The Center for Peace through Culture
PO Box 490
Monterey, MA 01245
To whom it may concern,
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 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. Roughly three-fourths of those girls belong to the EYN. In fact, few groups of people have suffered from the violence in Nigeria as severely as the EYN, and their situation continues to worsen.
The EYN approach peace in a similar manner to your organization. They understand that peace must start with themselves. So, even though they have been the victims of horrific violence, they approach their situation with humility and self-evaluation. In everything that they do, they seek to reflect Christ’s commandment to love enemies, and they understand the difference between fighting against evil and fighting against evildoers. By fighting against evil, you counter your own hatred and you address the fundamental causes of conflict. But by fighting against evildoers, you only multiple conflict, and you succumb to the hatred within yourself.
This is the 55th day that I have been writing letters to organizations like yours, asking people to share the EYN’s story and partner in their ministry of reconciliation. The EYN represent the possibility of peace in Nigeria. In the face of great hatred, fear, and division, they have consistently responded with far greater love, courage, and community. They are beacons of Christ’s love to a landscape darkened by violence. They have become leaders in working to 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 further about the EYN and what you can do to pattern in their efforts to build peace. Please don’t hesitate to contact me in whichever way is most convenient for you.
With thanks and the love of Christ,
Carnegie Mellon University SMC# 2046
Pittsburgh, PA 15289