Saturday, February 2, 2013

My old home page, two girls, Jonathan's Place

I googled my name and discovered my old Baylor site is still up. I had no idea. Here is a pretty good summary of what I did and who I was in a recent incarnation of my life – refugees, hospice, teaching, writing, and so on.

Karen child in triage/intake
Some years ago my students and I found two girls (16 and 14) living in an empty apartment in a rundown building (1604 Annex). They had some blankets over in the corner of the room and that was it. They had run away from a terribly abusive home and were clear that they were not going back. We got them some furniture, clothes, food, whatnot; and now and again over the years lent a hand out in the community and in the clinic… and for their children too, a few years down the road.

Leslie and I were in a store yesterday and a woman came up to us. It was one of the girls, now in her 30s, and now the manager of a section of the store. She told us her sister manages a section in another store. It’s not that we were a deciding factor in these extraordinary lives; just that we were there, over time, a friend you can trust. It’s beautiful to know people like them. 


(Note from 2003) We started this week doing physical exams on children just removed from their family(s) because of abuse. Case workers from the residential facility where the children will live (Jonathan's Place) bring new children to Agape for their intake physical. There were 13 this week, but I expect fewer next week. It's strong. Because in Texas, it takes a lot of abuse for a child to be removed from a home, what with all our "family values" and other lies.

Waiting to get into the waiting room
He was a child soldier in Cambodia.
Here in the US he tried to be a good father. 
What follows is from an email I sent to my son after the first day: So when I was writing to ______ I was thinking I wanted to tell you... The people that were with the children were all young (of course): Katy has been at it for three years and is very intense and real; Keisha started two months ago, pretty, shy, nice; Ashley came in late – she feels really solid. Sometimes I wonder, what did I do to deserve this – to be around people like this. Not to lay religious on you, but it can't be anything but grace. And isn't that a beautiful idea. End of email.

The second day there were eight more children. This time Chris, a young man, intense, sweet-natured, solid. And Ashley again. High compliment to say, I'd take her on patrol. Reality is they're taking me on patrol – lucky for me they're short patrols. Students and I trying to get up to speed on abuse-focused pedi exams, learning what we don't want to learn; the students are doing a good job.

Maybe someday I’ll write about the children, but I doubt it.

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