“The people who walk in darkness will see a great light...
For you will break the yoke of their slavery..."
Isaiah 9:2,4

As we prepare for Christmas, our eyes turn to the birth of Jesus, the light of the world, who came to proclaim release to the captives and freedom to the oppressed.

Serving those whose lives have been consumed by addiction, we see up close both the destructive power of darkness and the transforming power of Christ and the abundant life of His Kingdom.

Life in addiction is bleak and hollow.

Life in recovery is rich in meaning, peace, joy, relationships and opportunity.

In the last Novo News, we looked at the big picture of how Novo’s work is developing in Nicaragua and Ecuador. This time, we want to focus on the Bolivia team’s impact on the men joining the recovery community at Quinta Totaices – an impact that transforms whole family networks.

We asked two of our graduates, Willy & Josue, to share their stories.


My name is Willy. I am 43 years old and from La Paz, Bolivia.

For a long time, my life was a mess. I had no control over alcohol. I lost the trust of my family. I lost jobs for being irresponsible. There were times when I was homeless, living on the streets.

I often tried to escape this situation alone, but I couldn’t. Then, one day, I realised that if I didn’t seek help, I was going to end up in hospital, jail, or dead. I started looking for help, and after several days, through a Pastor, I found out about Novō.

When I arrived, I sensed that things would change for me, but I knew that I had to do my part—the days passed with recovery groups, spiritual sessions, and 1-1s with the psychologist and recovery assistant. I felt in a safe place and gradually discovered a sense of meaning. I carried out tasks within the Center, including personal cleaning, room cleaning, kitchen work, and occupational therapies. My life was becoming ordered again.

After I graduated from NOVO, I felt strong and determined to move forward. I began doing volunteer work in a carpentry workshop. I am very excited to learn new things because it is the first time I have done carpentry!

Voluntary work is helping me to create an ordered life, not to change my plans even if challenges or temptations arise, but to put into practice everything I learned from my time at Novō.

My relationship with my family is improving a lot. I can connect well with my mother, sister and brother when I visit them. On Sundays, I attend the DCN Church to continue developing my faith through the Word of God and to meet more friends.

I thank God for taking me out of the mud where I found myself and giving me the opportunity to have a new life! It is very clear that I must continue to improve myself by looking at the present, not the past, and fighting daily to have a better life in the future.

I thank the people who support Novō. Their support gives each resident doing the program a fantastic opportunity.


What can I tell you about life after Novō? The truth is that it has been very good.

I left Novō and went to live alone in a room near my brother’s house, some relatives, and, most of all, my church.

I work in a metalwork company and have my schedule of what I must do in the week. Things sometimes don’t go as planned, but I am organised and enjoy my routine. I am a better manager of my money. I’ve learnt to spend on things I need and not waste money.

I have been doing my church’s discipleship course, and I have already reached the final level. I’m also playing the guitar in the worship band, a responsibility I take seriously. After five years lost in my addiction, I feel happy knowing that it is a privilege to serve God.

It’s not easy to deal with the problems of life and, above all, my addiction, but I have come to understand that without effort, success won’t come. I still struggle with anxiety sometimes, but I have learned that things such as breathing exercises that felt silly before help a lot. I also like to exercise, and I know that it helps me de-stress and be calmer.

Before, I was not social, but now I talk to people at church and work. I know not to give in to bad things because one thing leads to another. I know that I am not perfect, but God knows my heart. A verse that God always brings to my mind is:

“Throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.” (Ephesians 4:22-23)

Thanks to God, I am enjoying life. God is polishing my character daily. I am loving Him in freedom and continually seeking Him.

God is good! He never fails.



Our family of regular supporters are called ‘Padrinos’.  By making a monthly gift, our Padrinos give our residents and families a fresh start, free from the death grip of addiction. A gift of just £10/month from each person who receives these updates would radically transform Novō’s finances.


We’re so thankful to the individuals, churches, businesses, and trusts who generously support Novō. One-off gifts are essential to our work!

If you would like to give to Novo Communities, please click on the DONATE button or contact andy@novocommunities.org.


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