Day 21: Avon Mattison

Avon Mattison
Pathways To Peace
PO Box 1507
Larkspur, CA 94977

Dear Ms. Mattison,

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

I’m sure you remember the 276 schoolgirls from northern Nigeria who were kidnapped by Boko Haram. About 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 continues to worsen.

However, the EYN’s inspiring story is so important for you to hear, share, and act upon not because of their suffering, but also because of their response to their suffering. The Church of the Brethren, including the EYN, is a historic peace church. The EYN have been faithful and steadfast in their commitment to peace, despite their horrific trials.

In the face of great hatred, fear, and division, the EYN consistently respond with far greater love, courage, and community. They understand that as Christians they must be beacons of Christ’s love in an environment darkened by violence. They know that this means being leaders in working to nonviolently and sustainably restore community, dialogue, and the dignity of all Nigerians, including Boko Haram, even when it means terrible 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 partner in their ministry in any way possible. Share their story. Include them in your thoughts, prayers, and decisions. Feature them in your programing. Advocate and contribute to their aid. Use your imagination in how you can invest in their imaginative ministry of reconciliation. The EYN represent the possibility of peace in Nigeria, but as their situation grows worse, they need our partnership to make that possibility a reality.

With thanks and the love of Christ,

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

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