Trauma Trainings

Greetings from Lima!

Billy just finished leading another iteration of the Trauma Competent Caregiver training. The training was 5 weeks and had two modalities this time. A group of 30 people met virtually on Tuesday and Thursday evenings for 2 hours each night and another group of 17 people met for 4 hours in person on Saturday mornings. This was the largest training group that we’ve had thus far and many of the participants were contacts that were made during the ACH conference we wrote about in the last update. This trauma training is the first step in becoming a volunteer mentor at the Puericultorio Pérez Araníbar, the children’s home we are working with in Lima. Now that the training has concluded many of the participants have expressed interest in becoming mentors and will begin the application process. Join us in praying for these new volunteers!

Billy also spent a few days at the Girasoles home in Urubamba where he met with the staff as they work as a team to develop more individualized plans for each of the boys currently living at the home. In the context of a group home, creating space in regular day-to-day life in the home where each the boys’ individual needs can be considered and where their specific voices can be heard is challenging, but it is so important. The staff is also working with each boy to create a plan that moves toward a holistic sense of wellbeing. We talk about individual plans, but the hope, really, is to help the staff develop safe and secure relationships with the boys — where they are in tune with each boy’s emotional, cognitive, social, spiritual and physical needs and where they can be available to help them meet those needs.

Also on this trip, Billy met with the new volunteer mentors that will begin working with some of the older boys at the home. The volunteers have completed the trauma training, application process and have been interviewed for the program – all virtually. This was the first time Billy has able to meet with them all in person and get to know them and discuss the program. The mentoring program at the Girasoles home will launch next month in June!

A few weeks ago Billy was asked to share at a meeting with the outreach team at our church, Camino de Vida. The church has a huge outreach program called Servolución (Servolution) and Billy gave an overview of caring for the vulnerable. The Servolución team serves in many different areas across Lima, including two prisons and a community kids club. At the end of the overview of trauma, he invited them to participate in an upcoming trauma training so they can improve the care they provide.

Earlier this month the mentors hosted a social event for the teens at the Puericultorio. Every few months the volunteer mentors put on an event for all of the teens (including those that currently do not have mentors) to spend time with them and so they can get to know Paths of Hope. Previously the events have entailed cupcake decorating, watercolor painting, water balloon games but this month’s event was to watch the movie Wonder (August, a boy who suffers from facial deformity, enters a private school in fifth grade. At the school he endures bullying from his peers but finds a way to overcome them with his friends and family) and discuss it afterward. The night before we prepared many bags of popcorn for the event!

If you missed our last update, United World Mission is now Mesa Global. Mesa is the Spanish word for table. The table is an important place in our homes; it is where families come together for sharing life and laughter, as well as hard times and tears. The table is also a place for mentoring and studying, planning and prayer. Jesus chose the table as a place to welcome sinners, wash feet, form disciples, and open the Scriptures. We certainly see this in Paths of Hope’s mentoring ministry – much of our work happens around a table, sharing together. You can read more about this change in our last update.

As a family, we have had a few fun events over the last couple weeks.

For the first time we celebrated Will’s birthday with a friends party. His birthday is in February but we finally celebrated him with friends from school and church last month. His request was to have a Pokémon soccer party. He was so excited to be the birthday boy and have all his friends together playing and having fun.

We volunteered with our friends and the church’s outreach team to assemble wheelchairs to be distributed to disabled children and adults. The team assembled 20 wheelchairs and then were able to hand them out to their new owners.

Earlier in May, Will had a week off from school for fall break and we spent a few nights outside of Lima with friends. They have a son who is the same age as Will and they have become great friends. Both are bilingual third culture kids and only children so it was entertaining to see them playing together, constantly switching between languages and sharing the experience. We made pizzas, roasted marshmallows, and spent lots of time outside. On the final night the guys all spent the night in a tent in the yard, which the boys loved!

Over the last few months Will has been participating in our local park district’s track and field program. He told us he was interested in practicing running so he would be faster at soccer and tag during recess at school. He has been training the program two days a week since March and has participated in a few competitions where he has earned medals (which he’s super excited about). The most recent competition was the Peruvian Track & Field National Children’s Championship where he participated in the 30 meter sprint, long jump and softball throw for the U8 age group. He did a great job in all three races but he earned a gold medal for the U8 Boys’ softball throw!

Unfortunately by the time the awards ceremony was held the silver and bronze winners had already left.

Will also has continued with soccer classes and recently played in his first tournament against other teams from Lima – they ended up losing the first game but won the second. Will also got to go to his first professional soccer game, a friendly match between Perú and Paraguay. Even though the game started after he normally goes to bed and ended in 0-0, he was so excited to cheer for the Peruvian national team alongside our friends.

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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