Greetings from Santa Cruz, Bolivia!
Although we hope you’re keeping in touch with what’s happening with Novō via the regular Novō News updates, we thought it was about time we caught you up with our family news.
If you haven’t been getting Novō News you can read the latest one, and subscribe for the future updates, here: Novō News Update – July 2018.
With the Novō updates you get a pretty decent idea of what Andy has been up to. Additionally, he continues to serve on the Board of the kids’ school, the Santa Cruz Christian Learning Center. This role has been more involved in over the last 12 months as he’s taken a lead role in the recruitment of the school’s first salaried Director. Previously all international staff have been self-supporting missionaries and, as a result, it’s been over a decade since the school has had a committed leader with the right experience and expertise and to really move the school forward. We’re excited by this development, which we’re confident will have a very positive impact on the school in the long-term – and our kids!
In the context of living internationally, and being a large family, Mickey continues to intentionally focus on her role as Mum and wife in order to “keep the show on the road”. This doesn’t always feel like the easiest path, and she regularly asks herself whether she should be serving part-time in some other context, but she continues to return to the conviction that this where her main focus, time and energy needs to be invested.
Daniel has had a great year, playing basketball & volleyball for the school, drums in church, and performing a lead role in the school play Arsenic and Old Lace. Academically, he’s been busy completing Advanced Placements (similar to A-level standard) in Spanish and European History.
Jemimah had an excellent year at school, both in the classroom and beyond, going on her first school camp and playing for the basketball team. At home she loves to paint, dance, and bake!
Phoebe continues to love school and anything that involves playing with her friends! She has an amazing imagination and loves to play with her dolls, watch TV, scooter, and swim. As you’ll see in the photos, she’s feeling very proud of herself right now because she learnt to drive the Kubota at our friends’ farm!
We’re thankful that Andy was able to travel to the UK with Phoebe for Educational Psychologist and Occupational Therapist assessments and for the news, soon after their return, that two excellent teachers (with specialist training and experience) will be working with students with special educational needs during the coming academic years. This is the first time the school has been able to offer such provision!
JJ is a very bright little action-man who loves to be outdoors and keeps himself busy riding his bike, climbing trees (and the house!), and building incredible things out of the whatever he can find lying about! One of his creations, a miniature crossbow, is pictured below.
As a family we’ve been so blessed by the visits of Atarah, Tref, Jonathan, Ian, Simon, Ben, Andy’s Mum & Dad, and a youth team from Three Hills Evangelical Free Church, Alberta. It’s also been a privilege to host Sam Jackson as an intern for 5 months and to see him invest in Daniel and his peers, as well as with Novō.
On a sad note, in the last couple of weeks we’ve also said goodbye to Rachel, whose time with Novō in Bolivia has come to an end. We will all miss her as a friend, neighbour and adopted Aunty.
Last, but very definitely not least, we have some very special news to share!
Over the past few months we have been caring for a beautiful baby girl, Miah Joy, and earlier today we were granted legal guardianship with the intention that it soon lead to adoption.
Adoption is something we’ve considered over the years, particularly during our times in Bolivia, and a number of months ago friends who work as Directors of a childrens’ home approached us to ask if we would consider adopting a little girl who was being abandoned into their care. Thus began a process with social services (medical, psychological, and social worker evaluations) and on the legal side (police checks, proof of address, hearings, etc.) to being the adoption process.
Miah is 7 months old, but was born prematurely weighing just 1kg, so she’s small, but growing quickly! She’s absolutely adorable, full of smiles and is an incredible blessing to us all.
Heart and brain scans showed normal development. However she has a large lump on her lower back that a neurologist has diagnosed as Spina Bifida. With legal guardianship now in place we can sign to give permission for her to have an MRI scan to assess the severity of the condition and inform the Drs ahead of the surgery she will need in the coming months.
Please pray for Miah that she’ll know in the deepest of ways that she is loved, secure, and innately precious! And that, whether by medical intervention or God’s direct healing touch, there will be no long-term negative impact from the Spina Bifida.
We’ll keep you updated on Miah’s progress in the months ahead.
Thank you so much for standing with us as a family. We are very grateful for your friendship, prayers, and financial support.
With much love,
Andy, Mickey, Daniel, Jemimah, Phoebe, JJ – and Miah!
We serve with Novō in Bolivia as self-supported missionaries. If you would like to support us financially, whether with a one-off gift or by setting-up a monthly donation, you can do so tax-effectively through an organization called Stewardship either online – www.give.net/20171708 – or using this form: Stewardship Donor Form