Over the last few days I’ve been reflecting on the huge number of people who together form ‘Team Novō’ and on the truth that we’re always ‘better together’ – a truth expressed in these timeless words from Ecclesiastes:
Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up.
Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
God’s work is rarely (if ever) achieved through individuals. It’s always through teams and networks and partnerships – through a rich tapestry of relationships!
We’ve had a great few weeks and, in all that’s been happening, this truth has been so clearly visible to us and we have been left with a fresh sense of gratitude for so many people – for our wonderful kids, our Novō team-mates, our Novō UK trustees, our church, the growing network of ‘friends of Novō’ here in Bolivia, and for all those who are supporting us in prayer, finance, and friendship.
Here’s a quick update on what’s been happening:
- We’ve signed a rental contract for Quinta Totaices, the home for the first Novō Community here in Santa Cruz, and have the key (the blue one below)!!
- We ended January with a fab visit from Trevor (UK Chair of Trustees) and Eleanor Childs. Myron, Warren, and I spent a great day with Trevor looking at how we develop our international governance structures and sketching out a plan for the multiplication of Novō communities over the coming years.
- At the start of this month, Jonathan Horne and Duncan & Sharon Klitgaard (Novō UK Trustees and members of our home church, Kerith Community Church) arrived for a 10-day visit. This was a massive encouragement to us as a family! As a leadership team we spent time with Jonathan (whose media company MediaNerd is continuing to provide media support to us as a gift to Novō) planning our Novō marketing for the year ahead and (with Duncan, Sharon and Jonathan) explored how we can enable teams from the UK to participate in the work here on the ground in Bolivia!
- It was also a real pleasure to be able to show these guys something of the beauty and diversity of Bolivia. Here’s a couple of photos and a quick video of one highlight from their visit [if you are reading this in your email you won’t be able to view the video unless you click on blue title and read it online]:
- Rachel Burton arrived safely on Sunday 7th and, despite picking-up a nasty stomach infection on the road trip, is “falling in love with Bolivia”. We’re thrilled to have Rachel with us and are full of anticipation for what she will contribute to the team once she returns from 12-weeks of language school in Cochabamba. If you’re up for it, you can sign-up for her blog here: rachelburtonblog.org
- The kids are doing really well. Daniel is thriving at school and managing to pack basketball, drums, and youth group into his spare time! Phoebe is as bubbly as ever, enjoys school, and seizes any opportunity she gets to swim! JJ is bright and fearless – jumping off huge rocks into waterfalls and trying to do wheelies on his bike are his latest exploits!
- We are grateful to many of you have been praying for Jemimah, who has found the transition (especially to a new school) the hardest. Over the last few weeks it’s been good to see her growing more comfortable with school and, as a result, more at peace and contented. The picture below is Jemimah with the model baby Tapir she made for a school project (with technical/artistic direction from Duncan Klitgaard!).
Well, that’s it for now! Thanks for taking the time to read this and for sharing this journey with us. We really are ‘better together’!
With much love,
Andy & Mickey
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.