Archive for the Christine “Clarity” McDonald Category

Fight Human Trafficking… Christine McDonald

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald with tags , on September 17, 2020 by paulthepoke

Excerpts taken from…

Art Installation to Memorialize Victims of Human Trafficking in Lykins Park, By Abby Hoover 

A permanent public art installation is in the works for Lykins Square Park memorializing victims of human trafficking. The memorial will consist of four lighted panels of painted Venetian glass created by artist Hasna Salam.

Salam got the idea for the installation about two years ago when her friend told her about Christine McDonald, a blind survivor of commercial sexual exploitation in Northeast, who now works to bring awareness through telling her story.

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Join us for our Fitness Fundraiser!! Thank you Sheri Pettit and The Port KC Fitness and Performance for hosting an all age/all fitness levels workout on Sept 26th at 10 a.m. for Relentless Pursuit to help raise awareness against human trafficking here in KC!! Everyone is welcome!! Come out and help support a local organization that is fighting this horrible epidemic right here in KC!! Donations can also be made at our website www.rpor.org

#berelentless#relentlesspursuit#sextraffickingishappeninginyourbackyardtoo

https://paulthepoke.com/2020/08/21/into-the-light/

Contact Information:
Christine C. McDonald
636-487-8986
Christine.CryPurple@gmail.com

“Love your neighbor, all of ’em.” -Christine Clarity McDonald

Through The Eyes of Grace –Christine C McDonald 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEj5RbFpuzjx_CuksAqgyXA/featured

https://crypurplemovie.com/

Healing from Hooker Hill… Christine McDonald

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald with tags , , , on September 5, 2020 by paulthepoke

Hopelessness, helplessness, and victimization can’t be narrowly defined, as proven by this conversation between two ultimately courageous human beings… These conditions exist across the broad spectrum of humanity, and there is only one place to find peace: from the Prince of Peace. —Mike Low (in response to the social media blurb I wrote about the following experience)

Only our God could have facilitated such an encounter. I think of these moments not only as winks from God, but as confirmation that folks are being reached from both sides. If I had not walked the path that I did, God could not have used me in the way that He has.

I spoke at a statewide summit on recovery practices held at a university. Among the other speakers were some people who were well–respected in my state and nationally. After I spoke, I was moved by the extended standing ovation from the audience. Even today, after having been honored with a number of them, such an ovation causes me to tremble in my soul. It is an extremely humbling and tremendous honor, moving me beyond words.

Soon after leaving the stage, I was approached by a woman. She informed me that she was not a professional but had her own reasons for attending the conference—reasons which she did not, at that moment, disclose. She asked me questions about the years I worked the streets in Kansas City, Missouri. She had seen photos of my mug shots. She shared that she lived halfway down the block of Independence Avenue and Spruce, a corner I had been known for working.

She said she and her son had lived there for a number of years. She described how the traffic from the working women kept her son up many nights. I said I was sorry for that experience for her and her family and her son. I validated her feelings.

She relayed that she hadn’t felt safe there. She went on to talk about the men picking up women, the women fighting with their pimps, the police stings, the beatings from the pimps, the numerous scenes she and her son had witnessed in their day–to–day life. Our trauma had become their demons.

As she spoke, she touched my hands. I rested my other hand on top of hers as she continued to speak. She remembered me very well. She remembered driving past me as she went home; she also remembered seeing me on the corner when her son would be getting off the school bus. She recalled watching me lose weight. She remembered the disruption in their home due to the women working that place we called Hooker Hill.

Then she paused, and I heard her sniffle. She gripped my hand and asked me for a hug. She confessed that she never saw past the prostitutes on that corner back then. She hadn’t understood their lives. While listening to my story and my words and watching the impact it had on the professionals who worked with criminals, she watched the crowd engage with every word. She said she saw hope in their eyes.

She thanked me for showing her that change and hope are possible among a population she had previously viewed as hopeless. She was glad I had survived and made it to the other side. She said she was honored to have met me.

We were each validated that day, but for different reasons. The conversation gave us both a chance to heal. Although I don’t remember her from my days on the streets, I do remember the school bus turning the corner. We would step back from the walkway as children would run past us, staring or calling us names or pointing at us.

There was a clear separation between us and the individuals who lived on the very streets where we had existed for years. Never once did we speak to them, nor they to us. Yet we were an everyday part of one another’s lives.

That day in that crowded university, a small chip of wholeness was restored, I believe, for the both of us. Only God’s divine direction could have facilitated such an encounter. Here we both were, so many years after I had worked that corner. It is almost unimaginable that we would encounter each other, miles away from Kansas City, in the most unexpected of places.

I believe that restoration takes on many facets. Wholeness comes in large pieces and small chips. Each one is equally valuable and necessary. That day I felt a connection to a stranger whom I had lived close to for the eight years she and her little boy lived in that house on Hooker Hill. One more little chip of healing took place.

Never underestimate the value of one small act, one simple glance, or one brief conversation. When God prompts your heart to reach out and touch another, do it. In responding, you might be part of the healing in someone
else’s life—not to mention your own.

Contact Information:
Christine C. McDonald
636-487-8986
Christine.CryPurple@gmail.com

“Love your neighbor, all of ’em.” -Christine Clarity McDonald

Through The Eyes of Grace – Christine C McDonald https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEj5RbFpuzjx_CuksAqgyXA/featured

https://crypurplemovie.com/

Into the Light

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald, Culture with tags , , , , , , on August 21, 2020 by paulthepoke

Exodus 20:2 I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.

“Into the Light” is a project that Hasna Sal has been working on for the past 2 years and now we can all see this project come to life very soon! Inspired by the story of survivor Christine McDonald, this is the first memorial in the nation for victims and survivors of modern day human slavery; those caught in vicious circles of poverty, addiction and human trafficking, and also to those who minister to them.

This memorial is to confront the perpetrators of this heinous crime.

https://glassconcepts360.com/

Comprised of 4 glass panels, each telling a story of isolation, damnation, redemption and salvation; this installation “Into the Light”, will be installed at Lykins Park, KCMO this fall.

Glass Concepts 360 has also donated their sculptures for this cause to Habitat for Humanity, and has helped raise funds for this project.

We want to thank the following agencies and municipal departments whose approval and support have made this project possible: Habitat for Humanity, Lykins Neighborhood Association, Art Commission of Kansas City, Kansas City Parks and Recreation, St. Michael the Archangel Church in Leawood, KS.

Special Shoutout to Director of Sacred Art at SMC Kevin Vogt; Outreach Director of HFH, Jude Huntz; Executive Director of LNA Gregg Lombardi; Art Commissioner of Kansas City, MO, James Martin; Kansas City Parks and Rec Commissioner, Scott Wagner and all the others who have made this project possible.

Where nobody knows and nobody goes, except the forgotten. Take a journey with glass artist & architect Hasna Sal as she explores Lykins Park, situated in the shadows of bustling, thriving Kansas City, MO. In a park that has suffered cases of gun violence, crack addiction and prostitution, Hasna presents a 4 panel glass installation for the public. Listen to Hasna’s story on Lykins Park Project.

We are very grateful to the group of donors who have generously contributed to the budget of this project. Without them, this project would never have succeeded.

We are so grateful to see artists of different genre coming forward to collaborate and donate their time on this project.

Hasna & the entire team at Glass Concepts 360 are doing this project pro bono, for the greater good of our community, with the hope that this will raise the awareness towards this issue and help fight this crime.

We hope to see you all at the groundbreaking ceremony, showing your support for this very special cause and event.

https://glassconcepts360.com/

Healing Chips… Christine McDonald

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald with tags , , , , on August 15, 2020 by paulthepoke

But the man who is not afraid to admit everything that he sees to be wrong with himself, and yet recognizes that he may be the object of God’s love precisely because of his shortcomings, can begin to be sincere. His sincerity is based on confidence, not in his own illusions about himself, but in the endless, unfailing mercy of God. —Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island

When we give our healing to God and trust in His ways and timing, truly anything can happen. He graciously considers our wounds and gently leads us through healing at a pace that is in our best interest. Sometimes it comes quickly and even painfully, but then we recover that much faster. Other times, it seems as though healing will never come, and perhaps we even quit searching for it.

As we go about our days, we tend to focus on where we are in the moment. Yet in Scripture, we constantly see the writers looking back on what God has done in the past to remind them of what He may yet do in the future. In the following story, we see a healing moment that came in an instant, but had been a long time coming. We can never grow enough in the areas of patience and grace.

My journey of healing began years before I was free from life on the streets. My journey of healing began the moment God dreamed me up in His heart. This is true of each of us. Our journeys aren’t relegated to one moment. Our lives are stories that ebb and flow; each of us is who we are today because of all the days that came before.

As you reach out to the hurting and broken around you, remember that you are a piece of God’s plan. Loving people right here and right now is all He asks of you. Those moments of compassion and love that you give build and build into a story you couldn’t have conceived on your own.

Contact Information:
Christine C. McDonald
636-487-8986
Christine.CryPurple@gmail.com

“Love your neighbor, all of ’em.” -Christine Clarity McDonald

https://crypurplemovie.com/

Choices and Outcomes… Christine McDonald

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald with tags , , , on August 8, 2020 by paulthepoke

My choices that day haunted me for years. After I got clean and was in college, I attempted to find information about my daughter. No luck. I had abandoned her. If her adoptive family had told her she was adopted, I might have a chance to connect with her when she was an adult. I prayed that if it was God’s will, it would happen.

Then one day it happened. I got a private message. I had been in the hospital for a number of weeks, unable to walk due to complicated medical issues. I was reviewing my dozens of messages, and there it sat: a private message introduction from the woman who had adopted my little girl.

She knew who I was. She said she had kept track of me for a while. She said that little girl knew who I was, too. I wept.

I was facing life–threatening situations, and yet a long–held prayer was being answered. I finally knew she was okay, she was safe, and, most of all, she was loved. But I had not met her and wasn’t sure if that would happen.

Then one day, in August 2015, I was preparing to speak to a room of about 200 individuals about human trafficking. A woman approached me and said, “Hello. I’m the woman who adopted your little girl.”

I paused, and my heart skipped a beat. Then I heard another voice say, “And I’m your little girl.”

“What?!” That is all I could say. I stood and asked if I could touch her. Was this real? Could it be? It was indeed.

It was time for my presentation. I told them both I wasn’t sure I could speak for 90 minutes and not share what had just happened. I asked if they were okay with my sharing about them being there. They said of course.

About four or five minutes into my speech, I could hardly talk. I was trembling. I had to share. So, to that room of strangers, in that church, I shared the blessing from God with all in attendance. We all wept together. And we all rejoiced together.

The courage that my baby’s adoptive mom, who I am proud to call friend, had to bring her that day astounds me. She gave me the chance to meet that little baby I had fallen in love with so long ago. I know today, without a doubt, that I made the best choice I ever could have for her little life.

One thing I have learned is that if I continue trying doing the best I can, God is faithful. He throws amazing situations, and gifts such as this one, to confirm His grace and presence in my life. Although mankind still judges me, holding against me the stigmas of my past, the Creator of All continues to shower me with love and grace.

We have had chances to visit a few times and to continue to grow and get to know one another. I am truly humbled that God would find me worthy of such a gift. I am excited to be a part of her life, and am continually thankful that God used this as a piece of healing for me—as well as, hopefully, for her.

Contact Information:
Christine C. McDonald
636-487-8986
Christine.CryPurple@gmail.com

“Love your neighbor, all of ’em.” -Christine Clarity McDonald

https://crypurplemovie.com/

Running From Emotions… Christine McDonald

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald with tags , , on July 31, 2020 by paulthepoke

I wasn’t sure what to do. The only person who I knew would show up for me without a doubt was a drug dealer. Not because he cared about me, but because he liked the money I brought in.

I called him and we made small talk. A couple of hours later, there he was with a change of clothes, and, like any good drug dealer, he brought me a pipe and some crack. A motivator. He knew, as I did, that if I took that hit I’d be making money really soon to keep the crash at bay. He said he had some folks in his car, so he couldn’t offer me a ride, but he congratulated me on the baby, said she was real cute, and said he’d see me in a couple of days.

I continued to hold her for a bit. She clutched my finger. She seemed so peaceful.

My mind was racing. The more she stayed on my chest, the harder it would be for me to do what I needed to do. I couldn’t be a mother to her. I had no idea where to even begin. I had nowhere to go and no one to call.

I had to be strong. Many have said my choice was selfish. I, however, feel I made the best choice I could with the information I had at the time. I could give her the best by letting someone else in a better place care for this little life so she’d have hope for a future. Hope. Something that was so foreign to me.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I went into the bathroom in my hospital room and put on the clothes. I was careful as always when positioning myself in front of the mirror not to look myself in the eye. Then I brushed my teeth and put my hair in a rubber band. I found in the hospital room. I reentered the bathroom, shut the door, and got high. I exhaled and opened the bathroom door. I stood over the bassinet of that little life. I touched her hand again, and she gripped it. I bent over her and kissed her forehead and told her I loved her, but I was
too broken to be a part of her life.

I returned to the bathroom, closing the door behind me in shame, and got high again. I had to leave. My heart couldn’t take the pain.

I stepped out of the bathroom, looked at the little baby, and cried some more. I kissed her forehead one last time and wished her the best of life. Then I walked out of the hospital room, down the hallway to the elevator. I hadn’t even been released yet. That wasn’t supposed to happen until the following day.

There was a desk in the ER, and I knew that if you needed a ride, they’d take you for free. I requested a ride to the Avenue. I was dropped off in the heart of the hood. I had just abandoned my little girl, and now I was running to escape my emotions.

To be continued…

Contact Information:
Christine C. McDonald
636-487-8986
Christine.CryPurple@gmail.com

“Love your neighbor, all of ’em.” -Christine Clarity McDonald

https://crypurplemovie.com/

“You’re released” Christine McDonald

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald with tags , , on July 24, 2020 by paulthepoke

At last, the phone rang. The guard answered. “It’s for you,” she said. It was the judge.

“You’re released,” he said. “The baby is drug free. You’ll be unshackled right away. Someone from the county will bring you the clothes you were wearing when you were brought in.”

I hung up the phone.

The guard said, “I’ll get your clothes back to you as quickly as I can.”

“Really? You think they’re going to fit?”

She laughed. “Well, maybe not. But we’re not social workers here. We detain the arrested. Surely you can call someone.” She paused. “You need anything?”

“A soda with caffeine would be wonderful,” I said.

She brought me that, said “Congratulations,” and left.

The guard arrived with my clothes and the 96–cent check I had on my books. The clothes didn’t fit. Meanwhile, the woman handling the birth certificate had entered the room. She said, “Surely you want to call her something other than Baby Girl McDonald.”

I picked up the little girl and said, “Jasmine, because she smells so sweet.” I laid her on my chest, listening to her breath, feeling her heartbeat. “Jasmine Nicole.” I signed the birth certificate.

The nurse said I’d be released from the hospital the following day. That would give me another day of rest and a little extra time to figure out what I was going to do.

I held the baby and cried, telling her how I had grown attached to her little kicks in my tummy and would miss her. I explained to her that I was too much of a mess to care for her. My experiences with service providers had been rather jaded. It seemed from my past experiences that there was simply no help for people like me. I did not know how to live, I did not see hope for help, and I could not risk messing up her life; mine was so useless, so dark, so tainted. Desperate to ensure that my brokenness would not damage her little life, I would leave her in the hospital. I told the sweet, warm little girl that they would find someone much better to be her parent, and that I would never forget her. My tears flowed freely.

To be continued…

Contact Information:
Christine C. McDonald
636-487-8986
Christine.CryPurple@gmail.com

“Love your neighbor, all of ’em.” -Christine Clarity McDonald

https://crypurplemovie.com/

The Gift of Life… Christine McDonald

Posted in Christine "Clarity" McDonald with tags , , , , on July 17, 2020 by paulthepoke

Then I went into labor. I remember them shackling my ankles to the bed in the delivery room, and the nurse asking, “Do you guys really have to do that?”

The officer said, “She’s ours until that baby comes out and we get the stool sample from the baby to see if it’s positive for cocaine.”

The guard from the county who was with me knew me from my many times in and out of the county jail. While I was in labor she asked me, “So what are you going to do after the baby arrives?”

I said, “I’m homeless. You know I can’t care for a child.” Besides, I was not aware of services.

Sadly, as I look back over my experiences in the years thereafter, I realize that if you aren’t aware of what services you need, they aren’t always offered up freely. So, teaching individuals how to be their own self–advocates is vital. I didn’t even understand that there were services for me to ask for. Who knows if I would have been considered for any of them if I had asked? Regardless, the professionals in contexts like hospitals and courts should freely provide information of suitable services for hurting individuals. This is their right, no matter how far gone they are and no matter how long their brokenness has existed in their life. Everyone should be given enough information to make choices to have help or not. Everyone deserves a fighting chance.

Photo by Rene Asmussen on Pexels.com

The big baby arrived at last: 9 pounds, 8 ounces. “It’s a girl,” they said.

The doctor said, “Hey, can you take off these shackles? She’s not getting up for a while.”

The guard complied, and then she moved to the other side of the room, close to the door. She picked up the phone and called the judge, then handed the phone to me. The judge said, “Well, honey, the baby is a good, healthy size. I’ll be in touch again when the stool sample comes back.”

After I was cleaned up and showered, I was shackled to the bed again. The baby was in my room. I remember holding her and smelling her.

“You got family?” the nurse asked.

“Not around here,” I answered.

It took some 36 hours for the poop test to be done. There was also a huge amount of paperwork to be taken care of, so I was in the hospital for about two and a half days after the baby was born.

For two and a half days, that little baby shared a hospital room with me, gripping my finger and sleeping on my chest. The nurses would wake me and suggest I place her in her bassinet, but every time I said, “Not yet.” The baby was so warm and smelled so sweet. I shed tears when I spoke to her while I fed her.

To be continued…

Contact Information:
Christine C. McDonald
636-487-8986
Christine.CryPurple@gmail.com

“Love your neighbor, all of ’em.” -Christine Clarity McDonald

https://crypurplemovie.com/

Have A Nice Rest… Christine McDonald

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald with tags , , , , on July 11, 2020 by paulthepoke

In the mornings I was throwing up, in the afternoons I was throwing up, and in the evenings I was throwing up. I’d try to eat, and would just throw up. I was picked up by the police a few weeks later in a sting operation. By this point I was almost five months along.

When I went to court, they didn’t have enough on me to keep me or convict me, because I hadn’t taken the money or even negotiated the price for my services. Plus, the officers had not shown up in court to assist in the prosecution. So the charges were dropped.

However, the judge told me, “You won’t be released.”
“What do you mean?” I asked.
He explained that I was being held without charges, but the baby I was carrying was being protected from me. I would remain in custody until the birth of the baby.
“You can’t do that,” I said. “You can’t hold me without charges.”
“Lady, I just did,” was his answer.

I had been in jail for about two weeks before I went to court. They had confirmed I was pregnant, given me double meal trays and vitamins, and sent me to a prenatal appointment at the local hospital.

I see now they were holding me for that court date, collecting information and waiting for me to reach five months. At five months, the fetus is considered a human life and not just a fetus. The baby is considered viable and has a chance at life if born that early. Taking the baby into custody as they did was the best thing they could have done for me or her.

The judge informed the county officers that he was to be notified when I went into labor and again at the time of delivery. Then he said, “Ms. McDonald, at the time of delivery you’ll be free to go if the baby is tested and found to be drug free. But if the baby tests positive for drugs, I promise you that the state will bring charges against you for child endangerment and any other charges I can come up with, and I will encourage maximum sentencing and full prosecution.” Then he looked at me with a smile and said, “You have a nice rest.”

While I was locked up, I was not offered any social services. I just stayed in a cell alone, waiting and waiting. That was in late 2000. I had the baby in March 2001. I remember getting double trays at mealtime to ensure the
baby grew.

I remember drinking gallons of water, too. Following my own mindless logic, I was trying to flush the drugs from the baby’s system.

To be continued…

Contact Information:
Christine C. McDonald
636-487-8986
Christine.CryPurple@gmail.com

“Love your neighbor, all of ’em.” -Christine Clarity McDonald

https://crypurplemovie.com/

God’s Blessing in His Time… Christine McDonald

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald with tags , , on July 3, 2020 by paulthepoke

I’ll share with you a story that shows us how God loves us, how He blesses us in spite of our past mistakes. He always blesses in His timing, and, just as He sometimes answers prayers differently than we may ask. His blessings may not be what we expect, either. We don’t always know what’s best for us.

He knows all. He knows the whole story of our lives. He knows the perfect answer, the perfect blessing, and the perfect time. He is faithful!

I remember being really tired, much more than usual. No matter what I did or how much I slept, I was so tired, just wanting to sleep. I had done drugs for years, but now I found myself crawling under the tables in laundromats at night to just sleep. What was going on with me?

I had been picked up on a ticket and had gone to the city jail. I remember falling to the ground in the police station as they asked me to stand against the wall until my name was called for me to be booked in. I was taken to the emergency room, where they discovered I was dehydrated and severely underweight.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

They came in later and told me I was pregnant. Really? I remember asking, “What did you just say?” They repeated those three life–changing words: “You are pregnant.” I responded, “I can’t be pregnant.” The emergency room professional seemed to be holding back a smirk, replying, “Well, Ms. McDonald, you are a prostitute. Don’t you know how the whole pregnancy thing works?”

I said, rather hatefully, I might add, “I know how it works. I am a prostitute and that is why I cannot be pregnant. How far along am I?”

They told me I was so underweight that it would be hard to tell, but they ordered an ultrasound. They brought me sandwiches and some Sprite, and I waited.

Oh, my gosh, I was thinking, this can’t be real! God only knows who the father is. I sure didn’t have a clue. I’m living in a park, sleeping in empty, abandoned buildings. I can’t be a mother! I didn’t even know what year or month it was.

After the ultrasound, they returned. “We think you’re about 12 to 14 weeks along, but it’s hard to tell.”

At least three months pregnant? Are you kidding me? The jeans I had on were a size zero, and I needed a belt to hold them up.

I was returned to the city jail. I believe I did 10 days, and then I was released. I still reflect back to that time in the emergency room, a place that was not unfamiliar to me. Why didn’t they send a social worker at that time, to offer some services? I believe it was because I was a known homeless prostitute who also suffered with the disease of addiction. I mean, I have worked with a lot of individuals over the years, and the ER staff generally asks if the patient wants to speak to a social worker. Is that because I’m present, so it appears that someone cares for them? Or is it because we have become more understanding of human trafficking and the darkness and many facets of prostituted persons’ lives? I’m not sure…

To be continued…

Contact Information:
Christine C. McDonald
636-487-8986
Christine.CryPurple@gmail.com

“Love your neighbor, all of ’em.” -Christine Clarity McDonald

https://crypurplemovie.com/

Paul the Poke

Habakkuk 1:5 Look among the nations, and see; wonder and be astounded. For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told. -LORD God

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