The Honorable Sherrod Brown
713 Hart Senate Office Bldg.
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Senator Brown,
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 reflect the love of Jesus in our everyday lives. This letter is part of a series of over 1000 letters that I will write over the next year about the Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN), the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria.
I’m sure you remember the 276 schoolgirls from 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 worsen.
It is not only the suffering of the EYN that makes their story so remarkable and inspiring but also their response to their suffering. The Church of the Brethren, including the EYN, is a historic peace church. Despite their trials, the EYN has been steadfast in their commitment to peace.
In the face of great hatred, fear, and division, the EYN continually responds with far greater love, courage, and community. They understand that they must be beacons of Christ’s love in a climate darkened by violence. This means being leaders in restoring community, dialogue, and the dignity of all Nigerians, even when it involves tremendous sacrifice.
These people fill me with hope, and I will never stop advocating for them.
In the past, you have been an outspoken critic of rushing to use military force to solve the world’s problem. Far too many members of congress that have Nigeria on their radar believe that providing military support to Nigeria is the best approach, though this may in fact additionally serve anterior motives. I think it would be in pretty poor taste of the EYN’s sacrifices in the name of peace to approach Nigeria with a military solution.
Instead, I hope you learn more about the EYN and consider how you can partner with the EYN in their ministry to employ Christ-like nonviolence to bring about meaningful change. I urge you to keep the EYN in your thoughts, prayers, and decisions. Join me in being their advocate. Draw from them the inspiration that they have to offer, and honor their sacrifice and commitment to peace by providing them with humanitarian aid and patterning with them to build lasting peace.
With thanks and the love of Christ,
Carnegie Mellon University SMC# 2046
Pittsburgh, PA 15289