Dear Fellow Travellers,
It is the beginning of October, and I wanted to give you an update on where things stand as of right now and things you can bring before the Lord in prayer.
August was a power-packed month of documenting and handing over 15 years of ministry to different people within TWR Europe and CAMENA. To add to the strain, many of these people are setting up home, and the new office on Cyprus so connecting became difficult making for disjointed or interrupted Skype calls. After some time, I felt it was wise to offer my time until the end of 2018 as a volunteer in some of the technical areas for the website of Member Care Media as this will reduce the load for Ted Siemens who is taking over.
The 23rd of August was my last day in the office, which wasn’t much of an office anymore, as it had been closing down over the months. Most of the furniture had been packaged up for shipment to Cyprus or being sold off, so I was down to a computer and table which was being tossed out. Sadly my old “Third Culture Kid” habit of transition kicked back in and once I walked out the door… that was it, “another chapter done.” I am not very proud of this “transition habit,” but I have done over 200 plus transitions that have created a hardened callous method of dealing with these. In many ways, this one was different as it showed how settled I am here in Vienna when I came home to an apartment full of love and noise, I knew we had made the right decision as a family.
A big day was August 30th, when Bel and I went and registered our business. In my last prayer letter I said it would be Media524 e.U, but after more research and prayers, we ended up registering the business under my name. There are all kinds of reasons why, but it doesn’t prevent me at a later date from changing it to Media524 e.U if the need arises as I have the website www.media524.com also registered. After twelve months of prayer, eight months of investigation, the registration process took 15 MINUTES!!!! It all went so fast that it didn’t hit us what happened until about a week later!!!
Of course, now comes the complicated part!! After receiving the registration number and license to operate, I have been working with Dr Peggy Banks on sorting out the details of the proposal and contract, to work for TWR Women of Hope. With this, comes all the legal questions that have to be sorted out via the Austrian Tax Consultant and the International Sales Taxes involved. PLEASE PRAY we can get this sorted out soon and the best for all involved. (I hate legal details!! I’m creative… Let’s GO!!!)
TWR Women of Hope—UNITE Conference— was held in Bratislava the last week in September for all the European and CAMENA Women of Hope teams. Over 60 women from around Europe, the Middle East and North Africa came for the first time in 5 years, for a gathering to be encouraged, challenged and renewed for the vision of Women of Hope. Dr Banks has asked me to attend, as I have been part of the planning team for the past two years. Many of the teams I will be working with attended, as well as the Global TWR Women of Hope Leadership Team. This was a great time to see how my role will fit into the Global team but also in the overall role and needs. It was very encouraging and a blessing for me, as it was a perfect fit for my gifts and an encouragement for Dr Banks that this will work well.
With the start of September, it brought the start of the new school year for Luca and a whole new routine for the house. Now that I am working from home, it is taking a bit for us all to adjust as I have to find a place to set up my “office space” which currently is a “green box” that contains my laptop and documents, that I set up either in the kitchen, the dinner table or by the couch. Neither location is a long-term solution, so we’ve been looking at different options that would fit our small apartment and my need for a stand-up desk. After looking at many options, we kind of “shelved the idea” due to cost, more research and focused on priorities like school and getting set up.
September 3rd is the start of school here in Austria and its just a short one hour day, which Bel had planned out with other tasks with Luca, like shopping and fun stuff. Just as I was about to put lunch on the table for us, the doorbell rang… with the lady who owns the garage next to us. In a panic, she said our garage is flooding, and she had called a company to pump it out. Well, it wasn’t THAT bad!! But the lady above our garage had a blocked toilet, and it had overflowed for a couple of days but with CLEAN WATER! So after a dramatic day of plumbers and builders coming, phone calls to insurance agents and the housing people, it dawned on Bel and I that God had provided our needs with a way we didn’t expect!! After all the damage of tools we had been given or bought at a lower value price from former TWR staff, the house insurance claim will amount to enough for a stand-up table and storage cabinets!!
Around all this has been setting up the practical side of „business operations“ like email addresses, office programs, websites, MailChimp (electronic Prayer letters) and lots of research. We have also been sorting out health and operating insurance, bank accounts, and all the things that have been covered by TWR in the past, which we now need to take care of ourselves. Without the help of Bel, this would never have been possible as it is both shiftings through details and in legal German, but it has meant late nights and long weekends.
So it has been busy, and there is still lots to do! And lots to adjust too, with changes daily.
Here are some things we would value your prayers about:
Final “contract” can be signed with TWR Women of Hope.
We as a family adjust well to the new “realities” of working from home.
Luca adjusts well in 3rd Grade—a good friend, Sonja his teacher.
Bel took over as Board Chairman of OM Austria in October, along with a new OM Austria Leader.
BREXIT will have an impact on my legal status here in Austria. Pray for peace and that it will have little effect on my situation in Austria.
Daily we are reminded of „His faithfulness, and that He will bring it to pass,“ (I Thess 5:24) and that we need to keep listening to His voice and walk in His ways. We are taking big steps of faith as some of the questions are not answered but believe this is what God wants us to be doing.
We will keep you updated,
Jonathan, Bel and Luca