Novo News October 2019

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by Misty Lopez

My first view of Novō was through a lens. I saw the video on their website that was filmed in Tarija, and I was moved by the honest words of the elderly addict at the end. When asked what he needed in order to change his life, he replied, “Kindness. Love. Companionship. Understanding. Nothing more.”

I recently had the pleasure of seeing Novō up close when I attended the graduation of Diego and Vladimir. I was able to witness first hand the reality of what happens when broken people are given kindness, love, companionship and understanding. God moves in and through His people to bring healing, wholeness, and hope, and lives are truly transformed.

On graduation night, the men told beautiful stories of that transformation to a patio full of supportive friends and family. They gave all the glory to God. They sincerely thanked the staff and encouraged their friends still in the programme. And they were real and emotional about the difficult road to recovery.


When Vladimir motivated his friends by saying, “Let’s not lower our arms, brothers!”, I thought of Moses and his companions on Mount Horeb. Joseph would only gain victory over the enemy if Moses kept his arms raised in the air. When Moses grew tired, as we all do, Aaron and Hur stood beside him and held up his arms. This way, the enemy was conquered. Love and companionship. Let’s not lower our arms, brothers!

While we were celebrating the graduates, every so often I’d hear a laugh or an “Amen” louder than all the others. Joel is a newly arrived resident who I recognized from the traffic intersections where he typically begs. Like the man in the video, what he really needs isn’t spare change for food or a place to live. He needs people who will stand with him to hold up his weary arms. He needs to recognize and receive grace at intersections of kindness and understanding. I think he came to just the right place.

Kindness. Love. Companionship. Understanding. They aren’t just words. They’re transformative acts of service we can offer and receive by way of God’s grace via each other. They are a call to arms!

I pray that we hear the call to hold up Novō’s arms just as they’re doing for Diego, Vladimir, Joel, and so many others. And I really hope that call moves us from just watching behind a screen to being an active participant in God’s vision through Novō.

POLITICAL UNREST IN BOLIVIAFollowing last Sunday’s elections, things are very tense in Bolivia at present. This article from Reuters is a decent summary of where things sit at the time of writing:

All Novō staff and residents are safe but life does have a very different feel to normal. A general strike in Santa Cruz, now into a 6th day, means movement around the city is on foot or by bicycle, shops are open for limited hours with limited stock, and schools & businesses are closed.  The eerie quietness of a now traffic-free city is punctuated by the sirens of emergency service vehicles and the fireworks of those manning roadblocks.

All of that places significant strain on the programme, with key staff unable to get to work and the residents and live-in staff unable to leave the property, other than to buy supplies or play football in the local park.

How can you pray?

  • That there will be a swift, just and enduring resolution to the political situation. It appears that democracy itself is under threat.
  • That the residents at the Quinta would know God’s peace and strength in the midst of both the political instability and the boredom of these days.
  • That Lincoln and the live-in staff who are holding the fort would feel encouraged and see the fruit of their sacrifice in the lives of the residents.
  • That the general strike would be managed well, such that essential services are maintained and the needs of the most vulnerable met.

Novō is dedicated to creating transformational communities in developing nations where hurting and broken people — like Vladimir, Diego & Joel – can find healing from addiction, wholeness and hope. But we can’t do it without your prayer and financial support!


Novo News August 2019

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“So, what do you think?” asked David Salazar, our Project Coordinator in Santa Cruz. He had just finished explaining to me that one of our residents — Jose Maria — wanted to travel to Trinidad over 18 hours north, to try to find his family after 17 years of no contact. 

Honestly, I wasn’t at all sure.

Between the potential for disappointment and rejection, the heavy demand on staff time in having a team member accompany him on the trip, and the $120 cost of travel during a time when the community’s funds were very tight… I couldn’t help but think this journey might be a little too costly, all the while leaving Jose Maria wide-open to a relapse.

Jose Maria left home at the age of 13 after a row with his parents. Hurting and angry he travelled south to Santa Cruz, first living in a children’s home and later moving to the streets.
He quickly fell into an addiction which after 17 years later, brought him to our doors.

Nine months later, Jose Maria is a man transformed by God’s grace expressed through the love and care of the Novõ team in Santa Cruz.

Jose Maria and Novõ team member Marco Antonio stepped onto the muggy streets of Trinidad exhausted from an 18-hour overnight journey but eager to begin their search. First stop, Jose Maria’s childhood barrio [neighbourhood]. As the hours passed and their enquiries got them nowhere, Jose Maria was soon ready to give up.

“Let’s keep walking”, encouraged Marco Antonio, “we will not be defeated”.

And they weren’t. The very next stop was a shop whose owner knew of Jose Maria’s family. He sent a messenger off and within a few minutes the reunion began.

Jose Maria’s cousin appeared first, shortly followed by his mother [shown embracing Jose Maria in the photo]. They were then joined by his brother and the rest of Jose Maria’s estranged family.
Having not heard from Jose Maria for so long, they’d assumed he was dead, lost to the darkness of addiction in the drainage canals of Santa Cruz.

Yet, thanks to Jose Maria’s release from the chains of his addiction, and the encouragement to not give up from faithful brother Marco Antonio, his search was a success.

Jose Maria returned to Santa Cruz with a heavy weight lifted from his shoulders. During his time in Trinidad, he had asked for and gratefully received forgiveness from his family who gladly embraced him back into their lives.
After talking to his family, he also discovered that he was in fact one year younger than he had realised and that his birth name is actually Jose Carlos, not Jose Maria!

A couple of months on from that first talk with David, and there is no doubt in my mind that the “go for it!” with which the conversation ended was absolutely the right response.

Novõ is dedicated to creating transformational communities in developing nations where hurting and broken people — like Jose Maria — can find healing from addiction, wholeness and hope. But we can’t do it without your prayer and financial support…

Novo News June 2019

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Last Wednesday evening was a night of celebration at Quinta Totaices! Together with 100+ guests we graduated two men – Jonathan and Ronald – and prayed God’s protection and blessing over them.

The transformation in both men has been nothing short of remarkable.

Both arrived deeply broken but leave to go into full-time paid employment – one with a multinational provider of services to Bolivia’s hydrocarbons industry and the other in a Christian training/conference centre.  Both are moving forward in relationship with God. Both have been reunited with their families.

Jonathan tells his story in the short film below:

Jonathan’s Story

Andy has recently started a blog with the goal of equipping, encouraging, and stimulating the thinking of those who work are engaged in the addiction/recovery field and all those with an interest in faith and addiction.

His post ‘Why Care?’ wrestles with what motivates those who work, volunteer, donate, and open-up heart and home to those trying to escape addiction’s grasp. You can find it here or by clicking the image below.

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.


We look forward to sharing Ronald’s story with you soon. Both he and Jonathan are on a new path which will bring blessing to them, their families – and beyond. We are incredibly proud of them and the team at Quinta Totaices. 

We are also deeply grateful to you. These transformations are the direct result of your prayers, donations and support for Novō. 

Our Spring Forward Appeal is now drawing to a close. The appeal has two bold goals in relation to one-off donations and regular giving and presents urgent needs.

To find out more, please click here or on the image below.

Novō News – March 2019

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The men who enter Novō often do so with no more than the clothes on their back. Some come to us without ID, without family, without health, without education, and without any idea how to live life their lives drug/alcohol-free.

What each of them does have is hope. Hope that things can be different and that ‘different’ can also be ‘better’. In some cases that hope burns strongly. In others, as with Arturo who joined us this week following repeated failed attempts at recovery, that hope has been reduced to embers.

Our job within Novō is to fan the flames (or dying embers) of that hope in our residents, pointing them to the One who “raises the needy from the ash heap… [and] seats them with princes” (Psalm 113:8) and encouraging them to believe that change really is possible.

In this edition of Novō News we want to share with you a gallery of images and use those to update you on some of the highlights of the last couple of months.

Early in the year we decided to divide our 9-month programme into 2 distinct ‘phases’ in order to give residents near the end of the programme a greater sense of progress and more opportunities for growth. Richard (first on the left) and Ronald (fourth up on the right) are now on this stage which involves: 3 days/week of voluntary work in the community, much greater liberty come and go from the Quinta, and a room ‘upgrade’. This change, along with some modifications to the property, also increases our total capacity to 23, including 1st and 2nd stage residents and recent graduates.
We have redoubled our efforts at marketing our Paint Service. This has already borne good fruit and in recent weeks we have completed jobs at schools, churches, and homes. The Paint Service provides a context for work skills, personal growth, and a source of income to the Santa Cruz project.
We continue to receive both men onto the programme from both the streets and family situations. The mix is roughly 40/60. The received wisdom was that this wouldn’t be possible due to negative attitudes towards those from the streets. It’s been so good to see these two groups to mix well, to benefit of all. Those who join us from the streets come as a result of regular outreach work on the streets, led by our staff member, Lincoln, to groups like those pictured.
Our latest graduate is Jonathan (yellow/blue shirt)! Jonathan is working in a small soft drinks factory, completing his basic schooling, and getting stuck-in to church life. This photo was taken at his church’s recent camp. Jonathan will continue to live at the Quinta for the next 3-6 months as he gets established in the community.
We began 2019 with a visit from Dan Head (first on the left), the Programme Manager at Yeldall Manor. Dan was able to encourage the residents at Quinta Totaices and delivered staff training on addiction/addictive thinking as it relates to treatment, relapse, and recovery.
Meet Roberto, a taxi driver form Tarija who has been engaging with David Fuertes and our non-residential Novō project in Tarija. During a 20-year drinking problem, which began when he was 14, Roberto says, “I would drink and forget all of my responsibilities to my family.” Roberto is now 6-months sober and enjoying the benefits – spiritual, physical, emotional and relational – of life in recovery.
One of our Novō Tarija clients has requested that we create a group for the workers in his construction firm who are struggling with alcohol. The photo is of David Fuertes (white hard hat, stood behind the laptop) sharing with the whole workforce to explain what’s on offer. Our goal remains the launch of a residential community in Tarija but we’re seeing real value in working on a non-residential basis and are excited to be experimenting with different ways of offering ‘transformative community’ to those who need it.
The final image we want to share with you is of Novo’s new logo! This is just one aspect of a new branding we will be rolling out over the coming months. The work on this has been donated by one our UK supporters.  We wanted a logo that’s unique, contemporary and that symbolises hope. This has been achieved with a logo that reflects the life and hope offered by our communities.

Earlier in the month we launched a new initiative, our Spring Forward Appeal, with two goals:
with two specific goals.

  • To raise a total of £50,000 to replenish our general fund, which has run very low.
  • To see regular-giving increase to 75% (£6,750/month) of our current monthly budget, up from 15% at present.

To find out more, please click on the relevant link, and please consider if/how you can respond.




In the UK, Novō Communities is a Registered Charity (1164421). In Canada and USA, we are partnered with the Evangelical Free Church of Canada and America respectively.

Novō News – January 2019

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For Team Novō in Bolivia, 2018 ended very positively. Andy, Warren, David Fuertes (Tarija) and David Salazar (Santa Cruz) travelled to the UK for 10 days with two overlapping purposes:

  • The two Davids completing a residential training placement at Yeldall Manor, a centre of excellence in terms of Christian addiction treatment and the start-point for much of the Novō appraoch and programme.
  • Andy & Warren spending time face to face with UK trustees, supporters and new contacts in order to promote both Novō Communities and Novō Adventures.

It turned out to be a spectacular trip which was both instructive and encouraging!

‘The Two Davids’ (as they are now affectionately known in the UK) were immersed in the life of Yeldall Manor. They connected with the residents, met with staff one-to-one, saw Yeldall’s second-stage and aftercare work first-hand, sat-in on staff meetings and therapeutic groups, and attended one of Yeldall’s Celebration/Graduation nights – as well as spending a day in London!


The promotional aspect of the trip was a chance to update supporters face-to-face on how things have developed over the last year, communicate the practical impact of the work, engage with questions and ideas, and share Novo’s goals for 2019-2020.

The infographic below captures something of that impact. In so doing it also expresses in ‘nuts and bolts’ terms what transformational community is all about: Christ’s love expressed through a dynamic community of acceptance, grace, healing, second-chances, and abundant life.

As we look to the future, our goals are all about being able to offer healing, wholeness and hope to an ever-increasing number of hurting and broken people.

Novō has never been about creating one project. Our vision is to empower God’s people throughout the developing world to establish transformative communities wherever there is need. Each of the four goals below are pointed towards moving Novō closer to being a community of communities – a multiplying movement to respond to what is, tragically, a multiplying problem.

Each of the goals also stretches our faith. As such, as leaders and trustees of Novō, we are striking-out into 2019 prayerfully – coming together before God in a spirit of submission to Him, dependence on Him, and confidence in Him.

We believe these goals are inspired by God. We also know that, albeit through a multitude of means, they can only be delivered by God.


At the beginning of a new year can we ask you to stand with us in prayer in relation to the four goals above? If Novo’s vision and work stir can we also ask you to partner financially with us?

During the course of 2018 we need to raise a monthly minimum of £9,000GBP / $15,000CAD / $12,000USD to operate in Santa Cruz and Tarija.

Around 10% of our budget of is covered by regular monthly giving so we are very much dependent on one-off donations – and eager to see regular giving increase!!

We are also, as you can see, dependent on one-time gifts both to cover regular operating expenses and in relation to strategic projects such as Novō Adventures (a minimum of $150k USD required over the next 3 months) and the purchase Quinta Totaices ($700k USD).

The information you need to begin donating to Novō is found in the blue boxes below. Please also free to get in touch directly if you would like to talk about supporting Novō.


In closing we want to share Jaime’s story with you. After years in addiction, and a story marked by shame and failed relationships, Jaime graduated in June and is now working as part of the Novō Adventures team.

In the UK, Novō Communities is a Registered Charity (1164421). In Canada and USA, we are partnered with the Evangelical Free Church of Canada and America respectively.

Novō News – September 2018

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It’s now been just under a year since we celebrated the graduation of Ulises, the first resident to complete our 9-month residential programme. We’re thrilled to be able to report that Ulises is going strong in his faith and recovery! Whilst he continues to live at Quinta Totaices we don’t see much of him. He’s working in construction by day, training as a welder in the evenings, and is active in his church.

Six men have now completed the Novō programme in Santa Cruz. Of these six, five are moving forward with new lives in recovery. These men have now been drug/alcohol free for between 22 months (Ulises) and 13 months (Ernesto & Jaime). Additionally, we are in touch with two ex-residents who, despite leaving us prematurely, have remained drug/alcohol free.

The whole Novō team are so encouraged by what God has done in the lives of these men and we hope you will be too! We also recognize that God has been at work in the lives of all those who have passed through Quinta Totaices. We know that the love, acceptance and care (medical, psychological and spiritual) they have received through Novō will have made a deep impact, even if they have not yet managed to find lasting freedom from addiction.

From the squalor and shame of addiction and homelessness, through the love and community of Novō, to the dignity and abundance of life in recovery.

Of the five guys who are moving forward in their recovery, one had a brief lapse after leaving the Quinta. Antonio’s story highlights the fact that the path out of residential rehab and into long-term recovery in the community isn’t always straightforward but that, with the right support, a lapse does not need to develop into a full relapse. 

Antonio joined the Novō programme in July 2017, graduating after 9 months in April 2018. On completion of the programme Antonio left the Quinta, choosing to return to live with his extended family. His desire was to regain the good things he had before drugs and alcohol took over his life, not least the ability to protect and raise his children.

During the first months after his graduation Antonio worked as a salesman in a family business. However during this time he suffered a severe loss: the death of the grandmother who was like a mother to him. In the context of the emotional distress of this experience, Antonio chose to drink alcohol.

His lapse, however, did not last long. Antonio was able to find refuge with good people who could support and protect him and was supported by the Novō therapeutic team. After a difficult week, Antonio found his feet and began to move forward with his life again.

Antonio is currently part of a team of workers that provides services to the oil companies that work in rural areas of the country. He tells us that every time he has an opportunity, he shares about his rehabilitation and motivates people with problems to seek help to overcome drug and alcohol addiction.

Antonio is still in the early days of his new life. Please pray that he would continue to grow stronger in his faith and recovery, and that he would be able to be a loving and supportive Dad to his children.

None of the men described above would be where they are were it not for you, our generous and prayerful supporters. As we trust in God to provide all that we need to be able to hope, healing and wholeness to men like Antonio, can we ask you to consider making a donation to Novō?

At present only 10% of our budget of is covered by regular monthly giving so we are very much dependent on one-off donations – and eager to see regular giving increase!!

During the course of 2018 we need to raise a monthly minimum of £9,000GBP / $15,000CAD / $12,000USD to enable Novō to operate in Santa Cruz and Tarija.

All the information you need to support this work is found in the blue boxes below.

In the UK, Novō Communities is a Registered Charity (1164421). In Canada and USA, we are partnered with the Evangelical Free Church of Canada and America respectively.

In addition to praying in response to these updates, you can sign-up for our regular prayer updates. To do this, please email

Novō Annual Update 2018

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For the second year now we have put together an Annual Update which highlights Novo’s 2017 achievements and 2018 priorities.

As you read it we hope you’ll be encouraged and inspired as, together, we seek to create many more transformative communities in developing nations where hurting and broken people can find healing, wholeness and hope!

To read the Novō Annual Update 2018 just click on the image below:
As we trust in God to provide all that we need can we ask you to prayer with us and consider joining our support team by setting-up a REGULAR MONTHLY DONATION or making a ONE-TIME GIFT?

Novō News – July 2018

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Since we last wrote lots of good things have been happening with Novō in Bolivia!

  • At the beginning of June we celebrated the graduations of two more residents – Jaime and Ernesto – in Santa Cruz.
  • Novō Tarija took possession of their rented facility, with 5 individuals now engaging with it’s evolving non-residential programme.
  • We said farewell to Rachel Burton, who is returning to the UK after 2 and-a-half years in Bolivia. Rachel played an absolutely critical role in the formation of the Novō programme (particularly our therapeutic groups) and staff training.
  • In Santa Cruz we were joined by a team from Three Hills Evangelical Free Church, Alberta, for a week spent painting, building, ministering on the streets, and encouraging the guys on the programme.

These are the highlights, but each week a huge amount of work goes on – meals are served; medical attention provided; 1-1 sessions, therapeutic groups, and discipleship groups are delivered; new residents are welcomed (and, of course, sadly others leave prematurely); finances are administered; work teams are supervised; staff are coached – all with the purpose of glorifying God by offering healing, wholeness, and hope to hurting and broken people.


Ernesto, aged 40, was born and raised in the agricultural town of Yapacani, a 4-hour bus ride from Santa Cruz. After his mother died when he was 9, Ernesto was raised by his sister, Juliana. He struggled at school which made him feel insecure and anxious. Having reached 4th grade level, he left school at the age of 13 to work as a farm labourer.

It was as a young farmer that Ernesto began to drink, first Chicha (an alcoholic drink produced from Maize) and then beer. Social drinking quickly developed into heavy drinking and then alcoholism. For the next 20-years Ernesto’s world would be dominated by alcohol, an addiction that cost him relationship with his parents, siblings, extended family, and (most painfully) his wife and children.

Despite his descent into long-term alcohol addiction, his sister never stopped believing that Ernesto could change. At the start of 2017 her desire to help Ernesto led her to a Novō contact in Yapacani and Ernesto joined the Novō community in Santa Cruz on the 16th September 2017.

On first arriving Ernesto feared that he wouldn’t be able to complete the 9-month programme. However, as he began moving through the programme, tackling the ‘objectives’ of each stage, engaging with 1-1 sessions and groups, and experiencing the love and support of the community, Ernesto realized that being with Novō was a privilege and an opportunity not to be missed. In his own words, started to “open his heart” to the Novō staff team and let himself be supported in his recovery process.

Ernesto graduated on 4th June 2018 and has returned to Yapacani where he is working on a citrus farm. It’s a familiar place but he is rebuilding his life there on a new foundation. Ernesto has a good group of people around him to support him through difficult times and he continues to strengthen his faith in God by attending a local church. Although he still cannot see his children, he has not lost hope of being able to be a part of their lives once more.


As we celebrate the latest set of Novō graduations we give thanks for the support team whose prayer and financial support create the opportunities for men like Ernesto and Jaime to seize!

During the course of 2018 we need to raise a monthly minimum of £9,000GBP / $15,000CAD / $12,000USD to enable Novō to operate in Santa Cruz and Tarija.

Novō News – April 2018

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The vision of each Novō community is to see hurting and broken people find freedom and new life in Christ –  freedom from addiction, freedom from sin, freedom from shame, freedom to enjoy the abundant new life which Christ won for us all.

“In my distress I prayed to the Lord,
and the Lord answered me and set me free”.

Psalm 118:5

As the work at Quinta Totaices moves ahead, it is a joy to see individuals who arrived at our door broken and battered finding just this freedom. Ulises, who graduated in October 2017, is doing well – working in construction, training as a welder, and finding his place in church life. Three more men – Rogelio, Dario and Antonio – complete the programme in the next few days. They should soon be followed by Ernesto and Jaime who we hope will graduate in May.

  • That as the men at Quinta Totaices engage with therapeutic groups, 1-1s, work/training, church and discipleship, they would find true and lasting freedom.
  • That Rogelio, Dario and Antonio would know God’s peace as they approach the end of their programmes and, with Novō’s support, transition into the community.

Our hope has always been that Quinta Totaices would be a pilot project, the first of many Novō communities across Bolivia and, ultimately, the developing world. Addiction is a global epidemic and the need for communities where healing and restoration can take place, is increasing year by year.

In that context we’re very excited to be able to let you know that Novō now has a presence in Tarija, a city in southern Bolivia. David Fuertes, who served with us for a year as our Recovery Assistant in Santa Cruz, has returned to his home city, along with his wife, Rhina, and their son, David. Following a career in business David planted and led a thriving church in Tarija, so he comes to his Novō role with the experience and connections needed to get the job done.

Novō Tarija will begin with a Day Programme, a non-residential community (based on a model which has proven successful in the UK) which will offer many of the same elements as the residential programme in Santa Cruz. Our hope is that this approach will enable us to rapidly establish a presence in a new location and impact addicts/alcoholics who, because of family pressure and ‘support’, are unwilling to enter residential rehabilitation, but are still in desperate need of help.


  • For strength, courage, and wisdom for David Fuertes as he pioneers the work of Novō in Tarija.
  • That the non-residential community which forms in Tarija would have the qualities we desire for all Novō communities – specifically that it would: be founded on Christ, focus on the whole person, partner widely with local churches, be a community of love and discipline, be characterized by grace and truth, promote freedom and responsibility.

Crucial to our ability to empower people like David Fuertes to launch new Novō communities is our capacity to develop strong local income streams to sustain the work of existing communities, such as Quinta Totaices. This will release funds raised internationally for new initiatives, along with investment in capital items such as properties and vehicles.

Local fundraising, resident fees, and the income from each project’s work/training programme all make an important contribution to the sustainability of each Novō community. However, during 2017 we became convinced that we needed to think more creatively if we are to generate the kind of income required to support Novo’s vision for multiple transformative communities.

In this context we began searching for profitable business opportunities whose primary purpose would be income-generation to support the work of Novō, whilst also offering work/training opportunities to our graduates.

Having explored a range of possibilities (catering, air conditioning installation/repair, a car wash), towards the end of last year we were presented with the opportunity to buy an established motorcycle tour/rental company, Bolivia Motors, and are currently in the process of completing its purchase!

You can find out more about the company by searching for it on Facebook. It’s currently based out of Cochabamba but we will be moving it to Santa Cruz shortly, operating it out of purpose-built facilities at Quinta Totaices. Additionally we will be rebranding in order to better communicate the social impact of the business, 100% of whose profits will go to helping our residents find freedom and new life in Christ!
We’ll be sharing more information soon but if you, or someone you know, is interested in experiencing the adventure of a lifetime whilst giving someone hope for a life they never imagined possible, do get in touch with Warren at

  • Give thanks for the generosity of our supporters which makes all things Novō possible, including the purchase of this business.
  • That this business will both generate significant resources so that it can sustain the Novō community at Quinta Totaices and powerfully impact the lives of its customers for the Kingdom.

During the course of 2018 we need to raise a monthly minimum of £9,000GBP / $15,000CAD / $12,000USD.

As we trust in God to provide, can we ask you to pray with us and consider how you can partner us to meet these needs? 

All the information you need to make a one-off donation, or to set-up a regular monthly donation, can be found in the blue boxes below.

In addition to praying in response to these updates, please consider signing up for our monthly prayer updates. To do this, please email Rachel Burton (

In the UK, Novō Communities is a Registered Charity (1164421). In Canada and USA, we are partnered with the Evangelical Free Church of Canada and America respectively.

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.