Former jailed missionary Candi Dunlap says she initially had a corrupt lawyer, no medicine, and her husband wasn't allowed to see her. Then things got worse.
When Marc Dunlap went to pick up his imprisoned wife's medicine, shipped from her U.S. doctor, he was rushed by six customs agents, shoved into a car and arrested.
Dunlap said it was like something you would see in a bad movie. Apparently the medication was not allowed in the Republic of Macedonia. But with calls to the embassy and Candi's new attorney, he was able to avoid the same fate as his wife.
Meanwhile, Candi was not aware of the chaos he was enduring. She was unable to sleep, but says she worked to keep calm.
"My situation was horrible but God did at least have his hand in everything and I did have a peace about that," said Candi.
One example of what she faced was a photo widely distributed by Macedonian customs, including to television stations, supposedly showing the coins agents confiscated from Candi.
She says those aren't her coins at all. She said what villagers gave to her as gifts would fit in the palm of your hand. Ironically, the Dunlaps went on this same mission trip to Macedonia last year, left with Macedonian coins, and there were no problems.
Candi Dunlap says it's her fault she did not know the laws, but her love of missions is still just as strong:
"It's the most fulfilling thing I've ever done other than having children," she said. "Mission trips are absolutely wonderful. The only advice I ever give anybody is just make sure you know the laws going in and coming out. Make sure that if you have to be registered in the country that you are registered within the allotted time. If not, that will also make you look suspicious."
Candi said her mission work didn't stop once in a prison cell. She said Marc brought her a New Testament in the Macedonian language that she gave to a woman imprisoned for killing her seven-week old baby. She told the woman of Christ's forgiveness. She said by the time she was freed, the woman had read the New Testament twice.
Dunlap's court date finally came and she was fined and deported. But free. She said it was then she learned of all of the support from back home, and was overwhelmed by it.
"This is absolutely the best community ever," said Candi. "I mean, I've never felt so loved in my life, ever. I mean, it's just unbelievable to have this support here. "
Dunlap says she takes from this experience that God is in control and not us.
She said that was her prayer while in that cell, that God's will be done. And she says she is so grateful for the prayers from home and across the country for her release.
Candi and Marc Dunlap have six children all together, and they are trying to get back into a routine. Marc is catching up with his contracting work, Candi went back to her job last weekend as an emergency room nurse practitioner, She said she would go back on a mission trip tomorrow if the opportunity presented itself.