401 Hall St. SW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Dear Mr. Bell,
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 teachings of Jesus in our everyday lives. I am writing to you as part of a series of over 1000 letters that I will write over the next year to public figures about the Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN), the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria.
I believe it is important for you and your many readers to hear about the inspiring, challenging story of the EYN and be moved to action. I’m sure you remember the 276 schoolgirls 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, and their situation continues to grow worse.
It is not just the suffering of the EYN that makes their story so remarkable. I believe this story is especially important for you and your readers to hear because of the courageous, inspiring way that the EYN have responded to their suffering. The Church of the Brethren, including the EYN, is a historic peace church. The EYN has embraced their commitment to peace, even as their hardships increase.
Though they face tremendous hatred, fear, and division, the EYN consistently responds with even greater love, courage, and community. They understand that they are called to be a beacon of Christ’s love in a climate darkened by violence. They have become leaders in Nigeria in working to restore community, dialogue, and the dignity of all nigerians, including Boko Haram, although it means great sacrifice.
These people fill me with hope, and I will never stop advocating for them.
I hope you will learn more about the EYN and share their story with your readers. Add your voice to mine in advocating for immediate aid for their ministry of reconciliation. This story is important for you and your readers to consider not only because it is inspiring, but also because it is challenging. Since learning about the EYN and dedicating myself to sharing their story, I continue to struggle with a question: could my faithfulness be so great?
With thanks and the love of Christ,
Carnegie Mellon University SMC# 2046
Pittsburgh, PA 15289