Praxis Peace Institute
P.O. Box 523
Sonoma, CA 95476
Dear Ms. Kelly,
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 over the next year about the Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN), the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria.
It is my hope that you will share the EYN’s story, consider their example, and include them in your programming. I believe they reflect your organization’s values of creative problem solving to troubling situations and address the systemic causes of conflict, rather than the symptoms of it. 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.
However, it is not only their suffering that makes the EYN’s story so important to hear, but also their inspiring 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 building peace, despite their horrific trials.
In the face of great hatred, fear, and division, the EYN have responded with far greater love, courage, and community. They believe that they must be beacons of Christ’s love to a landscape darkened by violence. They have become leaders in working to sustainably and peacefully restore community, dialogue, and the dignity of all Nigerians.
These people fill me with hope, and I will never stop advocating for them.
I look forward to communicating with you more about the EYN. I hope you will learn more about their remarkable journey, and you will share their story and partner in their creative and effective ministry of reconciliation. The EYN represent the possibility of of peace in Nigeria, but they need our awareness and partnership to make that possibility a reality. Please don’t hesitate to contact me in whichever way is most convenient to you.
With thanks and the love of Christ,
Carnegie Mellon University SMC# 2046
Pittsburgh, PA 15289