Horizonte.

· That God would use this time to develop our staff in Brazil as they take on more responsibility in our absence.

· That God would help our kids with the transition to this culture, specifically their transition to school here.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

As the weather there is heating up for you, things are heating up around here as well (although not the temperature because we’re actually heading into winter in Brazil). We wanted to let you know some of the events taking place here.

Parents Investigative Study




We have to begin with an update about this because it is one of the most encouraging things that is taking place in our midst. The picture above is a group of parents (specifically parents of students and staff of our campus ministry) that have been meeting once a week for the last few months to study and investigate the life of Jesus in the gospel of John. There is a newness to their spiritual hunger that is unexplainable other than the reality that God is working in their midst. It is such a privilege for us to watch these lives being changed through the influence of their children that came to know Christ through the campus. This ripple effect of God’s grace is something that we long to see more and more in the Brazilian culture. Many of these students and staff have prayed for years for their parents and are now seeing the fruit of this right before their eyes. One of the couples is the parents of Alan, one of our Brazilian staff that I have the privilege of leading and Aline, his sister, a Physical Therapy student and one of the girls that Kristy leads. Alan recently told me with tears in his eyes that his parents had thanked him and Aline for bringing Jesus into their home. What a privilege to watch God transforming families in this way!
  • Please pray for these parents as they seek to know the truth about Jesus. Pray for healing and renewal in all of their family relationships.

Cross Cultural Projects (CCPs) arrive

Every year for two months we receive groups of American college students from Campus Outreach stateside ministries that come down to help with the ministry and to experience life in another culture for a few weeks. These year we have two teams, one from Campus Outreach Memphis and the other from Campus Outreach Gulf Coast. This is always an extremely busy time of the year for us with many different events and much to prepare and coordinate, but it is always a fruitful time of the year also as the “gringos” hit the campus and meet countless new Brazilian friends. Brazilians have an unlimited capacity for relationships and are eager to make friends and try out their English with the Americans. We’ll share more over the next few weeks about what’s happening and some of the specific events that we’re using with the CCPs this year.

  • Please pray for God to use the CCPs on the campuses at PUC (Catholic University) and UFMG (Federal University of Minas Gerais) to change the hearts and lives of many Brazilian college students.

I now pronounce you “husband and wife”


We experienced another example of the transformation that is occurring all around us last Saturday as we had the privilege of participating in the wedding of two close friends and former students involved in the campus ministry. Cesar and Camila both came to know Christ through the ministry and last Saturday they officially began their life together as husband and wife. Demps performed the ceremony and Kristy sang so it was quite the family affair. (We’re thinking of taking our wedding song and dance show on the road if anyone is interested.) Once again, we are so thankful to see God transforming Brazilian families as He brings people to Himself and then brings them together to follow Him for life.


Demps, Kristy, Meg, Kate and Duncan at Camila and Cesar's wedding

  • Pray for Cesar and Camila as they begin their new life together. Pray that they would experience and reflect more and more of God’s love in their marriage.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

From our hearts

Dear Friends,

I have had something on my heart for a couple of weeks that I wanted to convey and haven’t found time until this moment to put it down in written form. This morning however, it flowed over from my heart to this page. It is a message that I hope will be of great encouragement to each of you and a stimulus to greater faith in a time when we need more faith. It is a message full of gratitude about faith and investment.

I have thought much recently about the economic crisis and have been concerned about its impact on so many people. It would be hard not to think about it when it dominates the headlines daily. In my thinking God has lead me continually back to Jesus’ words in Matthew 6:19-34; words specifically addressing our perspective about money, treasure, investment, worry and faith. Jesus reminds us that our true treasure and investment are not in bills, bonds, cars or houses but are in the things that transcend this time and place. He specifically reminds us not to worry but to maintain our faith and our focus in Him. He is the ultimate Provider and He will care for us in the same way that He cares for the birds of the air and the flowers of the field. He who has not forgotten these smaller parts of His creation will certainly not forget His loved ones.

Maybe you’re thinking, “Okay, great, but what does this have to do with me?” There are a number of ways that these thoughts relate specifically to you.

  • 1. We are overwhelmed with gratitude at your on-going investment in things that transcend this life through your support of our ministry in Brazil.

  • 2. Your investment in this “treasure” can’t crash and this is stock that is guaranteed to pay dividends beyond our greatest imagination.

  • 3. Don’t worry yourself! This is easier said than done when people are losing jobs, there are bills to pay and mouths to feed but this passage reminds us Who is ultimately in control and it is not Wall Street or the Fed.

  • 4. Don’t worry about us! We covet your concern, your prayers and where you are able your support but don’t fret over us. We are in the hands of the One who cares for the birds of the air and the flowers of the field. He always has and will continue to care for us.

Whether it’s the economic crisis today or the swine flu tomorrow, we are continuously bombarded with ulcer-inducing reasons to worry. The 24-hour news cycle urges us to wring our hands and panic and when we stop worrying about one thing, there’s always something right behind it. Don’t get me wrong, I believe that we should be informed and wise about all of the issues that we are facing. However, I also believe that we should step back and look beyond the moment to see a loving Father who desires to free us from the grip of worry and stress about so many things that we ultimately can’t control and yes, even the things that we falsely believe that we can control.

At the end of the chapter, after all of the promises about how God is our Provider and Caretaker, Jesus has some final words of encouragement that put things in perspective for all of us. “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things (our daily needs) will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

My desire for you and for myself in these difficult times is that we would seek Him more and see our faith continue to grow as our worry shrinks away.

With love,

Demps





Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Post-Project

We've just returned from our annual Project during the summer break from school. We usually hold this retreat at a beach outside of Rio but this year we decided to stick closer to Belo Horizonte.

Around 50 students and staff participated in this project crafted around the idea of Maturity and what it means to be a mature Christian. With all that has happened in the past year in our ministry, there has been much discussion of what it actually means to grow in a relationship with God and what are the true marks of a mature Christian. The studies focused on the Jesus the Son, God the Father and the Holy Spirit. One of the most talked discussed aspects of the project was a study on the attributes of God and how our understanding of these attributes (or lack of understanding of these attributes) can help us to determine where we are relying on "idols" instead of God. It was so encouraging to see students searching their hearts and learning more about God's nature.

Thanks so much for being here with us and ministering alongside us. We are praying for each of you during this time of financial crisis. It's a worldwide crisis -- things are difficult here too -- but we know our Provider and it is from His hand that we receive all that we need. We're praying the same for you!

Monday, December 15, 2008

End of Year

Hi, all! You should each receive a year-end update via snail mail in the next couple of weeks (let us know if you don’t and we'll send it to you immediately. We might not have your address!) but we wanted to take this chance to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and express our gratefulness for your involvement in our lives and the ministry here in Brazil. We feel blessed to be a part of what God is doing here and we hope you do too.

Some highlights from the past year: (we’ll give you a little more detail in the snail mail version!)

Family

• Demps turned 40!
• Kristy sold another manuscript that will be made into a picture book for children, her fourth sale so far! Her first book, ME WITH YOU, will be out in May 2009.
• Meg began piano lessons.
• Duncan did all his own tooth-pulling this year and starts tennis lessons this week.
• Kate started school!

Ministry

• We felt God’s presence during a tough, emotional refining year in our ministry
• God’s provision financially during tough economic times
• Forward movement for our church in defining vision and values
• Baptism service yesterday (The newest members of our church, each shared a poster with one word that describes how their life has changed since they came to Christ. The words were: loved, thanks, life, happiness, transformation, love, brokenness, freedom, hope, and humility.)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Hi, all. We haven’t been avoiding our communication with you for the past few months but there’s been a lot taking place in our ministry and at times it has seemed difficult to know exactly what and when to communicate. In the past year, three of the American couples who were working with us here in Brazil have moved back to the States to pursue a new call of God on their lives. Their departures were difficult because of our friendships with them (and our children’s friendships with their children!) but we’ve known all along that God might not keep the original team here forever. And we were confident as we watched them struggling through their desires to stay here that they were definitely hearing from God.

Then about a month ago, three of our Brazilian staff informed us of their decision to leave staff also. Their reasons boiled down to some theological and philosophical differences with our ministry, as well as some misguided perspectives about ministry that were consuming their time and their hearts. In the same way as before, though we love them and feel God is leading them to something new, we feel a loss of our relationships with them. Their departure has also been complicated because, as they left the ministry, they also left the church and it left many students in our ministry confused as to whom they should “follow”. Our unequivocal answer has been that they should follow God and where they feel He is leading them. But we have been grieving personally in many ways because of how this has affected our relationships with the three who left staff and how it continues as some students struggle in how to relate to us, or to the three.

Pray for us, for our staff, for the students involved in our ministry. Pray for all the families that left staff, that God will direct each of them to the place He wants them to serve. Pray that each of the staff will look to God for significance instead of finding it in the “success” of their ministries. We have never been more grateful than we are now to have the support –emotional, prayer, financial, any way you can describe it – from each of you. We need your prayers. We need to know what is going on in your lives too! We see God working in deep ways here in Brazil. Please keep praying!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Prayer Needs


Praca do Papa (Pope Square) Belo Horizonte, Brazil


After a great vacation in the States in July, we came back to Brazil refreshed and ready for God to work in a big way in the lives of college students. Because of Demps's job responsibilities, much of his day to day interaction is with his staff -- training and leading them to lead others. We've had a lot of fluidity in our ministry in the past year, finding the best fit for people, making adjustments as individuals needed time for emotional and spiritual growth, as well as the health problems Demps had late last year. Suffice it to say, it has not been an easy year. God IS working in a big way here in Brazil in our lives as well as in the lives of college students. But we need His grace more than ever.

Here are some things you can pray for all of our staff:

*wisdom and grace in dealing with staff issues (spiritual, emotional, relational)
*wisdom and clarity for young staff on theological issues
*honoring God with time; a biblical view of work and rest
*humility
*capacity for development of the church our ministry is planting

Also, pray for Demps and celebrate with us as he turns 40 on September 3rd!

We love you all,

Kristy