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It has been well over a year now since the WHO declared the COVID-19 outbreak a global health emergency. Since that time, across the world, we have been fighting the virus together. We’ve had to accept that it’s real and dangerous; to sacrifice to prevent its spread and minimize its harms; to work hard and creatively to ‘defeat’ it. Even as we start to see light at the end of the tunnel, our progress feels slow and for every step forward there’s a half-step back. 

There are some interesting parallels between our collective battle with COVID-19 and the fight against addiction. Addiction too is a fight we need to tackle together – all of us, not just those suffering – whilst recognizing that individual actions matter. No-one can do it for you, but you can’t do it alone. It’s a fight that needs to encompass the prevention of ‘transmission’, not just the treatment of ‘symptoms’. There is much we can do to reduce harm as well as to tackle the underlying causes. Acceptance, sacrifice, hard work, collaboration, and creativity all contribute to success. There is real hope but the process is hard, often painfully slow, and progress is often faltering. 
As we fight this fight in our small corner, we’re grateful for your support, expressed in prayer, encouragement, and practical ways. The early months of 2021 have seen the community at Quinta Totaices move slowly towards where we were pre-pandemic. At the time of writing, we have nine men with us, two sadly deciding to leave over the weekend. We’ve made some adjustments to our quarantine procedures for new residents which seems to be helping the guys get through those difficult first weeks. Our work training programme is up and running again, with two decent-sized property painting jobs occupying our attention over the last month or so. 
A key concern going into the new year was the status of our rental agreement of Quinta Totaices. The owner, a good friend and supporter of Novō, was giving serious consideration to selling the property. Having taken some time to explore other options and arriving at what would have been a solid alternative, we were thrilled when we were offered a new three-year rental contract for the Quinta. This is great news, providing us with real stability and an ideal operating location for both Novō Communities and Novō Adventures. It does, however, highlight to us the priority of finding a long-term, secure home for Novō Santa Cruz. The three years will, we know, soon pass. 
 
Please join us in praying for God’s provision! Our hope is to be able to purchase the Quinta, a large property suitable for our community of around 30, perfectly located, whose value is similar to that of a family in the UK, Canada, or the US. Do, of course, let us know if you’d like to know more. 
A final project for us at the end of 2020 was the production of a new video to help us promote Novō in Bolivia and at home. If you’ve got a couple of minutes, take a look. You'll meet some of the team, see inside Quinta Totaices, and hear from Freddy, a recent graduate.
The song featured in the promo video was written and performed by Gabriel, a Novō graduate who completed the programme in October 2020. David Salazar (Project Director) recently received this message from Gabriel, reflecting on his time with Novō:
 
“Within this beautiful community, I learned the value of living together with people with the same desire to improve and be transformed in this desert in which God keeps us, the rehabilitation process. Thanks to the groups and discipleship, I was able to leave renewed and with a different mind and focus on life and on the purpose that God has for each one of us. I learned that God blesses those who seek him and transforms those who recognize that only He has the power to transform lives. 
“Currently I am starting a pizza business in which I am doing well thanks to knowing that all the things that are entrusted to him, and with faith, will bear fruit. I will always remember the wonderful times that I spent in Novō and be grateful to God and all the people who make it possible for lives to be transformed. 

Do keep Gabriel and Freddy (who features in the video), along with our residents and graduates more generally, in your prayers. As move forward, they need courage, grace, wisdom. Pray that they would discover a natural, personal relationship with God, Father, Son & Holy Spirit. 

SUPPORTING NOVŌ

Novo's work isn't just the work of a small team of people. It's what we do together as the extended Novō family that creates opportunities for men like Freddy and Gabriel to find freedom from addiction and abundant new life in Christ. 
  • To make a ONE-OFF GIFT to Novō, please click on the orange button below.
  • To become a NOVŌ PADRINO, sponsoring our residents with a regular monthly donation, please email andy@novocommunities.org. It doesn’t have to be a life sentence! Your regular support for a fixed period (perhaps just for 12-months?) will make a lasting difference to our residents and their families. 
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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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