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Published: March 21st 2008
I frequently visit the Central African Republic (CAR) to foster the companion relationship between the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the CAR (ELC-CAR). Despite the political turmoil, civil conflict and political instability, I cannot find a good excuse for not visiting my companions, friends, brothers, and sisters in the faith. CAR is rich in natural resources and a beautiful country but ravaged by repeated military coups and successive violent civil conflicts.
During my travel and encounters with the Central African peoples, I discovered another story which would probably not make the headline news. They are stories of those village girls and boys, who defy all logic to stay alive, educate themselves, protect themselves against HIV infection, and also find creative ways to spread their joy, love and hope where there is no hope.
These stories often cannot be told. They are resurrection stories. They are our stories. They are simply life giving stories of people living in poverty and despair but who still find reasons to hope and smile. They have to be learnt, discovered, and experienced. Through pictures, I attempt to share a glimpse of the wonders of these places and
the smiles of these peoples.
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