Day 17: Marianne Marstrand

Marianne Marstrand
301 East 57th Street
4th Floor
New York, New York 10022

Dear Ms. Marstrand,

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 to public figures and community leaders about the Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN), the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria.

It is my hope that you will include the EYN’s inspiring story in your organization’s programming and support areas. 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 as severely as the EYN, and their situation continue to worsen.

However, it is not only the suffering that makes the EYN’s story so remarkable and important to hear, but also their inspiring, courageous response to their suffering. The Church of the Brethren, including the EYN, is a historic peace church. The EYN have resolved to honor their commitment to peace, despite their horrific trials.

In the face of great hatred, fear, and division, the EYN has constantly responded with far greater love, courage, and community. They believe that they must be beacons of Christ’s love in a climate darkened by violence. They understand that they must be leaders in working to peacefully and sustainably restore community, dialogue, and the dignity of all Nigerians.

These people inspire me, and I will never stop advocating for them.

As I mentioned, the EYN’s situation has continued to grow more dire. They need our help to remain working to build peace. I am asking you to tap into your network of peacemakers to build support, be it financial, active, or spiritual, for their safety and ministry. There is hope for lasting peace in Nigeria, but we need to partner with the EYN to make that happen. Please, learn more, and step forward with me.

With thanks and the love of Christ,

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

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