The prison we visited on the last day of our trip, is the oldest and worst in the state. It is 75 years old and basically a crumbling, 5 story dungeon. We had to carry all our equipment across a muddy field to get to the area. The guard who was the head of security was really cool and got around ten inmates to help carry all our stuff. He wouldn’t let my sisters and I carry anything. They brought out around 200 men directly in front of us, and then there were 1500 men sitting with their legs through the cells, 5 stories up. I was concerned that it was going to be very hard to keep their attention since there were so many spread out and it would be normal for them to be talking, shouting and distracted. But we were shocked by their absolute silence, respect and attention. It was like even the guys way high up were sitting right in front of us listening. They would cheer so loudly after each act and shout down comments, questions and gratitude. The state prison director, who is over 180 prisons, brought in the press to document our work here to then publish it nationally. They also invited around 30 directors and administers from other facilities. This was definitely a day I will never forget.
We do a piece of theater to the song, “Fragile” (by Sting), where I start out as if trying to jump rope but can’t. I say that it is stupid to be playing like a child. I can’t be a child anymore. My life is so difficult, full of suffering, no one cares and I am all alone. I speak to what I know my audience is thinking. I say how I have no Father, Then my father comes behind me and embraces me. I cut my jump rope in half and toss it aside saying that my life is broke. Through the act my dad, portraying our heavenly Father, shows me He forgives me, heals me and draws me back to Him. Through a magic trick, the “jump rope” is repaired and we then go into a routine of magic and clowns that are whole family is involved in to the Cirque do Solie song, “Alegria”. It is a really moving act and every time these tough guy prisoners, are in tears watching this performance and applaud throughout it.
They printed an article on the prison webpage about our work.