A New Peruvian!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017, was a special day for me. Almost five years after applying for Peruvian citizenship, my wish was finally granted!

The entire process took seemingly endless amounts of paperwork, multiple visits to the Peruvian immigration office downtown, regular phone calls to different officials who had a hand in this process, and a final signature from Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, the current president of Peru!

It wasn’t until Tuesday afternoon, that I was finally informed that my naturalization ceremony was to be held the following day in celebration of Peru’s Flag Day. Kate, Will and I were with a short term mission team in Ica, about five hours to the South of Lima. We jumped in the car Tuesday afternoon and drove home so that we could all attend the ceremony the following day. Wednesday morning we were joined by a few good friends here in Peru who were also able to share this special moment with us.

The ceremony was short and sweet. After hearing some words from the Superintendent of Peruvian Immigration, 21 of us were sworn in as citizens and then presented our naturalization titles and a copy of the Peruvian constitution. To end the ceremony, we all sung the national anthem together as new citizens!

New Peruvians

with the Superintendent of Immigration

I had no idea that the ceremony was going to be covered quite extensively by all of the national news channels here in Peru. Kate, Will and I were immediately approached by all of the reporters present (I think they chose us because they fell in love with Will — we can’t blame them!), and I had a chance to share how happy I was to finally call myself a Peruvian. Our interviews aired across the country that evening and again the next morning. For the last two days both Kate and I have been approached by multiple people to tell us that they saw us on TV. Kate was even approached by two strangers who recognized her and Will from the news! I guess we will just enjoy our 15 minutes of fame!

None of the reporters took notes so they have some interesting spellings of my last name!

Interview on América TV.

Interview on Panamericana.

In all seriousness, this is really a blessing and an answer to prayer. While I still retain my US citizenship, I am also proud to identify as a Peruvian and to officially become a part of the country that we have grown to love so much. Thanks to everyone who joined us in praying for this process. Once again, we can see the Lord’s faithfulness in our lives!

– Billy

PS – An English article was shared on Andina News here in Lima. Read it here!

6 years.

Today marks six years of living and working in Peru.

72 months of doing life in Spanish.
2190 days of being a part of the Girasoles abandoned children ministry.

While this past year has consisted of less travel than the first five years due to being pregnant and Will joining our family, I still was able to spend a bit of time with the boys at the Girasoles homes. Now that Will has been traveling with us to the homes, I love seeing how he interacts with those around him and how the staff and boys spend time with him 🙂

Both Billy and I are so thankful for the opportunity that you have given us to be part of this ministry here in Peru. Thank you for your generous support through prayer and donations. We would not be able to continue working here without your help.

We can’t wait to see what the next few years bring to the lives of the children we work with. The best is yet to come.

– Kate & Billy

UWM South America Retreat

A couple weeks ago, Kate and I had to opportunity to attend United World Mission’s first ever retreat for all of their missionaries located in South America.

Thankfully, the retreat was held here in Peru at Kawai (the same Scripture Union retreat center where Kate and I were married), about 1 hour south of Lima. Kawai’s close proximity made our first trip with a two-month old so much easier!

The theme of the retreat was “Rest and Rejoice.” The verse for the week was Exodus 33:14, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

This retreat was the first time we had to opportunity to meet other UWM missionaries in South America. We had a great week of bonding as a community, sharing with the UWM staff from main office in Charlotte, and resting in the Lord.

Will especially enjoyed the view during his morning feedings and being held in our arms or the Ergo carrier while sleeping through sessions. He did not enjoy touching the ocean water for the first time. Maybe next time…

More Flooding in Lima

Peru is in a state of emergency right now and we really need your prayers.

There are major landslides affecting many cities across the coast which are destroying homes and whole towns. Hundreds of families have already lost everything. With Lima being in the middle of a desert, the city is not prepared for these amounts of rain.

Our heart breaks as more images show the devastating effects of the flooding and mudslides currently happening here in Lima and along Peru’s northern coast.

This video was recorded yesterday in Punta Hermosa, about 15 miles from our apartment. If you watch the whole video, you’ll see a few cows caught in the water and a woman who emerges from the water and debris at about 2:35.

A landslide like this happened in at least 9 different places in Lima yesterday.

Water has been shut off again in Lima, which causes its own panic and chaos for the 9 million people here. This morning Billy went to 3 different grocery stores looking to buy bottled water and found empty shelves and long lines at the cash registers. Schools in Lima have are closed at least until Monday and there also has been talk of sporadic electrical cuts to the city as well.

Thankfully the landslides have not affected the neighborhood where we live, but we are without water until it is reinstated. Our building does have a reservoir tank so we do have a slow supply but between the 5 apartments in the building who knows how long it will last (Sedapal, the government water company has said that it will turn water back on for just a few hours each day which hopefully will be long enough to fill our reservoir).

Please be praying that the rains and flooding would stop and pray for the families across the country being affected by the landslides.

– Kate & Billy

William Noah Greenman

We are excited to announce the birth of our first son, William Noah Greenman. He was born at 2:01pm on Tuesday, February 21, 2017, weighing 8lbs 11oz and measuring 19 ¾ inches. He is a healthy boy, and we were released from the hospital yesterday!

This week has been a flood of emotions: nervous excitement, fear of the unknown, overwhelming joy, thankfulness for the Lord’s blessings, exhaustion, and everything in between. More than anything, we are thankful that the Lord has entrusted us with Will, and we are incredibly blessed by friends and family both here in Peru and back in the USA who have been so helpful and encouraging along the way.

We know that this wonderful journey is just beginning, and as many people have already told us, we can now confirm first hand that it is an exhausting one. Even still, we are elated to welcome Will into our family, and we are looking forward to the adventures ahead.

Please pray for:
– Continued strength and endurance as we adjust to the rhythm of parenthood
– Will’s health in this first year of his life and a quick recovery for Kate
– Wisdom and discernment needed to guide Will and care for him
– That Will would one day grow up to have a personal relationship with Christ, and that Kate and I would be able to model that relationship for him in the meantime

Thanks for all the phone calls, cards, emails, and other encouragement that we have received this week. It is truly a blessing to be surrounded by such wonderful, encouraging people.

Now for some pictures:

Waiting to check in at the hospital to be induced

Long morning, waiting for contractions to start in the labor and delivery room

Ready and waiting…

We were excited to meet our child!

Contractions started, but the baby never dropped, so we headed off for a c-section

All set to meet Kate in the operating room and witness the birth

She’s beautiful–even on the operating table

Welcome to the world, William Noah Greenman

Dad’s first chance to hold Will

Baby’s first time in clothes

Born at 2:01pm on February 21, 2017; weighing 3.940kg (8lb 11oz); measuring 50cm (19 3/4 inches)

Meeting grandma for the first time

Will met the rest of our family on FaceTime; we’ll meet them in person soon

Kate’s not even off her IV, and she is already doing Will’s first photoshoot. Hopefully he likes having his picture taken!

Our newly expanded family

Will’s first car ride in Lima on our way home from the hospital

We’re looking forward to introducing you to Will in person the next time we’re home!

with love,
Billy, Kate and Will