It now seems a bit late to bid you ‘Happy New Year’ but at the ‘start’ of 2019 we do want to express our appreciation for your friendship, prayers and support of us as a family which enables to serve with Novō here in Bolivia. We’re full of anticipation, sensing that this is going to be a year of ‘breakthrough’ in which we will see Novō moving much closer to being a community of communities – a multiplying movement to respond to what is, tragically, a multiplying problem.
If you haven’t been getting Novō News you can read the latest one, and subscribe for the future updates, here: Novō News Update – January 2019. This update includes news of Andy’s trip to the UK with Warren and the two Davids who lead the Novo’s projects in Santa Cruz and Tarija. This trip was the fulfillment of a desire which he has had for these two national leaders to be able to learn and grow in the context of the work of Yeldall Manor which is the inspiration for so much of Novō.
As a family we have so much to be grateful for and, despite often missing family, friends and ‘home’ in the UK, we know that we are where God wants us to be!
We enjoyed a quiet Christmas at home together. Bolivians celebrate Christmas on the evening on the 24th so we went to Church for the candlelight service and then Andy went on to celebrate with the residents and staff at the Quinta. Then on the 25th we went ‘full English’ with stockings, turkey, Christmas pudding, crackers, and a 3pm pause for the Queen! No matter what you do it doesn’t feel very Christmasy when it is in the 30s, but its fun for a family swim to have become part of our Christmas tradition, and the absence of some of externals helps one to focus on celebrating the Christ who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped but, instead, came amongst us with love and compassion to inaugurate His Kingdom of goodness, freedom, recovery, and release.
Phoebe has been making real progress at school and is now doing a couple of afternoons a week working at home with Mickey, which seems to be helpful. She has also learnt to ride a bike which was a real breakthrough – especially as we bought her a bike for birthday knowing that it was something of a phobia for her!
JJ, having inherited his Dad’s Kindle, has developed a love for reading, especially the Willard Price books, which resonate with his outlook on life. He’s been enjoying playing football with the school (practices x3/week) and in December came second in his category of the Spartan Race (1km obstacle course like a Tuff Mudder).
Jemimah is rapidly becoming a very capable, kind, and mature young lady. This week she is away at the middle school camp, a 6-hour bus ride out of town. She’s just auditioned for the school’s production of Alice in Wonderland and is excited to have been cast as the Duchess.
Daniel is just back from his high school camp and has been enjoying the visit of his friend, Josh, who left to return to the States in the summer. Saying farewells, as well as welcoming new friends, is part and parcel of life as a ‘third-culture kid’ and we’re proud to see how he handles that aspect of life here. Looking ahead, he’s planning to take a gap-year, do a YWAM DTS, and then study Law in Scotland, and is working hard to make that possible.
In October Miah had a severe case of Bronchiolitis which put her intensive care for a couple nights but, apart from that, she’s thriving and is a source of great joy to all of us! Her adoption is moving ahead, though not fast enough to enable us to travel home to the UK as a family this summer. She has now had an MRI scan on the lump on her back which indicates that she has a tethered spinal cord. This will requires a surgery, planned for mid-late March, to release the spinal cord with the hope that this will prevent any nerve damage and resultant issues with mobility and loss of bladder/bowel control. We have been encouraged by our appointments with the neurosurgeon recommended by our Pediatrician and grateful that, whilst expensive, high quality care is available to Miah here.
Please pray that Miah’s surgery will be a total success and that, following early months spent in an incubator and her recent stay in hospital, she will feel secure, at peace, and close to us before/during/after her surgery and recovery.
In the midst of all of that, we are doing well as a couple. We’re grateful for older kids who are now able to babysit and give us the opportunity to regular go out together, for a safe and comfortable place to live, for great friends, for a sense of calling and purpose, and for God’s incredible faithfulness to us.
With much love,
Andy, Mickey, Daniel, Jemimah, Phoebe, JJ and Miah
We serve in Bolivia as self-supported missionaries and so do not receive a salary from Novō. If you would like to support us financially, whether with a one-off or a regular monthly gift, you can do so tax-effectively.
In Canada you can support us via the EFCCM, designating donations to account #2-3231. You can do this online at EFCCM Donate! or by sending a cheque to: EFCCM, Box 850, Langley Stn, LCD 1, Langley, BC, V3A -8S6.