It’s hard to believe we’ve been in Bolivia for a year now! The photo on the left below was taken just a few days after we arrived on the 4th July 2015; the one on the right is from this morning.
We took today’s photo on our way up to a high spot on the edge of the city where we spent a few minutes thinking and praying about all that’s happened over the last 12 months. It’s been by no means an easy year for any of us but as we looked out across the countryside below, and looked towards the city in the distance, there was (amidst the spilling of orange juice, the dog barking at a cow, and questions about what we were having for lunch!!) a shared sense of appreciation for all that we have experienced since being here, a sense of anticipation about the future, and a heartwarming sense of appreciation that we get to be family together.
In that context we want to say a big thank you to everyone who has been walking with us, wherever, near or far. We couldn’t have made it through the last year without the family and friends who, from a distance, have been supporting us (faithfully and sacrificially) in prayer, encouragement, and finance. Nor would we have made it through without the love, friendship and practical help of our incredible community of friends and colleagues here in Bolivia.
Today’s reflective mood was brought on by attending the 25th anniversary celebrations of Operation Restoration, a ministry of YWAM Bolivia which works with street children, offering a hope and future through street outreach and residential care. It was whilst I was volunteering with Operation Restoration at El Camino, their home for boys, back in 2008/2009 that the seeds of Novō were first planted for us and it was incredible to be led in worship by ‘Grupo Torre Fuerte’, a band made up almost entirely of the lads, now in their early 20s, with whom I worked back then. Although it was a little sobering to reflect on the long, hard journey which Operation Restoration have been on to reach this point it was, above all, inspiring to see the impact that they’ve had on those who come into their homes – to see adults who as kids slept on the streets of Santa Cruz, now with kids of their own, with Degrees and with full-time jobs. God is good and God is great!
We hope you have seen our Novō Launch Appeal mailing from a couple of weeks back, either in your email inbox or on Facebook. If not, do let us know so we can add you to the mailing list and please click on this link to see what you missed: Novō Launch Appeal.
We are working and praying towards opening the first Novō community in October. Almost everything we need to do that is now in place (people, place, programme), we just need to raise a little more finance before we can ‘commit’ and set a date to open the doors. Our total fundraising target for 2016 and 2017 is £95,000. More immediately, around £30,000 gives us what we need to kick-off. Please pray with us that God will provide this sum over the coming weeks so that we can begin to make firm plans for an October launch!
A couple more things to share before we sign-off.
Firstly, we would particularly value your prayers this week. I fly to Vancouver to take part in some reconnection days with the EFCCM (the Evangelical Free Church of Canada Mission with whom we and Novō are partnered) and then to join Warren and Myron at the the Evangelical Free Church of Canada national conference where we’ll be showing the Novō film to the complete conference and sharing in more detail during an afternoon workshop. It’s a long way to go for a week but the costs have been specifically covered by a generous supporter and we see a strategic opportunity to promote Novō and strengthen the connection with the EFCCM. Please pray that it will be a successful trip for Novo and that Mickey and the kids will be safe, well and at peace while I’m away.
Finally, we thought you’d enjoy seeing this picture of Daniel who has just returned from 10 days of work experience on a cattle ranch. He’s the guy in the red/pink hoodie, herding cattle with the cowboys!
With much love,
Andy, Mickey & Co.
We are in Bolivia pioneering Novō as self-supported missionaries. If you would like to support us as a family financially you can do so tax-effectively through an organization called Stewardship at www.give.net/20171708.
Alternatively just send us an email or a message via Facebook.