Saturday, April 28, 2012

Short family vacation

In November last year, my husband went to visit Dr. Kent Hovind in federal prison in Florence, Colorado, where he is currently being held. He had been moved there just a few months earlier and was for the first time since his incarceration close enough for us to consider visiting him.

My husband filled out the necessary forms applying for a visit, and since he met the requirement of having a "previously established relationship" with Dr. Hovind, he was approved, and traveled to Colorado the following week.



One way, the trip takes about 12 hours by car. Visiting hours are on Friday evening and Saturday morning. In order for my husband to be able to visit Dr. Hovind without missing any of his own church services back home, he had to do a lot of driving between the mid-week service on Wednesday night, and the Sunday morning service. It was a strenuous trip, though very much worthwhile. 

Since that visit, because Dr. Hovind no longer believes the false "pre-tribulation rapture" doctrine, him and my husband also worked together on a forthcoming documentary titled "After the Tribulation".

Given the fact that my husband has to do a lot of driving for his fire alarm business, he was not exactly eager to repeat this trip with the entire family, especially considering the fact that I was pregnant. It took me months of bringing up such a trip here and there, before he agreed to doing it. Not because he didn't want to - it was just a lot of trouble, and would take much time and money to do with eight people instead of by himself.

About two months ago, we submitted the necessary paperwork for me to be permitted as a visitor. Like my husband, I met the "previous established relationship" requirement. This is fulfilled even by having ever been to any of Dr. Hovind's seminars, which I had, but I knew him beyond that. We had talked in person and on the phone on several occasions, and I was in the process of translating his creation handbook into German at the time he was arrested. There should have been no difficultly in approving me as a visitor. The children are automatically permitted if one of the parents is.

Unfortunately, I made the mistake of speaking with someone close to Dr. Hovind (at his request -  he needed some information from them) about our family's upcoming visit, before my application had been approved. This particular person does not care for our beliefs (particularly on the issues of KJV-only, and the false doctrine of "repentance from sins" being a prerequisite to salvation), and seemed disappointed that my husband had been allowed to visit Dr. Hovind in the past. This person who shall remain unnamed also seemed to disapprove of our plans to visit again, and repeatedly told me they were going to call the prison counselor assigned to Dr. Hovind that approves visitors.

While I cannot prove that it had anything to do with this phone call, my application to be permitted as a visitor was subsequently turned down, claiming I did not meet the "previous established relationship" requirement. I then submitted a second request, detailing my interactions with Dr. Hovind going back years before his incarceration, but was again turned down. The counselor said his decision was based on a "phone interview", but no such interview ever took place.

Clearly, someone who didn't want us to visit Dr. Hovind had very selfishly and inconsiderately "poisoned the well". It may have been the person I spoke with on the phone, or one of the many people who hate my husband after they found out about his first visit. The prison counselor in charge apparently was all too happy to oblige in denying our visit, as it seems to be standard protocol to make every effort to demoralize and discourage certain inmates.

Nevertheless, Dr. Hovind put in a request from his end, asking that our family be permitted a "special visit". This was submitted to a superior of his prison counselor, who in turn approved his request after being presented with the case. We finally received the needed approval and go-ahead for our visit! Both Dr. Hovind, as well as our family, were thrilled about finally being allowed to visit.

Knowing the fickle nature of such decisions, we planned to go immediately, i.e. the following weekend. I spent three full days planning, packing, and getting ready for what would be a very long and difficult trip to make at almost 7 months pregnant, with six children in the back. 

We got on the road very early Thursday morning, giving ourselves two full days to make the drive to Colorado, where we were planning on arriving Friday evening in time for visiting hours. Leaving early would allow us to split the drive up and see attractions along the way, as well as spend Thursday night at the house of friends of ours in New Mexico. The drive home would be much more strenuous, as we would need to drive pretty much non-stop all the way home in order to make it back by Sunday morning after leaving Colorado when visiting hours ended on Saturday afternoon.


The boys kept running up and down this mountain like maniacs. Their energy is amazing!




Our first major pit stop was Painted Desert and Petrified Forest National Park in the far north-eastern corner of Arizona. 





While there, we received a phone call from Dr. Hovind, saying there had been some hold-up with our visit, but he was unable to get any more details on it until later in the day. In any case, the glitch (if there was one) was only concerning approval for my visit, while my husband and the kids were still clear to go. With that information, we decided to drive on to the house of our friends in the Four Corners, NM area. In the rare event that I was no longer allowed to visit, my husband and the kids still would, while I would stay behind at the hotel. 

On the way up to New Mexico, we got into the worst dust storm I have ever seen - and I have seen a few of them living here in Phoenix. It was as if it were raining mud, straight from the West. Since we were heading straight north at this point, the entire driver side of the van got caked in a thick layer of mud almost instantly, while visibility was oftentimes close to zero. Thankfully, I was following a large semi, which helped tremendously with staying on the road safely. Along the way, we saw road signs and sheets of metal roofing being torn off in the severe wind. At this point, it really was safer to continue driving that to pull over in the middle of nowhere on a narrow shoulder with zero visibility to the cars behind us.

 This was taken after most of the mud had dried and crumbled off while driving.

Finally, we arrived at our friends' house on Thursday evening. We had gone close to 400 miles that day, and it had taken us a total of 12 hours. The kids were thrilled to be out of the car, running around with their friends on their big property, with lots of new toys and animals. I was just happy to sit down with my friend and enjoy a delicious, hot cooked dinner of chili and fry bread waiting for us! We got another call from Dr. Hovind, who still had no update on my being approved or not, but who was hopeful he would get a final word early Friday morning. 

Becky loved the kittens they had

Originally, we had planned to leave our friends' house very early Friday morning, since we had to cover another 300 miles on backroad highways by 5 pm that evening. Given the turn of events, we waited for another update from Dr. Hovind before driving on. Shortly after 7 am on Friday, he called again, this time informing us that ALL of us had been rejected for the "special visit" that we had been approved for just days earlier. As I understand it, the person superior to the prison counselor, who had permitted our visit, had been moved to a different prison extension just a day or two before our visit. This put the power of decision back in the hands of the prison counselor, who promptly over-rode the superior's decision and rejected our special visit - even though (or probably, because) he knew we were already en route all the way from Arizona, with our entire family.

We were disappointed to say the least. More than that, I felt for Dr. Hovind, who has had almost no visitors besides my husband since being transferred to Colorado - and my husband has been permanently revoked from being allowed to visit him at that particular prison again. All because we supposedly do not meet the "previous established relationship" clause, even though we do, even by their own determination (at least in my husband's case). 

After a leisurely breakfast of my friend's delicious blueberry muffins, we started on the long way home. We decided to take a different route for the way home, heading through Four Corners, then southwest into Arizona, and finally straight south through Flagstaff. This was another 400-mile trip, and again it took us 12 hours to complete because of the frequent rest stops to make it more fun and memorable.


We arrived home about 9 PM on Friday night. In 40 hours, we had traveled 800 miles, visited with our friends, and seen Petrified Forest National Park, the Painted Desert, a humongous mud storm, Four Corners, a Navajo museum with lots of WWII info (particularly on the Navajo code talkers), as well as dinosaur footprints at a stop along the highway, in addition to the odd stops along the road to play and run around in pine forests.





 The guide filled some of the foot prints with water for us, to make them stand out more.

the largest footprint at this site, as outlined by the rocks


The kids traveled well, and had a good trip. My only complaint as far as the drive and my pregnancy were concerned, was that my asthma was much worse at the higher elevation. I never suffer asthma, except when pregnant - apparently, it is triggered by the extra estrogen. In the higher elevation, coupled with the hormonal imbalance from traveling and a lack of sleep, it was a lot harder than usual to deal with. 

Please pray for Dr. Hovind. He is currently scheduled for release in August of 2015, though he has several appeals in the courts. If you would like to write a letter to him, please send it to:

Kent Hovind #06452-017
FPC Satellite Camp Florence
P.O. Box 5000
Florence, CO 81226 USA

You can watch some of Dr. Hovind's seminars below:

The Age of the Earth



The Garden of Eden



Dinosaurs and the Bible



 Lies in the Textbooks



Dangers of Evolution



Questions and Answers






Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
(Mat 25:44-45)


Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.
(Heb 13:3)


And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment:
(Heb 11:36)


11 comments:

  1. Thank you for the story about your trip. I'm glad you were able to visit with your-my friends! They are a blessing to me too! I'm praying for Dr. Hovind. His ministry is a blessing as is your husband's and yours!

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  2. All your boys are handsome and all your girls are presh and pretty, but Becky is the ultimate sweetheart to me. I hope to have a girl that sweet, beautiful, spunky as her. Kudos to your kids, they are adorbs.

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  3. I am truly sorry that you were not able to visit Dr. Hovind in prison. It is a terrible sin about how the refusal of visitation took place and also banning your husband forever. There definitely were some evil forces involved. I will keep him in my prayers. Clare

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  4. Do you believe the offenses Dr. Hovind was convicted of are true?

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  5. I see the "eye" in the sky in your last photo. Neat!

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  6. I am quite confused that you are trying so hard to shield your children from deviants, and yet you would bring them to a high security prison, where deviants could see them and taunt them?

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  7. Sorry, I'm a little confused. I understand that you and your husband intended to visit Dr. Hovind, and that you took your children along for the trip. Did you intend for your children to go on the prison visit as well. If so, why would you subject young children to that kind of environment?

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  8. Yes, we were going to bring our children into the prison with us for the visit.

    This particular prison is a "minimum security" facility. My husband had been there and assessed it - the prison itself looks like a public high school, and the visiting room like a large cafeteria with tables, vending machines, and an outdoor area. There was nothing invasive, or inappropriate for children. In fact, there were not even metal detectors for visitors to walk through (unlike at our library). Other children were there visiting, watching movies with the inmates they came to see (mostly their dads), or playing board games.

    So, no, this was not a "bad" environment for young visitors under our supervision.

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  9. If you don't mind my asking, why is the Dr. in prison? Maybe I missed a post about that? Just curious. I, personally, feel that it would have been a pretty neat learning experience for your children.

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  10. Do you mean the security gates at the library? Or does your library actually have a metal detector on top of those? The gates don't detect metal. They work off of a magnetic security tag system so that people don't walk off with books, either accidentally or on purpose. If you have self-check out machines, that "thump" you hear is machine desensitizing (shutting off) the security tag. It's also why video tapes had all sorts of warning plastered on them about not desensitizing them. Since it was a magnetic system, you'd wipe the tape.

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  11. anon above,

    you are right, our library only has the magnetic security gates, not metal detectors. Not sure what I was thinking - if they were metal detectors, I would surely set them off every time, because I always do. Duh!

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