By Jenna Walmer
“That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day.”
– 2 Timothy 1:12
“The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that its works are evil.”
– John 7:7
“Save your people and bless your inheritance, be their shepherd and carry them forever.”
– Psalm 28:9
As I scrolled down my twitter feed Tuesday night looking for the latest news in the world, I noticed a particularly interesting article from the Church of the Brethren. On September 30th, a newsletter from the Church of the Brethren newsline was titled, “‘EYN Severely Damaged’ Nigerian Brethren Leader reports.” I usually do not open long articles late at night after an exhausting band practice, but this title moved me. I began reading the article and my eyes immediately went to the sentence (that happens to be bolded), “EYN… reports 3,038 members killed.” This striking information led me to look over the entire article before I went to bed.
As I read the article, my heart welled up with sorrow for our brothers and sisters like it always does when I hear new pieces of information about the terror in Nigeria. I usually do not keep up with current events in the world as intentionally as I should, but I do keep up-to-date with the news, general ideas of situations, and our nation’s problem solving techniques.
From the article last night, I learned about the amount of destruction that has occurred and how it has affected people more drastically recently. Almost 100,000 church members have been displaced from their communities and are now refugees. Over 2,000 EYN members’ houses have been burnt down. The most powerful fact mentioned in the article was, “these people cannot go to their farms, as those who attempt were killed or chased away. Thousands of their children cannot go to school and that means the future of these children may be lost.”
Just imagine if we could not go to school or arrive at our workplace because of terrorists attacking our community. What would our government do to them? As a peace community we are called to love one another and act justly and mercifully to each other. So, how do we bring this to an end? How are we to comprehend the violence in the world?
In John 7:7 Jesus states, “The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that its works are evil.” Since we are followers of Jesus, and people, like the Boko Haram, hate Jesus, it is expected that many people will hate us as well. That is when we are called to trust in God’s protection over us and have faith despite the suffering we are going through. We are to trust, believe, and be convinced, that God will provide, and he will protect us. But, it is also our job to help save His people. We all know that there are many believers all over the world being persecuted, but we all aren’t doing something about it. Spread the word. Send letters. Give money. Pray. Be an ambassador for peace.
As I laid in bed last night trying to fall asleep after I read the article, I debated what I was going to wear the next day. I was planning to dress up with my friend, since I did not have to go outside for band during the day. After reading the article, I felt as though I needed to spread the word for peace more boldly. At National Youth Conference, I bought the “When Jesus said, ‘Love your enemies,’ I think he probably meant don’t kill them” shirt. When I purchased the shirt I knew I wanted to wear it to school, but I also recognized the fact that it was a possibility that people would make harsh comments (In the past, I have been harshly ridiculed for my pacifistic beliefs).
My inspiration for my clothing choice came from the conclusion of the article: “My dear brothers and sister, what amounts of compensation or relief can anyone provide to comfort these communities? Maybe the most important questions should be when will this madness stop? What is Nigeria’s government doing to protect and save the lives of the remnant? And what are we doing as national and global members of Christ’s body? May God have mercy on us, the victims and the victors.”
Let’s all step out of our comfort zone to stop the madness in the world.
The article “EYN Severely Damaged” can be found at:
Jenna Walmer is from Lancaster County and is currently in 12th grade. In school, she loves to research historical events. If she were to live in a specific time period, she would want to be a hippie and live in the 60s or 70s. Her favorite past times are swimming and playing her trombone. If you want to know more about her random life, follow her on twitter: @jaymarie2100
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