I've been busier than anticipated and haven't written for a couple of weeks so lots of updating to do.
First I'll say that my appeal against my dismissal was denied on the basis of being able to fire any one for any reason within their first year of employment. What is the most tragic thing is that everyone involved knows I was fired because I was extremely vocal about my faith and because I challenged the leadership of the organization to behave in a Christ-like way. Sometimes it's much easier just to silence your critics than repent and behave as you know you should. The CEO, who is not a christian, has made a lot of bad choices and has struggled. Most we've talked to believe it won't be long before he is forced out. Our lawyers told us we could fight the decision at an employment tribunal and that it was a clear case of unfair and wrongful termination but that given the laws in England we could not anticipate damage awards beyond what STF has already given so we told them we thought it was a waste of their time. We're grieved for the entire organization but we will wipe the dust off our feet and move on to bigger and better things ahead.
Speaking of ahead... Pioneers. Today I am working on our anticipated budget for Germany which is difficult given we will be the first team to locate there. Still, we have to put something together so we can begin raising funds so I'll base it on our budget here in England which will be about right from the comparisons we've seen. Within the next month we hope to get a final interview with Pioneers to get our appointment letter and then God willing raise our funds within 3-6 months so we can go to Germany by the first of the year.
In the meantime I believe God has been telling me to start helping out more in our local church and in one of the ministries out of the church called the Ministry of Food led by the same man who started Pater Noster, a ministry to the people of Romania. This week I have worked two days doing admin stuff for his charity and I will go down all day tomorrow as well. Right now the warehouse is in Liverpool so that's where we operate out of although it's a Wirral based charity. The goal of the ministry is to take unwanted but still good food from food manufacturers that would otherwise end up in landfills and distribute that food to the poor by means of dozens of charities in the Merseyside, Cheshire and Flintshire areas. It's a good ministry that deserves support and I hope that by helping them 1-2 days a week I can alleviate some of their workload.
Alan has decided to stay at STF until we move to Germany but he changes his mind occassionally and would like nothing more than to hand in his notice and be gone in a month. Still I think he can have a ministry there representing true christianity but will support any decision he decides to make. Alans freetime has been consumed with getting his sailboat sea-worthy so he can sail it this summer before he has to sell it when we move to Germany. The boat has cleaned up well and I think it'll be in the water before the end of the month. We got a used outboard for it at a steal of a deal and he was happy about that.
The other big development for us both is our continued involvement with the church. I've started getting more and more involved with the youth through helping with the band practice, the Wednesday night core group and the Friday night activities. They are a great group of students that could turn Birkenhead on its head in the months and years ahead. It'll be exciting to watch them grow in their faith and become the leaders I know they can be. Alan and I also started a prayer group on Sunday morning before church that we hope will grow. We continue to lead our housegroup out of our house on Thursday nights although we never know from week to week how many we'll have. My hope is that God will really move in our church and that more people will come to know the Lord and those that do know Him will be renewed in their walks and feel more joy and peace and relief from suffering. England is a dark place but God still loves this country and wants revival to begin with His church.