Peace One Day
St. George’s House
15 St. George’s Road
Richmond, Surrey, TW9 2LE
Dear Mr. Gilly,
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 am writing this letter on September 21st, so I would like to wish you a happy International Day of Peace, and congratulate you for the way all of your efforts have been coming together so far. For me, the importance of the Peace Day is what happens on the other 364 days of the year. Celebrating this day of peace gives us a glimpse of what a peace is. It whets our appetites for peace, and ignites our imaginations to work towards building it. I want to share the EYN’s story with you because they represent our vision of working for peace all year long.
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 continues to worsen.
However, the inspirational story of the EYN rests not in the details of their suffering, but in their response to their suffering. The Church of the Brethren, including the EYN, is a historic peace church. The EYN has been faithful and steadfast in their commitment to building peace.
In the face of great hatred, fear, and division, the EYN consistently responds with far greater love, courage, and community. They understand that as Christians they must be beacons of Christ’s love in a region darkened by violence. They have become leaders in working for the restoration of community, dialogue, and the dignity of all Nigerians, even when it means 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 include them in your communications and programming. The EYN represent the peace that we both hope extends beyond September 21st. But they need our partnership.
With thanks and the love of Christ,
Carnegie Mellon University SMC# 2046
Pittsburgh, PA 15289