March 7, 2021
Dear Brethren and Friends,
Greetings in the name of the Lord who prepares us for “Putting on the Full Armor” in order to be prepared for battle. This morning while sitting in my cage of a room here at NCCF (Niagara County Jail) I was blessed to be able to listen to a sermon (several actually 😊). One particular pastor was teaching from Ephesians 6:10-24 and I happened upon it while he was expounding on verse 18. I ask y’all to please pray verses 19-20 for me as I continue to reside where He places me. He knows the plans for my life and I place my life in His hands.
In the past, I’ve heard people say that jail/prison is a different world. Now that I live in this “world,” I would say that rather than this environment being a “different world,” it is just a more concentrated version of the world we all live in. “The harvest is white.” My heart is deeply saddened when I hear women tell me their stories of living on the streets “living in” so they have something to eat, giving away their children and other such experiences or putting their pleasure above their children’s welfare and more. I heard these stories at FDC (Federal Detention Center, Miami, FL) and I hear them also here at NCCF.
Please pray for me as I pray for wisdom and boldness in knowing What to say, When to say it and How to say it with Whom God send my way. THANK YOU!
“Cage of a room?” Ever been to a zoo? Well . . . that is how it is at NCCF. My room is an approximately 9×6 foot 3-sided metal with a 4th side being bars attached to metal cage. Sides open electronically at the touch of a CO’s command. A 2 ½ foot wide door cut out of the barred front. Each cell is equipped with a toilet (out in the open), a sink with a push button cold H2O faucet, a metal bed with a green plastic covered loose foam mattress, a 2×1 foot metal shelf attached to the wall and a metal shelf that runs the length of the back wall. What makes it even more zoo-like is that our row of 16 cells is completely surrounded by a cage of bars which allows us approximately 10 feet of floor space to socialize with the other inmate, but only with a select few because the back 5 of the row of cells are separated from the others by yet another fence of bars. This is supposedly for population control – fewer mingling girls, fewer noxious disagreements. Hmm . . . now you know the reason behind the zoos keeping all the different breeds of tigers apart 😊.
Since I’m in quarantine, I’m only allowed out of my locked cage ☹ for a one 15-minute shower, one 15-minute phone call, and one 15-minute commissary placement order per day. Otherwise, out of quarantine I would be basically permitted roaming privileges for the majority of my daylight hours. In addition, once I’m out of quarantine, I am permitted outside one hour per day. Yes! I’ve been told outside in a fenced in yard; very unlike FDC’s “outside,” which was a 4-walled room with the exception of a small section WAY up high fenced window of sorts running on the one outside wall. Other than the outside time, we are only off our caged-in unit for court, medical calls and face-time calls.
The first week of quarantine I spent trying my hand at a crossword puzzle book that my neighbor gave me (bless her!). Admittedly, I found myself looking up some answers (after all I’ve been out of touch for 11 years 😊), but overall, I found myself being able to answer more and then even move clues. Maybe I won’t get Alzheimer’s after all! (I’ve been accused of being a candidate for it because my memory can sometimes be likened unto a sieve). Also, I was able to read a few books.
Unfortunately, it is very noisy in here – TV’s (one on each end of our row) on 15+ hours each day, girls shouting entire conversations, cell to cell, and the ever present very echoing “Male on board” or “Male staff” call. “I am grateful for that call so I can be sure to maintain modest. So far, I haven’t had to call out “Wait!” but I will if I need to!) We also have CO’s making “rounds” every 15 minutes to ensure our safety.
It’s called a round because our row of cells back up to the other row of cells so the COs are literally walking around a block of caged in caged cells.
For this second week of quarantine, I have been blessed with not one but two “doctrinal” books (thank you!!) to scour about God. God sure knows how to treat me. Matthew 7:11: “So if you, despite being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” He provided through a complete stranger a book that both my daughter and I have wanted to read for years and the other book is one whose author I have been interested in hearing but had not been able to obtain any of his “sermons.” God knew that I needed to read those two authors “here” instead of “there.”
God gave me gifts (through y’all!) too at FDC: a beautiful study Bible, an awesome drawing of a bison with a well-chosen scripture written under it, photos of precious families, widows and single ladies who are praying for me; pretty calligraphy pictures and verses, copies of songs lyrics, cute duck (and other pictures) photo and verse cards, and scads of encouraging scriptures, poems, quotes and sermon notes, articles and stories within stacks of encouraging letters. Oh my! Thank you! Thank you! It’s wonderful to be a part of a Christian community who bears one another burdens.
(Please, whoever sent me the “farmer” story, please send it again. I copied that one several times for inmates at FDC. I hope that whoever is reading it now 😊 is blessed by the farmer’s message!)
I’ll close with some notes from my first every sermon that I heard in jail (I bought a radio). I have been told that there are not any Christian services here. I hope the thoughts “spur you on to be zealous” for Him as they have done for me:
- A recent Gallop Poll reported that the Bible is the least read best seller. How sad! How are we to know Jesus if we don’t read?
- Jesus wept. Why? Unbelief, John 11:40,42
And finally, a chorus from a song I heard after another sermon: “If I’m going to be known for something, I want to be known for you” (Jesus).
Again, please pray for me.
“Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from ‘God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen” (Ephesians 6:23-24).
Thank you for helping me put on the full armor of God.
Lisa Miller #149005A
P.O. Box 496
Lockport, NY 14095