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Exploiting Vulnerability… Christine McDonald

Posted in Christine "Clarity" McDonald, Culture with tags , , , , , , on March 16, 2019 by paulthepoke

The vulnerabilities of others are exploited. These “helping hands” pose as if they are doing a good deed. Yet they exploit the disparity of the poverty of others by paying them a pittance for their labor. They get cheap labor, yet can rest their heads in peace at night because they have done their “good deed” in “helping the homeless.” I have to question the motives. They are not facilitating a chance to break the chains of oppression and poverty that bind these human beings. They are perpetuating them.

By definition, the exploitation of the vulnerabilities of those who have not by those who have is trafficking, whether labor trafficking or sex trafficking. They are exploiting the tough circumstances of poverty, homelessness, maybe mental illness and addiction, for their gain, which is cheap labor or perverted pleasure.

We have to acknowledge the intersection between poverty and homelessness as a place of vulnerability. It puts such individuals on a platform to be trafficked. Males are often labor trafficked, and females fall victim to sex trafficking. The victims often don’t even realize what is truly happening at the time. This is part of the cold injustice of trafficking.

We cannot continue to turn a blind eye to this population. We cannot ignore that they are a target of traffickers who seek victims to exploit for their financial or selfish gain. We must start by recognizing trafficking and exploitation for what they are. Asking another human being to work for less pay than someone else simply because they are poor, homeless, and without other options is labor trafficking, and it is wrong. And asking another human being to perform sexual deeds in order to meet their basic human needs—the needs every person should be entitled to—is sex trafficking, and it is nothing short of grotesque.

Every person is a human being made in the image of God. No matter how desperate a person may be, he or she is not a commodity to be used!

https://www.gofundme.com/crypurplemovie

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

https://crypurplemovie.com/

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Precious in HIS Sight

Posted in Christine "Clarity" McDonald, Culture with tags , , , , , , , on November 16, 2018 by paulthepoke

Christine McDonaldChristine has assisted in writing Federal legislation for block grant dollars to states for Substance Abuse.

Our culture ascribes value to people based on a million things that are never listed or mentioned in the Bible as qualifiers for God’s grace and love. We can have compassion for all of the hurting we encounter. I pray that we are challenged to look, not at the behaviors of the moment, but at the people beneath. I hope we dig a little deeper and begin to fight for people.

Instead of passing judgment on the spot, what if we simply asked, “How did this individual get here, right here at this moment in time?” Then we could ask, “God, what would you have me see and do for this individual, right here at this moment in time?”

To be like Christ, we must look beyond the shell; then we will see a hurting individual and not just a label. Labeling can be just as damning as the objectification practiced by the buyers of sex. Let me reiterate: We are as guilty of objectification and commodifying people as the buyers of sex are when we accept and view people according to labels: “prostitute”, “addict”, “disturbed”, “criminal”, etc. I could continue the list, but I think you get the picture here.

homeless eyes

We must look past the classification to the created person. God knows each one of us so well that He knows the numbers of hairs on our head (Matthew 10:30), so don’t you think He probably knows that guy on the street by name and not as “the addict?”

How do we look beyond the shell? How do we see beneath the surface of those we have a heart for? We have to be intentional, asking God to reveal this to us. We have to be humbled and willing to be uncomfortable.

What can we do? How can we change this? We have to get educated! We have to ask the right questions! And we, as a community, have to shift our views from criminal to hurting individuals for these populations!

Let’s hope eyes will be opened to see these individuals through new eyes, so that together we can make a real difference.

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

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Human Trafficking, Up Close & Personal

Posted in Christine "Clarity" McDonald, Culture, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on August 17, 2018 by paulthepoke

Colossians 4:5–6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

Christine McDonald

Featuring Christine Clarity McDonald

Christine has been recognized by the Missouri House of Representative for outstanding civil service in the state of Missouri. She is an advocate for Mental Health Champions.

Human trafficking is a topic that has been making its way into the mainstream over the last several years. The awareness of this issue is greatly rising, and that is certainly good. As awareness about human trafficking and other marginalized populations—such as the homeless, addicted, and mentally ill—has risen, so has the impulse to address these real problems. People want to know how to help. They want to make a difference.

I have read a number of books about how to help the homeless, the commercially exploited, the prostituted, and those generally marginalized. Some have been written by authors who share their own journey out of these places of darkness and hopelessness. The majority, however, have not.

Most of the literature that exists in this field fails to inform and educate people from an insider perspective. The authors of most of these books do not write from personal experience. They haven’t felt the desperation of trying to find something to grasp hold of to continue living. They haven’t faced the barriers put up by service providers that prevent them from receiving services. They haven’t experienced the social and spiritual disenfranchisements that can occur. While they are well–meaning, I haven’t found these particular books accurate in their depictions, nor were their “helping” suggestions all that helpful.

Human_Trafficking_0

The need for something more true–to–life has stirred in my heart. It is something I have prayed about often. Perhaps a book on this subject should be written by someone who has walked in the very shoes of those we are trying to help. If we can see and understand the journeys the forgotten and overlooked have walked, then we can better understand the rejection, hurt, and struggles they face when people attempt to reach out to them.

And so I find myself writing this book, sharing pieces of my journey and the stories of others I encountered on my journey, to help the world better understand the thoughts, feelings, and struggles of those who have been exploited and marginalized in our society.

“Love your neighbor… ALL of ’em!” -Christine “Clarity” McDonald

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Be Living Water

Posted in Christine "Clarity" McDonald, Culture with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 29, 2018 by paulthepoke

Matthew 25:35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me… -Jesus

Christine McDonald

Featuring Christine “Clarity” McDonald

Christine is a Member of the Missouri State Advisory Council for Behavioral Health & Substance Disorders.

Trigger warning. Do you see them? The unseen all around you?

So yesterday we did street outreach. Every time I hear these words from women when I offer them food…

“I am starving, I have not eaten in days” or “I have been trying to figure out when I was gonna be able to eat again.”

I hear the almost tears as they say thank you for the food. I continually pray I never forget all those years I was hungry. I was just wanting someone to see me, to see my pain, see my hopelessness, my longing to be cared about. I just wanted my simple humanity to be noticed.

There are times when we all want to slip into crowds unnoticed. But there is still a part of us that deeply longs to be known and seen and cared for. Jesus offers this to believers. Being known by the Creator of the Universe is the most profound “knowing” we could possibly experience.

However, the world around us is full of broken individuals who feel invisible because they don’t yet know Christ. The rest of humanity either ignores them or only sees them when they can be used.

water well

In John Chapter 4, we read the story of Jesus and his conversation with the Samaritan woman at the well. The most profound aspect of the story isn’t that Jesus calls her out for being married multiple times. Nor is it that He knows that the man she is currently living with isn’t her husband. What is profound is that He truly knew her. He saw her. Because Jesus was able to see her. When He offered her living water, she believed.

We claim to feel moved by the hurts and sufferings of others. Yet we fail to truly see those who are hurting as individuals. Our efforts to relieve suffering or bring healing fail. Sometimes, such efforts even do more harm.

God doesn’t ask us to take on the world, but to offer the world hope. We are His ambassadors to a hurting world. Being intentional and thoughtful in our interactions can go a long way in offering hope to those in our sphere of influence. What if we open our hearts to Him? Let Him help us see those around us as He does.

Each and every soul on this planet was fearfully and wonderfully made. Each one is a treasure to the One we love most. He is calling us to see them as precious treasures too.

Psalm 139:14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

 

“Love your neighbor… ALL of ’em!” -Christine “Clarity” McDonald

Introducing Christine “Clarity” McDonald

Posted in Christine "Clarity" McDonald, Culture with tags , , , , , , on May 25, 2018 by paulthepoke

Christine McDonaldProstitute. Addict. Homeless. Criminal. Christine “Clarity” McDonald, survivor of human trafficking and author of the memoir Cry Purple, challenges the biases and assumptions we commonly hold about exploited and marginalized populations. Through stories of her own lived experiences, Scripture, thought-provoking commentary, and practical resources, she unveils the humanity of these individuals and helps us to see them through the eyes of Jesus — eyes of grace. In helping us see the humanity of those we often judge or shun, she empowers us to instead reach out with arms of love and a message of hope.

 

Yes, I won’t lie. It makes me feel some kind of way when you are connecting with your Christian circles. You are hurting or in need. And they say, “Everything happens for a reason.” There is a time for that conversation. Sometimes we just need to share empathy… and allow one another to hurt. -Christine “Clarity” McDonald


Christians: When someone has tragedy and your response is “everything happens for a reason,” you make God sound like an asshole. Stop saying that. Not everything that happens is God’s will. He’s not an asshole. -Anny Donewald, CEO & Founder at Eve’s Angels

 

 

 

Homelessness is Rising in America…Featuring Michael Douville

Posted in Michael Douville, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on December 14, 2017 by paulthepoke

Matthew 25:34-40 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’ 

Michael

Homelessness is rising in America. It is going to be worse; much worse. Over 400 “Tent Camps’ have sprung up in the Seattle Area, people are sleeping along walkways, under overpasses, and throughout urban parks; anywhere that might offer a degree of shelter and safety. Over 168,000 people are estimated to be Homeless along the West Coast. In September 2016, almost 58,000 New Yorkers slept in the 5 Burroughs shelters just one cold night. Over 50% of Public School Children qualify for the School Lunch program providing Breakfast and Lunch; often, the only food the children will receive for the day. Indeed, 47% of Americans report feeding their family is a daily concern. Over 1.5 Million American families supplement their diets with visits to the local Food Banks which are already feeling the pressure. These Americans did not start out Life dreaming of Homelessness as a Life Goal. They did not Prepare, they did not Plan.  How many Americans are 1 or 2 paychecks away from living under the Bridge?

The data and charts show that huge numbers of Americans are living well beyond their means. As the availability of Credit at low teaser rates has been expanded, many, many families have indulged in artificially raising their Living Standard by going into debt to supplement their Income; going into massive debt to buy unnecessary things and keep up appearances.

Obviously the counter trend of massive personal debt is an extremely low Savings Rate. Once the Credit Lines have been maximized, misery sets in as years of paying for past indulgences lies ahead. Credit Cards, Auto Loans, School Loans, and Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOC) doom the debtor. Surveys reveal 46% of Americans cannot even afford $400 in Cash for an Emergency. When all of the Reserves are gone, any calamity jeopardizes the Family.

The Economy has not yet turned down, but some forecasts are indicating it may soon. There may still be time to build reserves, pay off debt, and cut expenses. Should a Recession arrive, and it is inevitable that it will, Income and Revenues will be endangered. Survival will be paramount; survival for those with Capital will build Fortunes. Those that have purchased Income Producing Assets will benefit from the climatic changing Economic Environment and have built their “Lifeboat” will fair much better than those that are over-leveraged and debt laddened,

Economic Turmoil is coming, it is not IF, but WHEN. The Cycles of Real Estate and Commodities will supplant the Aging Cycles of both Stocks and Bonds. Those that take heed and Prepare their Finances will weather the Economic Storm, Protect their family, and have the Opportunity to build Generational Wealth in just a few short years. Those that do not heed or prefer to do nothing, will SUFFER. Perhaps the last of the credit line should be used for Camping Equipment!

 

PaulthePoke

Prophecy Watch & Bible Study

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