Wheaton College Graduation

Last week Billy turned in his final assignments and finished his time at his internship by cleaning out his office and turning in his keys. On Saturday he walked across the Edman Chapel stage and graduated from the Wheaton College Graduate School with a Masters of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy.

Receiving his diploma

Proud of our graduate

Billy’s 3 core Marriage & Family Therapy professors, Dr. VanDyke, Dr. Yoo and Dr. Johnson

MFT Cohort photo

Maybe we will recreate this photo if Will also graduates from Wheaton?

We are so grateful to the long list of individuals, churches and United World Mission – all who have made it possible for Billy to fulfill this dream and to become better prepared for our work in Peru.

So what’s next for us?

Right now we’re in the middle of packing up our home here in Wheaton. We will ever be grateful to the Missionary Furlough Homes organization who provide these fully-furnished townhomes at minimal cost to missionaries on home assignment. Being able to have low cost housing here so close to the Wheaton campus the past two years has really made it feasible for Billy to study.

109 N. President will always hold a special place in our hearts as Will’s “first home” – where he learned to crawl and subsequently walk, where he began solid foods, sleeping through the night and began to talk. It’s where we began living with a baby and are now leaving with a little boy. (Technically his first home would be our apartment in Lima but we left when he was 5 months old… when we go back it will all be new to him!)

September 2017 // May 2019

We will be in Wheaton until the end of May before heading to Michigan for the summer. These next couple weeks we will be spending time checking things off our Chicagoland bucket list, revisiting favorite places (like our little Cosley Zoo here in Wheaton, the Morton Arboretum and the public library) and seeing some new ones. Billy will continue his work on research projects with his Wheaton MFT faculty and we will spending time with friends we have met here and starting the process of saying goodbyes.

If our parents were writing this, they would say that we will be “based in Michigan” this summer since we won’t be there the whole time. In June, Billy and I are taking a much needed celebratory trip together (thank you grandparents for watching Will!). In July we will be visiting churches, friends and supporters in the Charlotte, Nashville and Huntsville areas. We’ll also be spending time going through our belongings and Marie Kondo-ing everything that doesn’t “spark joy.” For those of you in the Detroit area, our loss will be your gain when we host a garage sale towards the end of July! (Dates will be confirmed soon so please come help us get rid of some stuff and get back to Peru!)

It’s amazing how quickly time passes the older you get. When Billy was accepted into the graduate program, two years seemed like a long time. Now, looking back on it, we have done so much during our time here. But as we get closer to our departure, time seems to go faster and faster. We will be returning to Peru on September 16th, just in time for Kate to participate in the 2-day Conferencia Ellas women’s conference our church puts on each year.

We have greatly appreciated your love and support as we have spent this time in the States and now as we transition back to Peru.

with love,
Kate, Billy + Will

Urbana Conference

Over our Christmas break, I had the privilege of traveling to St. Louis to attend the triennial Urbana Missions Conference that is organized and hosted by InterVarsity. The conference is geared towards undergraduate students and this year had over 12,000 students in attendance.

Plenary session in the Great Hall

I was asked by the admissions office to help represent the graduate school and help answer questions about the Marriage and Family Therapy program at the Wheaton table in the exhibitor hall. I appreciated the opportunity to represent the college while also talking with numerous undergraduate students from all over the country (and the world) as they were exploring how God might be calling them to participate in missions.

Wheaton undergraduate & graduate students at Urbana

Being a missions conference, I had the opportunity to connect with some of the United World Mission staff from the Charlotte office and a few other UWM missionaries who are serving around the world – ironically over lunch at a Peruvian restaurant in downtown St. Louis! Some of my fellow Wheaton classmates were also in attendance and we attended some of the plenary sessions together. I even ran into an old friend and classmate from Indiana Wesleyan University was able to catch up over breakfast with him.

UWM missionaries & staff

Fellow Marriage & Family Therapy students

It is hard to believe how fast our time in the United States is going by and that I am starting my final semester this week. More on this in an upcoming post!

– Billy

Merry Christmas!

May the wonder of Immanuel – God with us – fill you this day.

As we gather with family, may you remember the most incredible gift of all— God became man and dwelt among us so that we might know His love forever. Because of this, we are truly blessed.

We are grateful for your prayers and support during this past year.

Merry Christmas to you and your family and God’s abundant blessings in 2019!

– Kate, Billy & Will

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. -Isaiah 9:6

Happy Thanksgiving

We are grateful.

As we celebrate Thanksgiving with friends and family today, we are thankful for the blessings in our lives, our little Will, and for our supporters and prayer warriors who have partnered with us over the years. We’re thankful for each one of you and for your contribution towards our ministry.

May you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

– Kate, Billy & Will

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