I think it’s safe to say we all can agree on how fast time flies.
When we left Lima in August 2017, we knew we were going to spend 2 years in the States for Billy’s studies and that we would be returning to Lima when he finished. Leaving Lima with a 6 month old Will, it was hard to imagine everything that we would do in 2 years and how much he would grow, learn and change from a baby into a little boy.
While some days were long (especially with papers due and a baby who wasn’t sleeping well), the years definitely were short. Looking back on those 2 years, we are extremely grateful to have been able to spend good, quality time with family and friends. Our last couple weeks in the States were filled with mixed emotions – excitement for getting back to Lima and our friends here, anticipation for everything that needed to be done to pack our belongings/unpack our storage items in Lima, and sadness as we said goodbyes to family and friends. The goodbyes have gotten 0% easier, even after all of these years.
We arrived to Lima about 3 weeks ago on September 16th with a very tired little boy who was an amazing traveler during the trip. Thanks to Billy’s searching, we found an itinerary at a great price (like 1/3 of the price of flying out of Detroit) but it meant having to leave out of Toronto. At 4:30am we woke in our hotel, headed to the airport and proceeded to spend the next 23 hours traveling.
From the airport in Lima, went directly to our old apartment. (Before heading to the States we thankfully found a fellow missionary who was interested in subletting our furnished place while we were gone meaning we didn’t need to sell all of our furniture/dishes/appliances/etc!). Those first couple days were surreal to be back in our apartment but still living out of suitcases as we slowly unpacked our bags and items we left in storage.
Our messy kitchen as we unpacked what we stored in the pantry
Morning walk to the bakery for some fresh bread
Walked one evening to the neighborhood bodega for some ice cream sandwiches – Will now always points out if the bodega is open or closed when we go past it!
Our first week was spent getting things all set back up – new cell phone plans, home internet hooked up, replacing some appliances that had stopped working, and lots of cleaning and unpacking. One thing Kate was looking forward to was participating in the Conferencia Ellas women’s conference that our church Camino de Vida puts on every year. This was the 6th conference the church has held and the 4th Kate has been able to attend (just missed the 2 while we were in the States), and it was great to be back in casa. We also were able to spend some time with our dear friends Carmen, Sabino, Esther, Hector and Maritza while they were in Lima since the women also attended the 2-day conference with Kate (Sabino and Esther are house parents in Ica, Hector and Maritza, house parents in the Sacred Valley).
Carmen, Maritza, Esther, Héctor & Sabino
We’ve started to reconnect with friends over meals and playgrounds (so much easier to talk while Will is happily eating or playing!) and Billy has had the opportunity to visit a friend who is in jail about 2 hours outside of Lima (more on that in a future post).
Will and Valeria
Walking in the park after dinner with Huberth
Last weekend we made the 9 hour trip into the mountains to attend a friend’s wedding in the small town of Caraz. Jusephi, who we have known since 2006, married Yanerin in a lovely outdoor ceremony that Billy translated into English for a couple of foreign guests and we spent the evening celebrating the couple and watching Will play and dance with some of the now-young men we used to work with.
Stopped at Conococha, just over 13,500 feet above sea level
Will and Andres, one of the former boys from Kusi
Billy and Andres
The bride & groom – Yanerin and Jusephi
Dancing during the reception
As we have settled in a bit more and now that Linda (our Peruvian partner) has returned from a trip, we have started the process of defining who we will be meeting with and developing relationships with over the next few months in an effort to identify our first church-school partnership for the mentoring program we wish to begin next March with the school year. Thankfully Linda has already been making connections and slowly building relationships through prayer groups.
Would you join us in praying for the few things:
– For our family as we continue to make the transition into life back in Lima. Enough is the same that it feels like we’re returning to a familiar place, but enough has changed that we need to relearn (in a small example, they have completely rebuilt our local grocery store that is now 3 stories instead of just 1!) .
– For Will and his little mind as he processes his new life, home and experiences. On the outside, he appears to have adjusted to being here but sometimes asks to go to places we frequented in Wheaton or Livonia, or when we are going to go to a grandparents house, or see an uncle/cousin/etc. May God work through him as this starts to become his new normal.
– For our meetings with potential churches and schools over these next few months as we define our first church-school partnership for the mentoring program.
– For connections with new potential financial supporters and for the continued support and encouragement from our current supporters.
We are thankful for each and every person who is supporting our ministry – whether it be through financial giving or prayer support. We would not be able to do what we do without your help.
A big hug,
Billy, Kate and Will
PS: We have started researching preschool programs for Will since he turns 3 next February. As we have discovered, preschool is a little different here than in the States – it’s 5 days a week from 8:30am-1pm(ish) depending on the school and typically where you go to preschool is the school you continue through high school graduation. Unfortunately for where we live in Lima we don’t have a public school option, and frankly, public school is not a quality education here in Peru. We have always felt strongly about making sure Will is prepared to go to college (whether it be in Peru or in the States) and that he is able to fluently speak, read and write in both English and Spanish. As we are researching and visiting potential schools, would you keep us in your prayers? It seems like a daunting process to pick a school right now where he could spend the next 13 years!
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