When I read quotes like this; “it is difficult to imagine any future (sic – for CAR) other than one of deepening repression, growing famine, and spiraling warfare” or see, like I did this morning, a little 7-month-old, who looked more like a skeleton than a baby, being checked into the hospital, or experience, as I did on Tuesday, the ability of a simple rumor to cause a whole town of people to immediately assume the worst, or hear from a long time Fulani friend about her hard life and losses, I could just give up. But I have this hope. A hope born out of a gift given to me, long, long ago. I was a messed up 15-year-old, and I was given the gift of grace. A gift wrapped up in love and forgiveness and a whole book full promises of God’s faithful and comforting and leading presence for the rest of my life. How can I not hope for the same for these hurting people that I walk among each day? How can I not stay, and pray, and serve in whatever way the Lord shows me? I choose to not give up. I choose hope. May God have mercy on the peoples of Central Africa, may He have mercy on my buddies and on those who seek to harm me and mine as well.