Monday, October 31, 2005

Unity in Diversity


Every Wednesday night, thirty or so students gather at our house to discuss spiritual questions. The picture above is of some of the students who were at our house last Wednesday night. Demps recently explained the purpose and
result of this "community" of seekers and believers in another newsletter that our team sends out. For those of you who didn't get a chance to read it, it provides an insight into our ministry here. Please pray for us and these students as we involve ourselves in each others' lives and encourage each other to seek God.

Unity in Diversity

This is actually what the word “university” means and I feel like I’m getting a great opportunity to see it right before my very eyes. As the area director overseeing the staff and ministry in the PE school at UFMG I have the privilege of seeing God raising up a movement on the campus at UFMG. However, I am even more privileged to see God working in the community that we’re building alongside the ministry at PE. Our “community” is made up of 30-40 students and recent graduates from 5 different universities and all kinds of different backgrounds. Men, women, black, white, rich, poor, mature Christian, new Christian, non-Christian, we are all jumbled together in one melting pot of people seeking God together. We often say in our community that it doesn’t matter where we are on this path but just that we are all on the same journey of faith to know God through Jesus. We are seeking to be “one” in the middle of all of our diversity.

The last weekend in September we had a retreat and spent the weekend talking about this idea of “community” in the gospel of grace and how we can pursue it together. It is exciting to be a part of this but also for me to observe this band of “sojourners” of ours taking shape. This process of becoming “one” is a pretty fluid process and at any given moment we easily just see the diversity rather than the unity. But, thankfully God is using this process, the relationships of those around us and his grace to mold us and shape us into His image and something that draws both us and others to Himself. Isn’t that what Jesus was talking about when he said, “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." That’s my greatest desire, that we would together be his disciples, love one another and that others would be dying to know about this love that we share unified in our diversity.

Demps Dempsey

Area Director - UFMG Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 17, 2005

Going to the Doctor – Questions to Diagnose your Spiritual Health

As Demps prepares for knee surgery in November we thought we would share the "spiritual" checkup we've all been experiencing here as well.

We live in an increasingly health conscious society. We’re constantly monitoring our weight, exercise, and nutrition as well as paying more and more attention to our vital signs. But, how often do we check in on our spiritual health and what are the vital signs that we should be watching in regards to our souls? These are the questions that we’ve been asking for the last few weeks in our church here. We recently began a 5 week series on Sunday nights to ask, “5 questions to diagnose your spiritual health”. These questions are helping us to evaluate our personal spiritual health and the spiritual health of our church by helping us know and examine critical signposts in the life of a Christian.

The questions that we are asking and talking about are:

Do you thirst for God?
Are you governed increasingly by God’s Word?
Are you more loving?
Do you have a growing concern for the spiritual and temporal needs of others?
Do you yearn for heaven and to be with Jesus?

These questions and the series are stimulated by a book entitled “10 Questions to Diagnose your Spiritual Health” by Donald S. Whitney and is a great resource if you would like to examine your own spiritual health along with us. We will continue this series through the end of October and some of our staff will be sharing on these subjects. Pray for God to use this series in the life of our church to allow every member and visitor to move to greater spiritual well-being.

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We're thankful for each of you, your involvement in our lives and your desire to be involved in our ministry here. Please let us know how we can be praying for you.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Retreat, Planning and Preparation

What do you do when 35 college students invade your house for the weekend? Pray. And study the bible. And grow in a spirit of community and fellowship.

Last weekend, we hosted a retreat in our home for the students in our area of the Campus Outreach ministry. It was really humbling and motivating to see these students growing in their desire to influence each other and their non-Christian friends for Christ. "They will know that we are His disciples by our love for one another" is something we are actively trying to build into our relationships. This spirit of community gives these students (and us!) a "home" in which to function as believers and a place to bring our non-Christian friends to.

This week also included 3 days of meetings for Demps and the rest of the leadership team. It was a time of evaluation at the ministry level and at the self level and provided an opportunity to prayerfully consider and prepare for the future of our ministry.

Please pray for:

*the possibilty of expanding the ministry to another part of Brazil in the next few years

*continued personal growth for each individual on our team and for healthy marriages and families

*the children in our ministry to see their need of Christ

*Preparation for Demps' surgery in November and our travel for support raising in December, January and February

We love you all. Thanks for co-laboring with us here in Brazil.

Demps, Kristy
Meg, Duncan and Kate