Love at first sight: We stepped into the isolated area of the women’s prison and the gate locked behind us. We were on our own. No guards. Not in this area. I looked into each of their eyes. About 40 of them. Some looked like they belonged. Others looked drastically out of place. One hour of daylight per day for this special group of ladies. 18th Street Gang Members. And, one hour a week with their “Mama Ty”. My friend. My hero. Who has devoted over 17 years of her life meeting with the ‘homies’ every Wednesday. No other visitors. Not ever.
My mind began to race:
- How did they all get here?
- Will they ever leave this place?
- What do you think about at night before you sleep?
It was love at first sight. I was smitten. I wanted to sit with each and every one. Here there stories. Hug ‘em. Learn their struggles. Love ‘em. Listen to their hearts. Instead I was handed the portable microphone. I began to speak the group …
I shared about how 4 walls does not determine their freedom…
- Forgiveness is what sets us free.
- Forgiving ourselves. Forgiving others.
- Freedom is worth fighting for.
- It gets complicated.
- Pursue the peace. It’s a battle worth fighting.
Is there anyone you need to forgive today? I can only pray it brought a glimmer of hope to their broken hearts. I won’t know until I return again. Someday. I’ll be back. Sooner rather than later. Lord let it be.
P.S. While I was in prison for the day, Bella was off splashing in the stream with her shoes and clothes on. It was her favorite day of the trip. Hanging out with her ‘Honduran sisters’. The Carrette girls. John and Tarah Carrette are two of our most favorite people on planet earth. This American couple adopted 23 kids! Yes, ‘TLC’ take that and make it into a reality show. The world needs to meet this extraordinary family. But first, you and your family need to join us on our next trip to Honduras. Who’s in?