Luke Oppenheimer is a documentary photographer and visual storyteller based out of NYC. He has lived and worked extensively throughout Latin America, Central and South East Asia. His main topics of interest are climate change, humankind's...
"I just had five by-pass surgeries. They took a vein from my leg and gave me five new veins and a heart pump. All my veins were clogged up except for one. But that one was 95% clogged up. The surgeon said 'I don't know how you was livin.' So I just pray for a good, healthy recovery."
"Speaking hasn’t always been easy for me. I find prayer in movement and action of love and honesty opening myself to the world. I dance as I skate to clear my soul, I skate like this everywhere. When I am in my soul it is undeniable as a human to feel in total flow and balance between light and dark the pain of life and it’s humor too." - Frances
"I pray everyday and my prayers always come true. I always get what I ask for. When I pray, I pray for my family and my friends and I tell God how much I love him, that I love him with all of my heart."- Joshua
In the Bhagavad-Gita Krishna tells the mighty warrior Arjuna:
"You cannot avoid action. Everyone is stuck in the world of action. The world of action is forever. "
Make so that your actions be prayers and your prayers be actions.
"I think praying is pretty alright. It get's you in touch with what you want. There's like six thousand religions, man, and a lot of them include praying. I haven't read up on all of them but I know they seem to work, because they're really getting in touch with what they want, they're getting in touch with their innermost feelings ya know."- Cruz
"Prayer is real. When you pray to the heavenly father he hears your prayer. What you ask him for may not be what you should be asking for but God never fails you. He hears all the prayers. Prayer is the only communication to God... I pray for everybody....Donald Trump, because he's a sick man. I pray that God will lift his heart so that he'll do the right thing by everybody." - Ron
"I'm nothing more than a believer. Nothing more. I only pray for health. And if it gives you health, for me that's enough. But for everything else, you work. I'm the only one in charge of looking for bread...daily."
"I'm from Chiapas Originally. I've only been working here for one year. In Chiapas there are a lot of dialects. I speak Tzeltal. When I pray in my dialect it feels different than when I pray in Spanish."
"I've been a believer for 30 years. More than anything she has done me a lot of favors. For me, she's my protector. Because she's the one who takes care of me. For me and my family members. When I was in a very bad way, I asked her for a lot. They had given me up for dead. And through prayer I asked her a lot and I feel as though she gave me another opportunity. [I was dying] because I used to consume drugs. Through that I made myself very sick. I was in the hospital and they had already given me up for dead. Since then I haven't taken drugs, because she gave me an opportunity. I light candles for her and I offer her what's within my reach because she can't promise more than what someone can give her. No more than what's within my reach have I promised her. In my house I have her altar, I have various images and I place her candles, her apples, her flowers. Many people see her badly. She's not bad. Santa Muerte is good and it depends on how you want to take her. Well, for me she's good and she has done many, many miracles for me. That's all."
"It (prayer) depends on the criteria of each faith, no? It depends on how you do it, no? My faith is very big. I know that God is first. But in the evil in which one walks...I know that she protects us. She's an angel. What we have for certain is death. It's the only thing we have for certain in this life. I've been a believer (in Santa Muerte) since I was a little boy. [I started to become a believer] via the mindset that we wrap ourselves in here. That of the barrio, which is to live with adrenaline...it's a different respect, a different culture. As we say here, we walk with the trigger off safety. Because here you have to be that way. Because it can happen in any moment. Nobody has their life already bought. That's why I beg to her that it be later. The skinny one (Santa Muerte) is an angel who, good or bad, will be with us." - Valentín.
"A long time ago, I don't know the dates well, the Virgen appeared. Here exactly. We have a little chapel here and everything. Every 14 of December we recite our prayers. It's the festival of our Virgen, of our Mother of Chiapas. We make a small banquet here on the sand bank. We venerate her a lot, we take care of her. We have our faith about her that is very strong. We know that through prayer we move forward, and thanks to God. The old people around here tell us that our Mother appeared here on the sand bank where we're running out of nature. What our Mother Earth gives us, we are running out of all of it. Global warming is coming. More sicknesses come. We're in the before times (time before the apocalypse). The altar is here and it's telling us that we are destroying the forest. We are blessed with this nature." -Jose Luis.
"I follow international news so I knew what was coming. I stocked up before everyone else went crazy. I have all my food supplies and I have this mask here. You see this crucifix? It belonged to my dad. It's broken here because the paramedics tore it off of him when they used the defibrillators on his chest to try and start his heart again. My mom offered to fix it but I wanted to keep it like this. Just as it was the last time he wore it. My idea of god is not a god. I pray for balance. There is good and bad like there is order and chaos, both necessary. We need both, but more order than chaos isn't good; static things tend to stay the same and never evolve. And more chaos than order isn't good either; revolution for too long will lead to poverty and famine. So I pray for balance. And I believe in a force that connects us all, all living and non-living things across this vast universe that keeps this balance. So I always pray for this force to be in me, to energize my body, to energize my brain cells and create new synapses, help me view things differently, pray for this force to help history move in the right direction, to move across all of us and help us be better humans. I don't know (about the coronavirus), that's the thing. I pray for humans to end in a better place. It could be good; we could implement new processes and new equipment around the world for a future outbreak. It could bring down the walls that set countries apart and make us think of ourselves as humans vs viruses
or it could be bad, it could lead to an economic recession, to wars, to a disruption in production chains and poverty, famine across the globe." - Juan David
"I served two and a half years in Vietnam... Army special Forces...LRRP (Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol). I was on search and destroy missions. Locating the enemy and rootin him out. A lot of villages were bein harassed and shot up. And our mission was to make sure that didn't happen and to go get whoever was in charge and capture his ass." "Even with all the training you might have, you just never know when shits gonna happen. And when it does it might not look like what you were expecting, but it is what it is and you gotta be ready. The adrenaline kicks in and you do what you gotta do." "Praying helped me a lot. It gave me a sense of self and commitment and peace with myself. I was up in Quang Tri. A lot of stuff was goin on up there, man. Guys was gettin wounded. One of the best sergeants I ever knew... I mean this guy was top notch...he died. I was prayin so hard for all of us. 'Just get us out of this situation. Don't let anyone else die. Don't let any more of my men get hurt...' That was a tight situation. But when I was in a firefight I wasn't scared. I may have been excited but it was after the fight, always after the fight, that I started to pray. I'd start thanking God for sparing our lives. Helping the wounded that didn't get killed and praying for the ones that did." "We were in between a rock and a hard place. On one side we were fightin an unpopular war, an unconventional war. And on the other side we had the people back home against us. A lot of guys would be pissed off about that. And any combat soldier will tell you; we all felt that way. Cause you say, 'Hey! I could have gotten killed out there!' " "There came a time during my second tour that guys was sayin "You know what? I'm not fightin this war anymore." - Ernest
"Having faith is tough. I should know. When i was a kid and needed somebody God took them. God took my pastor and I didn't like that. I was mad at God. Now I'm not mad at Jesus, Jesus is my guy."- Name not given