Tim’s support update.

team w captions

Carrie officially handed me my team a month after this retreat.

Each year IV staff are among the masses of faith-based not-for-profits wanting to connect with you about financial support.  Thank you so much for being one of those people who stops.  Reads.  Considers your part.  We’re all so grateful for what you do to make a difference in a world full of need.  Whether it’s the university, your Church, your community or the world, you are a critical piece of that engine that empowers good in the name of Jesus all over the globe.  Thank you.  My hope for you is that giving is a joy that leaves you closer to the God who is the giver of all good things.  I also hope you can spend a few minutes with this blog post letting me catch you up with some of my needs.

(Please note below there are a couple of links to use for replying to this post.  Note also that I will be sending the link to this post two times to ensure you get a chance to read it.)


Ancient greeks used a word for the shape of the path an object travels when thrown.  The curved arc is called a parabola.  Humanity watches parabolas endlessly.  Kids throwing rocks to see whose goes the farthest.  Bored office workers take turns seeing who can hit the trash can from three-point-land with wadded up requisition forms.  A volleyball setter is an inbound/outbound parabolic architect if she’s any good at all.  The greeks also used a derivative of this word to describe the idea of trajectory in storytelling.  A parable is a narrative tossed out to see if a crowd could follow it and maybe catch it’s meaning.

My experience of coming back to InterVarsity is like a parable with an arc.  It’s like I’ve been shot out of a cannon and am floating through the air along a slowly curving path (in front of an audience holding its breath).  Being in the cannon when it went off wasn’t nearly as fun as the circus makes it seem.  But when you stand back a bit you can see what’s happening.

The info graph below is an attempt to capture where I’ve come from.  And where I’m hopefully headed.  Looking back on the first few months I was amazed at how quickly the resources came in to get me started.  It was such an affirmation for people give so readily and generously.  “If this is where I’m at a split second after the powder ignites, I think I’ll make it.”  Thanks so much to all who gave during that first year.  If you only knew the sense of gravity your partnership overcame!  I’d been attending InterVarsity GFM staff meetings for month upon month.  It felt so good to lead my team in a retreat back in May.  In July I reached full-time hours/pay and was officially handed the team.

That was then, this is now.

As I’m midway into my second fiscal year, I’m seeing a definite need for more work on my funding.  After months of not thinking much about the dollars, I just completed a quick projection to see what will be needed between now and next June 30th.  My second year’s budget is right at $101 K.  The biggest concern I have is the significant amount of jump-start funding people gave me during my first year that won’t repeat this year.  Check out the bottom half of the piktochart.

2018-19-5c-20mi_34520385The people currently giving annual and monthly donations make up a pretty strong core of support I can count on.  The challenge is replacing about $25 K that many of my early donors gave to get me started.  That was terrific when it was donated.  Over time though it needs to get replaced with annual and monthly giving.  Currently I have roughly equal numbers of annual donors and monthly donors (on the left at the bottom).  Replacing last year’s one-time donations and adding enough to reach a slightly bigger budget means I’m looking for more donors and more sustaining dollars.  I’d like to find about 10 annual donors who could make up the jump-start dollars.  I’d also like to keep finding more $100 per month donors.

Helping Tim stay on his path:

When I started this back in 2017 I told myself, “I just don’t want to constantly bury people in paper mail.  The printing, folding, stamping and dangerous paper-cuts.”  I found a way to keep my news as paperless as possible.  But I am searching for a good tool for donors to reach out to me with their questions and plans.  At some point I’m going to have to use paper in order to get to every last type of donor on my team.  But for the sake of you reading this, here’s what I’m asking:

1- If you’d like to make a one-time year-end donation to help me reach my budget that would be greatly appreciated.  Just hit on the link immediately below.  If you would like to begin monthly donations or change the amount you give online, you can use that same donations web-page.  You’ll know you’re on the right page when you see my picture.

2- Feel free to let me know what your support plan for the coming calendar year is.  Just drop me a quick email.  You can use the second link below or email me at tim.perry@intervarsity.org

3- If you’ve been receiving updates automatically but would like that to stop, either text me at (402) 709-7911 or email me below.

Click here to be taken to my donations page at InterVarsity

Click here to email Tim with any update you’d like him to have about your support.

Last thing here, I promise.  If you would rather receive updates via links sent to your e-mail (instead of text notifications) email me at the above link/address.  I can change you over to email (sometimes much easier to read on the device you get your mail through versus the cell phone).

Thank you so much for partnering with me!

2018.06.13_0279_Matt Kirk_small

The Encounter – in Iowa!


University of Iowa was on my supervisory itinerary back in September.  I had actually never set foot on the campus.  I landed on a sunny Wednesday morning at  The Encounter Cafe (a very nice place, Kevin).  Kevin Kummer is our GFM Staff Member at Iowa.  He and his wife Maria are veteran staff – not only with InterVarsity but also the IFES  (International Fellowship of Evangelical Students) for a combined 39 years of ministry now with students and faculty!

The guy on the left is Dr. Cary Covington – political science professor at Iowa.  I sat down that morning to one of the most interesting conversations about faith and politics.  People with Cary’s level of education are themselves an education to be around.  I was not only given a front row seat to Kevin’s friendship with Dr. Covington, we also talked at length about current events.  “So, from your perspective as a political scientist and a devoted christian, what do you think explains Trump’s impact not only on the republican party but also on the Church?”  Yes.  We talked about that!  Dr. Covington’s thoughts were deep, historically rooted, incredibly intelligent and earnest.  “I’m just not used to having someone like that to talk to,” I remember saying to Kevin.  “Cary usually doesn’t have that much time to talk – I was surprised he hung out with us that long,” Kevin mentioned to me afterward.

One of the best things about working with GFM is that there are absolutely no boring people.  You just have to ask the right questions (off the record, of course).  Later that day Kevin gave me a walking tour of the campus.  “There’s the building where the Iowa Writer’s Workshop is located.  Pulitzer Prize novelist and christian Marilynne Robinson teaches here at University of Iowa, did you know that?”

Kevin had the best stuff lined up for me to experience while I was in town.  We got to spend about 45 minutes with Brandon, a new grad student in theatre.  We met with Yooneui, Katrina and Shu – Kevin’s leadership team.

You can check out Graduate Christian Fellowship at Iowa on FB at this link.

I spent the evening in the Kummer’s home learning more about their extended family and history with InterVarsity over a delicious dinner.  This is the kind of time with staff that helps me serve them better.  Experiencing their ministry context, being more up-close to their work, and getting in touch with their families.

katrina and yunni

Katrina and Yooneui, working on the Fall Retreat schedule.

My Fall 2018 line up!

  • Aug 15, Lawrence, campus visit to KU with Jake Evans
  • Sept 18-19, St. Louis, Wash-U, time with George Stulac on campus, dinner with George and Barbara, meet up with St. Louis Comm College faculty, breakfast with Ryan Weed.
  • Sept 26-27, Iowa City with Kevin on campus, stops in Ames and Pella on way back home to meet faculty and undergrad Regional Director Kathy Haug
  • Oct 9, Ministry Partnership meeting with potential donor in Overland Park, coaching with Jake, meet Christina and the Evan’s kids.
  • Oct 10-11, Campus visit with Mark Hansard to Emporia State, dinner with his wife Leanne, campus day with George Gardner at K-State in Manhattan
  • Nov 7,  Ministry Partnership conversation in Topeka – resources and networking for GFM Kansas.
tim and kevin

Coffee.  One of the best things about GFM!

I’m so grateful for Kevin and his work.  Let’s see… we got George a smoker after his 20th year with IV.  I’d better be thinking about what InterVarsity should do for a staff member who has given 40 years!  Thank you, Kevin!  Thank you, Maria!  You two are a treasure to this ministry as well as hundreds (if not thousands) of students and faculty all over the world.  Our team is so blessed to have you!

My other George, the Smoker…

george smoker

I first met my other George at Bear Trap Ranch (Colorado Rockies) in 1999.  At the time BTR was one of InterVarsity’s regional student training camps.  I was on a study sabbatical during my first 19 year stint with InterVarsity, enjoying a family vacation (in fact, before the days of Silas Perry).  Our downstate Illinois friends Jeff and Sandy Yockey were running Bear Trap.  George Gardner was the facilities guy and his wife Sharon was the cook.  Oh, this George isn’t the same as the George from a couple of posts ago.

Eighteen years later…my ministry timeline brought me back to InterVarsity and onto the same staff team with George.  This time in Graduate Faculty Ministries.  George and his family moved on from Bear Trap Ranch and eventually settled in Manhattan, Kansas at K-State.   Time flies.  Both George and I have had our odometers flip more than once since first meeting in the previous millennium!

One of my delights in supervision is to affirm staff for their years of service.  While George has been in ministry longer than 20 years, I get to make sure InterVarsity finds a creative way to celebrate his time on staff.  Director’s are given a budget to spend on staff anniversaries but not told exactly what to do with it.  My team might regret that at some point.  But after recruiting George himself to come up with a fitting recognition, he decided a smoker would be a very practical gift.  Yes, George is a smoker!  A meat smoker!

When I was with him back in October, he mentioned having already used it to host an international student gathering.  My guess is that smoker is going to get a great deal of use – for the Gardner family but also for future generations of K-State international students.  George has recently been reporting to the team about dozens and dozens of Paraguayans he’s been connecting with.  The day I was with him at K-State we met up with an enthusiastic Paraguayan named Gimena, getting her degree in entrepreneurship.  She comes from a family of business owners.  Gimena told me about her hopes for completing a master’s degree and returning to her home country.  She was also very excited about recently being a part of one of her fellow Paraguayans coming to faith in Christ.

George, you’re doing a fantastic job!  You connect with so many students through hospitality and service.  You fix bikes for internationals.  You and Sharon fix countless meals for students.  A smoker is a small way to say thank you for your faithful witness to the university and the world.  We’ll take another 20 if you guys have it in you!