Archive for the Christine “Clarity” McDonald Category

Literally By Faith… Christine McDonald

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

In John 20:29, Jesus said, “So you believe because you have seen with your own eyes. Even better blessings are in store for those who believe without seeing.” (I really like the way the Message translates this.)

Every day I think of my life and its journey. Every day I am so blessed by God’s amazing grace in my life. I am so humbled by the gifts of His grace in blessings He has presented to me.

In no way am I worthy of some of the gifts He has blessed me with. I have learned that humans continue to judge me by my past mistakes, but my God, who is so much greater, has forgiven me. He has wiped my slate clean.

I once had a conversation with an old friend, a strong believer in Christ. This person asked if I thought that my losing my eyesight and having my eyes removed was a punishment for my mistakes.

I suppose we can look at John 9:1–23 for the answer. This is the story of the man who was born blind. The disciples ask Jesus if the man had been born blind due to his parents’ sins. Jesus heals the man and says that the man was here for this time, to be healed. But it was not about the man’s physical blindness; it was about the world’s spiritual blindness.

Had I not been where I was on my own personal walk with Christ at the time of this conversation, the whole notion of my blindness being a punishment might have taken hold of me in a very negative way. I know many disabled persons, many addicts, ex–felons, former or current homeless, current prostituted persons, many hurting and broken people who struggle with God because they have well–meaning Christians ask such questions. These people desperately need to understand God’s hope, light, and love. To someone like this who doesn’t have a strong understanding of God, well, this kind of conversation can be very harmful. It can push the people who need Him most away from the chance for hope, light and the love of Christ!

Needless to say, I had to pause before answering such a question. I laughed and said my blindness was one of the most amazing blessings I had ever received. It was part of what led me to trust Him. It is what allowed me to trust people as I had trusted no one in my sighted life. When I was newly blind, I had to trust strangers to get me to the bathroom. I had to trust strangers in order to get around as I learned how to navigate the world blindly. I learned to walk in faith. For the first time in my life, I learned to be interdependent with others. I had no choice but to put each step and each day in God’s hands. My blindness brought me to God and taught me about faith.

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/

Blind, But Now I See… Christine McDonald

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald with tags , , , , , on November 7, 2020 by paulthepoke

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost
But now am found
Was blind but now I see.
—John Newton, “Amazing Grace”

Are you a glass half full or a glass half empty person? Do you look at that glass and feel panic and awareness that it’s nearly empty, or do you look at the glass and celebrate that you still have half of it left? Perspective is everything.

When we consider the battles we face in life, our victories can often be attributed to our attitude even more than the outcome of the situation. It is normal for some crises to initially overwhelm us, but we don’t have to stay there in that place.

Jesus gave us a perfect example when He faced the cross. In the Garden of Gethsemane, He called out to the Father in anguish, knowing His time was nearly over. He says, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me.…”(Luke 22:42, NIV) He shows us that it isn’t a sin to wish away our circumstances for a moment. However, He doesn’t leave it there. He goes on in the same verse to say, “Yet not my will, but yours be done.” He reconciles Himself to God’s great will for His life, for the sake of all of humanity.

The same is true for you. We may not always understand why something happens, but we can be assured that God has a plan for our lives that includes every circumstance we encounter.

Photo by Simon Matzinger on Pexels.com

Paul found God’s perfect peace by loosening his grip on every fleshly aspect of life and holding on tightly to Christ alone. In Philippians 4:12–13, he writes, “I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” (NLT)

At the end of the day, our personal relationship to the One who made us is truly all that matters. God loves us so much that He will allow a shift in our comfort zones so that we might find Him and draw nearer to Him. What will it take for Him to fully and completely win your heart?

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/

Property Purchased for Christine’s Place

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald with tags , , , on October 26, 2020 by paulthepoke

The following quotes are from Christine McDonald. She was recently interviewed in an article for http://northeastnews.net/

Local effort seeks to end prostitution ‘from all angles’ was written by Abby Hoover on October 23, 2020.

http://northeastnews.net/pages/local-effort-seeks-to-end-prostitution-from-all-angles

“I guess it’s multi-faceted, number one, the girls have a place to go consistently to take a shower, grab a sandwich. They have needs, their challenges that got them into the places where they’re at oftentimes have left them excluded and invisible, or dropped through the cracks of systems and institutions.”

“The reality is, if we didn’t have buyers, we wouldn’t have traffickers exploiting our most vulnerable.”

“We’ve been trying to arrest our way out of this, and that hasn’t worked. [The prostitutes] go in, they get arrested, they move them to another corner, and then we create insurmountable barriers by giving them a criminal record that when it is time to get out, nobody wants to rent to them, nobody wants to hire them, nobody.”

“I’d never had a job and when I tried to get some services when I was in my 30’s, people had told me that my arrest record was too long. I had felony convictions and my chances at success were too small because my barriers were too huge.”

“Even a sandwich comes at a cost, even something as simple as going to sleep in safety comes at a cost, or the privilege of having healthcare, being treated, comes at a cost, and whether that’s your body being exploited or whether that’s a monetary cost, the rest of the world doesn’t operate in that same way.”

“You can choose to come in here and you can choose to go back out, but hopefully every time you choose to come back in, you’re reassured that you are worth a pathway out.”

“If we could start shifting those conversations about, ‘We need to do something about these girls’ to, ‘We need to understand there are men driving from all over the state and across the state line, other counties, to pay for these girls. Some of these girls grew up in Northeast and now they’re being paid for by people who are not necessarily from the Northeast community.” -Christine McDonald

Christine McDonald is working with Relentless Pursuit Outreach and Recovery in Kansas City, MO. Their location is at the corner of Independence and Quincy Avenues.

https://www.rpor.org/our-story

Below are links and highlights to Kansas City’s Memorial to Sex Trafficked Individuals at Lykins Park.

https://www.kcur.org/arts-life/2020-10-22/first-memorial-to-survivors-of-sex-trafficking-to-be-unveiled-at-lykins-square-park-in-kansas-city

~

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/

Kansas City Trafficking Initiative, Christine’s Place

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

Relentless Pursuit presents Christine’s Place. Our Drop In Center and Crisis Shelter will be located at 5102 Independence Avenue in Kansas City, MO.

Our Drop In Center will be a safe, non judgmental place for prostituted people from all backgrounds and races.

We will provide for their basic needs: hot meals, showers, hygiene supplies, access to washers and dryers for laundry, clean clothes from our clothing closet, and access to health care support.

We will provide: someone to talk to for mental health needs, help in finding shelter or investigate housing options, connect with job search and employment assistance, access to computers, phones, and mail.

Our crisis center will be a safe haven for individuals recovering from trafficking situations by law enforcement.

We will assist in the stabilization to the point of transitional housing or long term residential sheltering.

https://www.rpor.org/

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/

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.

~

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/

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