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Tuesday, 16 March 2010

God is so faithful - 6 wonderful answers to prayer..

I've hesitated about posting everything going on with me at work until I was confident about how the Lord wanted us to proceed but now that I know we are going to fight I want to put everything here so that God can be given all the glory for the prayers He's already answered and the ones we know He'll answer in the future. This was a facebook message to a group of christian friends back home that have been wonderfully supportive praying and encouraging me. We are at perfect peace and God is so good!

February 16th

Hi all,
Alan and I would appreciate your prayers about my work situation. As most of you know this has not been the easiest job I've ever had. :) In the last eight months I've mentored, trained and loved on over thirty homeless girls aged 16+ here in Wales - each with such different but all equally horrific backgrounds. I've seen everything from prostitution to drug usage, self harming to domestic and family abuse. Most lack a good education, have no family support, suffer from tragically low self esteems and almost all don't know the Lord.

God has afforded me so many opportunities to love on the girls, to get bibles for them, to lead one into a relationship with Him and to encourage all of them onto a better path for their futures. Some girls are very responsive, some are not at all and some look like they are headed down a better path only to turn back to the world and their old life with devastating consequences.

One girl in particular that I was making so many headways with last fall left us only to return a couple of weeks ago. When she returned it was as if none of the things we had worked on or encouraged in her remained. She was back doing the same things that caused her so much heartache before we knew her which leads me to my request for prayer.

Last Friday I spoke to this girl and told her she was on the wrong path, that she was throwing her life away and that I would not help her to do it. She is incredibly bright, wants to go to college to become a nurse, get custody of her 2 year old daughter and get a place of her own. Unfortunately she is risking all of this with her current choices.

Instead of accepting my criticism and the truth in the words I spoke she has chosen to lash out at me and has filed a complaint against me with my company. While I have not seen the complaint it is apparently bad enough to warrant me being suspended. The suspension notice also said there had been allegations of possible physical assault and the company has said as a result they have "lost faith in my integrity" (keep in mind the investigation into these allegations has not started but apparently in their eyes I'm already guilty).

Those that love and know me have said that what I'm going through has been orchestrated by the evil one who hates the ministry I have with the girls and while I know this is true, the hurt and sadness I feel for this girl in particular has compelled me to write to you to ask you to pray.

Please pray for me - that above all things Gods' will and purpose will be done in this situation. Pray for Alan - who in his loving and wonderful husband way wants to protect me at all costs and see me vindicated. But especially I ask that you will pray for this precious girl who is so lost. Please pray that only truth will be spoken and that God will be given all the glory for whatever He is going to do in and through this situation and in her life.

This may be God telling me it's time to leave the organization but before I do I would like to see the truth come out and my "integrity" restored and above all else, see this girl come to know the Lord as her personal savior. If we all pray together I believe God in His mercy and grace will act. I am so thankful for all of you and covet your prayers.

Mary Rathbone

February 20th

Hello everyone - just an update that my organization is calling for a disciplinary hearing on Tuesday at noon (7am eastern time) where they are alleging gross misconduct due to physical attack and objectionable behavior because I encouraged the girl in question not to have an abortion due to regret she may feel later in life. This could and probably will lead to immediate dismisal without notice.

On Friday when I was notified of the hearing I finally had the opportunity to read the complaint and the supposed physical attack was when I was leaving the room I walked over to where the girl who filed the complaint was laying on the bed, picked up her bible which was on the floor by her head and laid it on her chest and said "the only thing I can suggest is you read this, it will help you."

She now alleges I threw the bible at her stomach knowing she was pregnant. This allegation in addition to being unfair and untrue makes me both angry and incredibly sad but because of the seriousness of the allegations Alan and I have decided to hire a solicitor so that he can help drive to a resolution where my name and integrity remain in tact. I would ask you all to pray that we will have wisdom, strength and forgiveness in our hearts for all those that are coming against us and that we will find a solicitor that is a christian and someone that can help us.

This last week we have prayed a ton, cried a ton, stayed in Gods word and have been surrounded by belivers that love us and are praying for us. God is good and trustworthy and faithful at all times and yea though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death we will fear no evil for He is with us.

Thank you for your continued prayers,
Mary & Alan

February 24th

God is good.

Hello everyone,
Just wanted to update you on the latest. Today I was dismissed from Save the Family for my conduct. Two of the statements made were, "it is not appropriate for you to offer your opinion or advice about abortion" for when I told the girl in question that having an abortion was a decision she could regret for the rest of her life and "I am disappointed that you have attempted to impose your religious beliefs on to a resident." said by the CEO when I told the girl in question to read her bible that I thought it could help her.

Alan and I have had problems with the "christianity" ascribed to by this organization since we started and I think God just had enough and wants us out. Thank you all for your prayers and please continue to pray that God will direct our paths for what's next.

Much love,
Mary & Alan

March 16th

Praise God! After a LOT of prayer we have seen God work in amazing ways but there is still a lot of prayer needed.

The latest update on my work situation..

Before I left to come home to Georgia I contacted a lawyer about whether we had a case against Save the Family for dismissing me. The man I spoke to and his wife are very well known solicitors in England and knew Alan through his church so I thought it couldn't hurt to ring them and explain my situation and share with them the contents of the suspension notice, investigation, hearing and dismissal.

After hearing my story the solicitor said I did in fact have a very good case against the company (praise number 1)and that I should move forward with appealing to the Board of Trustees and going to a tribunal if necessary but he said he was not the type of lawyer I needed and that he would put in some calls for me to find me the lawyer I would want to represent me. He said the legal fees for something like this are tremendous and asked if I had legal coverage in my contents and insurance policy. I told him I didn't know but I would check.

Well I called my insurance company and surprisingly enough to both Alan and me we did have coverage (praise number 2) but it only covered the tribunal stage and not the appeal. Anyway, we decided to wait to see who this solicitor found and talk to them and see if they agreed we had a case before proceeding. We have no money to speak of but were trusting the Lord for His guidance and funds if He wanted us to move forward.

A call came in shortly thereafter from a solicitor in London from Christian Concern for our Nation. Here is some information about them:
Christian Concern for our Nation (CCFON) is an organisation that exists to serve the Church by providing information to enable Christians to stand up publicly against a tide of unchristian legal and political changes in the United Kingdom. It brings together focused, policy and media expertise and strategic intervention in order to secure favourable legal and political outcomes in areas of concern. In addition, the organisation acts as a rallying point for those concerned with these issues and a place where individual members of the public and organisations will be able to seek assistance and advice.
The solicitor I spoke with instructed me on how to request an appeal hearing with the board of directors at Save the Family and said we would also request that he be allowed to attend with me. He told me to ask them for time to prepare for the appeal hearing once I returned which I did. In the meantime I was to send him all the paperwork that I had been sent, the complaint letter, suspension notice, dismissal, etc so he could look it over. I got all of that in the mail the night before Alan and I left to come to Georgia.
Yesterday we got back and I had a letter from Save the Family which I opened after a much needed nap from not sleeping for the 21 hours it took us to get back here (gotta love American airlines!). Anyway, the letter said that the appeal hearing was to be on Tuesday the 16th (yes today!) at 9am. So much for any notice or time to prepare.

Well Alan and I ran around for about 5 minutes panicking and then realized - HEY, this does not surprise God! He knew they would not give me time to prepare and that we would not read the letter until five minutes before Save the Family was to close and that we wouldn't be able to get through to them in time, etc. etc. So we stopped, prayed and decided that we would not attend the appeal and instead send an email requesting that it be postponed til we had time to prepare which I did at 11:30 last night. I also asked whether my solicitor could attend with me.

This morning I got email back from the CEO's personal assistant that they would reschedule for me and to let them know when I could do it (praise numbe 3). Then later this afternoon I talked to Mr. Kon from the Christian Concern for our Nation legal centre and he said after reading over everything that I had a very good case against the company (praise number 4) and asked me if they did in fact proclaim that they were a "christian" organization. I said yes and he said, "well that makes your case a lot stronger that the punishment was completely disproportionate to the offense" (praise number 5). I then told Mr. Kon that we hadn't discussed fees and that I had an insurance policy that would hopefully help pay for tribunal stage but didn't know how much it would cost for him to defend me at the appeal hearing and he said that they were FAITH based and that all of their work would be done PRO BONO (praise number 6). Well, I almost cried because my dad had said that it may not be worth fighting if it was going to cost thousands to have lawyers defend me and Alan and I had considered just letting my name be tarnished and wiping the dust off our feet so to speak but with this, we knew God was in it and wanted us to continue moving forward.

Right now I am working on getting Mr. Kon everything that shows that Save the Family is a christian organization so that the things I said to the girl in question would not be considered dismissable offenses. On Save the Family's website it states:
Save The Family is Christian Charity that provides a last chance lifeline for families who find themselves in this crisis situation. We exist to keep whole homeless families together, and help them to rebuild their lives.

It says this and yet today they suspended another christian who has been targeted before for his beliefs and the girl that I led to the Lord that has defended me throughout the investigation was mysteriously kicked out of Sunraye yesterday (the house where I used to work) by the organizations management. She was told she had 10 minutes to leave and that they could do nothing more to help her. She didn't even have time to get her clothes or bible.

Please pray for her, for our fellow christian staff member suspended today and for us as we move forward that God will continue to receive all the glory for everything that happens and that HIS will be done.

In Christ and for Him alone,
Mary & Alan

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