President and Co-Founder of Heart of Christ-Corazon de Cristo Inc. and the Honduras Justice Project R Gracie-Travis Murphree, a native of Alabama, has lived in Honduras since 2005 and says she understands both sides of the immigration issue as many women and children immigrants from Honduras sit at the borders waiting to enter the United States for asylum..
Ms. Murphree works in Honduras teaching authorities and ministries to rescue, care for and restore victims of violence, and empower justice in one of the most dangerous countries on earth.
She wrote the first-ever program for victims of violence in Honduras at the request of the National Police in 2005 and was afterward installed as the head of the first state office to attend victims of violence.
She has taught gospel-justice models in three countries, survived five assassination attempts and has been an approved country condition expert on violence and gangs in Honduras and El Salvador for asylum cases in U.S. Immigration courts since 2008. Her asylum affidavit for Honduran victims of domestic violence is archived in the U.C. Hastings Center for Gender and Refugee Studies. She has spoken on immigration issues at Villanova School of Law and New York School of Law.
"Gracie knows what it is like to be a victim," officials said. "At age 21 she was drugged and raped. That rape resulted in a pregnancy that caused her to be ostracized from her church. She knows and speaks from her own experiences about fear and rejection. That experience led her, a broken woman, to love the abused, violated and trafficked women and children in Honduras, and to be a voice about their treatment at our borders. Gracie who knows that those women and children waiting at the border will face certain death upon their return as she has witnessed the barbaric beatings, the rapes, the trafficking, the extortion from gangs and the cruelty that exists in a largely lawless male-dominated country. She lives in Honduras with her husband, where they have a gospel-justice center with a crisis office, refuge and a home for girls pregnant by rape and incest.
"Gracie is traveling the U.S. promoting her recent book Journey to Justice: Finding God and Destiny in Darkness (Equip Press) that demonstrates how God chooses to use the broken to change lives and nations for Christ. It is the story of going fearlessly into dark, messy and dangerous places, where almost no one else will go, to reach the lost."
Ms. Murphree will be in Chattanooga on Saturday and share more of her story at White Oak United Methodist Church, 2232 Lyndon Ave. in Chattanooga. The event will be held from 5-7 p.m. and is free and open to the public.
Ms. Murphree's book will be available for purchase at the event for $20, and all sales go to benefit her ministry.