"Who can be compared with the Lord our God, who is enthroned on high? He lifts the poor from the dust and the needy from the garbage dump. He sets them among princes!”

Psalm 113:5-8

Worldwide, addiction affects one in every five people. In purely financial terms, addiction costs more than five times as much as AIDS and twice as much as cancer. These are colossal numbers! And, behind each digit, you will find heartbreaking, multigenerational stories of suffering.

Novō responds to this epidemic by empowering local teams in developing nations to create transformational communities that offer healing, wholeness, and hope. Our long-term goal is to create a family of Christ-centered recovery communities that are compassionate, effective, and sustainable.

In this context, Quinta Totaices, our community in Bolivia, is no longer just a rehabilitation centre. It’s also a training centre where we can equip recovery workers from elsewhere in the world.

In May, Marvin Pao, the Director of Centro Mahanaim in Matagalpa (Nicaragua), spent 10 days with us at Quinta Totaices.  Upon his return, we asked him to reflect on the experience.

What was the highlight of your visit? 

I was impressed by how the staff and residents fulfil their roles with professionalism, integrity, and love for the residents.

I was also impacted by the way each team member walks closely with God. This has inspired me to develop my spiritual life. I’m aware that without God we are nothing and it is thanks to Him that we are here!


What stood out to you about the Novō programme?

Two things really caught my attention.

First, the fact that the programme covers every area of the residents’ experience, from the nature of addiction, their childhood experiences to make amends for harm done to others, and preparation for the future after Novō.

Second, the recovery department (Oscar & Bruno) has a plan for each resident, to make sure they stay busy, focused on their recovery, and address everything they need to during their time with Novō.

How would you like to see your recovery community develop over the next 2 years? 

Analysing all that I have learned, and after talking and listening to each member of the team, these are my priorities:

I want to ensure our programme follows the Novō structure more closely, including the admissions process, the division of the programme into distinct stages, and the token system to reinforce positive behaviours. I think this will help our residents to sustain their recovery!

I hope to grow our staff team so that we can have one or more people supervising our residents in Matagalpa at all times, including during the evenings and weekends.

I know that with the help of Novō Communities, it will be possible. Our team is clear that the most important thing is the lives of the people who come to the centre to recover and seek help from God.


What obstacles prevent you from making these improvements?

Our lack of staff makes it difficult for us! Just three of us support 20+ men and we are overloaded. The economic area is also an obstacle. It’s sometimes difficult to pay the staff and feed the residents.

Apart from that, every area can be improved by having the willingness of the team and the faith that everything will improve, little by little if we don’t get discouraged!


As we see projects like Centro Mahanaim becoming Novō communities, we want to be able to support their work with prayer and finance!

To that end, we have been exploring the idea of "twinning" local churches with a Novō community. This is all brand new, but what we have in mind is a relationship built around prayer (going in both directions) and monthly financial sponsorship. Churches could also consider working towards a mission trip to their twin!

Please pray that God would connect us with churches with a heart for something like this! And, if you think your church might be interested in helping us pioneer this new, please email andy@novocommunities.org

During Marvin’s visit, we had the privilege of graduating three men – Miguel, Jose, and Jorge! These nights are always a source of joy and encouragement, not just to those who graduate and their families, but also to the team and the newer residents who are still working through the programme.

We’re pleased that each of these men has chosen to stay on to do our second-stage programme which provides the structure and support needed to reintegrate into the community successfully.

To close, a few photos from the last few weeks at the Quinta.

Just days/weeks ago, the men in these images were deep in the darkness of addiction, steeped in shame, begging on the streets, sleeping rough, and smoking drugs in drainage canals. Today, by God’s grace, expressed through His people (far and near), they’re in a safe place moving towards a wholly different future.

Thank you for supporting Novō Communities. Without you, none of this would happen!


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