pamkumpe@gmail.com's

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Brain Tumor to Brave Leaps

The day I got 40 stitches in my leg came from chasing my twin sister. We were in the 4th grade, and her running off from me with two other neighborhood boys sent me trailing them. I charged through a sandy field, jumping ditches, and dodging cacti. At one spot, I leapt across the irrigation ditch, landing not on the other side, but in the bottom of the culvert. A dry stretch of dirt with at least a dozen lizards...

Stalking Me?

I had a stalker. She drove up in front of my house yesterday, as I arrived home. In the driveway, I waited inside my car, wondering, and pausing, glancing at the unfamiliar car that parked behind me. I thought the person in the SUV might go on, and maybe she was lost, but as soon as I stepped from my car, she came around her vehicle, to the yard, meeting me. She smiled. I stopped. We both said hello. She...

Homeless Man with a Dime

Sitting at Taco Bell with my homeless friend, she and I saw a man ride up on a bike at the gas station, next door. I tapped the table, “Isn’t that R.?” “No, I don’t think so. He has longer hair.” We smacked on our tacos, staring at the man stepping from his two-wheeled ride. As soon as he took a step, we said together, “That is him. He has a unique walk.” We finished our meal, and as soon...

Manuela Witthuhn Dead?

When the phone rang, it was early on Saturday and the voice asked, “Have you heard about Manuela?” “No! What? She couldn’t have gotten fired already.” That response came from my “Friday memory” at the bank, which was also my last day to see Manuela or the others at that branch. I was transferring inland to another California office near my home in Canyon Lake. On Friday, Manuela, who sat across from the teller area where I worked on loan...

Shutdown in Rehab! Surrendered Hearts!

At times, my girls in recovery are in what’s called, shutdown. Actions are limited. Extra privileges cut off. Time is spent quietly doing certain tasks. Or spent doing no tasks. And conversations are limited, too. Thankfully, I can hold a church service for the ladies, and it’s so great, because many who might not normally come to service (when freedoms are in place), come to church. I love it! I love that the Lord can plant bodies in the room...

Kiss of Friendship

A homeless man told me about himself, as we stood in a crowd. But then, in a split second, he kissed me on the cheek with a peck. (Now I don’t often get kissed during ministry.) He whispered, “No one let’s me talk. No one listens to me. And you did.” Then he walked away, clutching his new Bible, but turned back, “I’m sorry. I used to kiss my grandma growing up. And always on the cheek. It just happened.”...

Three Bibles Are My Favorite

I grabbed three Bibles, praying the Lord would guide me to the persons who needed them one night as I headed to the street to love on the homeless. But first, before heading to the streets, I drove to the grocery store, knowing the temperature of 90 degrees meant my homeless friends might be a tad-bit thirsty. And boy did I find a great sale. The 32-oz. size, sports drinks … drum roll … were $.49 cents each. You had...

Church on a Corner

Driving through an intersection, after a visit at the homeless camps one morning, I saw a man waving his arms as if he was directing incoming airplanes. It was a dear friend, who had spent time in jail due to some broken steps and recent trials. His wife had endured her own trials and yet, even as he’d returned to town, they walked together. I spun my car around making a U-turn, and hopped from the car. His first words...

Stranded on Mother’s Day! Or not!

So, I stopped at Albertsons to buy some carnations after leaving the recovery center. The man in line in front of me had flowers too, and the woman behind me. And the next three people. He let me go ahead and the other lady and the others. I announced to the man, “You’re never going home if you keep letting us go ahead.” He asked, “So who are those for?” I smiled, glancing at my flowers. “For a friend. She...