Simon's joyful smile emerges from unimaginable pain

BY SELINA VENIER

A “despairing” start led to a joyful conclusion for Simon Chibaloza. The African father of three says “smiling is a daily part of life” nowadays.

Simon gives thanks to God first and foremost for such joy but also sees Him in the suffering endured.

"God was and is always with me," he said across the family's small lounge room in suburban Brisbane, where baby Caroline was busy chewing her slipper.

"I know God brought me through times of trial ... (but) if it was my time to die, it would have been for His glory."

Simon was born in the South Kivu region of the Congo, in central Africa.

Violence, displacement and death have been prevalent there since the Second Congo War in 1998 and continue to keep aid workers and human rights activists alarmed.

The war's casualties are in the millions with many dying from malaria, pneumonia or malnutrition.

As soon as Simon finished high school studies he brought his voice to the human rights forum.

"It's my passion," he said.

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Simon’s joyful smile has emerged from unimaginable pain (Catholic Leader)