This month has been busy with the usual Zoom meetings, curriculum development, lots of preschool activities and some weekend adventures in and out of Lima.
This past month, Billy was the primary trainer for the Center of Excellence training program we are developing alongside Health Bridges International. He created the four weekly lessons about attachment and its importance in relationships and working with children who have experienced trauma. He then led the sessions twice a week for the homes in Ica and Urubamba. This next month, the Center of Excellence training team will finally have the opportunity to travel to the homes and lead an in-person retreat which will be a completely different experience than over Zoom!
Billy has also been walking alongside three young men who are currently in prison in Peru. Normally, communication is over the phone and only when they call, and before COVID, Billy was able to visit periodically. Prisons closed to visitors in March 2020, but in the last few months visits have been coordinated over Zoom. Billy recently was able to talk “face-to-face” with one of the men for about 15 minutes and it was such a surprise and blessing for both.
Billy, Jocabeth and Linda recently met with the staff from Hope House to share about our Caminando Juntos (Walking Toegether) mentoring program and discuss next steps. Hope House is a girls’ home in Lima and is our first children’s home partner. Through Caminando Juntos, members of a local church will walk alongside and serve as mentors to girls in the home. Billy will lead two trainings – one for the staff at Hope House, which begins in November, and another for mentors, which will begin in January. After the 6-week trainings end, we will officially launch the program with Hope House!
Paths of Hope held their second Virtual Ministry Update from Peru where Billy shared what the organization has been doing thus far in 2021. We encourage you to watch the recording on the Paths of Hope Facebook page (and give us a like while you’re there!)
Every October, Taking Route, a community of women living overseas, publishes a 31-day global series that allows readers to compare different aspects of life overseas. This year “This Global Walk Outside” explored what outdoor space is like across the world. I recently wrote about our outside space (or lack of it) and how we make it work in a large city with a 4-year old as we aim for 1000 Hours Outside.
At the beginning of the month, Will had a week off from school for what would be our equivalent of Spring Break. Thanks to a thoughtful gift, we were able to spend the week at the beach in northern Peru. It was our first time being so far north on the coast, and it was a lovely week of sun, sand, salt water, sea animals and sunsets.
One day we went so far north that we straddled the border between Peru and Ecuador (Peru is on the left of the photo, Ecuador on the right).
We also reached 600 hours outside in 2021
Billy and Will went tubing on the ocean – a little different than the lake in Indiana.
Will continues to participate in Zoom school and is getting more and more comfortable in Spanish. We are thankful for the teachers he has had thus far who genuinely care for our little boy. His favorite show to watch of late is Octonauts which isn’t a popular show here. Originally a BBC kids show, it’s now on Netflix and follows 8 animal characters who take care of various ocean animals (the amount of facts we all have learned from Octonauts astounds Billy and me). Will frequently talks about Octonauts with his teacher Miss Angie and she coordinated an afternoon watch party where she, Will and her son could watch an episode together.
One Saturday, we spent the morning climbing to the top of a mountain (really though when you live so close to the Andes, this is just a hill here) and got a different view of La Molina, one of the districts of Lima.
As soon as we switched the calendar to October, Will insisted we put up some decorations for Halloween. Halloween isn’t a big holiday here like it is in the United States and despite only having been trick or treating twice, Will has proclaimed it is his favorite holiday.
He did put on his Woody costume (from Toy Story) for us to take a photo of him in front of our building.
For only the second time since school started in March of this year, Will got together with some of his classmates to celebrate Halloween. They are so used to seeing each other daily on Zoom that it was nice to see them running around together and interacting in-person!
Since it was a Halloween get together, Will wanted to prepare little candy bags for all his friends ahead of time
We made a quick trip to Lunahuaná, about 3 hours south of Lima. It’s just high enough that it is not covered by clouds in the winter and therefore sunny all year round. We had some great outdoor time and went white water rafting with Will. The rapids were quite mild but we still managed to get wet.
As COVID restrictions have been loosening up in Peru and now that anybody 12 and up is eligible for the vaccine, we’re hoping that more in-person events will be able to begin again. Will’s school started having the elementary and high school students meet in-person for a couple hours each week and in November the preschool students will start going in person for 1 hour a week. They hope that when the new school year starts in March 2022, there will be more in-person opportunity for the preschool/Kindergarten students. Hopefully, Paths of Hope will also be able to transition from less Zoom meetings to more in-person meetings.
Would you join us in praying for the following requests?
– For the training program Billy will be leading with the Hope House staff.
– For the three young men in prison that Billy supports.
– For the upcoming Center of Excellence retreat that will be held in-person at two of the boys’ homes.
– For Will, as he starts 1 hour of in-person school each week for the remainder of the school year.
As always, we very much appreciate your prayers for us, our ministry and for the country and people of Peru.
– Kate, Billy & Will