February 16, 2021
Dear Brethren and Friends,
Greetings from the Florida Detention Center in Miami in the name of our Savior WHO is able to do above and beyond all that we can even imagine! Thank you for all the letters, which I have received while in quarantine and thank you for your prayers. It is such a blessing to read your encouragements while in a place such as this. Thank you!
As I’m writing this update, I am sitting on the top bunk amidst a stack of books (classics, biographies and “Christian” prison stories) and gifts from some of the inmates. I was released from quarantine with cheering from the ladies of the SHU, their smiling faces pressed against the small narrow windows of their locked doors.
As soon as I arrived on the floor, I was snatched up as a roommate (later she told me that I looked “calm.” I felt that it was “the peace that passeth all understanding” – thanks be to God). Once I made my bed (w/two flat sheets 😊) my cell neighbor greeted me with a cup of hot coffee in a large clear plastic mug, which was her gift to me (we must buy our own eating and drinking implements as well as soap, shampoo and other daily hygiene items).
Next a gaggle of women, masked and w/bright sparkling eyes, showed up at my door with not one, but three bags of supplies and goodies – from a pair of sweatpants (there are no dresses in here) to mac-n-cheese. Then they announced that there would be a Bible study starting on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I think I’ll check it out. It’s TRUE – “My God shall supply my every need.”
As I am writing this, more ladies keep popping in to give me needed items, a brush, a toothbrush (I never thought I’d be excited to get a gift of a full-size toothbrush, but I am!) and other such items. One woman even gave me her in progress word search and a full-size pencil with eraser (goodbye 2” putt putt gold pencil and plastic shower “eraser” – try it, it really works). God’s provisions keep coming! I have a new appreciation for the little items in life – such as a hairbrush (it’s been 21 days since I either combed or brushed my hair).
Since I’ve already slipped off the bunk bed ladder and landed bottom down while trying to descend from my high perch, we rigged up a system for my descent. I step down on the counter, which is directly next to the bed and I then step down on a black hard plastic topped clothes container before both of my feet hit the floor. I’ll let you know next time how that really works!
It’s lockdown for the night and it’s relatively quiet. My Bunkie (jail lingo for roommate) is reading and I can hear only a slight murmuring from next door and some slightly louder crackling from who knows where. Our floor (lingo for unit) has two tiers of rooms (cells, but nobody calls them “cells”) in a hard C © on both levels with the offices and activity rooms (for example, computer, chapel, which is kept closed ☹, offices, door to the outside hallway) on the side, which closes the hard “C.” Our telephones, the old fashioned telephone push button kinds, are clustered four on the bottom floor and 2 right next to my room. The TVs (3-2 in English, 1 in Spanish) are secured high on the main floor with bolted concrete tables and stumps of chairs scattered throughout the floor so people can put in their MP3 player earbuds to sit down and listen to whatever is playing.
The showers are in the hallway between cells (4 ustairs, 4 downstairs) and are those camp style swinging doors, open at the top and at the bottom. The only saving grace is that the shower head is about 4 ½ feet (recessed in the wall) opposite the door, which give some privacy while showering.
I’ll close with the words written on the two yellow stickies that were attached with the gifts received from those bright-eyed fellow inmates:
(Sticky 1): “God loves you SO MUCH. James 5:16: ‘The prayers of a righteous person has great power as it is working.’ Deuteronomy 30:29 [29:29]: ‘The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever that he may follow all the words of this law.’”
(Sticky 2): “Psalm 23, 91, 103, 110”
Please pray that I will be a worth servant of the Lord as “I travel through this Pilgrim land.”
I Corinthians 9:19