Message from Sarah!

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Free the Hikers

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Oct 19, 2010, 9:08:05 PM10/19/10
to Freethehikers
Letter to Supporters,

I came out of prison feeling frozen. I put up walls inside walls
because if I stayed tender for 13 months in prison I would have
exposed myself to too much pain; because there wasn’t enough beauty in
a day to ward off the long, spiritual winter; because I needed them to
stay sane.

More than anything I’m grateful to finally be sitting here writing
about prison in the past tense.

Yet, for Shane and Josh, prison is still locked in the eternal
present.

I am one of the only people in the world that has their voices still
fresh in mind. They were truly joyful to see me go free. Tightly
grasping my hands in theirs they said “we believe in you, Sarah, no
one is more ready and capable of jumping into the free world and
fighting for us than you are.”

Free-life offers new challenges and very different obstacles than I
faced in prison. I have reentered a world of fear and
uncertainty…..and also of great hope. Now I know first-hand what our
families and all of you have been experiencing all along.

I learned patience and perseverance those long months and it’s those
lessons more than anything that are serving me now.

The most important thing that I can offer you are the words of Shane
and Josh. What they want to say to you, more than anything else, is
“thank you.” Not even a message as basic as that has been able to fly
from their lips, suspended by tender air currents and carried into
your ears, for all these months.

“Thank you.”

Since the day I stepped off that plane into Muscat, Oman I’ve met with
three presidents, numerous foreign ministers and ambassadors. Not one
of them means any more or less to me than one of you.

I fervently believe that everyone’s efforts led to my freedom,
everyone’s belief that the world contains as much goodness, and as
much justice, as we create and put into motion. Not an ounce more or
an ounce less.

I want this freedom, this justice for Shane and Josh, with every
morsel of my being. Every breath I take, every time I open my eyes in
the morning and every time I close them at night, I see them. I know
them and I love them.

I want to ask you to please, look to the positive, feel the power and
the strength of what you’ve done. Help us give one, last, huge
push!!!

I’ve asked the world to redouble its efforts. But what does that mean?
It means do what you do best, whatever it may be. Do what you do best
for Shane and Josh. We need fundraising for legal expenses,
translation and travel. We need t-shirts and jewelry sold. We need
prayers and we need action. We need more people to visit the website
and sign the new petition. Make a “Free All Three” banner and hang it
up in the most visible spot you can find. We need you to mobilize and
be ready for the next step when it comes.

DONATE: http://freethehikers.org/take-action/support-our-efforts/
T-SHIRTS: http://www.zazzle.com/freethehikers
NEW PETITION: http://freethehikers.org/take-action/sign-the-petition/

We have all been changed and continue to be changed by this
experience. Thanks to all the love and support I’ve felt in the last
month I’m slowing thawing out, but sometimes it feels like a glacier
in there, waiting for thousands of years for just enough sun. When
Josh and Shane get out they will help me figure it out. No one knows
me as well as they do. When the three of us are together and free, I
know we will heal.

Prison is not heaven or hell. Nothing in life made us ready for this
experience, but Shane and Josh are coping. They are as strong as they
need to be. They will walk out unbroken.

One of my students once said to me, “A part of me is yours forever”
because I was there to help him get through a difficult time in his
life. I want to say the same to all of you on behalf of myself, Shane
and Josh, “A part of us is yours, forever.”

“Thank you.”

Since the day I stepped off that plane into Muscat, Oman I’ve met with
three presidents, numerous foreign ministers and ambassadors. Not one
of them means any more or less to me than one of you.

I fervently believe that everyone’s efforts led to my freedom,
everyone’s belief that the world contains as much goodness, and as
much justice, as we create and put into motion. Not an ounce more or
an ounce less.

I want this freedom, this justice for Shane and Josh, with every
morsel of my being. Every breath I take, every time I open my eyes in
the morning and every time I close them at night, I see them. I know
them and I love them.

I want to ask you to please, look to the positive, feel the power and
the strength of what you’ve done. Help us give one, last, huge
push!!!

I’ve asked the world to redouble its efforts. But what does that mean?
It means do what you do best, whatever it may be. Do what you do best
for Shane and Josh. We need fundraising for legal expenses,
translation and travel. We need t-shirts and jewelry sold. We need
prayers and we need action. We need more people to visit the website
and sign the new petition. Make a “Free All Three” banner and hang it
up in the most visible spot you can find. We need you to mobilize and
be ready for the next step when it comes.

We have all been changed and continue to be changed by this
experience. Thanks to all the love and support I’ve felt in the last
month I’m slowing thawing out, but sometimes it feels like a glacier
in there, waiting for thousands of years for just enough sun. When
Josh and Shane get out they will help me figure it out. No one knows
me as well as they do. When the three of us are together and free, I
know we will heal.

Prison is not heaven or hell. Nothing in life made us ready for this
experience, but Shane and Josh are coping. They are as strong as they
need to be. They will walk out unbroken.

One of my students once said to me, “A part of me is yours forever”
because I was there to help him get through a difficult time in his
life. I want to say the same to all of you on behalf of myself, Shane
and Josh, “A part of us is yours, forever.”

“Thank you.”

When Josh and Shane are free we will all be able to exhale
collectively, pause and then ask, “Who’s next?” There are millions
more lined up, waiting to get free. “What’s next?” There are countless
changes that devoted, committed people like ourselves can band
together and fight for. I’m looking forward to the day. I’m hoping
that Shane and Josh will soon be standing with us, asking these
questions and finding answers.

Sarah Shourd

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