We hope it’s not too soon for another update from us but lots is happening and we want to keep you up to speed!
As a family we are feeling more and more at home and enjoying being able to operate on ‘auto-pilot’ more as routines form and all sorts of things shift from feeling ‘foreign’ to ‘familiar’. Looking back we have realised that we have all been ‘in transition’ since January when we began the process of packing-up, prepping the house for rental, preparing to change schools, etc, and that the whole process took much more out of us than we expected it to.
The kids have just finished their first ‘quarter’ at school and all received really good school reports. You’ll remember we asked you to pray especially for Jemimah who was struggling with feeling secure at school. I just asked Jemimah how she’d describe school now and her response was: “I feel like I fit in now”. This is great news! Thank you for praying. The picture below is from Jemimah’s birthday, she’s just enjoyed the Bolivian tradition of trying to take a bite of the cake at the end of the happy birthday song – before someone plants your face in it!!
In other family news, we’re continuing to enjoy being a part of Fuente de Vida and Daniel especially is making a real contribution to church life by drumming in the worship team. This took real courage but, as you can see from the YouTube video below, he’s doing a great job and growing in confidence by the week, particularly now that he’s having lessons with an ace drum teacher each week!
The final piece of family news (and a key prayer request) relates to our visa applications. After 4 separate police checks in 3 separate locations (all requiring multiple visits); health checks (blood tests, urine samples, chest x-rays); birth & marriage certificates legalised at the FCO in London, the Bolivian Embassy in London, and the ‘Cancilleria’ here in Santa Cruz; endless fees; some fines; a not inconsiderable dollop of stress and anxiety (not least during the 4 hours or so when Andy’s passport went AWOL); and lots and lots and lots of queues like the one featured below; we submitted our applications at the end of September! We are now eagerly awaiting their return from La Paz. Please pray with us that there will be no final hitches and that we’ll have our visas back quickly!
In terms of Novō there’s lot to give thanks for at the moment, though a number of the items are ‘nearly there’ and so we’re praying that nothing will get in the way of what God is doing.
Novō SRL is now set-up! This means we are a limited liability company and can employ, own property, conduct a range of business, etc… This is a big praise and amazing provision – for which we are giving thanks. We now need to get legal advice re. what, longer term, our ‘ideal’ structure/s should look like, particularly as we blend charitable and income-generation together so that we can operate with a sustainable model of recovery community which can have application throughout the developing world.
Rachel Burton (a member of the Therapeutic Team at Yeldall Manor since 2008) has her flights for Bolivia booked for the start of February. She’s joining Team Novō under the auspices of CMS (Church Mission Society) and her plan is to be in Bolivia for 2 years, with the first 3 months up at language school in Cochabamba. Rachel’s knowledge of Yeldall groups as well as her administrative skills are going to be crucial for the process of setting-up the project and training staff. Rachel is currently support-raising and has an event at Emmanuel on the evening of Saturday 14th so please pray that that will be a successful.
Perhaps, the biggest news for Novō is that we have received notification from the Charity Commission “that the organisation has aims that are charitable in law”. This is massive! We should have a charity number in the next 4-6 weeks at which point we can begin fundraising for Novō as a charity in the UK. Please pray that there will be no hitches with the charitable approval in the UK and for rapid and significant progress with our Novō fundraising over the coming 6 months!
As we wrap up, let me leave you with the these words from Psalm 139 – words which affirm for us the fact that wherever we are (even if we’re “in the depths” or on the “far side of the sea”) God’s Spirit is right there with us – guiding us, guarding us, gripping us.
We are pioneering Novō as self-supported missionaries. If you would like to support us financially you can do so tax-effectively through an organization called Stewardship. To make a one-off gift or to set-up a regular monthly donation, please go to: www.give.net/20171708 or send me an email.