It’s been a good couple of months since we last wrote. We really should have been in touch sooner! Lots of good things have been happening and there’s lots to tell you about – some in this blog post, and some in the next (and soon-to-be written) Novō update.
It’s been a great couple of months for us as a family. After a challenging first year we all feel like we’re in a different season in which we’re experiencing more and more deeply the truth of these words:
“But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)
Something has changed at a fundamental level and we are enjoying feeling a greater sense of peace, joy, confidence in God, and sense of accomplishment. This is no doubt aided by the fact that we are now into our second year, particularly in terms of the school year, and are drawing closer to the launch of the first Novō community. In truth, however, it comes down to some fundamental spiritual breakthroughs during late spring/early summer (which I mentioned a couple of blogs ago), breakthroughs which were embedded as we took a couple of weeks to rest and unplug back in June.
One of the highlight of the last couple of months for Daniel was has been discovering a talent for running. Together we trained for and ran in the Santa Cruz 5k, a tougher assignment than it sounds in the tropical heat here. I say we ran the race together. We actually didn’t. From the moment we crossed the start line Daniel was too quick for me and he ended the race nearly 5 minutes ahead of me! I hate losing but it turns out that the only person a man is happy to beaten by in a race is his son.
You’ll remember that Jemimah struggled quite a bit last year to feel comfortable at school. With some changes in the classroom dynamic this has really improved this year, which is such an answer to prayer! We’re also incredibly thankful that Phoebe (who has some struggles with learning) has another brilliant teacher, as well as some great one-to-one support. JJ is now at school for full days again, which is just what he needed!
For Jemimah, Phoebe and JJ one of the highlights of the last few months has been their involvement in their school’s celebrations of the Day of Santa Cruz, our city. Actually, that’s not strictly true! Jemimah and Phoebe loved it. JJ, as you may be able to tell from the first photo below, was there under duress!
Things are really moving forward with Novō.
- José arrived back in Santa Cruz following his 10-months at Yeldall pretty exhausted but ready to help us launch, and then lead, the first community. His commitment to this work (in spite of, humanly-speaking, a number of more attractive alternatives) is incredibly humbling. Please pray for José that God would be refreshing him physically, emotionally and spiritually, both now and on an ongoing basis, as he takes up this strategic role in Novō.
- Since José’s return we have added two key staff members to the team. David Fuertes (first photo), who has been pastoring a church in Tarija, will join us in November as a Recovery Worker (focusing on therapy groups and one-to-ones). Lincoln Terceros (second photo), is studying Electrical Engineering at University, he has spent a lot of time working with addicts on the streets. He has already moved into the Quinta and begun working to help us get the property ready (see below). Once the programme starts he will work in various aspects of the programme including work supervision, mentoring, and evening/weekend shifts. It’s wonderful to see this team form and to see them beginning. We just need to add a chef and, with an Administrator already in place, that’s our start-up team complete! Please pray for David and Lincoln, and for Chavela our Administrator, that God will help us to train them over the coming weeks so that they have the best possible start to their work with us.
- We have set a timetable for the opening of Quinta Totaices (photo below). Over the coming weeks we’ll be having a series of open days for prospective residents to come and see the centre and for us to get a chance to test their motivation. Then on Friday 28th October we’ll be having our Launch Night – a time of worship, prayer and sharing with local friends, supporters, and church leaders. From this point onwards we will be open to receiving residents on a residential basis and we will see how God leads us! Please pray that God will be preparing the right men to join the community at the right time and that God will be powerfully at work on the Launch Night and in the early weeks of the programme.
There’s much more to say in terms of Novō news, not least about some exciting plans we are developing for the income generating business side of the project and an update Launch Appeal, but I’ll save that for the Novō Update (sign-up for that by clicking here if you don’t already receive it via email).
These are exciting times. After all the dreaming, planning and preparing the launch of the first Novō community is in sight.
At each step of the journey so far we see God at work and things happening that have his fingerprints all over them. He’s called people, provided finances, inspired hard work, encouraged us, challenged us, and (most importantly) granted us an awareness that He has been with us every step of the way! Please join us in thanking God and committing the next phase of the journey into His hands.
With much love,
Andy, Mickey & Co.
We are in Bolivia serving with Novō as self-supported missionaries. If you would like to support us financially you can do so tax-effectively through an organization called Stewardship at www.give.net/20171708.
If you’d rather not give online just send us an email or a message via Facebook and we can send you a Stewardship Giving Form.