Do you remember the 276 school girls who were kidnapped by Boko Haram? Does #BringOurGirlsBack ring a bell? Many of those girls belong to the Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN), the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria. The EYN is suffering terribly at the violence of Boko Haram.
Yet, what makes their story so inspiring to me is not the bad, but the good that exists despite the bad. The Church of the Brethren (including the EYN) is one of three historic peace churches. While we in the United States never face a real threat to our love of peace, the EYN is confronted with that challenge everyday. In spite of all the evil, hatred, and violence that the EYN has endured, they choose to respond with courage, love, and nonviolence.
Midway through August, the Church of the Brethren observed a week of prayer and fasting in solidarity of the EYN.
I believe that fasting has the potential to be so powerful because it recognizes that when we make space in our lives for Jesus, his love can shine through us in some pretty amazing ways.
I decided that I wouldn’t just fast for that week, but I would extend my fast for an entire year by salvaging hours of my time that I waste playing computer games to do something better with that time.
I am going to use that time to write three letters every day about the EYN for the next year.
From today, September 1st, 2014 every day until September 1st, 2015, I will write and mail three letters to public figures.
- Elected Officials
- Other Government Officials
- Religious Leaders
- Anyone who will listen
I will share with them the story of the EYN, and I will ask them to get involved however they can. This may mean sharing the story of the EYN on their social media and programs, donating to the EYN compassion fund, or setting aside aid money for the EYN.I want to emphasize the role that their creativity can play in making a difference.
I also want to emphasize that the only way to honor the EYN’s commitment to peace and nonviolence, is to explore and support solutions that also emphasize peace and nonviolence. From government officials, the only aid I will seek is humanitarian, nonmilitary aid.
I cannot do this alone.
The cost of sending over 1000 letters is well above $500.
Here’s how you can help:
- Contribute to help me pay for stamps and envelopes
- Send me donations of stamps and envelopes
- Write letters of your own
- Share my campaign and the EYN’s story with others
- Contribute to the EYN compassion fund
Contribute monetary donations at http://www.gofundme.com/dszfc8
(GoFundMe.com is a completely safe and secure website. It is among the most reputable and successful crowd funding platforms. If you have questions or concerns about donating through Go Fund Me, please visit http://www.gofundme.com/questions/)
All donations will go directly to purchasing stamps or envelopes, except for the Go Fund Me service fee. Any funds left over after 365 days of letter will be donated to the EYN compassion fund.
Send donations of stamps and envelopes to:
Carnegie Mellon University
SMC # 2046
Pittsburgh, PA 15289
Write letters of your own!
Fill out this pledge form to commit to writing one letter a month or more on behalf of the EYN. If I can write three letters a day, you can write a few letters too!
Click here to donate directly to the EYN Compassion Fund.
The EYN gives me hope. They inspire me. So I’m not going to stop talking until I get people to listen. Join me. Support me. Pray for me and for the EYN.