Friday, July 17, 2009


This is about as low budget as it gets.

A Plymouth man hired to care for a vulnerable adult admitted to using the man's debit card to pay his own bills, according to police.

Hennepin County prosecutors charged Varfee Pappe Dauphine, 30, with financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult and financial transaction card fraud. Both counts are felonies.

According to a criminal complaint, Dauphine worked as a personal care assistant to a 38-year-old man identified as MS. MS is confined to a wheelchair because of cerebral palsy and can only speak through a keyboard translator.

“MS” is Michael Stephenson, a gentleman whom I actually know a little bit since he attends the same church as my wife and me. Despite very limited physical abilities, Mike’s unconditional joy and peace in the presence of the Lord is so very apparent. Given Mike’s limitations, he sometimes wondered where he could find a place to serve God’s kingdom. But Mike’s gift to others is simply showing up. While people are sometimes frazzled when walking into the house of the Lord on Sundays (whether it’s due to waking up late or dealing with fussy children) they can quickly regain perspective upon seeing Mike walk on his knees to the altar and joyfully worshipping God. In that, Mike’s gift is obvious: He’s serves God’s kingdom by letting people know how truly blessed their lives are and how the trivial aspects are just that….trivial.

As you can probably surmise, I take this story is a little more personal than others of a similar nature. I concur that it’s pretty appalling on its face when you hear of someone being robbed. But for me, it’s positively heart breaking (and at the same time infuriating) when it happens to a vulnerable human being who focuses so little on what ails him.


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