Halfway Through

Gosh, it has been waaay too long… we’re sorry about that.

This last year has been quite the whirlwind for our family. It seems ironic that one of our first big events after being granted my Peruvian citizenship was to temporarily move back to the United States, but that’s how our story has played out!

As we have already shared, I am working on a two-year master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at Wheaton College. It is hard to believe that my second and final year begins in just a few days!

I am really enjoying the program thus far, as we study what it means to have meaningful relationships. I am also really enjoying getting to know the faculty and my classmates as we go through this together. God has quite literally brought us together from all over the world, and it is an incredible opportunity to learn as we share our unique cultural and personal perspectives and experiences. I also really appreciate the opportunity that we have at Wheaton to wrestle with what it looks like to integrate our Christian faith with our profession.

During our first year, apart from class, we had the opportunity to observe live therapy sessions from behind a one-way mirror for a couple of hours each week. I feel that this experience was really helpful as I try to envision and conceptualize my approach to therapy.

In June, I began my clinical internship at Outreach Community Ministries and have started seeing my own clients two days a week. In addition to having a wise supervisor, one thing I have greatly appreciated about my internship is the ability to provide therapy in Spanish. I am the only Spanish speaking therapist at the office and there are a number of clients who have desired therapy in Spanish. It is great to be able to gain practice as a therapist and also to be able to do it in the language I’ll be using in Peru. My internship will continue through the school year, so please pray for us as I juggle my days at Outreach, classes, homework and being able to spend time with Kate and Will.

It has been such a blessing for us to have this time where I can concentrate on developing my professional skills so that God may be glorified through our work when we return to Peru. We continue to ask Him to lead our steps through the rest of our time in the States and as we look toward returning to Lima.

In other news:

We can’t believe our little boy is already 18 months old! He loves Elmo, going to the little zoo in Wheaton and dancing to music, and he absolutely loves to read books. He has learned how to climb up on our couch, and we will frequently find him sitting there flipping through pages with two or three books next to him. Now that he is walking, he definitely keeps us on our toes!

We are really enjoying being closer to our families. They have been able to come visit and spend time with us which is definitely something we are enjoying – even if we know they are coming primarily to see Will! We were able to enjoy a good old American summer full of pools, popsicles, road trips, friends and lots of zoos!

Visiting St. Louis

Spending time with cousins!

Playing in the backyard

Loving the slide

Visiting Katie in Grand Rapids

Shortly after settling in, we started attending Wheaton Bible Church. In January, we joined a small group and participated in Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University course. The small group and Financial Peace course have helped us meet some other families at the church, and Will is enjoying playing with the other kids in the nursery.

Will, Kate and her mom, Ann, have just returned from a quick trip to Peru to renew Kate’s visa. Unfortunately, because of my internship I was unable to join them, and since both Will and I are Peruvian citizens it wasn’t necessary for me to go. In order to keep Kate’s residency active, she needed to be present in the country for a few days. Right before returning to the US last fall, she was able to change her residency to ‘permanent resident’ which requires her to be in country at least one day out of the year. While they were there, they were able to visit with a few different friends. Will was a great little traveler and really loved his first, real taste of Peruvian food. While we are enjoying this time in the States, being back in Lima made Kate realize how much we have been missing our life there!

Would you join us in praying for the following things?
– For the Lord to continue to develop us as parents and role models for Will.
– For Billy, as he learns to apply the theory he is learning in class in the context of therapy.
– For Billy’s internship. Pray for the clients that he will see and that the Lord would use him as a conduit of healing in their lives. Also, that Billy would learn to trust in Him and not be anxious about leading sessions.
– Continued financial and prayer support while we are in the States.

We cannot wait to see what the Lord has in store for our family and our ministry over the next semester and months, and we look forward to sharing His testimony in our lives along the way!

A big hug,
Billy, with Kate and Will

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