Greetings from Bolivia, where the year has started with an especially wet rainy season!

Novo's 2020 began with a bang! On 24th January we had the joy of graduating four residents – Ruddy, Alan, Pablo and Luciano. Please keep these four men in your prayers. Just months ago they were in the suffocating grip of addiction. Today they wake up clean & sober, reunited with family & friends, employed, and with genuine hope for the future! 17 men have now finished our 9-month programme and a total of 16 guys - not all graduates - are living drug/alcohol free following time with Novō.

To God be the glory, great things He has done!

Looking ahead, there are some significant – and exciting – changes on the horizon for Santa Cruz. In 2020 we will be focussing on strengthening the work in Santa Cruz in a number of ways:
  • We are working on improving the quality and consistency of our discipleship in both group and 1-1 settings. We firmly believe that a relationship with God is the best foundation for finding freedom from addiction and, of course, new life in the broadest sense. As such we want to make sure that Novō is a place where residents can explore and grow-in relationship with God to the maximum.
  • We hope to launch a supported housing project for ex-residents – a place of ongoing community and safety and a context through which we can offer a degree of security and support through 1-1 mentoring, drug/alcohol testing. In that context we are looking for a property to rent whose rooms we can let to 8-12 guys  - and for a supporter church or family who would be willing to sponsor this project. 
  • We plan to enhance our relationships with local churches here in Santa Cruz through participation in Sunday services, training workshops for church leaders and prevention work with youth groups. 
Please pray for us as we put our hands to work on each of these areas and for the provision of a sponsor for the launch of the supported housing project. 
Just before Christmas graduate Ronald arrived with a big donation of clothes and shoes for the guys. Without work for weeks and struggling financially, Ronald decided to dedicate his time to collecting these donations for Novō from friends and family.
The team from Novō Santa Cruz enjoying a well-deserved - and delicious - Christmas meal!
Much of the above is possible because the decision has been made that Pastor David Fuertes and his family will return to work at Novō in Santa Cruz in July.

Since David and the family moved to Tarija two years ago a great deal of valuable work has been done on a 1-1 basis with those struggling with addictions, as well as depression, anxiety, and marital issues. Nevertheless, we have been conscious that whilst 1-1 counselling in the community is incredibly valuable work, Novo's vision is the creation of transformative communities.  Since the launch of Novō Tarija 2 years ago we have struggled to move it beyond 1-1 work, with individuals seemingly reluctant to gather to support one-another in recovery in group settings. Additionally, we do not have the sense that funds  will emerge, locally or internationally, to sustainably launch a residential community in Tarija in the foreseeable future. 
As such, some months ago we began talking and praying with David about the future and in the last few weeks have concluded that Novō Tarija should close and David return to Santa Cruz. Despite the disappointment we all feel about not seeing Novō Tarija develop in the way we had hoped, we recognize a growing need for David's gifts here in Santa Cruz and are excited to see the ministry grow as result of his contribution.

Please pray for David and his family - that they would 'end well' in Tarija and that God would bless them in the challenges posed by another transition.

Our desire continues to be the replication of Novō communities elsewhere in Bolivia and across the developing world. However,  now, more strongly than ever, we believe that we should be looking for a ‘pull’ from a local partner seeking help with the launch - or development of - a project, rather than ourselves ‘going’ to start something from scratch in a new location.
Our focus is not on particular places - South/Central America would be ideal - but on finding the right people. We are looking for individuals/families/churches with the calling, connections, and capacity to launch and steward a Novō community such that it becomes a model of best-practice for its context. 

Please pray that God would bring about these connection in His timing. 

It has been a challenging time for Novō Adventures. The political crisis which hit in the Autumn resulted in the cancellation of all bookings and left potential clients wary of booking tours/rentals in Bolivia. We are beginning to see business pick-up again and are confident looking ahead. However, we now don't expect to see Novō Adventures contributing to the Novō Communities budget in the way we had projected it would during 2020.

Within Novō Adventures is an ongoing opportunity for those who would like to support Novo's ministry with a low interest loan. Do please get in touch if you think you might be able to help. 

Please pray for continued political stability in Bolivia, especially with new presidential elections in May, and for a profitable year for the business - 100% of whose profits will go to fund the work of Novō Communities. 

If you or someone you know is interested in exploring South America by motorcycle or 4x4 is where the journey begins. 

Novō is dedicated to building transformational community in developing nations where hurting and broken people can freedom from addiction and new life in Christ - people like Ruddy, Alan, Pablo, and Luciano. But we can't do it without your prayer and financial support. 

During 2020 we need to raise a monthly minimum of £9,000GBP / $15,000CAD / $12,000USD. We are grateful that 20% of this budget is now covered by regular income. However, we remain dependent on one-time donations and are, of course, eager to see committed monthly-giving increase.

Thank you for standing with us!
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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.

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