Even Silence Has An End

Ingrid Betancourt was campaigning for the presidency of Colombia in 2002. On February 23, 2002, she was kidnapped by the terrorist group (FARC) that she was trying to make peace with during her campaign trail. She was held in hostage with 13 others for 6 1/2 years - yes - 6 1/2 years. They were all forced to live in terrible conditions in the middle of the jungle. Ingrid's mother would go to the radio station every single day and broadcast a message for her - in the hopes that Ingrid would hear her voice to keep her company in the midst of silence and pure loneliness - only a mother can do this - only a mother's love can communicate light despite her own despair. Ingrid left behind 2 children who were leading protests and call for action movements to get their mother back. They were ages 14 and 16 when Ingrid was captured.

Two years ago, the Colombian military pretended to be FARC Leaders by intercepting radio frequencies and said they wanted Ingrid and the rest of the hostages to be flown by helicopter to meet a new FARC leader. The terrorists escorted the hostages into a helicopter. After 10 minutes in the air, the militia men told them they were rescued - and that they were really the Colombian military! After being held in hostage for 6 1/2 years, they were free....

When the helicopter landed, Ingrid was told that she would see her children the following day. She didn't sleep that night - she pictured what they would look like 6 1/2 years later - the next morning, they were more beautiful than her fantasized visions. The next morning, she got to decide how to live her life. She got to decide whether to shower or not. She got to decide what fruits and vegetables she would eat. She got to pick out some clothes for herself. She got to use a toilet.

She said the Bible was the only thing she could read in the jungle - every hostage video (3 in all during the kidnapping) showed her more emaciated than before - Her favorite passage was when St. Paul addressed the church in Rome - When he felt the most weak, He felt the most strong. The weaker and more emaciated she felt, the stronger she grew - an objective reality that she believed with all her heart - this kind of thing happens when you are lost in a jungle for that long.

Peace, and much love to you - John Baptist.


  1. wow, this is incredible on so many levels!

    It makes me flabbergasted and ashamed at humanity (myself included) for not making the most of each day, being grateful for each precious moment, and reaching real potential.

    thank you for sharing this - it's much more than a story but really a testament of the power of God and the power 1 life can have in 6 1/2 years in a jungle, private, and out of the limelight.

    just shared it with friends in egypt -

  2. very interesting that she was captured on february 23, btw.

  3. Wow. I didn't know about this. Tears. Thanks for this.


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