We just finished our first week of painting! The ladies were so willing and eager to get to work! The guards opened up each of the cells, and locked us in with our friends there for the rest of the morning. One of the sweetest gifts in getting to work on this project with these ladies is this: Normally, the atmosphere in the jail is very sober, dark and heavy. It is difficult to fellowship and converse in a real way with dear friends when they are crammed behind bars, and visits are timed and monitored. This past week the atmosphere was such a contrast! It was so special to have all the iron doors wide open, to have the hall-way packed with energy and excitement and eagerness to pitch in! We even went back to the hard-ware store after the first day to buy more brushes and supplies so that more ladies could help at one time.
|Celebrating Liesl's birthday after our first day of painting =)|
Day 1 - On Monday we scrubbed down the ceiling, walls and doors, and painted all the doors white. There was something really fulfilling about painting over the musky iron brown with a crisp white. "Auntie," one of the oldest ladies living at the jail, got to work with me on sweeping out the ceiling. By the time we finished, we were all completely covered in thick black dust and smog from the years of dirt collecting in the iron-chain ceiling.
Day 2 - Wednesday we were able to prime the entire space. It also happened to be Liesl's birthday, so we celebrated with pine-apple pastries and by singing happy birthday in about 3 different languages. (This was hopefully Liesl's only birthday which she will spend in jail.) =)
Day 3 - Friday we brought in a 5-gallon bucket of yellow paint. Next week we are hoping to bring in the girls from the orphanage to help serve a hot meal, as well as to paint various passages from the Bible across from each cell door.
|Juneth brightens up the entrance to the jail hall-way. This was taken on Day 2, after the doors were painted.|
|Liesl, Eva, and Chica-Tina, getting to work on the far end of the hallway. Eva's bed is stashed in the corner because there is no room left in the crowded cells.|
|"Auntie," is kind of like the mother-grandmother figure of the jail family. The door to her cell is usually covered with hammocks, belts, jewelry, and bags that she weaves from recycled plastic bags.|
|Chiquitina and Maria - "the babies." Chiquitina is only 15 years old!|
|We feel so grateful to be welcomed in by the women and girls here.|
Thank you so much for praying for us!
God is answering!