When Ray and I visited the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in 2017, I took this rather blurry picture of a necklace labeled, Necklace of Faith.
Beside the necklace was a frame containing the following letter:
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
During captivity, the Prisoner of War lived and survived by the strength of three basic faiths: Faith in his God, Faith in his Country, and Faith in his fellowman.
Throughout history, man has labored to create tangible symbols with which to express his strongest and most personal beliefs. The necessity for this endeavor never becomes more pronounced than when despair is ever near. When that need occurs, gold and precious materials are rarely available so he uses whatever he has. This necklace was so fashioned.
The necklace beads are cut from bamboo. It was plentiful.
The plastic is from wrecked electronics equipment.
A scrap of leather was found on the jungle floor and used as a background for the cross.
A rib and metacarpus bone of a small monkey were used for the vertical and horizontal cross members.
The bead string and cross bindings were taken from cord embedded in our sandals. Our sandals were made from discarded tire carcasses.
Our crafting tools were a milk can lid for cutting and a worn-down nail as an awl.
On the night before our release from captivity (11 February 1973), it was desired that our crudely devised necklace should always be preserved, either by a suitable museum or some very deserving and honorable person.
Mrs. Reagan, it is but a token gesture of my personal esteem that I entrust the “Necklace of Faith” to your safekeeping. This necklace is indeed hallowed by faith, faith that was sought, faith that was practiced, and faith that was finally realized.
On behalf of twenty Prisoners of War, held in South Vietnam.
LTC. Raymond C. Schrump, (USA Ret.)
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Imagine 20 American prisoners of war in Vietnam working together with bits of this and bits of that to make a reminder of the cross of Jesus Christ. Then think back about the person or persons who had taught them about Jesus long before they would need Him more than they had ever needed Him before.
What an inspiration this is to keep on training your children every day. Now is the time to get them ready to face whatever their future holds.
For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you,
which first dwelled in your grandmother Lois
and your mother Eunice,
and I am sure that it is in you as well.
2 Timothy 1:5