Kim, a newlywed, was still trying to settle into her new neighborhood. The news of a rapist in the area spread quickly. This was not the neighborhood bonding experience that Kim had anticipated, but she was strong and could take precautions – with a little help from friends and family – she would settle in.
The news got worse as the perpetrator attacked more women in the same area of town. Kim worried that she might be next, so she kept the door locked when her husband wasn’t home. She knew that he would protect her if needed, after all, they were newlyweds, and he was her knight in shining armor.
Growing up, Kim spent most of her life as an outdoorsy kind of girl, maintaining a strong bond with her father. As far as she was concerned, he was all she really needed – him and her frequent explorations of the Texas Hill Country. Not seeing a benefit in acting as the social butterfly, she kept mostly to herself at school and hardly ever dated. Nature was her best friend and Texas provided all she needed. Her future was as bright as the Texas sun.
Many years later when Kevin Kendrick and a team from Austin Christian Fellowship and Partners in Hope met Kim it was clear that life had not unfolded as she thought it would as a young newlywed. Kim, a charming and full of life woman now in her fifties, is unable to experience all that life has to offer.
Kim lives in one of Spicewood, Texas’ trailer parks, has two children – a daughter in high school and an adult son – both living on their own. She is unmarried now, but has tried twice.
Due to an on the job back injury, while maintaining Pace Bend Park, she became disabled and is on a plethora of prescription drugs to help her get through the day. Recovery has been slow. Kim rekindled her relationship with God late last year while she lay in the hospital recovering from her injury. Once out of the hospital, she reconnected with her local church.
Through an invitation from Kim’s church, Partners in Hope agreed to do some work on her home. The volunteer group from Austin Christian Fellowship built a wheelchair ramp, replaced the front door, repainted a bedroom and hallway, among several other needed projects. The volunteers made a new friend as they worked and shared a meal with Kim.
In the spirit of Partners in Hope, a neighbor joined the effort by donating a window A/C unit.
One of the things that is always true about life is that it is entirely unpredictable. Looking at someone’s circumstances today does not always reflect where they’ve come from or what they’ve been through. Kim is living proof of why you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.
Back to the fearful days and nights as a young woman worrying that a rapist might walk through her front door, Kim discovered that he had already done so. As it turned out, her new husband of less than a year, was the serial rapist. For a strong Texas born and raised girl, close to her family, this was more than a setback to her life plans, this was a shot through her soul.
Being of Irish and American Indian descent, she has a fire in her for getting things done, so there is little doubt that she will be back on her feet again. However, as compelling as a strong heritage can be, it was her reaching out to God for help that brought Partners in Hope and this team of volunteers into her life and made the path of recovery a reality.
God’s Holy Spirit was evident while working on Kim’s place. She was still beaming from all His love when Kevin visited the following week. No doubt the team impacted her life by sharing in God’s work, but she also made a difference in their lives by allowing them to serve her and love on her in her time of need.