Archive for prostitution

Food For Thought… Christine McDonald

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald with tags , , , , , , , on May 28, 2021 by paulthepoke

I wanted to share my experiences and help you see a personal side of those who are hurting. I wanted to give you some insight into the moments that help and heal, as well as the moments that hurt and scar.

These appendices are specifically written for those who work in the helping professions or ministries or who desire to help the hurting. I want to give you a few tools to help you do your much–needed work as effectively as possible. What you do can open or close doors in a hurting person’s life. I believe in the work you do and I want nothing more than to see you fling those doors wide open for those who need it. So, this isn’t a story. This is a toolbox.

Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

I have been a hurting person. I have been broken, deceived from spiritual disenfranchisement, bought and sold, and trauma bonded. I have suffered at the hands of domestic violence. I have been consumed by the darkness of hopelessness and addiction, stigmatized by the world around me, and blanketed by guilt and shame. I have been harmed by professionals, leaders of faith, and the folks who seemed to be the okay people of the “normal world.” I have been excluded by agencies for services that cherry–picked clients to assist.

Unfortunately, there are many “helping agencies” out there that select to help only those with the highest chance for success. The successful clients are used to pursue grant money that would be impossible to access by those with the greatest challenges or barriers. If someone is deemed “too needy,” then they pose a risk, because if their success can’t be qualified and quantified, then there is no financial compensation for helping them.

This kind of repeated rejection can only happen so many times before individuals seeking help give up. Their view of help becomes so tainted that they believe they can’t be helped. As you saw in my journey, I myself reached this point after trying to seek help many times.

These experiences on their journeys shape their perceptions of “helping people” or “good Christians.” If these experiences have been negative, then your work is cut out for you. Remember: Every action, or inaction, has the potential to heal or to destroy. My goal is to help you increase the chance that your efforts to help will accomplish the former, not the latter. I don’t believe that the people in most helping agencies intend to compound the problems; they simply lack the inside understanding of these individuals’ experiences and true needs. There are some ways to become authentic and relational with these hurting folks that will assist you as well as them.

As you begin to read this, remember that you are engaging with hurting persons. Some of you engage with homeless individuals, trafficked/prostituted persons, rape victims, violent crime survivors, and more. While many of these tools are relevant to women/girls and the types of things they endure, the general approach and considerations can be used with men/boys who are hurting as well.

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/

Ripple Effects… Christine McDonald

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald with tags , , , , , , on May 1, 2020 by paulthepoke

For every woman and girl violently attacked, we reduce our humanity. For every woman forced into unprotected sex because men demand this, we destroy dignity and pride. Every woman who has to sell her life for sex we condemn to a lifetime in prison. For every moment we remain silent, we conspire against our women. For every woman infected by HIV, we destroy a generation. —Nelson Mandela

Collateral damage is what we call the loss or injury caused to the unintended victims of an action or event. Many times, when we venture out in a helping capacity, we have our sights squarely focused on the population we serve. Yet, oftentimes, those individuals we serve touch the lives of many we may never encounter.

Compassion and love at their best grow and extend indefinitely. The things we do out of love for others can have a massive ripple effect across time and space. Likewise, the things we don’t do can carry greater, far reaching ramifications. What if one simple, yet sometimes controversial, moment of service could save a life? Conversely, what if a misapplied moral objection costs a life?

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

When we consider human trafficking, exploitation, and prostitution, we tend to recognize the purchaser/exploiter as well as the person being used. However, there is another population that is inadvertently affected yet rarely lands on our radar. Sometimes our narrow view of the impact and our tightly clung–to moral objections have unintended consequences.

When we think of serving and how we serve, the most important thing we can do is put on the love of Christ and remember how much He loves and how He would give all for just one person. We have to ask ourselves, Is making a moral statement that will inevitably be lost more important than the individual?

Jesus was well known in His day for spending His time with those viewed as the biggest sinners. When the religious leaders of the day attacked Him for this, He told a parable about a shepherd who had 100 beloved sheep and one ran away. In the parable, the shepherd left the 99 to go after the one. The Son of God did not withhold His presence from the “sinners” to make a moral statement. Instead, He left us all with a clear example to follow. He made it crystal clear that every one of those “sinners” was invaluable to Him.

Even while knowing His days were limited, Jesus didn’t spend His time with His family and loved ones. Instead, He chose to spend time among the untouchables of His day. And though He—the perfect, holy God of the universe—had many moral objections to their actions, He didn’t let those moral objections become the focus or stand in the way of an opportunity to touch their hearts.

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

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

https://crypurplemovie.com/

Free Bunny… Christine McDonald

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald with tags , , , on April 4, 2020 by paulthepoke

Most folks on camp called me by my street name, Ellie, instead of Christine. With my high–country Oklahoma twang and long, blond hair, “Ellie” seemed like a fitting nickname. A nickname was a little less personal on the streets and in prison, so I was good with that. Somehow having folks call you by a pseudonym helped you disassociate from what you were doing, from experiences you were enduring, and from who you really were deep inside. It was one of the ways we protected our deepest, innermost selves.

Anyway, the white shirt had us searched. “Where’s the critter, Ellie?” There were a couple of officers there, so we knew we were totally caught. As they pulled our lockers out, the white shirt said, “I have no idea how you guys kept this thing hidden, but it’s going.”

CeeCee cried. I was shocked she had such a soft side most did not know about. I was even more shocked she allowed these officers to see her emotional attachment to the bunny, but I knew the secrets that CeeCee carried; I knew the weight of the cross she lived with daily. I had tears in my eyes, but I tried to maintain an appearance of indifference so they wouldn’t see they had taken our joy along with the rabbit.

Bunny had become quite tame. How on earth was he to survive outdoors? It was fixing to rain. The white shirt was on the radio calling for someone to come and get the rabbit, and we were getting a prison violation. CeeCee was overcome with tears after I said Bunny couldn’t make it in the wild.

The white shirt said, “That’s not my problem. You should have thought about that before you took it out of its habitat.”

I explained that the rabbit would have been killed by the mower.

“That’s life,” said the white shirt. “That’s how things work.”

CeeCee asked if she could please at least walk our Bunny to the fence with a guard and let him go, so that he might have a chance to survive without being killed by our prison grass mowers. No one spoke. Then, as we exchanged glances and waited for an answer, the white shirt radioed and said, “Disregard.” It was still open yard time for the rest of the prison; only our housing unit was on lockdown. The white shirt said, “Get your bunny.”

CeeCee and I both started to walk out, but the guard said, “Just one of you walks that bunny to the fence.” Then she said, “And don’t make a scene.”

CeeCee, being generally more calm and laid back than me, was surely the better choice. I saw the tears she shed in front of the officers, and I knew she needed to set the bunny free for her own peace of mind. Although I was attached as well, I knew I’d be okay. She let Bunny go. There were houses with children within sight of the prison yard, so we hoped for the best for our bunny…

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/

Our Friend Bunny… Christine McDonald

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald with tags , , , , , on March 28, 2020 by paulthepoke

CeeCee and I were the same age. From time to time, we looked out for each other on the corner of Gladstone Boulevard and Independence Avenue. We would often hang together in between dates, neither of us having a place to call home or a place to go inside, away from the elements. Once, we were arrested in a sting and transported together to the police station.

CeeCee had been in California for years working the streets of L.A., but she bounced back and forth to Kansas City, as that is where her family lived. She hoped that one day her family could look beyond the shame they felt for her prostitution. She longed for reconciliation with them.

At one point, CeeCee and I were in prison together, so we put our names on the list to be cellmates. Soon we were sharing a cell in an old prison that had crank windows we were allowed to open. And there was grass we were allowed to walk on. It was great.

Most other prisons wouldn’t allow you to open windows or walk on the grass. In fact, it was a conduct violation to walk on the grass, and the windows—well, they didn’t open.

One day, when the grass was being cut, the yard crew discovered some baby bunnies. The bunnies were a ray of hope to so many women in prison, many with families or hopes for families, many who had children who had been taken from them, many with families that had, like CeeCee’s, disconnected from them due to their incarceration and the shame it brought on the family. The bunnies somehow filled in the wells of hurt and loneliness. They gave us the connection of something to love and to care for.

CeeCee and I chose to adopt one. We had other girls who worked in the chow hall steal food for us. We cleaned out a metal footlocker and lined it with an old towel and grass we’d picked. At night when we were on lockdown, we would take out our bunny (which we had named simply “Bunny”) and hold it. During the day, we would go out to what we called Blubber Beach. It was where we girls could touch the grass and lie and bake in the sun—still in our prison–gray uniforms, but nevertheless enjoying the grass and the warmth of the sun. When we were there, we would take Bunny out. We stashed him between our breasts to get him out of the housing units. We would lie in the grass and watch Bunny enjoy it with us.

Soon, however, Bunny got bigger and needed to get out of the little locker we had made his home. At first, we had put a rolled–up towel across the floor at the door of the cell to insure that Bunny didn’t make it underneath. But as Bunny got bigger, it grew harder to keep him a secret.

CeeCee and I took turns. We worked different shifts in the prison, so it was easy for us to keep our soft, furry friend to ourselves. But Bunny grew, as all babies do, and we could no longer hide him in our bras to go outdoors. As time went on, we were leaving Bunny out to explore our prison cell more frequently. So the word got out that we had a pet baby rabbit in the state penitentiary, one we had kept and had taken care of for a couple of months. One of the girls told a white shirt, and our housing unit was put on lockdown. The white shirt came to our cell after the unit was locked down…

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/

Bond of the Street… Christine McDonald

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

Men and women who survive life on the streets share a bond like no other. This bond is an unspoken connection, commitment, respect, and love for each other that isn’t the same as the relationships we build outside of the life. The help we once offered each other out on the streets looked very different from what those outside of the life might understand.

The help we offered might look more like a hit of dope if someone was beaten or raped, or a shared sandwich. Or it might even look like a ride in a car or a night’s sleep in a hotel room to shower, if one of us had access to such a rare thing. Sometimes we watched over one another as we slept, particularly if we were sleeping outdoors or in an empty building. Sometimes we shared quarters for the dryers in the laundromat to get warm or dry off our clothes. I could go on. On the streets, we had each others’ backs, because no one else in the world did.

Once I heard an example of a similar type of bond formed among the survivors of a plane crash. Some died in the crash, and it took days for the survivors to be found. These individuals, who didn’t even know each other before this event, shared a bond and a connection that can’t be recreated outside of that event with another person. I think it’s the same for those of us who survived the streets and prostitution.

I was so sick with a cough, fever, sore throat—the works. A car turned the corner. I walked up and saw a friendly face, a “junkie–driver.” A junkie–driver is someone who gets high and has a car. His hustle is giving us rides to get dope. This particular junkie–driver drove a van. I heard voices and looked in the back. I saw a couple of folks from the hood warming up in the back. There were blankets everywhere. I asked if I could have one as I let out a cough.

They said I didn’t look so good, but I told them I was just sick and would be fine. I said, “I got cash for gas and for some dope if I can just ride for a while and rest.” They said sure. I gave them my cash as I climbed in the back. I said I didn’t need any dope; I just wanted to sleep. I curled up in a ball under a blanket and slept.

I don’t know how long they let me sleep back there, but I know it had been daylight when I got in and it was dark when they woke me up. “Ellie, it’s time. You got any more gas money?” I didn’t. They said they had someone
with some money, so they were letting me out and they would be back in an hour or so to check on me…

I share this story, I suppose, to show that we were there for each other. The help we offered one another might not look like help to an outsider looking in, but we took care of each other in the best ways we knew how. Ironically, I was offered more safety and true rest in that van with the junkie–driver than at many of the shelters around.

We recognized the brokenness we each shared, the hopelessness, the disparity, yet we always saw the humanity in one another—something the rest of the world chose not to see in us.

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

https://crypurplemovie.com/

Test the Spirits… Christine McDonald

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald with tags , , , , on November 22, 2019 by paulthepoke

Acts 20:29 I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock.

1 John 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God. For many false prophets have gone out into the world.

…Of course, I thought to myself, I’m a working girl. Not even a leader of faith can allow me some safety, some sleep, some warmth, without expecting me to perform at some level. I understood all too well that being a prostitute meant the world around me viewed me differently. I knew people didn’t see us the same as everyone else.

Leaders of faith, law enforcement, case workers—it was all the same. Leaders of the faith would use you just like everyone else. The officers who arrested you would drive you someplace, only to offer to let you go if you’d perform. Sometimes you’d perform for them only to be treated horribly while they laughed and called you names. And they’d still take you to jail.

I suppose, as I consider, I have been bought/paid for by lawyers, judges, teachers, preachers, counselors, construction workers, professional athletes, journalists, cops, fathers, grandfathers uncles, brothers, husbands, boyfriends—I could go on. But one thing is absolute: They, the buyers, were from all walks of life and all economic statuses; the only common denominator they had was me, the prostituted person, an object for their play of privilege and perversions. And on this day a believer, a faith leader, an apparent “helping hand” could not see my pain, my despair.

Even the supposed good guys saw me, the prostituted, as a mere, simple object and somehow less than human and unworthy of anything beyond that identity. Thus the cycle of exploitation continued in place of the help I desperately sought.

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

https://crypurplemovie.com/


Do Your Best… Christine McDonald

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald, Culture with tags , , on October 27, 2019 by paulthepoke

From The Same Kind of Human, Seeing the Marginalized and Exploited through Eyes of Grace

God does not demand that every man attain to what is theoretically highest and best. It is better to be a good street sweeper than a bad writer, better to be a good bartender than a bad doctor, and the repentant thief who died with Jesus on Calvary was far more perfect than the holy ones who had Him nailed to the cross. And yet, abstractly speaking, what is more holy than the priesthood and less holy than the state of a criminal? The dying thief had, perhaps, disobeyed the will of God in many things: but in the most important event of his life he listened and obeyed. The Pharisees had kept the law to the letter and had spent their lives in the pursuit of a most scrupulous perfection. But they were so intent upon perfection as an abstraction that when God manifested His will and His perfection in a concrete and definite way they had no choice but to reject it. ―Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island

Christine McDonald was recently featured on Fox 4 News. See the link below for the written article and video report.

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

https://crypurplemovie.com/

I Know I Am a Sinner… Christine McDonald

Posted in Christine "Clarity" McDonald with tags , , , , , on October 11, 2019 by paulthepoke

I had heard of a God who was condemning. I knew I was going to burn in Hell for all my wickedness. I was full of shame and guilt. I was homeless. I was addicted. I was a prostitute. I was lost in darkness, wandering in my own wilderness. I was well aware of my brokenness. For real, I had heard this message before.

I felt shameful and dirty, things I already felt on my own. I didn’t need to hear these things from “those people”—the people who had a shower, who had shoes, who had a home. I didn’t need to hear it from those who did their good deed of scooping food on our trays, leaving them feeling a bit better about themselves. While these things were free, they still cost so much for us; the burden of the shame was equal to bags full of gold.

The last thing any of us needed was confirmation of how messed up our lives were. Believe it or not, we were all well aware of our brokenness, our bondage, our chains that gripped so cripplingly tight. I often went many days without food solely because I could not handle the damnation preached so hard and heavy at the soup kitchen mere blocks from where I existed.

The preaching required in order to receive the food that was needed to sustain life, human life, was a binding string. I left feeling judged and condemned. The last thing I wanted was a relationship with a God who was so grand that He judged harshly. Frequently we would leave talking about how painful it was to just get food. Food was successful at physically bringing us in, but the price—judgment—pushed us away in spirit. Many times, the prayers spoken over us were to remove the demons from us, rather than prayers for safety or hope or peace.

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

https://crypurplemovie.com/

Sunday Morning Service… Christine McDonald

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald, Culture with tags , , , , on August 10, 2019 by paulthepoke

Extreme Caution!!! Very Adult Content!!!

Every Sunday morning he’d pull up. I always watched for his car. He was always in his suit with gospel music playing and a Bible in the passenger seat. He’d roll down his window and say, “You don’t have any dope on you, right? You know I don’t want that stuff in my car.” Then he’d say, as I opened the door, “No smoking cigarettes, either. No smoking in my car. This is the Lord’s Day.”

I knew the deal. I mean, every Sunday morning there he was. He’d say, “Your money is in the ashtray.” The ashtray was clean, holding only a crisp 20 and a 5 folded up together, and a piece of mint gum every time. That was for afterwards.

He’d sing his praises to the Lord as we drove to his favorite spot, and he’d remind me that there was an extra 10 in the visor if I “swallowed.” We’d park, he’d pray, and then he’d remind me he had to hurry because he had to make it to church. He was a pastor.

He’d always share with me the sermon topic of the day. We would do our business and he’d let me know when I could have my gum. He’d always rush back because he had left the wife at home to wash the car before church, so we had to hurry it up. His car was always spotted with water from the car wash down the street.

Often I’d see him drive past me again later, with his wife and family members in the car, on his way to preach the Word of God. He’d tell me how sinful drugs were, yet he paid for sex as a married man, a preacher in the church. He would remind me of my sins as he dropped me off.

In the eyes of fellow humans, I suppose there wasn’t too great a disparity between his actions and mine. However, if I understand the Bible correctly, God tells us that there is a tremendous disparity. As a man of God, this pastor had a duty not to mislead the children of God.

In Matthew 18, Jesus tells us about the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven, and He is saying that we must become like little children in our faith. Then He says this, in verse 6: “But if you cause one of these little ones who trust in Me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to have a large millstone tied around your neck and be drowned in the depths of the sea.”

These types of spiritual disenfranchisement make it difficult for people to understand God and a loving Christ. For those who experienced things like this in our lives, this “man of God” is just the same as the rest of the men who paid to rape and violate us—the exact same as every other man who degraded us and used us for their gratifications.

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

https://crypurplemovie.com/

%d bloggers like this: