Let us rejoice with our brothers and sisters in our companion synod, the Lutheran Church of the Central African Republic. Funds recently sent to them from the three U.S. companions enabled the church to provide humanitarian assistance to people of the North region of the church who were victims of violence. In addition, the contribution helped pay back salaries for teachers in the Village Education program. The president of the ELC-CAR has sent an email expressing the deep appreciation of the church and his own. He sent photos and videos showing the distribution of assistance.

Please keep this companion synod in your prayers. The Central African Republic has suffered from rebel action in large parts of the country for years. Rebels cause sporadic violence, interference with farming and herding, control of mineral and mining resources, and attacks on humanitarian organizations such as Doctors without Borders. Yet the ELC-CAR does not give up. Imagine also living in a country where nine out of ten people do not have internet and where only one in seven has electricity. There are few paved roads. People get around by walking, or if they are fortunate, by bicycle or motorbike. Motorbikes are often used as emergency vehicles. The Gulf Coast Synod has a partnership with the Lutheran church which ministers under these circumstances. They need our love, our prayers, and our financial assistance.

While the country is mainly rural, there is also the urban area of the capital, Bangui. CAR has a soccer team (Les Fauves) that plays internationally, singers such as BiBi and Siah, Ozaguin, and musicians such as Chouchou and his band Zokela who keep traditional music alive (Google these names). There are natural sights such as Boali Falls and forest elephants, an endangered species, in the thick forests of the West and South of the country.

Set a goal to get more acquainted with the Central African Republic, the home of our companion synod.