Sep1WedSeptember 1, 2021 By the TWR Canada Team
Jonathan Griffiths, his wife Bel and their son Luca, live in Austria, where Jonathan is a missionary with TWR. When the TWR office in Austria moved to Cyprus in 2018, Jonathan and his family chose to stay in Austria. Jonathan has continued to work with TWR, consulting for TWR Women of Hope.
We recently met with Jonathan and asked him to give an update on his family, as well as the work he does for the ministry. He shared the following with us:
“Now that we are over a year into the global COVID-19 pandemic, I am seeing the discrepancies in recovery, emotions and exhaustion among the different women’s ministry teams. One team is excited and ready to go as their nation opens, some are in a “wait and see” mode, while others are sliding back into strict lockdown with no end in sight. Some have experienced loss of family, friends and co-workers, while others have been protected. I have spent many hours, listening, laughing and crying with those I am in contact with, as we share our experiences with each other.”
Jonathan shared this testimony from an email he received from one of the leaders of TWR Women of Hope: “Thank you for sitting quietly with me for 20 minutes after I opened up to you about the challenges I am facing. My heart is full of pain. To have a place to shed tears, as a leader, has been critical for my mental health and leading others through this time.”
Praise God that Jonathan has been able to provide wisdom and comfort to these leaders as they guide their ministries during difficult times.
Because of the varied impact from COVID-19, Jonathan has been focusing on the long-term sustainability of each project or program within TWR Women of Hope and encouraging teams to keep dreaming big. “We have a God who wants to make the impossible possible!” Jonathan exclaimed.
A dream for a women’s podcast has started to move forward much faster than expected with exciting new opportunities to reach the unreached. The team has finished four pilot recordings and is moving towards project scaling and fundraising.
In Austria, about 60% of the population is vaccinated with the infection rate low but stable. Though places opened in October, wearing masks for shopping or public transportation is required, with guests showing either a test or an immunization pass at restaurants or events. In some ways life is slowly returning to ‘normal’, but the economic impact is being seen in the tourism, restaurant and hotel industries, which Austria depends on all year round. Many churches are opening, with more attending each week.
“We are all doing well,” said Jonathan, “but these unusual 12 months took a mental health toll on all of us. We are grateful for the summer months to just rest and renew.”
Luca did exceptionally well in school, considering he started a new school and did over 75% of his schooling online. He enjoys his teachers and is finding friends in his class. Bel has had a typically busy year and has enjoyed being back in the office as often as possible.
Please pray Jonathan will remain sensitive to the needs of each team he works with as they face different circumstances. When sustainability for a project is looked at, mental health of the project leaders and team members is a priority. Pray for strength as Jonathan chats with people, encouraging and guiding them in their work. Pray for the women’s podcast as it moves forward. There is a lot of interest, but the team needs to keep focusing on the purpose, concept, formats and building sustainability into the project.
To sign up for Jonathan’s prayer letters or to financially support him, please visit Jonathan’s missionary page. Are you interested in seeing where God might be leading you? Learn more about serving with TWR Canada!