National Conference in Kawai

Earlier this month, Scripture Union Peru hosted it’s third national conference in Kawai for all of it’s staff members, volunteers and directors. Since the conference was just a few weeks after our return to Lima, it was a great opportunity to see all of our friends and co-workers all in one place and be able to catch up with them during the week at the beach!

The theme of the conference was “Somos Familia” (we are family) and all of the sessions talked about the history, principles and ideology of the movement. It was a great opportunity for each of Scripture Union’s six ministries to interact together (something which doesn’t typically happen on a daily basis) and for staff members all over the country to get to know each other.

Each ministry director led a morning devotional and each day an invited speaker was asked to present something relating to the theme of the week. One of the most principle ideas of the Scripture Union movement worldwide is the use of volunteers to expand the ministry and many of the sessions talked about the importance of volunteers.

I was asked to document the week-long conference and wanted to share some of the photos from the sessions.

The week started with an inauguration ceremony in the chapel in Kawai.
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The inauguration ended with flags representing the departments where SU Peru is currently working.
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National director, Juan Alvear
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Paul Clark, sharing about the beginning of SU in Peru
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Celebrating 25 year of ministry in the jungle city of Iquitos
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Billy translating for Clayton Fergie, from Scripture Union International
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Just a small part of the great Girasoles team that work at SU’s seven homes for abandoned and at-risk children
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It was a great week with friends while we learned about the history and principles of Scripture Union’s work in Peru.

– Kate & Billy

This Christmas…

2014 has been a very different year as compared to the last five years that I have spent in Peru.

As you know Kate and I have been in the States on furlough since September of this year. We are almost four months into our time away from the field and have just over a month left before we head back to Peru. Mainly, our time away has been full of visiting churches, schools, and many other friends and contacts to share with them about the work we are blessed to be a part of in Peru.

Participating in Ward Church’s missions festival, Compelled by Love.
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Sharing about the Girasoles Program in South Carolina
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Participating in Living Water’s for the World’s training “Clean Water U”
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Seeing some sights in Philadelphia on a weekend trip to share about the Girasoles Program
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We have been working very hard over these last few months to raise funds necessary to keeping the homes open and operating. We are so thankful to so many of you who have given to our personal support, which has enabled us to continue to work on behalf of the children in our homes. We are also thankful to those of you have supported the ministry in Peru directly, a wonderful blessing for each of the children under our care.

January will be another month full of church visits and meetings to continue to promote Scripture Union’s work in Peru, but these next couple of weeks are a welcome pause in our busy schedule. Kate and I are blessed to be home with family during this Christmas season — our first Christmas together in the States (we’re desperately hoping for a white Christmas!). Yet as we look forward to Christmas with family, we are also missing our friends and the children that we have grown to love back in Peru, and we urge you to continue to keep them in your prayers this season. Here are some specific ways that you can pray:

— While this is a season of joy as we come together to celebrate the birth of Jesus, our Savior, the Christmas season can also be an emotionally difficult time for the children in our homes. As many families pause to spend time together, our children are reminded of the family they do not have. Pray that our ministry staff and volunteers would be able to create a family environment at the home and pray that each child would come to understand the true meaning of Christmas. It is no coincidence that many of our kids hold Psalm 27:10 very close to their hearts. In their Spanish Bibles it reads “Even though my mother and father abandon me, the Lord will receive me into His arms.” Another version reads “…the Lord will adopt me as His child.” Christmas is a time when we remember that our Heavenly Father sent His only Son to Earth to fulfill the law that we could never fulfill on our own, to take the punishment for our sins and to die in our place that we may be called children of God. Pray that each of our children would come to know the love of their Heavenly Father who receives them into His open arms and adopts them as His own.

— Pray for the boys who are graduating from high school this year — that the Lord would be preparing them to take their next steps. You might remember that this past year four of our recent graduates applied for a new scholarship program that the government is offering to young adults who have grown up in children’s homes, the Beca 18. All four of them received the scholarship, and they are all continuing to work toward their degrees. December marks the end of the Peruvian school year and the beginning of the next round of scholarship applications. We have a number of kids who have shown interest. Pray that they would have the courage to follow through and that the Lord’s blessing would be upon them throughout this process.

— Last, we ask that you would continue to pray for the Lord’s provision for this ministry. The last couple of years have been very tight financially while the costs of running the homes has also gone up significantly. Pray that the Lord would continue to provide for the children’s homes, and pray that He would open doors for Kate and I to share this ministry in our last month in the States.

Once again, we want to thank each and every one of you for your continued prayers, support and involvement in our ministry.

May the Lord bless you as you come together to remember His gift to us all this Christmas season.

– Billy & Kate

Compelled by Love

Kate and I are now well into our furlough here in the States. Our first stop was Michigan to visit friends, family, and both of our home churches.

My home church, Ward EPC in Northville, Michigan, held its first triennial missions conference at the end of September – Compelled by Love. The week was themed after 2 Corinthians 5:14-15, “For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.”

We are so thankful to be a part of a congregation that is so active and passionate about missions. Ward Church supports more than 30 different missionaries and ministries both locally in Southeastern Michigan and around the world, and they invited us all to attend the conference together.

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