News & Prayer Update / 018

It’s been exactly a month since, late at night, we landed in Managua! It’s hard to believe it hasn’t been longer. The long, two-stop journey from London went smoothly, except for 12 of our 13 cases not making their connection in Chicago. Mercifully, we’d packed first-week essentials in our carry-on luggage, and three trips to the airport later, those cases all made it! From the airport, we went directly to the wonderful Quinta Shalom, a missions guest house with the most fantastic breakfast, while we got set up and ready to move into our house. 

The first few weeks were, without a doubt, a challenge! We had very few contacts in the country, so we needed to figure everything out for ourselves – with some help from Google maps and the ex-pat Facebook group! Indeed, when we had to give three personal references to the internet provider, we listed the guy who helped us buy the car and the estate agent. In that context, we’re thankful for our experience in Bolivia. There’s no way we could have pulled this off back in 2006! We’re also grateful for Sergio, the young guy who had been guarding the house before arrival. A musician who performs Christian Reggaeton (here’s a sample: Los Elegidos), Sergio has helped us out in many practical ways as we’ve settled – including killing a Coral snake! 

The house is ideal. It’s located on the Carretera Sur, a road that goes up into the hills to the south of the city, in an area called Inglaterra (“England”). Our house in Bolivia was in Condominio Britannia. The kids love it, and we are all enjoying lots of green after years living in the city. On arrival, we realized that we needed to do more work on the security than we had expected. While violent crime is rare, burglaries are common, and the house is somewhat exposed. With razor wire, an electric fence, and an alarm system now fitted, the place looks more like a correctional facility than a home, but we feel safe and secure! In that vein, we’ve also adopted a couple of dogs – Pluto and Daisy – from the local rescue center. 

For church we’ve been attending the International Christian Fellowship, which has been a great place to make connections and begin to find some community. We’ve also had some fun! We’ve been to the coast, to the beautiful Laguna de Apoyo, and to Volcán Masaya, one of Nicaragua’s 19 active volcanoes. We also had the pleasure of our first visitor, JD Reed, a friend from Bolivia who was in Managua teaching theology for the week! 

In it all, the kids have been absolutely brilliant, patiently enduring endless shopping trips and stepping into a new school with real grace and courage! The school, Nicaragua Christian Academy International, has been wonderful, welcoming Jemimah, Phoebe, and JJ warmly. Each of the kids has made friends and settled well. 

Now, with the intensity of those first weeks behind us, family-wise, the next phase is going to be about building friendships and community, getting fully set up and organized at home (we have a builder working on some changes to add plumbing for hot water, a bedroom, and an office space), and hopefully doing some exploring. 

In October, Andy will be making his first trip back to Bolivia. Until Christmas, his focus in Nicaragua is on networking and developing an understanding of what’s happening in relation to addiction, including getting to know Quien Soy Yo?, a potential partner organization, better. He’ll also be spending time looking for new charitable funding sources for Novō and working on the final edits of his book, which is due out in April. 

We’re incredibly grateful for all who have prayed for us in recent weeks, helped us financially in relation to the transition from Bolivia to Nicaragua, and to all who, month by month, support us. Thank you all so much!

We’re also thankful to God for the incredible sense of peace and assurance we’ve felt since we left the UK and for an ongoing sense of His presence. He has provided what we’ve needed, emotionally and spiritually, as well as practically, just when we’ve needed it.

With much love,

Andy & Mickey


PRAYER GROUP

We now have a WhatsApp group where we share occasional prayer requests and arrange a monthly 45-min Zoom pray gathering. The group and the meetings have proven to be a huge blessing to us all. If you’d like to join us, please drop us an email at andy@novocommunities.org. We’d love to be able to stay in touch with you more closely in this way.


FINANCIAL SUPPORT

As a family we don’t receive a salary and are able to serve with Novō through the faithful generosity of our supporters. If you’d like to join our support team, we’d be most grateful. You can set-up one-off or monthly donations to our family support online at Stewardship, using this link: www.give.net/20171708 


News & Prayer Update / 017

Greetings from Bolivia! We hope you’ve had a really good start to 2022.

If you haven’t seen it already, you can find the latest Novo newsletter on the brand new Novo Communities website www.novocommunities.org. Do take a look around the new site! And, keep it in mind as a reference point if your church, small group, friends or family are interested in learning more about Novo.

As a family, and Novo, we have some exciting news to share with you. For a little while now, Mickey and I have been wondering whether our time in Bolivia might be drawing to a close. The vision, from the outset, was to set-up the work here in such a way that it would be locally-led and ‘owned’ by a national team. Celebrating the 5th anniversary of Quinta Totaices towards the end of last year confirmed to us the sense that the community is ready for life without us here permanently. Indeed, the next steps of growth and development may be aided by us being further afield. We have also had a growing sense that our long-term goal should be to launch a Novo community that model best-practice in addiction care (heart, approach, professionalism) and support and train others in a country, rather than setting-up multiple projects in a single country.

Our expectation had been that a move away from Bolivia would mean a return to the UK. This seemed to ‘make sense’ and after a demanding 7 years in Bolivia, seemed good to us. However, not for the first time, it seems our expectations and God’s plans weren’t fully aligned. Towards the end of July, as we started to talk seriously about when we might return to the UK, we were hit, quite independently, by a strong sense that whilst God was calling us away, he wasn’t calling us home. Rather, his next step for our family is for us to move to a new place to establish Novo in a second location.

Since that point, we’ve been weighing up, along with the UK trustees, whether that sense is from God and, if so, where we should be heading. Having done so, we have a shared sense that this is the right move, both for the success of Novo’s first project outside Bolivia and for our family, and that the place where God is calling is Nicaragua.

Having made virtual connections in Colombia, Panama, and Costa Rica, Mickey and I have made separate exploratory trips to Nicaragua. In addition to a real sense of God’s peace and leading, there are a number of reasons why we sense Nicaragua is where we should go: 1) The needs in the country – Nicaragua is the second poorest country in the western hemisphere, second after Haiti. 2) the potential in a connection made with Rommel & Ana Raudales, missionaries with LAM who lead Quien Soy Yo?, a ministry with a long-term vision to start a residential rehabilitation center and are looking for the kind of help that Novo offers. 3) the heart and quality of the Christian International School. 4) Nicaragua’s proximity to Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala – places with massive addiction problems and a harrowing approach to treatment (see https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-28934795) 5) The potential for Novo Adventures to offer tours across Central America.

Inevitably, there are moments when it all feels a bit overwhelming, but to be honest we all have a tremendous sense of peace and calm anticipation about what lies ahead. The Novo team on the ground have been part of the process and they feel ready for what’s coming, understand Novo’s commitment to Bolivia is as strong as ever, and recognize the vital role they’ll play in equipping our team in Nicaragua.

Looking ahead, we’re all excited to see what God will do and how he’ll do it. We have open minds and open hands, are ready to follow Him step-by-step. Our trust is in Him and His wisdom, guidance, provision, and purposes.

So what lies ahead? We aim to arrive in Managua, the capital of Nicaragua, at the very end of July. We know we need to take our time during that first year to settle the kids well, to learn and build relationships, and to discern God’s plan. In addition to being connected via WhatsApp and Zoom, Andy will be doing at least two trips a year back to Bolivia to support the Novo Communities and Adventures teams.

More immediately, we’re selling-up our stuff here in Bolivia in readiness for a flights to the UK on 9th April! We’ll head immediately to the Isle of Man from where the kids will finish the school year online and Andy will be working to finish-up his book, Hope in Addiction, ahead of the 1st June publishers’ deadline. In June and July, we’re looking forward to spending quality time with family, many of whom we haven’t seen for 5+ years, and to catching-up with friends and supporters.

As we move into this next chapter, we’re so grateful for your support! We’ve always felt like your ‘hands and feet’, doing work that belongs to all who pray, give, and work to make things happen. Thank you for continuing to walk with us. We have a group that meets monthly to pray via Zoom. If you’d be up for joining us, even if just occasionally, let us know. Our monthly support is just over £700/month below budget and, inevitably, we have some significant transition expenses on the horizon. You’ll find the link to our Stewardship support account below.

In the light of all this, we’d be especially grateful for your prayers in the coming months!

  • For a strong finish here in Bolivia as we say farewells to much-loved friends and set-up for Novo to run smoothly without us on the ground permanently.
  • For David (Novo Communities) and Lewis (Novo Adventures) as they lead things forward in Bolivia.
  • That the kids would feel loved and secure throughout the whole transition and quickly make good friends in Nicaragua.
  • For finances and provision of all kinds, for us and for Novo.
  • For the expansion of the support network around us – that new individuals and churches to get behind us as a family and Novo.
  • For Andy as finishes his book.
  • That Miah’s British passport would be issued promptly.

If you have questions, ideas, or would like to catch-up and hear more, do give us a shout. And please let us know how we can be praying for you and yours in the days ahead.

With much love,

Andy & Mickey


PRAYER GROUP

We now have a WhatsApp group where we share occasional prayer requests and arrange a monthly 45-min Zoom pray gathering. The group and the meetings have proven to be a huge blessing to us all. If you’d like to join us, please drop us an email at andy@novocommunities.org. We’d love to be able to stay in touch with you more closely in this way.


FINANCIAL SUPPORT

As a family we don’t receive a salary and are able to serve with Novō through the faithful generosity of our supporters. If you’d like to join our support team, we’d be most grateful. You can set-up one-off or monthly donations to our family support online at Stewardship, using this link: www.give.net/20171708 


News & Prayer Update / 016

With Christmas just a few sleeps away, we want to wish you a very happy Christmas and God’s richest blessings for the new year!

Hopefully, you’ve been getting Novō news via the newsletters and Facebook or Instagram. If not, you can read the latest update (and find a ‘subscribe’ link) here: Novo News – Dec 2021. Lots of good things have been happening in and through the work at Quinta Totaices, not least the baptism of 5 of our residents this past Sunday!

As a family, we have lots to give thanks for as we look back at the last few months since we last wrote.

It’s safe to say the biggest thing we’re grateful for is Miah being granted British citizenship! It’s hard to put into words what a blessing (and relief!) this has been to us. Her citizenship feels like the final furlong of a very long endurance race, with legal processes within legal processes to tackle along the way, and much patience and determination required to get it all done. We’re thankful to friends whose advice and practical help enabled us to submit the application through a specialist law firm and for the rapid processing of the application. We now await the arrival of a British passport and we’ll be all set to travel back to the UK this summer, for our first visit in 5 years!

Right now, we’re enjoying having Andy’s parents, Dave and Sue, with us. This is the first time we’ve been able to be together in two-and-a-half years. We also have the joy of Daniel arriving at dawn on Christmas Day – the first time we’ll have seen him in a year. It’s so good to be with family, enjoying daily life together, and with the prospect of Christmas celebrations together!

In other news:

  • We’ve all (well, not Miah, of course) received 2 doses of the Pfizer vaccine!
  • Apart from weeks back online due to COVID cases in the school community, the kids have been back at school in-person since August, though extracurricular activities such as sports and Christmas events have not resumed. Phoebe especially is appreciating being back to school in person!
  • Out of school, Jemimah’s learnt to ride a motorcycle, Phoebe continues to love swimming, and JJ’s been enjoying football, as well as gaming!
  • Andy has been serving on the board of Trinity International Church, and the kids’ school. He continues to work on completing his book on the church in the age of addiction, which is due with the publisher on 1st June.
  • Daniel is working with YWAM at Holmsted Manor, West Sussex. If you’d like to see what’s he’s been up to, you can read his update here: Daniel’s News.
  • Mickey has been enjoying the space created by needing to get the dog out for a walk and, as always, is at the heart of everyone’s successes and physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing!

As we look back on 2021, we can’t tell you how grateful we are for the support, of all kinds, we’ve received from all those who stand alongside us. Despite disappointments, frustrations, and challenges of various kinds, we’ve seen so much of God’s wisdom and goodness and go into 2022 full of faith in Him.

Do let us know your news, and how we can be praying for you and yours in the days ahead.

With much love,

Andy & Mickey


PRAYER GROUP

We now have a WhatsApp group where we share occasional prayer requests and arrange a monthly 45-min Zoom pray gathering. The group and the meetings have proven to be a huge blessing to us all. If you’d like to join us, please drop us an email at andypartington@novocommunities.org. We’d love to be able to stay in touch with you more closely in this way.


FINANCIAL SUPPORT

As a family we don’t receive a salary and are able to serve with Novō through the faithful generosity of our supporters.

If you’d like to join our support team, we’d be most grateful. Please drop us a line or use the following link to set-up a one-off or monthly donation online: www.give.net/20171708 


News & Prayer Update / 015

It’s been absolutely ages since we last shared a family update! Hopefully, you’ve been getting Novō news via Facebook or Instagram and the newsletters. If not, you can read the latest update, and find a ‘subscribe’ link, here: Novo News – June 2021.

Here’s a quick run-down of what’s been going-on with us as a family:

At the beginning of last year Daniel finally made it out of Bolivia and returned to the UK to do a Discipleship Training School with YWAM in West Sussex. He had an amazing time, learning, growing and making some wonderful friends. During his time there he felt increasingly led to continue working and training with them and has just begun a second year with YWAM at Holmsted Manor. 

The kids here have started the new school year online again, with on-site classes starting-up gradually, grade-by-grade over these first few weeks of term. In fact, today Phoebe and JJ returned to school for the first time since March 2020. That feels like a very long time! Jemimah’s grade did go back to in-person classes towards the end of last year, so it’s not quite such a big jump for her. Last year Mickey home-schooled Phoebe, using a different curriculum well-suited to her educational needs, which helped her to make some good progress academically. That said, it’s become clear that she really needs the interpersonal contact of in-person school and so she’s returned to school here. In order for her to be able to access the curriculum we are employing someone to be a one-to-one in class assistant for her. Please pray for the kids as they get back into the swing of in-person classes!

We were all left a bit bereft at the death of our much loved Cocker Spaniel, Barney, back in March after a short illness. In July, we were excited to welcome Wilber to the family. If he can ever learn to some chewing things, he has the makings of a lovely, very teachable dog!

After three years of interviews, checks, training, reports, home visits, and court hearings we were completely thrilled when we had the final adoption hearing for Miah at the beginning of March this year!! It feels so good to have concluded that arduous process and for Miah’s place in our family to be legally secure. 

Whilst we knew there were real hurdles to navigate, we had hoped and planned to get back to the UK in the summer to see Daniel, the rest of our family and friends (most of whom haven’t met Miah yet). It’s now been more than 4 years since Mickey and the kids have been home. We were a bit crushed that, having applied for a visa for Miah and waiting for a response, we discovered (after much effort to get in touch with someone who could speak to our case!) that visitor visa applications from red list countries were not even being considered, even in circumstances like ours. In the coming week we should have everything ready to submit her application for British citizenship and are praying she will soon be able to travel on a British passport. Please pray with us that Miah’s citizenship application would be processed quickly and that the outcome would be positive!

In the absence of a visa to travel to the UK we made the decision to do a family road trip around Bolivia. Whilst not exactly restful, it was a refreshing, fun time, enjoying Bolivia’s incredible diversity together as a family for the first time. The only negative was not having Daniel with us! 

With thanks for your friendship, prayers, and support!

With much love,

Andy & Mickey


As a family we don’t receive a salary from Novō and are able to serve in our role due to the generosity of our supporters. If you’d like to join our support team, please get in touch or follow one of the links below. At present our support is just over £700/month below budget so your donation, whether one-off or regular, will meet immediate needs.

In the UK our support is administered by Stewardship and you can give either online at www.give.net/20171708 or using this form: Stewardship Donor Form

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. 


News & Prayer Update / 014

Hi friends,

We hope and pray that you are safe and well during these difficult days.

This is Mickey writing. The headline from us is that we are doing well. These haven’t been the easiest weeks, but we have quite literally been counting our blessings. For being healthy, safe and together, for having the resources we need, for having enough space to live comfortably. We live in a city, like many others all over the world, where many people’s reality is very different.

Schools closed in Bolivia on the 16th March, and complete lockdown followed a few days after that. That means, for us, one adult can leave the house one morning a week (on foot) to buy groceries. The day you can leave relates to the last digit of your ID card. So, whilst Andy, Daniel and I have ventured out a handful of times, the kids haven’t been able to leave the house for nearly 6 weeks. In the last few weeks trucks selling various things have come to the neighbourhood which has been a real help. 

We have found a pretty good rhythm for our weeks. Monday is our shopping and housework day, everyone has their jobs to do. The kids continue to do school work that their teachers send electronically, and have some class Zoom calls. 

Andy has set up a desk in the spare room and has been working from there, using his morning of freedom each week to go to the Quinta and connect with the guys there. He has just signed a contract with Moody Press to write a book on what it means to be in the church in the ‘age of addiction’, which is going to be a major focus for him over the next couple of years.

Daniel is preparing to take British Lit and Calculus AP exams in a couple of weeks (roughly equivalent to A-levels) and has been working hard to prepare for those. We celebrated his 18th birthday a few weeks ago with curry, cake, Skype calls, and a family movie night. It is a strange time for this group of kids that are finishing their schools days in lockdown! He had been planning to take a gap year, to do a discipleship training school with YWAM in September. He is now waiting to hearing if this will go ahead. He is then hoping to go to University to study Law next year.

Jemimah has been busy learning her lines for the Middle School play. They have been having Zoom calls to practice, but sadly it seems unlikely that they will actually be able to perform it.

Daniel and Jemimah have been great at organizing themselves and getting their work done. The younger two have needed more help, and it has been a bit challenging juggling looking after Miah and keeping them on track. Some days are better than others!

We had a meeting with Phoebe’s class teacher and the Special Ed teacher before the lock down which was timely. It has been helpful (but not easy) for me to observe the things that she finds especially challenging, things that have been causing her some anxieties.

I think being locked down has probably been the hardest physically for JJ. For a kid that loves to run it hasn’t been easy to not be able to leave the house. He hasn’t complained, but he did say the other day “I feel like I have a lot of energy inside that I can’t get rid of”. He has had some projects that have kept him busy in the garden such as making clay out of termite nests and then making stuff with the clay!

Miah is a delight and exhausting in equal measure. She is toddling around and talking a lot, some words we understand, many we don’t yet! She is into everything – cupboards, drawers, scribbling on the walls with stray pencils that she seems to be very adept and finding. She is loving having everyone at home all day, and is a welcome distraction from school work for the others!

In terms of Novō, there should be a new update out very soon. In the meantime, if you haven’t seen it already, please take a minute to read Andy’s update from a few weeks ago here: Novō Coronavirus Update & Appeal

As I was writing it started to rain so I dashed out to get the laundry off the washing line. There were still patches of blue sky and the sun was shining. I thought, “oh great, there is almost certainly going to be a rainbow, there must be a profound thought about God and His faithfulness there!” After staring upwards for awhile I brought the laundry inside, a bit disappointed at the lack of a rainbow. I have kept going outside to check, scanning the sky, but still no rainbow!

This got me thinking that sometimes, when I’m feeling overwhelmed, I can want to look up and search for a sign that God is good and faithful, that He is still in control. Sometimes I can see it straight away, sometimes it is more difficult, but, the truth is my ability to see or understand what God is doing doesn’t alter His goodness or faithfulness.

These verse keeps coming back to me:

The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.

Lamentations 3:22-23

To close, we want to say a big thank to you for standing with us as a family! We are so blessed by the friendship, prayers and practical support which enables us to serve here in Bolivia with Novō.

With much love,

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

xxxxxxx

We serve in Bolivia as missionaries and 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, and we would be most grateful. 

In the UK our support is administered by Stewardship and you can give either online at www.give.net/20171708 or using this form: Stewardship Donor Form

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. 


News & Prayer Update / 013

Greetings from the Partingtons in Bolivia!

Our hope was that by now we’d have made it back to the UK and would have the chance to catch-up with as many of you as possible face-to-face. Unfortunately Miah’s adoption process is ongoing and so a trip home is off the agenda. Well, most of us won’t make it home… Daniel is going to be visiting his grandparent in Greece, with a few days in the UK at the end of the trip. This will be his first time travelling alone and a great preparation for him ahead of completing his schooling a year from now and all that lies beyond that.

Whilst being here for the whole of the long break feels a bit daunting, especially with lots of friends travelling and cold weather approaching, we’re all looking forward to taking some vacation and to getting a much-need rest.

We’re planning to take road trip around Bolivia as a family, visiting for the first time as a whole family places like the Salar de Uyuni and La Paz, and will also take time off closer to home when Andy’s parents visit at the end of the month.

Miah’s surgery to untether her spinal cord took place as planned in March. It was a success and she recovered incredibly quickly! The whole process went really well and we pray that she now doesn’t experience any negative effects in relation to mobility or continence as a result of her Spina Bifida – or need a similar surgery again in the future.

Despite being born at 30-weeks she is bang on the 50th percentile and, whilst a running a little late, is close to walking. She continues to bring great joy to us all, and friends/family around us. The key thing now is to see her adoption process completed! There is no ‘issue’, just a slow moving bureaucracy, but we’d appreciate your prayers for a rapid resolution.

JJ is the probably only one who is disappointed that school has finished! He loved 3rd grade and says he wishes he could stay in that class forever! He loves playing football – during break, football club, and any other chance he gets – and anything else active and creative.

Phoebe has been making good progress academically and has also cracked riding a bike, horse-riding and playing the recorder! She was sad to say goodbye to Mrs Peterson who has been giving her extra help at school (and played a key role in enabling her to make progress at school this year). Phoebe has also being coming home at lunchtime a couple of days a week to be home-schooled by Mickey.

Jemimah’s highlight of the last semester was playing the Duchess in Alice in Wonderland! She’s a natural and really enjoyed the whole experience. Right now she’s a bit sad that a lot of her friends are traveling over the holiday but trying to make the most of it by thinking about various projects she can do during the coming weeks.

Daniel continues to play drums in church and school bands and to play basketball and volleyball. He’s but his big focus this year has been completing APs (A-level standard courses, some taken at school, some online out of the school hours). He’s worked really hard is well on the way to have what he needs to be eligible to apply to UK universities. He wrapped the year with a special award from the school’s accrediting body in the US for academics, fine arts and sports.

Behind the progress that each of the kids is making is Mickey who continues to dedicate herself to providing them with the love, security and support they need to thrive in the context of the challenges and opportunities which are part and parcel of growing-up as third-culture kids.

In addition to Novō responsibilities Andy continues to the serve on the Board of the international Christian school the kids attend. He’s also been playing a more active role in the Novō Adventures than expected. Back in March Warren broke his back in a jump from a waterfall and, whilst he’s recovering well, it’s obviously a slow process. In that context, Andy has planned and led two big motorcycle tours for Novō Adventures. Whilst exhausting for both of us (M at home and A on the road) both tours have been a real success and a particular joy for Andy was having Jaime (Novō graduate who works for Novō Adventures) as part of the support team for the last trip.

As a couple it’s fair to say we’re pretty exhausted. It’s been a demanding year for a range of reasons – some good and necessary and the result of what God is doing, some which have felt like they’re part of the Enemy’s efforts to undermine and damage. Nevertheless, in and through those challenges there has been growth and God’s goodness and faithfulness have been evident. We’d appreciate your prayers for the coming months that we would experience God’s peace, provision, and rest. We’d love to go into the new academic year refreshed and full of joy and faith!

Two final things.

Firstly, Andy has started a blog with the goal of equipping, encouraging and stimulating the thinking of both those who work are engaged in the addiction/recovery field, as well as a wider audience with an interest in faith, addiction, recovery, growth/change, etc… You can find it here: www.andypartington.blog. If you like what you find, do sign-up to follow it and consider sharing it with others who might find it valuable. Each post will go out in English and Spanish.

Secondly, for the latest Novō news click here https://mailchi.mp/e9a51c70cc39/t1uzgru55w-3361337 – and sign-up for those updates directly, if haven’t already done so!

To close, we want to say a big thank to you for standing with us as a family! We are so blessed by the friendship, prayers and practical support which enables us to serve here in Bolivia with Novō.

With much love,

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

xxxxxxx

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 the UK our support is administered by Stewardship and you can give either online at www.give.net/20171708 or using this form: Stewardship Donor Form

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. 

News & Prayer Update / 012

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 2019This 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

xxxxxxx

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 the UK our support is administered by Stewardship and you can give either online at www.give.net/20171708 or using this form: Stewardship Donor Form

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. 

News & Prayer Update / 011

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!

xxxxx

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

News & Prayer Update / 010

It’s been a long time since we last wrote. Too long!

Hopefully you’ve been following how things have been going with Novō via our Novō News Updates. If not, you can read the latest one (and subscribe for more) here: Novō February 2017 Update. You can also play catch-up by reading our hot-off-the-press Novō Annual Review 2016 (UK) – and follow Novō on Facebook!

Suffice to say it’s been a really exciting period with 8 residents now on the programme at Quinta Totaices and our mobile car wash business now up and running. God is good!

The big news from us as a family is that after 2 years here in Bolivia we’re going to be back in the UK from early July to late August (as well as a week at the start of June). We’re so looking forward to being home and hope to connect with as many of you as possible during that time.

In addition to time for refreshment with family and friends we’re also going to be ‘on a mission’ to raise the profile of Novō as a charity in the hope of increasing the number of churches and individuals who support Novō practically and prayerfully. In that context, we’re on the look out for opportunities for us to share about Novō in churches, small groups, men’s group, or gatherings of friends. Do let us know if you’re able to set something up for us!

It’s been both a busy and good couple of months on the family front.

Trinity International Church, the English-speaking church here which Andy used to lead, have been without a Pastor since the end of 2015. At the end of the year we felt quite a strong prompt to return for a period so that Andy could support the church, preaching a couple of times a month and organising the speaking rota.  Easter Sunday was a real highlight of this time, as we had the privilege of baptising 5 people (3 Bolivians and 2 Americans).

In April, Daniel and Jemimah performed in their school’s production of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Daniel played Peter and Jemimah was a Naiad. Everyone involved’s efforts were greatly rewarded with an amazing production, and we were really very proud of them both!

A couple of days after the play we headed-off for a few days away with Mickey’s parents to Santiago de Chiquitos, a small former Jesuit mission town 4 hours east of Santa Cruz. It was great to enjoy the stunning scenery of this area and to enjoy some time together away as a family.

As we sign-off can we leave you with two specific and important prayer requests!

The first relates to our close friends, Marco, Misty and Ciprian Lopez. It’s a really long story (and we can’t go into details) but on the 22nd March, as she went to pick up her son from school, Misty was arrested and, within a few days, transferred to Palmasola prison on the edge of the city. Here in Bolivia you can be arrested and detained whilst allegations made against you are investigated and the authorities decide whether to charge you with any crime. This is what has happened to Misty, who remains in custody. Can you pray with us for Misty, specifically that the appeal against her ‘preventative detention’ will be successful and that, as a result, she will be quickly released. Looking further we are, of course, praying that her innocence will be quickly and categorically demonstrated and no charges will be brought against her!

The second one is a Novō prayer request for finances. In 2017, as we work to see local sources of funding (including the business) move the project towards financial sustainability, we need to raise a minimum of £66,000 (£5,500/month). Will you join as we pray and trust in God to provide for these immediate needs? And, of course, if you feel prompted to respond, please do so! There are 2 ways to give:

  • You can set-up a regular gift or make a one-off donation to Novō using this form: Novo UK Giving Form.
  • You can give online via Stewardship Service using this link: Donate to Novō. If you don’t already have one, you will need to set-up a Stewardship account – an easy process!

Thank you so much for your love and support. We can’t wait to see those of you who are in the UK when we’re home this summer!

With love & blessings,

Andy, Mickey, Daniel, Jemimah, Phoebe & JJ.

xxxxx

News & Prayer Update / 009

For our American friends today is Thanksgiving – a day to give thanks to God for provision, freedom, family and friends. By the time I finish this post and you read this, who knows what day it will be… but let’s run with the theme. 🙂

Thanksgiving (for obvious historical reasons) is not a day we celebrate in the UK but it feels appropriate to be writing this blog on Thanksgiving because we’re doing a lot of thanksgiving at the moment!

These simple and direct words from Psalm 107 express our thankfulness – and our confidence for all those who, hungry and thirsty, look to Him for life!

Praise the LORD for his great love and for the wonderful things he has done… For he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things. 

Psalm 107:8-9

In terms of Novō we’re excited to be on the cusp of receiving our first residents to join our  first nearly-functioning transformational community at Quinta Totaices.

Hopefully you saw the Novō Update with photos from our launch night on the 4th November. If not you can see it (and sign-up to receive Novō Updates) here: Quinta Totaices Launch Night – Special Update. It was a fantastic night where over 150 people, representing at least 20 different churches and organisation, joined us to give thanks and commission our first project.

Since then our focus has been on completing a long list of final preparations to the programme and the property and on preparing for and delivering two (long!) days of formal staff training. 

These were excellent days during which we explored four areas with our staff:

  • What is Novō? Our vision, our overarching mission, the mission of each community, core values, governance, strategic partners. 
  • The Novō Programme. Our timetable, our phase-stages, therapeutic groups, one-to-ones, the discipline system, supervision of residents.
  • Working with Novō. Working with people in early recovery, healthy attitudes, staff development, staff code of conduct, HR policies and procedures.
  • Addiction & Recovery. Our philosophy of treatment, our understanding of addiction, God’s heart for the addicted.

The next (very big) step is to receive our first residents. Please pray that God would lead the first 6 residents to us by the end of the year – men who are ready for change, wide-open to God’s grace, and willing to make the short-term sacrifices necessary to experience a deep and lasting transformation! 

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As a family we’re also giving thanks!

In part we’re celebrating reaching this point with Novō.

It was great for Mickey and the kids to be a part of the launch night and for the kids to begin to see and feel for themselves what has been accomplished as a result of their willingness to leave family, friends and home to begin a very different life here in Bolivia.

This sense of connection to Novō was reinforced for them yesterday as they came for their first lunch at the Quinta – something they used to love to do at Yeldall Manor!

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We also have much to give thanks for personally.

JJ is doing great and continues to be a bit of an action man, climbing walls and trees at every opportunity, and still loving to ride his bike. He astounded us all a few weeks back by doing a 5K training run with Daniel and I. We kept expecting him to stop or slow down, but he just kept going, even though he was just wearing sandals.

That said, he’s also a very thoughtful, sensitive and caring boy and its been lovely to see this side of him from a different angle through his school reports and when Mickey goes in to read to his class at school.

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Phoebe is really benefitting from extra tuition with her wonderful teacher from last year, as well as a great class teacher. She has discovered she’s not so keen on football and volleyball. She’s very excited about the idea of playing sports, but the reality of balls flying towards her turned out to not be her cup of tea so she’s sticking to swimming for now – and she’s a great swimmer!

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Jemimah celebrated her 11th birthday at the end of October with ‘Daddy Date’ at a lovely new coffee shop where they serve the most incredible milkshakes and desserts!

She’s been training hard all year at volleyball and earlier this week represented the school in a friendly volleyball game. She was sad to say goodbye to her first teacher this year, but is loving her new teacher, Miss Carrasco. She also has a new art teacher who has started an art club, which she’s really loving.

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Finally, the firstborn. As I write Daniel is experiencing a ‘proper’ American Thanksgiving having angled for an invitation to his friends’ house. He’s alarmingly close to being stronger and taller than me (and knows it…) but, luckily, I will always have experience on my side and he’s still not quite there yet 🙂

His volleyball season is over so preparations are now underway for ‘track’ (athletics to the rest of us) and basketball after Christmas.

Daniel is not just growing in stature but also in maturity, spiritually and personally. It’s a pleasure to walk with him as he engages with friendships, church, youth group and special school events like Spiritual Emphasis Week and Servant Day.

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Most of all JJ, Phoebe, Jemimah, Daniel and I want to give thanks today for Mummy/Mum/Michaela/Mickey. She’s our family’s unsung hero – the person whose faithfulness, love, care, strength, and faith brings a deep joy into each of our lives and keeps ‘the show on the road’!

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As we close a quick word about finances. It’s been suggested that we do an occasional short update and, since we haven’t done one before, this seems like as good a time as any to do one.

The big headline is that God has provided amazingly for us over the last 18 months and we want to say thank you to Him and to each of our supporters. Thank you!

That provision has included:

  • a great place to live rent-free
  • the significant start-up costs involved in setting-up here
  • 85% of our support needs for 2016 (through a mixture of regular support and one-off gifts).

The only negative this year has been the 15% drop in value of the Pound in relation to the Dollar which has meant an equivalent drop in the value of our support here in Bolivia.

Of course, we’d love to see that figure get to 100%, even in the context of the 10-20% decrease in the value of the pound against the dollar which has reduced the value of our support here in Bolivia by the same percentage since the Brexit vote (the currency here is the boliviano but its value is tied to value of the dollar and so we feel the impact directly).

Please pray with us, giving thanks and committing our support for the remainder of this year and 2017 into God’s hands. And, of course, if you feel stirred to respond practically do get in touch or use the giving information is below 🙂

With much love,

Andy, Mickey, Daniel, Jemimah, Phoebe & JJ.

xxxxx


We’re 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.