Mark and Bekah Perry write in their update this month:
Paul, encouraging the Corinthian church to give toward the relief project for the brothers in Jerusalem, reminds them that they too have received grace: “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich” (2 Cor 8:9). Paul uses the word “grace” interchangeably throughout this chapter to refer to “undeserved favor” and “freewill gift.” The Corinthians had personally experienced grace—the grace of Jesus Christ who humbled himself, took on humanity, and became poor for us. Those who have received grace show grace—if we have been the recipients of such self-emptying grace, why would we not be willing to impoverish ourselves to enrich others? After all, we know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We experienced God’s grace in many ways this past month. Although we never received the paperwork we requested, we were still able to travel to Argentina for our mission’s conference the first week of the year. Mark spent the following week in the south of Chile at the annual pastors’ meeting. God has been gracious to us.
Now we are in the middle of “summer vacation,” where our city has a different rhythm. Some of our church families have been traveling on vacation. The nightly violence downtown has continued most weeknights, with groups of hooded youths destroying, looting, and burning. Our hearts break for the destruction of jobs, property, and savings, but even more for the emptiness and desperation of heart that drives people to these deeds. Surely they do not know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We continue to await the processing of our residency paperwork as we enter the seventh month of an expected 11–13 month wait. Our church continues looking for a more permanent place to meet each Lord’s Day.
We appreciate your prayers for God’s grace in these things.