Mementos from Prison


I’m a very sentimental person. Look around my house and there’s probably a story related to just about anything you find there. The picture of daisies in the dining room? My husband took when we were in Neurenburg, Germany about 15 years ago. The photo of a man with tomatoes? That was my dad. The lithographs of two horses in the family room? They were purchased in Japan and given to us by Mark’s parents. I like to be surrounded by memories. It feels cozy, like a home should be. 

Last Sunday I returned to the States and I find myself missing El Salvador. I miss the strong breezes, the sweet people and the adventure of it all. A country I couldn’t have identified on a globe, has now found a place in my heart. I was only there for eight days but I want to remember the time and all that the Lord allowed me to experience. Being a sentimental person, I came back with very special souvenirs. 

Which is why before Thanksgiving I had Mark do some “husband training” which is my affectionate term for what my boys will one day refer to as a “Honey Do” list. Husband training is a way he can teach our OS a few ways to help around the house and become great husbands. They see it as a pain in the butt but one day, their wives will thank me (I hope!).  I thought I’d show you a few of the new treasures that are now in my home. 

This picture is of Garfield. The picture says, “I miss you.” 

This drawing says, “Thinking of you. I love you. I love you.”

Yeah, these pictures aren’t exactly going to be hanging in the Louvre anytime soon but I couldn’t stuff them in a drawer knowing who made them and gave them to me. 

Two girls at the El Salvadorian prison gave me these drawings. They even wrote something on the back of each of these pictures! We were not permitted to take pictures of the girls’ faces so we got creative. 

Each time I look at these drawings, I will remember to pray for these girls facing long sentences and difficult choices. I wept as each of these girls lovingly presented their humble gifts to me. 
Now I have remembrances of them in my home. 

My friend and fellow traveler, Beth Anne, was given a little washrag from one of the prisoners. It had a little cartoon on the cloth and might have been one of the girl’s favorite washrags, maybe even her only one, but this girl wanted to give BA something. BA has already threatened her husband saying, “I don’t care how cheesy this might look, we are going to hang this washrag up in our apartment!” I think she’s going to shadow box it which would be pretty cool. Until then, she will have a washrag hanging on her wall and that’s that. 

I also have a favorite wrist and that’s because since my return I’ve been wearing three bracelets I received from Salvador (as I often heard the natives say) which is probably like us saying “the States” as opposed to the United States of America. Our sweet, sweet translator Lulu gave me the red bracelet, a lady from a women’s conference gave me the leather bracelet which she took off her wrist and put on mine and the third, well that’s a bracelet of hope. I can’t wait to tell you about the bracelets of hope. It’s on my list of things to share but if I make this post too long, I’ll lose your attention. 

If you see my left wrist, ask me! If you see anything in my house, get ready for a story! Tell me yours too!

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