Archive for the Christine “Clarity” McDonald Category

Church on the Corner… Christine McDonald

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald with tags , on February 26, 2021 by paulthepoke

There were two churches on the corner where I worked, one right by where I stood, and the other directly across the street from it. There was a third church just a block away, down the hill.

Three churches, all of different denominations, two of which often called the police on me. I respected them and chose not to stand on their corners on Wednesday nights or Sunday mornings during hours when they had cars and churchgoers. One of these three churches allowed me refuge from time to time, never calling the police or telling me to get away from their property, though they certainly didn’t condone behaviors such as mine, either.

In fact, this little church just off Independence Avenue never once ran me off. One time I was sitting outside of it, getting high, when an individual pulled up. I immediately stopped getting high. This individual got out of the car and smiled at me. I remember looking directly at the ground.

architectural photography of white and green church bell tower under clear sky
Photo by Dan Whitfield on Pexels.com

I’m sure it was my shame that motivated that almost instinctive response to individuals who tried to look me in the eye. She walked toward me and said hello. She mentioned her name, but I don’t remember it now. I was standing by now, walking off the parking lot. However, she invited me in. I remember her saying, “All are welcome.” The other two churches never did that. I knew I was not welcome in their buildings, and no one in all the years from either of those churches had ever said hello.

But this little white church had given me shelter many times. I would huddle by the front door out of the rain and out of the wind. When I tried to seek shelter from rain or snow under the awnings of the other two churches, they were quick to call the police on me.

The church on the corner of Independence Avenue and Spruce knew me well. At least I suppose they did. I was there, after all, almost daily for many years. I began to pray on the steps of that church, “If there is a God, may He hear my request to end my life today.” Simple as it was, I prayed it daily. I believed that my friends who had been murdered had found their out of this life, and that death would be my only out as well. I prayed and prayed, “The next car I get in, let that driver be the one that ends my life.”

The days and nights continued. They seemed endless. I had lost all track of time, even the year. Just endless hopelessness, a very dark place to be. Until something shifted…

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/

My Introduction to God… Christine McDonald

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald with tags , , , , , on February 12, 2021 by paulthepoke

I understand the kind of rage that can bring you to the brink of taking a life. I also understand today the profound intervention of God preventing my ability to act on that rage, even when the opportunity was presented.

I have shared experiences, and thoughts, of my journey. I hope I have brought some insight that you hadn’t considered before. By understanding the life of a prostituted or homeless or addicted individual a little bit better, I believe our compassion toward those individuals can grow.

I believe I have succeeded in debunking the Pretty Woman scenario of prostitution for all who have read this book. And just because another person’s situation doesn’t look like scenes from the movie Taken, it doesn’t mean he or she isn’t a victim. An individual’s vulnerabilities may be exploited in any number of ways. Exploitation in general is too complex to exhaustively define or discuss in one book. It is my hope, however, that your personal perceptions of victimization, abuse, and exploitation have expanded to include those who are often ignored completely.

I pray I have been able to help you develop empathy for these souls. My journey was not an exception to the rule. My story is a reflection of a common and present reality of thousands, if not millions, of others.

I hope you have been challenged to look beneath the surface of these individuals and ask yourself: How did this person get here? I hope you can set aside judgment and pursue genuine interest in that particular individual’s story. Every person has a story.

Now I would like to share a little of my personal God experience and journey, and the events that led to His introduction into my life. It is clear that He was present throughout my journey, or I wouldn’t be sitting here in my living room writing this book for you to read. While I was unaware at the time, looking back, I know He kept me. The odds were certainly stacked against me. I should have died out there.

I worked Independence Avenue and Spruce. Many of my friends were murdered during my years on those streets. I believed they had somehow found their out. After I tried to get help a few times, I quit fighting my situation. As I’ve shared throughout this book, I would reach out only to be victimized in a different way. After so many years in darkness, the only thing I had real hope for was an end to my life.

I had heard the preaching from the church folks at the soup kitchens. They reminded me of how wicked and evil individuals like me were, but they assured me that if we repented, we wouldn’t die in the flames of Hell.

I knew nothing about a compassionate, loving God who loves us so much that He sent His only begotten Son to die for us, knowing we would be a mess. I had never heard of the God who generously gives grace and forgiveness.

After all of the beatings, rapes, drugs, malnutrition, lack of sleep, and exhaustion of being homeless, I was resigned to the fact that I was all on my own. The reality I lived was all there really was.

For the longest time, I believed I was a renegade. But the reality is, I was used up and my body was riddled with scars. My soul was tormented. No man/pimp wanted me to work for him anymore. I was used up and discarded even by the lowest of the lower class of street pimps.

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/

Divine Intervention… Christine McDonald

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald with tags , , , on January 22, 2021 by paulthepoke

Contrary to what we may have been taught to think, unnecessary and unchosen suffering wounds us but need not scar us for life. It does mark us. What we allow the mark of our suffering to become is in our own hands. —bell hooks

Corrie Ten Boom, a Dutch Christian who helped many Jews escape Nazi Germany before being captured herself, once wrote, “There is no pit so deep, that God’s love is not deeper still.” In her book The Hiding Place, she tells stories of flea−ridden work rooms in the concentration camp that were so grossly infested that the Nazi guards wouldn’t enter. Because of this, she was able to tell others of God’s love without being interrupted.

There is no darkness that can hide us from His gaze, and no earthly journey that can truly carry us away from
His heart. He watches, provides, pursues, and waits for each of us. Then, as we look back over the course of our lives and give the light a chance to shine on areas we had previously written off to the dark, we discover He was with us all along.

Esther 4:14 says, “If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?”

Once we make the discovery that our life has purpose, regardless of how we’ve lived up to that point, we can begin to walk out on a whole new journey with a fresh passion. We are all granted a choice. We can keep doing as we have always done, or we can choose the path intended for us and designed for us all along. Who knows if perhaps you were made for such a time as this?

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/

Blessings in Blindness… Christine McDonald

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald with tags , , , on January 8, 2021 by paulthepoke

Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

My blindness proved this promise true in my life. My blindness taught me how God created us to work together as a whole for Him and His work. In no way do I see that as a punishment. I learned to see people without the clutter of visual judgment.

Faith believes in something you can’t see or touch. You just know that you know that you know that you know. Grace is getting what you don’t deserve, and mercy is not getting what you do deserve.

When I was sighted, I lived in such a deep darkness. No words can explain it fully. Today my life is full of light. Do I still have hurt? Yes. But God has taken every experience of my journey—prostitution, addiction, prison time, abuse, violence, all of it—and restored me to such a place that I can now help others. Those very experiences provide me with a point of connection to those trapped in the middle of such lives and those on the other side. I get to help these individuals understand what their lives can truly look like.

God has used all of the trauma and the disparity to shape me in so many ways. He has given me a unique voice to lead others to see the underbelly of our society more clearly and help them find ways to better serve these individuals. He has used my experiences to break my heart for the kinds of things that break His. For that I am thankful.

blindfolded woman with a candle
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

I have invisible scars I will forever carry, but my God is so amazing that when those things are placed in His hands, He can provide healing, love, and restoration. He can change hearts and mend wounds and hurts. He is far better at it than I am. I mean, let’s look at the gravity of it for real.

God is the Creator of all, the King of the entire universe. If He can forgive my mistakes, if He can wipe my slate clean and see the good in me, if He is for me, then who can be against me? I can’t allow human beings who can’t see me as He sees me to inflict harm to my heart as I follow His path for me. After all, it was not a human being who kept me safe on the streets. It was not a human who recovered me from the hopelessness, disparity, and suffering. It was God. I couldn’t see that while in the middle of it all. But I see it now. He was there. He is why I survived.

Being blind has its challenges. I had to relearn everything I ever knew. However, what I knew was defective; it was broken. I mean, I lived in a park outdoors, digging in trash cans and urinating outside. I slept in dirt and washed with random water hoses as I’d sneak into people’s backyards. So, I missed out on a lot of seeing stuff—like what was in stores, or what “normal” things looked like. But take me to my old hood, and I have the visions engraved in my memory; just as my skin holds my scars, my mind holds my trauma.

Because of many of my experiences on this earth, I truly struggled with hope, love, trust, and faith. However, the loss of my sight is something I see as a tool to draw me closer to God and better understand Him. It helps bring me to a place to receive Him as the guiding eyes in my life.

So my blindness grew me. My blindness helped me see. It truly was a blessing. While it is something tragic to some, something others see as a punishment, to me, it is a gift. I am not saying that living without sight isn’t a challenge. It is a nuisance, for sure. But I have vision without sight. I know many sighted who have not learned to walk in faith, and I know many sighted who have neither vision of hope nor the ability to see. Frankly, it is a much greater travesty to live without the vision of hope than to live without physical sight.

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/

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/

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