Sister Dorothy Stang is the martyr from whom we at BeesAndThankYou draw inspiration. Dorothy Stang was a member of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, who give their lives for God so that they can better serve the needs of the people that need it so desperately.

Dorothy Stang was tasked with helping the peasants of the Amazon in Brazil. To the layman, this may seem an arduous task at worst, but it is, in fact, one of the most dangerous occupations in Brazil. The Amazon rain forest represents possibly the world’s most valuable resource, and not just for the natives and local farmers, but also for ranchers, loggers, land speculators, and other agribusinesses.

Sister Dorothy Stang was one of the foremost proponents of sustainable farming in the region. Because of the region’s fierce competition for resources, Dorothy Stang also taught local peasants to defend themselves from criminal gangs who sought to murder or scare off families and farmers to acquire the lands for the businessmen they were hired by.

Hired killings of human rights advocates, environmentalists, and farmers account for one-third of all deaths in the region each year. Businessmen and ranchers seek to eliminate opposition to their goals, and their opposition is comprised mostly of people like Dorothy Stang, who only seek to extend the life of our natural resources for everyone’s benefit. Because of her beliefs, Dorothy Stang was murdered in cold blood in 2005, on a stretch of dirt road in the heart of Brazil.

While BeesAndThankYou may not ever be able to match the fervor or dedication, even while staring down the barrel of a loaded gun, of Dorothy Stang, it is her work, her passion, that inspires us to help the world, and therefore, ourselves, in whatever way we can.