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Gospel Connection

Sister Dorothy Stang, a Sister of Notre Dame de Namur, was murdered in 2005 by a pair of gunmen as she walked along a rural road in Brazil’s Amazon region. Stang had been receiving death threats for years because of her work on land reform, peasants’ rights, and environmental issues and had asked the government on a number of occasions for better protection for the people in this isolated area, whom loggers and large landowners wanted elsewhere. A witness to the shooting said that when her assailants approached, Dorothy said, “You men are armed. I am not. The only defence I carry is the word of God”. She pulled out a Bible and began to read to them. Her killers listened for a moment, took a few steps back, and fired. There is no doubt Sister Dorothy followed Jesus’ command to fear no one. She is now surely being acknowledged before God. But what I find most unbelievable is that the gunmen actually paused to listen to Sister Dorothy read from the Bible. What could possibly have been going through their minds as she read? Perhaps Sister Dorothy’s steadfast witness even unto death had an impact on these hardened hearts, and they may someday find the courage to seek forgiveness. In the meantime, I pray that we all might find the courage to love so courageously. From GPBS Parables e-news 16 June 2020


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