Amarah's Corner: True stories of hope shared

Hi! My name is Amarah. Kids are important to me, and they’re important to Jesus, too.

In Matthew 18:10 (KJV), Jesus said, “Take heed that ye despise not (hurt or be mean to) one of these little ones; for I say unto you, that in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.”

“Kids like me” are kids whose parents are drug addicts, and alcoholics; kids who have suffered, or who are suffering, abuse and neglect on multiple levels; and kids who are victims of bullying.

Hey kids like me! Corliss Taylor-Dunn is back this week and shares two true stories of the lives of children who successfully came out on top in spite of rough beginnings. Their names have been changed for confidentiality.

Story # 1:

Johnny was a frail 13 years old.

Johnny and his two younger half siblings were abandoned in California’s high desert by his mom, and left in the care of her drug addict boyfriend. Johnny tried to protect the children, and became the target of mental, physical and sexual abuse at the hands of the boyfriend and his drug using pals.

When the abuse would become unbearable — such as the time the stoned boyfriend shot Johnny’s earlobe — or the time he pepper sprayed Johnny’s face, leaving a temporarily blinded Johnny to navigate the desert cliffs using a stick — Johnny would escape with his half siblings into a deserted raggedy open-walled travel trailer. There he deposited the children and walked long distances into mountain communities to mow lawns and earn money for food.  

After being rescued by CPS, and put into a group home, staff discounted Johnny’s stories of horror. The thin wall between reality and fantasy began to dissolve, and Johnny began to lose his grip on reality.
It was only after a caring intern noticed the consistency of Johnny’s stories, and convinced Johnny’s social worker to take him back to the area of the old travel trailer, to recount his story.  Finding the locations of the events that sounded so unbelievable, proved to be the turning point in helping Johnny begin his long road to recovery.

Story # 2:

Melvin was a 17 year old. Melvin’s dad was a drug abuser, who belittled and abused Melvin and his mom. When Melvin was in elementary school, his strabismus, or “wandering” eye, made him unpopular, self-conscious, and painfully shy.  

A teacher became frustrated with Melvin’s withdrawal, and one day in class angrily told Melvin that he would never amount to anything, giving him the nickname, “Mr. Zero.” Melvin’s classmates gleefully echoed the teacher’s cruelty. Melvin’s dad refused to stand up for his son, and ALSO branded Melvin with what became Melvin’s nickname.  

By high school, Melvin was tall and hulking for his age. He took on the modern day Goth subculture, dressed in black, and moved toward the darker things in life. Melvin’s size, long flowing messy black hair and wandering eye, often frightened people. Melvin rebelled and began getting into trouble. He broke the law and was sent to juvenile jail until age 18.

When his time was up, Melvin would then graduate and return to society. However, Melvin declared his up-coming “martyrdom,” a planned suicide in a very public place where he could do the most harm. His Christian therapist, however prayerfully intervened, and turned Melvin’s self-hatred into a song using his love of sports, and math. “From now on, you will never again hear the repeating “Charge” theme song, without also hearing “Mr. Zero became a hero!” After hearing this several times, Melvin chuckled, saying, “Okay, I GET it!” He changed his mind, and turned his life around.

Thank you Miss Corliss for sharing these stories of hope! And, thank you for reading my column. Please send questions or comments to me in care of the Courier, [email protected] or write to me at Amarah’s Childrens Foundation “Kids Like Me” P.O. Box 354, Alamosa, CO 81101, or call (719) 937-1033, leave a message, and someone will return your call. If you know a kid like me, or parent who is an addict, or alcoholic, please tell him or her about “Amarah’s Corner, Kids Like Me” in the Valley Courier newspaper and tell them to contact me, or you can contact me on their behalf. And, if you know a kid like me, or parent, who does not have a Bible, but would like to have one, please, contact me and I will make sure he or she gets a Bible of their very own, “…and all the earth may know there is a God…” (1 Samuel 17:46, KJV).

My goal is to help kids like me, and I want to help their parents, too. Until next time, remember, Jesus Loves You, and JESUS IS LORD!