In November 2004 I was living in Leatherhead and signed on with Adecco agency in Leatherhead as a temp (my temp controller was Tristan Hope, a Christian who attended a church that met in a school in Wallington). Tristan’s name reminded me that I needed to “Trust and Hope” in God for employment.
On 6 December (St Nicholas – from whom comes Santa Claus – Day) 2004, my usual temp agency (Recruit in Dorking) sent me to work as a temporary administrator at Priory Healthcare at the “Coach House” (what in biblical days would perhaps have been called a “stable”?) in Salfords, Redhill. Coach House was a rehabilitation place for people recovering from drug and alcohol addiction. Interestingly, there were around 11 residents, one of whom was called “Wes” and another “Lee”.
I finished my temp work at the Coach House on 20 January 2005 and received no further offers of temp work from Recruit in Dorking.
I was a little concerned, as I was living off my savings, but God had shown me a flat to buy in Shirebrook and with the flat had given me the scripture Hebrews 11:6 “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him” and thus I felt that my first priority was to seek God and perhaps I would not be given more work, but that God was giving me this time to get closer to Him.
On week commencing 14 March 2005 (as I was sitting in my car in the car park at Clarendon House in Dorking, waiting for my sister to finish talking to Dr Mawala (her psychiatrist)), I had a call from Tristan Hope at the Adecco agency in Leatherhead. This was the first time I had heard from him since signing on with the agency in November 2004. He phoned to say he had a three month temp booking for me at a pharmaceutical company. Even though I had not worked since 20 January, 2005 and I was a little concerned that my savings were diminishing, I told Tristan that I could not do the booking (this was because of the experience my sister had had over several years of being “treated” with drugs that I believe were harming her). Tristan asked me why I did not want the booking and then guessed it might be on ethical grounds, so I did not need to explain. He then phoned me a few hours later (when I was standing with my sister in the Red Cross charity shop) and asked if I would like a 1 day booking at a firm called “A” Plant Hire on the Friday of that week (18 March 2005). I couldn’t think of any grounds to refuse to work for a plant hire company and agreed to the booking.
The following day I walked from where I was living in Leatherhead to the address given for “A” plant hire (King’s Court, 41-51 Kingston Road, Leatherhead, KT22 7SL), to ascertain if it were feasible for me to walk to the booking and back on the Friday, 18 March. I noted that the organisation on the ground floor of King’s Court was “Witness Systems” and it is as a “witness” that God has called me (Acts 1:8). A witness of the fact that God is living and active in my life and wants everyone to be in relationship with Him: John 3:16 is witness to that.
On my way back home, I saw a friend, Sheila, whom I had met at the 9:00 a.m. prayer meetings that I attended on Mondays to Fridays in Leatherhead. She was sitting at a bus stop opposite the Adecco agency. I sat down on the left of her to chat and tell her what had happened so far that week with the offers of temp bookings from Adecco. She told me that she had no problem with pharmaceutical companies and I told her that was fine, but that I did.
Then a lady I did not know sat beside me on the left hand side and opened up a “Form” book. This is a book for Gamblers, that gives information on previous “form” of racehorses. As members of my mother’s family had problems with gambling, I hated gambling for what it had done to family members. I then smiled to myself, because on either side of me were ladies who were “happy” with things that I believed were “of the devil” and I did not feel that I could convince them otherwise, but I refused to be distressed by it because that would be pleasing to the devil.
I duly went to the booking at “A” plant hire on Friday, 18 March (coincidentally? the 39th wedding anniversary of Anona and Gerald Coates, the leaders of the Church I was led to when I was “born again” in 1994 and the 4th anniversary of my attending the Aglow Conference in Southport where God spoke to me at the Fairfield Hotel about my need to have an intimate relationship with God in order that I would not be intimidated by man).
I rang the bell at the first floor offices of King’s Court and a lady called Trish Bond (who had made the temp booking) answered the door. She had been on holiday the previous day as it was her 50th birthday and she had spent the day in Banstead (coincidentally? where I was brought up from the age of 7 to 21). She was the only person in the office, as the others were out on appointments. She led me to a “reception” desk beside the door into the office suite and I noted that the wall beside the desk looked a little messy (as if a noticeboard had previously been stuck there). As I looked more closely I saw written on the wall the words “Values are Sacred”, “the Temple is Not for Sale”, “The Temple is Holy Because It is Not for Sale”.
I immediately thought of the message of doom from the Bible “the writing’s on the wall” (Daniel 5:1-31) and also, because of the actual wording on this wall in Leatherhead (“Values are Sacred”, “the Temple is Not for Sale”, “The Temple is Holy Because It is Not for Sale”), I felt it was a message specifically for me and was alluding to the fact that I had refused to work at a place – the pharmaceutical company, that my “values” told me I shouldn’t work at. My “values” would have seen it as a form of prostitution to work at a place that was symbolic of the harm done to my sister’s mind. Scripture also tells me that my body (meaning the whole of me rather than just my body) is a temple for the Holy Spirit. The scripture that goes with the words on the wall at “A” plant hire is 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.
It turned out that the “writing” on this particular wall was part of an interior designer’s design for the previous occupants of the office suite (Westminster Healthcare) who were (coincidentally?) in partnership with Priory Healthcare (whose “Coach House” in Salfords I had worked at through Recruit agency in Dorking – my last booking before this one at “A” plant hire). When I looked at the computer I found that there was a label on it from when “A” plant hire had used office removers to move them to King’s Court on 9 October (my ex-husband’s birthday).
Many will tell of the good done by pharmaceuticals, but as Christians we are called to “lay hands on the sick and they will be healed” (Mark 16:17-18) and in John 14:12 Jesus said “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father”. And what did Jesus do and what did he tell his disciples (and Christians are his modern day disciples) to do (Matthew 10:8) “heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers and cast out demons”. Why are we Christians relying on pharmaceuticals (the root of which “pharmakeia” has been given a meaning of witchcraft, sorcery) to cure people like my sister, when we have been given clear scriptural references to God using us? It is not logical and even feels like it may be disobedient to run to pharmaceuticals rather than running to God.