Dunlap Speaks about Macedonian Ordeal, Part 2

Candi and Marc Dunlap went to Macedonia on a short-term mission trip, never dreaming that one of them would end of in jail.

Candi says souvenirs given to her by villagers she helped turned out to be old coins that were illegal to take out of the country.

She says the jail conditions were miserable and trying to communicate with officials was very difficult. Dunlap said her faith took over where her strength stopped.

Dunlap says she shared a cell with seven other women, two of whom were murderers. She was without everything. The eight women shared half-a-loaf of bread a day and at night something that looked like soup:

"And they served it in a galvanized shopping cart thing, disgusting, inhumane," said Dunlap. "You had no spoon, no fork, nothing."

Plus she was dizzy and lost the vision in her right eye. As a nurse, Dunlap knew the signs of stroke. When the guards wouldn't help, one of the inmates shared her blood pressure medicine that a family member had sneaked in to her. That act of kindness, along with the English skills of another inmate who interpreted, endeared them to her.

"God put me in exactly the right place. These women were so sweet," said Dunlap. "They were not anyone you'd ever think you'd bond with but, I'll never forget them."

Though Marc was not allowed to see his wife, he was able to bring food and warm clothes to her. Feeling helpless, he took the recommendation of the customs agent in securing an attorney. But he later learned the lawyer had been fired by the government for corruption, involving customs:

"He finally figured out within three or four days they were in cahoots, and he had plans to represent her, but to draw it out and to extort more money," said Marc Dunlap.

Marc had Candi's new team in place by the time she went to court. By American standards, Macedonian courts seem chaotic. But Marc says now they know his wife's month behind bars could have turned into years:

"Although it was very slow for us, for the Macedonia judicial system, it was unheard of to happen that quick," Marc said. "And we credit that to our attorney, but mostly to God. God was in charge of this whole thing."

Candi said she is thankful for a lot of help from the U.S. Embassy. Candi was in prison from Sept. 28 to Oct. 24. But legally Macedonian authorities told them they could have kept her three to five years before a trial.

In Part 3, the Dunlaps say when they thought things couldn't get worse, they did.


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