by Alvin Kelly #999012
As we prepared to pack and move to the new Unit Super Seg in Livingston, Texas, Terrell Unit all sorts of thoughts crossed my mind, isolation, single wreck (exercise), no Church services, visitation, Medical, no TV's, just a single cell with a steel door with a food slot in it, maximum lockdown. Nothing gets into your cell or out of your cell unless the officer opens the food slot.
As I contemplated all these thoughts and hardships I silently prayed the Lord to give me strength, and help me to endure. And as I prayed the L packed my meager belongings in four onion sacks and I embarked upon my new journey I was faced with the painful handcuffs and the famous black block always used to transport D/R. Plus once they had me cuffed too tight they chained my ankles and then locked the chain to my handcuffs about 7-9'' above my ankles so that I was forced to duckwalk with two officers holding me from either side.
I was placed on a Chainbus along with 50-60 others in the same situation that I was in, shackled and chained like slave trade.
I endured the ride which was about an hour and a half but felt like forever and we arrived at the new Unit Super Seg. I was again led off the bus and duckwalked to an area and uncuffed and unchained, stripped and given a pair of boxer shorts and a pair of socks, and then cuffed again behind my back with the new procedure thumbs up; which is you place your hands behind you palms out and thumbs up, very painful for an old overweight man.
I was then led to my cell on B pod, BD-50. As I entered my cell and was uncuffed through the food slot in the steel door I had arrived at the New Super Seg Death Row.
As I knelt at the door before even entering my cell I silently prayed the blood of Jesus Christ upon the door post of my new cell. I gave thanks and praised God for His mercy and His grace and forthe power of the Holy Spirit that strengthened me all the way here. As I settled in and my property was brought to me and I begin to unpack I began to feel the wonderful presence of the Lord all over me, I mean powerful. I begin to cry quietly, not from pain, nor fear, but from the joy of His Holy presence and His loving arms that seemed to just wrap me around and hold me. It was the pure love of Christ within me comforting me and telling me I am here. I realized that the Lord had just endured along beside me the whole trip through the cuffs, the chains the smelly Chainbus, He was right there beside me comforting me. The humiliation of the duckwalk, the whole thing. But the joy I felt at that moment that I was never alone, even though I was on the bus with 50-60 other guys they were all trying to endure their own pain and suffering. I realized that the strength that I had felt all the way was not my own but that of the Lord and His grace is sufficient for me.
As the day began and I went through my daily routine of Bible reading and prayer and then on into my Bible studies and listening to the Christian broadcast on 106.9 KKHT from about 3:30-6:30 AM then I was taken out to the single man wreck yard to exercise.
I visited with who I could see from the day room and walked around to just get used to the new place. We are allowed one hour each day out of our cell for exercise, dayroom 5 days a week and outside 2 days, if you want to call it outside. It is another smaller cage with the roof off.
Anyway after my hour of exercise I was again cuffed and returned to my new cell to finish my studies and radio ministry. I did this until about 2:00 PM by which time I was ready to start my correspondence to let everyone know that I was here and send them my new address. As I was beginning this I suddenly realized that this was exactly the same routine that I have been doing for the past 4-5 years daily even at the Ellis Unit. My prayer time was the same but a little more isolated and better, my study time and reading time was the same but quieter and better. So as I continued to write and think and listen to my Christian stations on the radio the presence of the Holy SPIRIT was stronger than I can ever remember, it being before and I can see that the Lord over the past years has been preparing me for just this move and this place.
All that I have been through and suffered the last year or so have prepared me so that my being here now has only changed my shower time and location, everything else is exactly the same but deeper spirituality.
I see now that the really hard times that I felt I was going through this past year were God's gentle hand making the adjustments within me to prepare me for now.
I am blessed each day as I wake and worship and share God's loving grace.
We do serve an awesome God, A-men.
Alvin Kelly # 999012, 04/17/2000