The story of Betty Vasquez captured my imagination and continues to inspire me. I told her story in my sermon on Jan. 5th. Betty was forced to move when gangs literally moved into her house. She relocated to another part of her country: Honduras. 22% of Hondurans live outside their homeland, displaced primarily by violence.
The rule of law has been non-existent in Honduras for a decade. Illegal land grabs by hydro-electric companies flood and pollute the lands belonging to indigenous people, like the Lenca Community of which Betty is a part. A leader in her community, she is fighting to preserve and protect that lands that rightfully belong to her community. She faces regular death threats for her efforts.
I learned about Betty Vasquez through our Disciples Refugee and Immigration Ministry. Our denomination not only practices Christian hospitality inside the borders of the US and Canada; we are seeking to learn the causes of displacement and help our partners addresses those root causes. This is mission work. Bearing witness to Betty’s story is mission work. Telling Betty’s story is mission work. Words create worlds. What will our words create in 2020?
You can find Betty’s story and more through this link to the report from the 2019 Interfaith Pilgrimage to Honduras: https://www.im4humanintegrity.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/1e_Honduras2019_Brief_July03_Full.pdf