Day 11: Chong-Ae

Chong-Ae Shah
International Justice Mission
PO Box 58147
Washington, DC 20037

Dear Ms. Shah,

My name is Emmett Eldred. I am one of many youth and young adults who belong to an active, passionate movement within the Church of the Brethren to better reflect the love and teaching of Jesus in our everyday lives. I am writing to you as part of a series of over 1000 letters that I will be writing over the next year to public figures and community leaders about the Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN), the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria, and their situation continues to worsen.

I believe that the International Justice Mission should get involved with helping the EYN end the violence in Nigeria because the IJM share’s the EYN’s commitment to restoring communities devastated by violence. I chose to write to you because it is part of your job to help mobilize the global church to action.

The EYN’s story is sure to be one of great inspiration and even greater challenge and mobilization, to the global church. I’m sure you remember the 276 school girls from northern Nigeria who were kidnapped by Boko Haram. Roughly three-fourths of those girls belong to the EYN. In fact, few groups have suffered from the violence in Nigeria more severely than the EYN.

What makes the EYN’s story so compelling is not only that they are suffering, but also the way courageous that they have responded to their suffering. The Church of the Brethren, including the EYN, is a historic peace church. The EYN stands resolute in its commitment to peace, even as they endure great tragedy.

In the face of great hatred, fear, and division, the EYN consistently responds with even greater love, courage, and community. They understand that they must be a beacon of Christ’s love in a climate darkened by violence. They have taken the lead in investing in the restoration of community, dialogue, and the dignity of all Nigerians, though it means great sacrifice.

These people fill me with hope, and I will never stop advocating for them.

The EYN needs your help in reversing the terrible effects and trends of violence in Nigeria. These last few days have been some of the most troubling in this time of conflict for the EYN, and my heart aches as their people continue to be ravaged and displaced by senseless violence. Give them the support they need by focusing some of your time, energy, and resources on their ministry. Mobilize the global church to partner with the EYN. Upon hearing about the EYN, the global church will be inspired and moved, but they will also have to question something I continue to question about myself: could my faith be so strong?

With thanks and the love of Christ,

Emmett Eldred
Carnegie Mellon University SMC# 2046
Pittsburgh, PA 15289

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