Thursday, March 8, 2012

A Special Addition to Mars Hill Refuge

I am excited to announce that Kaelee Bates will be joining me as co-administrator of this blog.  I am grateful that she has offered to come alongside me to share in this journey.  Most of you probably feel like you know her, as she was one of the first to share her story here, and she was also featured in the KOMO News story.  Kaelee shares my passion for all of you.  I personally admire her as she was and is willing to put her face and name out there to speak out against injustice.

Less than two months ago, in response to a comment made at The Wartburg Watch, I decided to share my story about my experience at Mars Hill.  Since I left, I had struggled with what to do with what happened to me.  My husband and I wanted to just forget about it and move on, yet we were both constantly troubled by the idea that if this is what happened to us, are there others?  What about single young women?  What about new Christians who have never had any other church experience? If this or something like it happened to them, would they continue their Christian walk? What kind of damage is this causing to others?  How can we just walk away and be glad that we "dodged the bullet"?

I had already submitted my story several days before it came out.  I simultaneously started this blog, which I thought would be some obscure little piece of the internet. I had no idea that just one day prior to my story being told, that  Matthew Paul Turner  would write about Andrew's sad experience.  I could not have imagined the chain of events that would follow.

Shortly after the release of my story, The Stranger wrote an article about Lance, another person with a story.  In that article, my blog was linked (without my prior knowledge).  This was followed by The Slate Article, which was picked up by the Huffington Post.  Then many of us were contacted to participate in KOMO News Story.

The result of all of this unsolicited publicity following the telling of my story has been a response I couldn't have predicted.  People have come forward with their stories in large numbers.  Some are posted here on the site, and some have been shared privately.  The response has been overwhelming (literally), and each time I have wanted to quit, to walk away from it all, I receive another email telling me their own experience.

I am looking forward to laboring alongside Kaelee and am more encouraged than I have ever been. If you write to us, you may hear back from either or both of us.  Please join me in welcoming her!


  1. Kaelee and Sophia

    I am so happy for the two of you. Deb and I have shared TWW and it sure makes life easier, more fun and provides someone who cares to bounce ideas around. I believe this blog was ordained by God "for such a time as this." Welcome to the often weird yet wonderful world of blogging. Let us know if we can support you all in any way.

  2. Yay, Kaelee!
    Looking forward to your contributions along with Sophia!

  3. Your blog is an inspiration and a comfort.

    It's wonderful that you are standing together to support the many who need support.

    Thank you to you both.

  4. Hello...I am so thankful that we are slowly, but surely getting the truth of what is going on behind closed doors out in the open! I told part of my story a while back on TWW about losing my daughters to Mars Hill...A lot and nothing all at the same time has been happening...None of it good! These young people are being controlled and abused. The place is a baby factory...
    I have been slandered, mentally and emotionally abused...all in the name of Jesus! It is unbelievable, but completely true! We need to keep the light shining red hot on this horrible place! I want my family back...
    Still Keeping The Faith,
    Frankie Ann Joseph