Lisa Miller #149005A
Niagara County Jail
5526 Niagara Street Ext
P.O. Box 496
Lockport, NY 14095
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March 5, 2021 – 4th Update
Dear Brethren and Friends,
Greetings from the 3rd day at Niagara Correctional Center in Buffalo, NY (NCCF) in the name of the Savior WHO is above all names.
At 10:55 p.m., 5 minutes before lights out, on Wednesday February 24, 2021, a guard tapped on the tall skinny window of my locked from the outside door to tell me that at 4:30 a.m. the US Marshals would pick me up for transport and that I should pack all my personal property. He then told me to get some sleep. All I’ll say is that packing in the dark should be considered an art! 😊
4:30 a.m. met me with a CO’s face peering into my still dark room as he was unlocking my door. I grabbed my laundry bag of my personal property and followed the CO downstairs to R&DC (receiving and delivery) to begin the process of leaving Federal Detention Center, Miami, FL (FDC). After my property was inventoried, my body searched for contraband, my greens changed for grays, I was finally ready to step “outside” of the FDC to meet the Marshals in the tunnel connecting FDC to the Marshals’ headquarters. Here (tunnel) they shackled my hands and took me to a holding cell to await the arrival of 2 more Marshals. Of course, I knew nothing until it actually occurred, so, I used all my waiting times wisely with praying and singing.
I was transported to the Florida airport and was treated to not 1, but 2 American Airline flights complete with shackles (around my waist) hidden beneath my gray sweatshirt and handcuffs covered with a black t-shirt draped over and tucked behind my hands. Needless to say, I’m sure I looked conspicuous while traveling in gray sweatpants, a raveling long sleeved beige thermal peering out from under a 2 sizes too big gray sweatshirt with dark brown socks glaring beneath my muted pink slip-on showers shows not to mention my disheveled long braided hair trailing behind with hair sticking out like the Flying Nun due to the pat down before we left the holding cell area. So, the next time you fly and you see someone in grays with plastic slip-on shower shoes without her (his) hands visible flanked between two “normal” looking people, that person may just be a PRISONER. 😊
Yesterday, I had my arraignment via Zoom. I pled “NOT GUILTY” to a two-count indictment with Count One being “conspiracy” carrying a possible 5-year jail term without a fee penalty and Count Two being “International Parental Kidnapping” carrying a possible 3-year jail term with a fee penalty.
Jesus said through Paul in I Corinthians 6:1: “Does any one of you, when he has a case against his neighbor, dare to go to law before the unrighteous and not before the saints?” In addition, Jesus Himself was reviled and falsely accused, yet he remained silent. Furthermore, we as Christ followers are promised suffering and persecution in our lives (Matthew 5:10-11; Philippians 1:29; 2:3-8, 14-17). Who am I to be above the law?
Consequently . . . here I sit dressed in clothes two sizes too big in a locked 24/7 quarantine cell, once again without “personal property.” The US Marshals here in NY even took my personal mail, including all my addresses, emails, lawyer information and legal mail. Thankfully, I had memorized one of my attorney’s phone number.
Overall, God is STILL supplying my needs and letting me know that He is here with me:
- A comfortable ride from FDC to NCCF
- Tator tots for my first meal at NCCF
- Having a NT Bible available while I was in a NCCF isolation cell waiting to be taken to quarantine (the CO was very doubtful that there was one down in that area but said she’d look for me anyway. When she returned, she said, “You’re in luck!” Luck? Nope, Providence!)
- And the next day was just icing on the cake: the lady in the cell next to me asked me, “So, you’re a Christian?” I replied with just one word, “Yes.” I then saw an arm sticking out with a small book in her hand and I heard, “Here. Please don’t do anything to it.” (Earlier that same day, she had made it clear to the girls that she doesn’t lend out anything anymore.) “I won’t . . .,” I answered. The book? A Christian one! What a double blessing – double because since we’re not permitted books from the book cart (due to possible spreading COVID) while we are in quarantine, only books sent in from the outside or books already in the quarantine area (which total really old ones) are permitted, I didn’t have anything other than reading my Bible (which I was 😊) and now I have not only that book but it is a “doctrinal” book as well.
I take comfort in the fact that “All things work together for good to those who love the Lord and who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28) T.D. Jakes says (NO, I am not promoting his books.), “You don’t become frustrated or overwhelmed by those things you can’t pray away, rebuke away, cast away, fast away, confess away, or speak away. Why? Because you know that if its in your life, God has allowed it and He wants to use it (since it’s there) to transform you into the express image of Christ.” (Jakes, Why? Page 74) This quote brings me full circle to “for just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant in Christ.”
I want to thank all who have been writing me. Unfortunately, the Marshals did not permit me to take any of my personal property, which included photos, opened mail, 40 letters that were addressed just waiting for stamps and mail which I had just received and had not been able to sufficiently read (one was a stack of letters via priority mail and another one was a beautiful hand drawn picture of a bison ☹☹). I am so disappointed about the loss of my mail; especially the 40 or so that went unmailed and addresses. Please forgive me if you don’t receive a reply from me. My desire is to recover that loss . . . however, I’m STILL waiting for my book bag from January 27th full of clothes, candy (😊), Bible (the first one they wouldn’t let me have), and medical information to be delivered to the address I gave the Marshall who asked for that address.
My understanding is that I’ll stay here at NCCF until my trial; however, the Feds can move me wherever they want in the name of “diesel therapy.”* Regardless, I’m confident that God won’t give me any more than I can handle. “A bright new day dawns after dark night” (Jakes).
I’ll close with what I said to the US Marshal who was sitting next to me on the last leg of my American Airlines journey: “I’m excited to see what God has for me. (pause) Anticipating His Will makes these chains lighter.”
*Wikipedia: “Diesel therapy” is a form of punishment in which prisoners are shackled and then transported for days or weeks. It has been described as “the cruelest aspect of being a federal inmate.” It has been alleged that some inmates are deliberately sent to incorrect destinations as an exercise of diesel therapy.