A Busy End to 2023

The last 6 weeks have been busy as we wind down 2023!

In November, we hosted our second integration event with the teens at the Puericultorio Pérez Araníbar. Our volunteer mentors organized an afternoon of games and activities to do with the 24 residents. One of the activities the mentors led was cupcake decorating, so Will and I prepared 4 dozen chocolate cupcakes and buttercream frosting and sent all sorts of Christmas-themed sprinkles so they could decorate their own cupcake. Some were quite creative and patient with their designs, others were looking to maximize the amount of frosting they could get on their cupcake!

After the integration event we shared a meal with a few of the volunteer mentors and spent time getting to know them outside of planning an event or discussing how their mentor meetings were going. We thanked them for their time and dedication to the ministry.

Earlier this year we created a short video about the Caminando Juntos mentoring program. We were able to interview the director of the Puericultorio children’s home and also two of our volunteer mentors. We invite you to watch it here:

Billy led the Peru por los Niños virtual forum in November. PPLN is a network of organizations, churches and individuals, and the topic for this month’s forum was presenting the various organizations that make up the network. Each organization had a few minutes to share about their programs for working with orphans and vulnerable children while Billy moderated the discussion.

Since Thanksgiving is just a regular Thursday here in Peru, we gathered with a group of Americans from our church to celebrate together. It was a lovely afternoon meeting some new families and spending time with friends.

At the beginning of the month we hosted the president of the Paths of Hope board, Susan, here in Lima. It had been more than five years since Susan had visited Peru, so her trip was an opportunity to spend time with POH staff, meet in-person with ministry partners, visit the Puericultorio and visit with some of the former Girasoles children’s home graduates that we work with today.

Her trip also coincided with Huberth’s college graduation. Huberth has been one of Billy’s mentees for many years and received an educational scholarship from Paths of Hope to finish his degree in architecture and urban planning. He finished his final semester at the end of July and participated in the graduation ceremony at the beginning of December.

To celebrate his accomplishments we hosted a graduation party for Huberth at a Chinese restaurant. It was a lovely evening with his friends and important people in his life.

The two men in patterned shirts grew up with Huberth and we have known them for years.

Will’s school had a Storybook Character Day and he decided to dress up as Joe Hardy. We’re on a big Hardy Boys books kick right now and he was so excited to go as one of the teen detectives!

We recently had lunch with Paul & Marty Clark. Unfortunately with the pandemic it had been almost 4 years since we saw them last, but it was lovely to see them one last time before they moved to the US. We met the Clarks in 2001 when we first came as mission trip volunteers for Scripture Union, and they played a part in us being here today.

We have been fortunate to be in Michigan for the last couple Christmases, so we never ended up decorating our apartment. Since we will be in Lima this year it has been a joy to sit in the living room in the evenings with the tree lights on!

We want to thank you for your generosity that has allowed us to be here, serving in Peru.

Your support and prayers make it possible young men and women who have graduated from children’s homes to have access to mentors once they have left the home.

You are making a difference in the lives of many who greatly desire and long for community as they navigate independence. Your generosity is a testimony to your love for God and your willingness to share in the burdens and blessings of others.

As the year comes to a close, we are aiming to raise $1200 more in monthly support.

We’d be grateful if you would prayerfully consider increasing your current giving, beginning a new monthly commitment or giving a year-end gift.

If you feel led to partner with us, you can support us through United World Mission.

Your financial support is providing community and guidance to teenagers as they age out of residential care. We believe in this ministry and see its impact, and we are deeply humbled to get to serve in this way.

As always, thank you for your prayers for our family, the mentoring ministry and the people of Peru.

– Billy, Kate & Will

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