The Institute for Peace and Justice
475 East Lockwood Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63119
Dear Ms. McGinnis,
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.
The EYN have been some of the worst victims of the violence of Boko Haram. Their suffering includes the death and displacement of many members and the destruction of churches and villages, among many more horrors. Roughly three-fourths of the kidnapped girls from Chibok belong to the EYN.
This is my fifty-eighth day of writing three letters a day to anyone I think can help by incorporating the EYN into their programming, creating new programming to support the EYN, or spreading awareness about the EYN’s situation. Just this week, my project was featured on the official Bring Back Our Girls Facebook page, and I’m asking you to join me and other peacemakers in sharing the EYN’s story and supporting their mission.
I feel so moved by the EYN not just because of their suffering, but also because of their inspiring response to their suffering. The Church of the Brethren, including the EYN, is a historic peace church. The EYN live through horrific trials, yet they continue to remain steadfast and committed to promoting, seeking, and building peace.
In the face of great hatred, fear, and division, the EYN have responded with far greater love, courage, and community. They understand that they must be beacons of Christ’s love to a landscape darkened by violence. I don’t have room in my short letter to highlight every specific way that they are working in Nigeria, but I can say that they have become leaders in working to restore community, dialogue, and the dignity of all Nigerians.
The EYN fill me with hope, and I will never stop advocating for them.
I look forward to speaking with you more about what you can do to partner in the EYN’s ministry of reconciliation. The EYN represent the possibility of peace in Nigeria, but they need our help and partnership to make that possibility a reality. 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