News & Prayer Update / 002

It’s been a little while since our first News & Prayer update and a lot has happened since then, so it seems it’s about time I caught you up on how things have been going!

In terms of the items I mentioned back in News & Prayer Update / 001 back at the start of January, here’s a quick update:

  • We had a positive response from the American Mission re. the property which could make a great home for the first Novō Community. However, we felt the rental price they came back with was too high to justify making a move on the property at this time, a good number of months before we actually need a property.
  • Jony Muñoz has arrived and is both loving being at Yeldall and making a very positive impact as part of the therapeutic team.
  • We are still a few steps away from being in a position (in terms of our bank account being set-up) able to apply for charitable status for Novō here in the UK but we appear to be very nearly there.

So, what’s new?

Well, it’s been a busy period with my time as Director of Yeldall Manor coming to an end, a fabulous holiday visiting friends in St Andrews at Easter, and now a period of packing-up and preparation for what lies ahead!

We are very grateful to have secured tenants for our house who are moving in at the end of the month. This means, having boxed up our personal effects and sent them off on their 40-day sea voyage to Bolivia, we are now taking care of everything that remains and ensuring we leave the house empty (with items given-away, dumped or sold, as appropriate!) and with everything ship-shape from a maintenance perspective.

We have also had some super opportunities to share about Novō and what lies ahead for us as a family and we’re very thankful to Wymondley Chapel, Crowthorne Baptist Church, Great Hollands Free Church, Woodley Baptist Church for the different ways in which they have welcomed us and adopted us as a missionary family.

We’re also very grateful for the support of our church family at Kerith Community Church where we held a Novō Evening to which a mixture of Kerith people, Yeldall people and other friends and family came. For us the highlights of the evening were the interview and Q&A, which enabled us to really talk through in some details the opportunities and challenges which lie ahead, and the time of commissioning prayer with which the evening ended.

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We are continuing to raise the financial support we need as a family, having got to about two-thirds of the way towards our start-up and monthly support targets. We now have an online facility with Stewardship through which you can make a one-off donation or set-up regular giving which you can find here: www.give.net/20171708.

We’re also starting to turn our attention to fundraising for the Novō Charitable Trust and this was given a great kick-start by a brilliant team of 8 supporters who ran the Reading Half Marathon dressed as sloths. I can’t tell you how hot it was in those costumes (something not helped by the fact that I had to run with the flu) but it was well worth it to see nearly £4,000 raised as seed money for the first transformational community in Santa Cruz, Bolivia!  

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Looking ahead, our flights to Bolivia are now booked for 3rd July! During June we have a family wedding and then holiday time planned with both Mickey’s family and my family. We’re so grateful for the chance to be able to spend special time with our families before our departure and a new season where our relationships will hinge on the quality, more than the regularity, of our time together.

We’d so appreciate your prayers in relation to all of the above, or anything else you feel prompted to pray into. Thanks for your support and please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’d like to follow-up on anything!

Novō Evening

Mickey and I want to invite you to a Novō evening at Kerith Community Church, Bracknell (in the K2 building) on Tuesday 21st April.

It’s going to be an engaging and exciting evening which will include a mixture of films, interviews, and Q&A. There will also be information on how you can support Novō practically and prayerfully. The evening will close with a time of commissioning prayer for us as a family.

We’ll start with cheese & wine at 7.45pm and you’ll be able to get away promptly at 9.30pm.

It would be great if you could join us. If you are planning on coming, do let us know – but feel free to just turn-up on the night!

Here’s a map and the address for your SatNav:

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The Kerith Centre, Church Rd, Bracknell, RG12 1EH

Running for Transformation

Our Bolivia/Novō journey is bound to involve some crazy stuff so it occurred to me, why not start as you mean to go on?!

And so a group of 8 of us have formed ‘Team Novō’ and plan to run the Reading Half Marathon (22nd March) dressed as sloths to raise much-needed start-up funds for the first Novō community in Bolivia!!

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Why sloths? Three reasons:

  • I couldn’t get llama costumes
  • sloths (like llamas, toucans and pink river dolphins) are on my list of ‘incredible animals native to Bolivia’
  • no-one expects a sloth to run very fast

I really don’t like running, but the prospect of generating start-up money for Novō makes all the training (and the embarrassment of running 13-miles dressed as a sloth…) worth it!

If you’re up for sponsoring me all you need to do is click on the link below which will take you to the JustGiving website where you can make your donation (with Gift Aid if you’re a taxpayer). The donation itself will go to Yeldall Manor who will then pass it on to Novō.

http://www.justgiving.com/Andy-Partington2

All sponsorship received from the Half Marathon will go towards the launch costs of the first Novō transformative community in Santa Cruz. If you’d like to support us as a family you can now set-up your giving online through an organisation called Stewardship by clicking on the link below. If you already have an account with Stewardship the process is incredibly simple. If not, then it doesn’t take more than a few minutes to set-up an account.

https://www.give.net/20171708

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Meet the Team

One of the things that has blown me away as we’ve moved forward with Novō has been the incredible people who have been willing to invest their time, passion and expertise in pursuing the vision with us. In particular, God has blessed me with a superb co-leader in Myron Penner and has brought together an amazing group of Trustees here in the UK.

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I’d like you to meet each of one personally but, until that happens, the link below will take you to the newly-created Novō website where you can read a little bit about each of these brilliant people.

http://novocommunities.org/team/

While you’re on the website do take a look around and, if you know people who you think might be interested in what we’re doing, do point them to it via email, Twitter, Facebook or good old fashioned word-of-mouth.

News & Prayer Update / 001

As we begin 2015 let me wish you and yours, on behalf of me and mine, every blessing for the year ahead. Whatever you’re dealing with and whatever lies on the horizon, may you know God’s guidance, peace and strength!

As we move forward with laying the foundations for Novō and look to the opening of the first Novō community in Santa Cruz we are absolutely convinced of the power and importance of prayer! As such, I’m planning to write a ‘News & Prayer Update’ every couple of months which zeros-in on the key issues for your prayers.

My expectation is that, as we look back, these posts will become a faith-inspiring record of the incredible things which God (who “is able to accomplish… infinitely more than we might ask or think”) does as a result of our prayerful conversations with Him.

So, here are the key issues for prayer right now:

  • The conversation continues with an American mission who approached us about the possibility of us using one of their properties (2.2 acres with 2 houses). The property would be absolutely spot-on for the first Novō community! The mission has a key meeting at the beginning of February and we are praying it will result in a positive outcome. Please pray that God’s best will result for this conversation – both for Novō and the mission.
  • Jony Muñoz arrives on 15th January to do a year’s placement at Yeldall Manor with our therapeutic team. Jony is Chilean/Panamanian but has lived much of his life in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. He has worked as a teacher at the Santa Cruz International School for the 7 years but, following at visit to the UK last year, felt prompted to step-out and give a year to serving at Yeldall with a view to seeing if God had plans for him to get involved with Novō longer-term. Please pray for Jony as he gets settled at Yeldall and that God would, in due course, guide his future steps.
  • We’ve been humbled and encouraged by the response to our recent email/blog re. our personal support needs as a family. We are now half-way towards our targets for both ongoing monthly support and start-up costs, which is incredible at this stage! Please join us us giving thanks for God’s provision through the incredible generosity of His people and in praying that the remainder of our support needs will come together over the next couple of months. 
  • We are in the process of applying for charitable status for Novō in the UK but are dealing with some bureaucratic blockage at the moment. Please pray that we will be able to progress this application with real speed over the next few weeks.
  • As a family the Christmas/New Year break was a time of real refreshment and taking stock, ahead of such a big year. The kids seem to be in a good place with it all. Mickey and I are increasingly excited, but also conscious that there’s lots we need to do to make the move happen! Please pray for us (especially the kids) that we would know a tremendous sense of God’s peace and joy as the move draws closer.

Thank you so much for your interest, care and support. If, as you pray, you sense God saying something you think we might need to hear, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment or get in touch by email.

Would you consider joining our Support Team?

As you know, big changes lie ahead for us as a family in 2015.

Earlier this year, through the generosity of some incredible people, we were able to make this short film which expresses the vision behind these changes. It’s only five minutes long and includes interviews with men in addiction in Bolivia, as well as church leaders who have a burden to respond.

We are committed to seeing this vision become a reality but we know we can only do so if we are part of a far larger team of people who, together, are forming Novō through their practical, prayerful and financial investment.  

In that context, I want to ask whether whether you would consider joining our family financial support team so that we can see this vision become a reality?

We need to raise a minimum of £40,000/year to enable us to serve in Bolivia. This figure includes significant sums for education, travel and healthcare, as well as a ‘salary’. In addition, we are trusting God for an additional £40,000 to cover one-off start-up costs such as a vaccinations, visas, a robust vehicle, travel and home set-up.

Of course, £40,000/year is a lot of money, but I love the way this table clearly demonstrates the significance of each and every gift, whatever the sum:

£/month Number of Supporters Monthly Total
£10 25 £250
£20 20 £650
£50 15 £1,400
£100 10 £2,400
£250 2 £2,900
£500 1 £3,400

We would be so grateful if you’d consider being a part of our support team but please don’t feel under any pressure to respond positively!

If you are able to support us, whether with a regular or a one-off gift, please let us know by email (partington.andy@gmail.com) or whatever means is most convenient and we will send you a big ‘thank you’ and the information you need to set-up your support! 


I thought it would be good to answer a number of ‘FAQs’ about our financial support. If you have a question, I hope I have answered it below. If not (or you would like to talk in person about anything related to our move to Bolivia and Novō) please be in touch.

When does your financial support need to begin?

My first day working full-time on Novō will be 1st April 2015 so this is the key date. However, our hope is that many of our supporters will begin their support sooner for two reasons. Firstly, so that we can plan with a clear picture of what support we have in place and plan with confidence. Secondly, so that some of our one-off start-up costs can be covered through the accumulation of regular gif

What oversight and accountability do you have in place?

As a family we are going to be a part of the EFCCM, a Canadian mission with a strong team on the ground in Santa Cruz. In the UK we have formed a Trustee group who will oversee the Charitable Trust we are setting-up to administer Novō project finances and oversee our personal support. The Trustees, along with our Pastor, will also be supporting us pastorally.

What about project costs for Novō?

Despite the fact the Novō communities are going to be built around an income-generating business we will need to raise both start-up and ongoing support for each project. However, the priority at this stage is raising the personal support to enable us to pioneer the work of Novō. We have exciting opportunities on the horizon to fundraise for project costs amongst UK Grant-Making Trusts, EFCCM churches in Canada, and through the Yeldall network.

Andy, Mickey, Daniel, Jemimah, Phoebe, and JJ

Andy, Mickey, Daniel, Jemimah, Phoebe, and JJ

Fancy running a Half-Marathon dressed as a Sloth?!

On Sunday 22nd March I’m going to run the Reading Half Marathon dressed as a Sloth (Bolivia’s most incredible animal) to raise funds for Novo!

If you (or someone you know) fancies joining me and making history by forming the largest bed of Sloth’s ever to complete a Half Marathon, do let me know ASAP.

Surely, a once in-a-lifetime opportunity…

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A Productive Trip to Bolivia

Late on the evening of Monday 3rd November, having survived a 34 hour journey (which included a night roaming the streets of Manhattan…), I arrived in Bolivia for a week of meetings.

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Here are the highlights from the trip:

  • I spent a good deal of time working with some key colleagues planning the way forward for the launch of the first Novō project in Santa Cruz and the key priorities for coming months of preparation.
  • We met with the members of an American mission organisation who approached us earlier in the year about the possibility of using a 2.2 acre plot of land they own (including two buildings) for the first Novō project. The meeting with the team would appear to have gone very well and I hope that we’ll soon have a clear indication of where this possible strategic partnership is going. We visited the site on Sunday afternoon and concluded that it is absolutely ideal in terms of location, facilities, and feel.
  • We were introduced to some potential local staff/volunteers by the leader of the same American mission and have a sense that one of them could have a key role to play. He is an ideal fit in terms of character, attitude, education and experience.
  • As a side-note I was encouraged that I was able, with only limited translation support, to share in a 90-minute meeting with these Bolivian contacts in Spanish. I don’t doubt my Spanish left a lot to be desired, but it was encouraging to be able to ‘get it done’!
  • I met with Graham, an English missionary-friend, who gave me some useful perspective and advice which will benefit us as a family. One specific example: their experience demonstrates that it will not prove difficult for our kids to apply for university back in the UK (if they wish to do so) or to complete their schooling to the level necessary for entry to top-flight UK/US universities (if they have the potential to do so).
  • I met up with a guy called Jony Munoz. Jony is a good friend (who was my translator in the church) who’s coming to Yeldall in January to do a year as an Intern with our Therapeutic Team. He is another guy who has incredible potential as a Novō staff member.
  • We also received some real boosts which weren’t directly related to the trip. While I was away a number of people from the UK got in touch about supporting Novō. These offers included one-off gifts totalling more than £3000 and served to encourage us as we now set about fundraising to turn the Novō vision into reality!

Looking back, I’m so pleased with what was achieved in such a short space of time and I’m tremendously grateful that Mickey and the kids had a smooth-sailing week in my absence.

Next time, we all travel to Bolivia together!

If you are praying for us, please pray that the possible land/buildings will come together! It would be just incredible if we could get something firmed-up before Christmas so that we could plan with this in play.

Thanks, as always, for your interest and support!

Novō Film

I’m really excited to be able to share our new Novō promotional film with you.

This short film was produced by MediaNerd as a gift to Novō and it does a great job of communicating the need for transformational communities in developing nations and the vision for Novō as a response to that need.

In order to turn this vision into reality we need your support! If you’d like to know how you can support Novō financially, do send me an email to andy@novocommunities.org

 

 

 

A film & some FAQs

First, the FAQs.

As we’re talking with people about Novō and our move to Bolivia a number of key questions come up. Here’s how I’ve been answering them:

When are you leaving?

We’ll leaving for Bolivia in June. This means the kids will be able (more or less) to complete their school year here and be ready to start a new school year in Bolivia at the beginning of August.

What do the next 8 months look like?

Between now and Christmas my focus is on two things. Firstly, ensuring we do a good leadership transition at Yeldall. Secondly, laying excellent foundations for Novō by building a strong support base who, through their prayerful and financial support, will bring this vision to life.

In the New Year my focus will continue to be on building a strong support base for Novō. I will also be writing a Recovery Manual which we’ll use as the basis for our group work in the Novō communities. As a couple we will be investing heavily in our Spanish so that we have the language skills we need to be effective.

Where will the kids go to school?

The kids will enrol at the Santa Cruz Christian Learning Centre (SCCLC). The SCCLC was set-up to educate the children of missionaries and many of the teachers are themselves serving with mission agencies. The student population is about 50% Bolivians and 50% ex-pats so it has a balanced feel to it and should give the kids a good blend of friendships, tonnes of opportunity to become fluent Spanish speakers, and a solid educational foundation.

How will you be financed?

In short, we’re trusting God to provide for our needs and the needs of Novō through the generous support of His people. We will begin fundraising in October. We have a superb team of Trustees who I’ll introduce in a future post. They will administer all funds raised in the UK for the general funds of Novō through a Charitable Trust and they will have oversight of our personal support which will be administered by Mullers (formerly the George Muller Foundation).

Will you be working on this alone?

No. In addition to our Novō trustees here in the UK we will be moving forward in partnership with Yeldall Manor and the Evangelical Free Church of Canada Mission (EFCCM). We got to the know the EFCCM during our previous time in Bolivia and will be operating in Bolivia under their auspices. This will enable us to be a part of their growing team on the ground and to benefit from their legal status and national network in Bolivia.

Do you have property in Bolivia yet?

Yes. In Tarija, through the generosity of a member of the church there, we have been offered a 10-acre plot of land, with building, just outside the city. In Santa Cruz we are in conversation with an American mission agency about making use of a 2-acre plot of land, with two buildings, which they own and would like to see used for this kind of work.

How long will you be in Bolivia?

This one I can’t answer! I’ve tried to predict the future in this area before… We’ll need to be in Bolivia for at least the next 5 years to oversee the piloting of the first Novō projects. Beyond that, it seems probable that Bolivia will remain the right place for us to be based for some time as we help to see Novō communities established elsewhere through a community-franchising approach, but only time will tell.

Now, to the film.

This is something we threw together after spending time with a medical team caring for a group of young addicts on the streets of Santa Cruz. I hope it will give you a bit of an insight into life on the streets for these young lads.