Novō News Update – April 2016

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QUINTA TOTAICES – A HOME FOR THE BROKEN

As we began laying the foundations for the first Novō community here in Bolivia we knew that one of our key priorities would be finding a property that the community could call ‘home’. As its turned-out we haven’t ‘found’ such a property, by scouring Santa Cruz for something ‘good enough’. Instead, God has clearly led us to Quinta Totaices, a wonderful home for the hurting and broken people God has called Novō to reach with the good news of Jesus, who said:

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.”
(Luke 4:18-19)

Quinta Totaices is a property of just under an acre close to the edge of the city of Santa Cruz. It’s owned by an amazing ex-pat couple who are very supportive of Novō. We are renting the property with a view to buying as soon as possible.

The property is an ideal home for a transformative community:

LOCATION
We’ve always said the first project needs to be within the city so that our staff can reach it on public transport, our residents can have visits from their families, our programme can be connected with a range of churches, and our income-generating businesses can operate within the bustling economy of the city.

FACILITIES
Whilst it’s in the city, Quinta Totaices feels like an oasis. It has lush gardens, office space, meeting rooms, lounges, an ample kitchen, and plenty of rooms for residents and some live-in staff. It even has a swimming pool where, after a day’s hard work in a hot/humid environment, our residents can cool-off and unwind.

TERMS
To be able to rent with a view to buying is ideal for us. It gives us the chance to ‘try before we buy’ and the ability to focus on training staff, developing our income-generating business, and shaping the culture and programme of the first Novō community before we focus on fundraising for a building.

FEEL
The beauty, quality, and ‘feel’ of Quinta Totaices will speak to the residents of God’s deep love for them, the value He sees in them, and the hope they have in Him!

Below are some more photos of the Quinta, a property whose dense planting and colonial design make for challenging photography!

NOVŌ’S FIRST MISSION TEAM

At the end of March we were privileged to host our first mission team at Quinta Totaices. The team was made up of students from two schools – Pacific Academy in British Columbia and the Santa Cruz Christian Learning Center, right here in Santa Cruz. The team made an incredible impact, helping us to prepare for the arrival of our staff and first residents in the Autumn.

If you’d like to look at the options for bringing a mission team to Bolivia to support the work of Novō, we’d love to hear from you!

HOW CAN YOU HELP?

As we move forward we want to do so together with a team of friends and supporters who, together with us, will form Team Novō by:

FOLLOWING & SHARING
Just by reading these updates and taking a keen interest in the work here you are encouraging us and making a contribution to the development of Novō. If you tell others about Novō, and get them following too, all the better!
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PRAYING
We firmly believe that “unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labour in vain” (Psalm 127:1). Whether regularly or occasionally, please pray with us that in and through Novō, God’s Kingdom will come and His will be done!
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GOING
We need small teams of men and women who can invest practically on the ground here in Santa Cruz.
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GIVING
We are looking for those who will partner with us financially, whether through a one-off gift or a regular monthly donation. All the information you need to do this is below:

Donate

 

Novō News Update – March 2016

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WELCOME TO OUR FIRST UPDATE
Novō is all about the pursuit of a clear vision – the vision of creating transformational communities in developing nations where hurting and broken people can find healing, wholeness and hope. Our hope is that these updates will be engaging, punchy, story-rich, and authentic the Novō story. Our desire is that you’ll enjoy and be encouraged by them!

WHAT IN THE WORLD IS NOVŌ?
Is it needed? Why is it kicking-off in Bolivia? The short film below goes some way towards answering those questions and, along the way, will introduce you to some of the individuals we believe God is calling us to help. Watch the short film below to find out more:

PROGRESS SO FAR…
We’ve been laying foundations for Novō for nearly four years now and have been blown-away by the ways in which God has moved to prepare the way for us to open the doors of the first Novō community, here in Santa Cruz, during the fall/autumn. There’s still lots to do but a number of the key elements are in place:
* We have a strong leadership team in Andy Partington, Myron Penner & Warren McCaig.
* José-Ernesto Zardan Simoni (who will serve as the Director of the first Novō community) is currently completing an 8-month training placement at Yeldall Manor, renowned Christian drug & alcohol rehabilitation centre in the UK.
* Rachel Burton, a former member of the therapeutic team at Yeldall Manor, has joined us in a full-time programme design and staff equipping role.
* We have registered Novō Communities as a limited liability company are in the process of registering as an Asociación Civil (a registered charity) in Bolivia.
* We have a strong network of local church, commercial and official contacts here in Bolivia.
* We are an official project of the EFCCM (Evangelical Free Church of Canada Mission).
* We are registered with the Charities Commission in the UK.
* We have secured a superb home called Quinta Totaices for the first Novō community here in Santa Cruz.

HOW CAN YOU HELP?
To turn vision into reality we need your help! As we move forward we want to do so together with a team of friends and supporters who will, together with us, will form ‘Team Novō’ by:

FOLLOWING & SHARING
Just by reading these updates and taking a keen interest in the work here you are encouraging us and making a contribution to the development of Novō. If you tell others about Novō, and get them following too, all the better!
————————————————————

PRAYING
We firmly believe that “unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labour in vain” (Psalm 127:1). Whether regularly or occasionally, please pray with us that in and through Novō, God’s Kingdom will come and His will be done!
————————————————————

GOING
We need small teams of men and women who can invest practically on the ground here in Santa Cruz.
————————————————————

 

GIVING
We are looking for those who will partner with us financially, whether through a one-off gift or a regular monthly donation. All the information you need to do this (in the UK and Canada) is below.

CANADA

To donate through direct deposit, set-up a re-occurring monthly gift, or make an online donation, please go to:

https://give.efccm.ca/efcc-donate

Please designate all donations (which are fully receiptable) to account #2-5020.
All cheques should be made out to the EFCCM (with a separate note of designation to account #2-5020) and can be sent to: EFCCM Box 850, Langley Stn, LCD 1, Langley B.C. V3A -8S6.
UK

You can set-up a regular gift or make a one-off donation through Stewardship Services (UKET)
at:

https://www.give.net/20192856

Please send cheques to:
Novō Communities
11 Emmets Nest
Binfield
Berkshire
RG42 4HH

 

Quinta Totaices

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Greetings from a wet/cold Santa Cruz!

There a number of exciting developments to report on but, for now, let me tell you about Quinta Totaices – an amazing property here in Santa Cruz which looks to be opening-up for us as the home for the first Novō community!

Quinta Totaices is a large property of about an acre of land close to the edge of the city. It’s owned by an ex-pat who increasingly spend their time away from Santa Cruz and are therefore looking to rent it from spring 2016 and, in the next year or two, to sell. Having spent a great evening talking through the Novō vision, our practical plans and those of the current owner, we left with a good sense of confidence that we could work well together during the period of the tenancy and towards an equitable sale.

The property ticks a number of boxes for us:

LOCATION. We’ve always said the first project needs to be within the city so that staff can reach it on public transport, and residents can have visits from their families. It also means we can relate to a range of churches and are able to generate income within the economy of the city.

DESIGN. As you’ll see from the film below the property has excellent gardens; large rooms which could be used for offices, meetings and lounges; great outdoor spaces; an ample kitchen; and plenty of rooms for residents and some live-in staff.

TERMS. To be able to rent with a view to buying is ideal for us. It gives us flexibility and a chance to ‘try before we buy’, and also the chance to focus on training staff, developing our income-generation, and shaping the culture and programme of first community before we get into fundraising for a building.

FEEL. More of this below, but just to say for now that there’s a level of character and personality to Quinta Totaices which it’s really quite hard to find here in Santa Cruz.

A couple of weeks ago a group of us went to do a ‘second viewing’ of the property and spent some time on-site praying together. Once we’d finished-up I did another walk through and filmed this Through the Keyhole video tour of the property:

 

Before I wrap-up, a confession.

A couple of years ago I began writing a list of the things which ‘made Yeldall, Yeldall’ and which, therefore would need to be ‘non-negotiables’ if we were to create communities which were genuinely built on the Yeldall approach. This list included the following qualities, each of which we have included in our description of the qualities which will mark out Novō communities:

  • founded on Christ.
  • focus on the whole person.
  • partner widely with local churches.
  • communities of love and discipline.
  • characterized by grace and truth.
  • promote freedom and responsibility.

My original list also included another quality of Yeldall, a quality which never made the final cut because I felt, to put it bluntly, it was too much to ask/expect.

What was that quality?

A physical environment (buildings and grounds) whose beauty and ‘feel’ speaks to the residents of the power and goodness of God and of His intense love for them, the value He sees in them, and the hope they have in Him.

Quinta Totaices has made me realise that that quality needs to be back on the list – and should never have slipped-off in the first place! It’s very different to Yeldall Manor (very different!!) but, if you were truly translate Yeldall Manor into the situation here in Santa Cruz, it’s what you’d get.

We have a strong sense that this is the place where God wants to form the first Novō community but, of course, we need to hold that in an open hand. We also need to pray that that nothing would hinder His will being done and, as a result, His Kingdom coming. Please pray with us to that end and that, whether this is the place or not, we’ll be led to a place whose beauty and ‘feel’ ministers healing, wholeness and hope into the lives of those residents for whom God creating this first Novō community.


We are pioneering Novō as self-supported missionaries. If you would like to support us financially you can do so tax-effectively through an organization called Stewardship. To make a one-off gift or to set-up a regular monthly donation, please go to: www.give.net/20171708 or send me an email.


 

Running for Transformation

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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.

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

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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.

Website - Team Page Snip

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.

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

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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

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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

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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

 

 

 

Why Bolivia?

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“Why Bolivia?” It’s a good question and one I’m often asked. The answer has to do with Bolivia and its ‘story so far’ and to do with us and our ‘story so far’.

Bolivia is an incredible country, a place of breathtaking scenery and engaging people, a place of fascinating natural and human diversity. It is also one of the poorest countries in Latin America and one of the most unequal countries in the world.

  • In 2012 its UN Human Development Index (HDI) value positioned the country at 108 out of 187 countries and territories, a rank it shares with Mongolia.
  • According to the UN Development Programme, only the nations of Colombia, Namibia, Botswana, Haiti, Angola and Comoros are more unequal than Bolivia.

Bolivia (as I mentioned in my last post) is in a period of rapid social change. As a result of this change it is experiencing a growth in severe social problems such as sexual abuse, prostitution, underemployment, and child neglect. We know that these problems leave individuals with huge deficits in terms of their sense of security, significance and self-worth – problems which readily lead people into substance abuse and addiction.

Street Kids 3

Bolivia is also the world’s third largest grower of the Coca leaf, the raw ingredient of Cocaine and, increasingly, a centre for its consumption and production:

“Not too long ago, poor areas such as in South America mainly produced drugs for use in rich markets like the U.S. But that is changing. New data show consumption of illegal drugs is rising in the emerging world even as their use remains unchanged, or even declines, in some rich countries… While cocaine production has declined in Colombia amid a decade long U.S.-backed crackdown, traffickers are successfully relocating production to neighbours such as Bolivia and Peru”. ‘Drug Use Climbs in Poorer Nations’, The Wall Street Journal, 26th June 2012

Though cocaine itself is too expensive for many Bolivians, a form of crude cocaine called Pitillo is widely abused – as are alcohol, marijuana, glue, and hallucinogenic mushrooms.

“Essentially a chemical waste product, Paco is what remains from the narco-kitchens producing cocaine bound for US and European markets… Addictive after one or two hits, the drug systematically destroys the nervous system. Users quickly become skeletal and ravaged, resorting to crime, violence and prostitution to feed their habits… Paco was smoked in other cocaine-producing countries before it reached Argentina: it is known as Kete in Peru, Bazuco in Colombia and Pitillo in Bolivia.” ‘The 10p cocaine by-product turning Argentina’s slum children into the living dead’, The Observer, 21st February 2010

Those who work on the ground in Bolivia with gangs, addicts and street children confirm that the drug and alcohol problem is serious and growing. The Bolivian government is also aware of this need. In February 2012 Government Minister Carlos Romero spoke of, “the urgent need to establish rehabilitation centres to deal with the proliferation of gangs of violent youths addicted to drugs and alcohol.”

Street Kids 1

Crucially, our reasons for launching Novō in Bolivia are also personal and practical. From 2006-2009 Andy served as the Pastor of Trinity International Church in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. During this time God gave us a heart for this diverse, beautiful and damaged nation. We also now see how he prepared us practically to be able to set-up Novō – giving us a huge head-start in terms of the language, culture, and practicalities of living and working overseas. Crucially, we also find ourselves with a superb network of friends and contacts in Bolivia, including some key organisations and individuals who will prove to be key partners in establishing the first new projects.

 

 

What is Novō?

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Novō is the name for a new charity which is dedicated to pursuing a singular vision – the vision of creating transformational communities in developing nations, places like Yeldall Manor where hurting and broken people can find healing, wholeness and hope!

The first-step to fulfilling this vision will be to pioneer the first Novō community in Bolivia. This will be a pilot project. Once a sustainable and replicable Novō community is established our plan is to ‘give it away’ using a community-franchising approach with the goal of seeing it replicated 30, 60 or even 100 times. We want to support God’s people in developing nations to respond to their own sense of calling by providing them with the start-up resources, training and support needed to launch and sustain a transformative community.

Is Novō needed?

We believe there is a pressing need for Novō. Addiction is a global epidemic and the need for residential communities in the developing world, where healing and restoration can take place, is increasing year by year.

“There is a clear need for a Yeldall Manor style programme in many developing countries. To be able to sustainably replicate the model will provide help for many with more complex issues surrounding their addiction who want to recover and play a full part in society. In the many countries worldwide that I have visited there are few programmes that combine the Christian ethos, focus on resolving underlying issues and intentional equipping for work that are the hallmarks of the Yeldall programme.” Treflyn Lloyd-Roberts, General Secretary, International Substance Abuse & Addiction Coalition

Why is addiction a growing issue in Bolivia and throughout the developing world?

Bolivia is experiencing rapid social change (population growth, urbanisation, migration, family breakdown) and, with it, a growth in social problems such as sexual abuse, prostitution, child neglect. We know that these problems leave individuals with huge deficits in terms of their sense of security, significance and self-worth – problems to which the abuse of substances provides a temporary, but ultimately enslaving, solution.

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Novō is a charity which is dedicated to pursuing a singular vision – the vision of creating transformational communities in developing nations where hurting and broken people can find healing, wholeness and hope.

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