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Stories of Transformation: Meet Ulises

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STORIES OF TRANSFORMATION
MEET ULISES
Ulises, 35, was the second resident to join the Novō programme at Quinta Totaices in mid-December, and he is still with us today. This makes him our longest standing resident and an important role model for newer residents – as well as the ‘guinea pig’ for each aspect of our 7-stage programme!
Ulises is a drug-addict and alcoholic who lived on the streets of Santa Cruz for 15 years, having fallen with a gang at the age of 14.

He was in a poor physical state when he arrived, with various joints out of place from where he’d been hit by a bus, some months earlier, and left on the side of the road. He has been receiving medical help for his shoulder and arm, which are now healing well.

Emotionally, after the novelty of being in a comfortable home and being immensely grateful for this, the hard work began for Ulises.

One particular ‘breakthrough’ came as he demonstrated a willingness to be vulnerable with his peers during a therapy group. The group touched on a sensitive issue relating to his childhood and Ulises allowed his leaders and peers to see the sadness and turmoil the session was stirring-up. In the days after the group we saw glimpses of Ulises’s anger and a withdrawal from full engagement with the programme, but it was good that he felt safe enough to remove his polite and happy ‘mask’ and become more real.

One major hurdle, and a required programme ‘objective’, was to prepare and present his autobiography, which Ulises did successfully in front of his peers and two staff members. This was a significant and life-changing achievement.

It is incredible to see how Ulises’s confidence has improved while he has been with us. At the start, he was shy and quiet in his manner but in a recent church service he attended (where he didn’t know anyone) he had the boldness to stand-up, introduce himself, and promote Novō’s car-washing business to acquire new clients!
Ulises came to Novō with a genuine Christian faith and now, free from drugs & alcohol and in the heart of a Christ-centred community, he’s rediscovering his relationship with God. It’s a joy to see this happening and to begin to imagine what God has in store for Ulises in the future.

When asked about his goals and dreams for future, this is Ulises’ response:

“I want to carry-on and finish the Novō programme and then I want to go to technical school so that I can learn a trade, provide for myself, and be able to help all the others like me who are still on the streets.”

Please pray for Ulises, that he will reach his goals, and for the 7 other men currently on the Novō programme, perhaps praying these words from
Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians:
“I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance. I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 1:18-20)
SUPPORTING NOVŌ Ulises’ story would be very different were it not for the generosity of all of those who are supporting practically!

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 monthly minimumof £5,500GBP / $9,000CAD / $7,000USD. 

As we trust in God to provide for these immediate needs can we ask you to consider partnering with us to meet these immediate needs?

Your financial support, whether with a one-time gift or a regular monthly donation, will enable more men like Ulises to find freedom and new life Christ!

EMPOWERING GOD’S PEOPLE

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EMPOWERING GOD’S PEOPLE

One of Novō’s core values is empowerment. We believe that God has called us to empower His people to create transformative communities which offer healing, wholeness and hope to the hurting and broken people that God has placed on their hearts.

The film below tells the story of the way in which Novō is empowering Jose Ernesto, a man who has made incredible sacrifices in order to obey God’s call on his life, to respond to that call – and empower others to do the same!

GROWING TOGETHER AS A COMMUNITY

It’s been six weeks since our last update and we’re encouraged by progress during that time. Here are three highlights:

  • As you can see from the pictures below, the Novō Lavadero Movil (our mobile car wash business) is now up and running! After a couple of weeks of practice and preparation we take delivery of uniforms next week and will begin to market our services more proactively. This business will not only provide work and training to the residents but it is also at the heart of our strategy for long-term financial sustainability.
  • Ulises has been with us 10 weeks now. Stage 1 of the programme focuses on the theme of ‘Accepting Reality’ and as part of that process, Ulises shared his Autobiography with his peers and the staff. He has now moved onto Stage 2 of the programme where the focus is on ‘Handing Over Control’ to God.
  • At the start of the month we were visited by Dan Head, the Programme Leader atYeldall Manor. Dan shared his own story of finding freedom from heroin addiction through discipleship to Christ, which was a tremendous encouragement to the guys. He was also able to do some training with our staff team, offering them the benefit of his insight and experience at a crucial moment in their development.

The first couple of months of operation at Quinta Totaices have been a huge encouragement to us but they have not been without challenges.

Please pray with us for:

// THE STAFF TEAM //
for grace, compassion, energy, joy and unity in their day to day work alongside the residents.

// THE RESIDENTS //
for perseverance for those who are with us currently and for men who are open to God and ready change to join them.
// FINANCIAL NEEDS //
for the provision of all that is needed during 2017, particularly to cover core operating costs over the coming months.
NOVŌ NEEDS YOU!During 2015 and 2016 we were incredibly blessed to receive all the start-up funding required to launch the Novō community at Quinta Totaices, and the car wash business.

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 monthly minimumof £5,500GBP / $9,000CAD / $7,000USD. 

As we trust in God to provide for these immediate needs can we ask you to consider partnering with us to meet this goal? Your financial support, whether with a one-time gift or a regular monthly donation, will enable more men like Ulises to find freedom and new life Christ! 

The information you need to make a donation to Novō is found in the blue boxes below. For any queries in relation to giving, or the work of Novō more generally, please don’t hesitate to email: info@novocommunities.org 

HE WILL GIVE YOU NEW LIFE

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HE WILL GIVE YOU NEW LIFEHappy New Year from Team Novō! As we look forward to what 2017 will bring, we do so with these words from Zephaniah ringing in our ears:
“The Lord your God is with you; his power gives you victory.
The Lord will take delight in you, and in his love he will give you new life.
He will sing and be joyful over you.”  
(Zephaniah 3:17)
We are full of hope that many hurting and broken men will come to know the reality of His presence, victory, delight, love and new life for themselves this year!

In 2016 it was a thrill to see the foundations laid for the work of Novō. God called together a team of dedicated workers, provided an ideal property for the first community, enabled us to develop programme structures & resources, and stirred-up support locally and internationally to enable this work to launch.

Now the really exciting stuff begins!

There are currently three men on the programme at Quinta Totaices – Ulises, Jorge and Yasuco. It’s a joy to see their desire for change! They are engaging well with groups, work/training, and the spiritual life of the community.

Over the coming weeks we’re looking forward to build our community, slowly but surely, with men in search of healing, wholeness and hope.

It’s also been wonderful to see the local staff team offering the opportunity of new life to men with whom some of them have been working for several years on the streets of Santa Cruz. Please pray that each member of the team would flourish personally and professionally during these stretching opening months of operation.

Looking forward, the next important step will be the launch of the first Novō business. This business – a mobile car wash – will provide meaningful work/training for the residents and, in time, a significant revenue stream for the community. We plan to be up and running work by the end of the month.

As you enjoy the photos below please pray that Ulises, Jorge and Yasuco will come to know more and more of the abundant life which Christ won for them.
NOVŌ NEEDS YOU!We are where we are because of the generous and support of people like you. Since we shared our Launch Appeal in July we have raised $60,000USD / £49,000GBP / $79,000CAD.

A huge thank you to everyone who responded to the appeal!

Now, as we look to 2017, we are trusting God for a minimum of $85,000USD / £70,000GBP / $112,000CAD.

In this context, would you prayerfully consider setting-up a regular monthly gift or making a one-off donation to Novō?  

Your financial support will enable Novō to offer a 9-month residential programme of one-to-one support, interactive groups, work/training, and discipleship to up to 16 men seeking freedom from addiction and new life. It will also move us considerably closer to our goal of seeing the first Novō community becoming financially sustainable.

To close we want to share with you the short film below. It tells Jose-Ernesto’s humbling story – and powerfully communicates our vision and values as Novō.

A big thank you to SilentImages who created this film for Novō at well below cost.

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 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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