Day 338: Lay Mission Helpers Association

Lay Mission Helpers Association
3435 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1940
Los Angeles, CA 90010

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 have been writing over the course of a year to public figures and community leaders about the Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN), the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria.

I am writing to ask you to stand with the EYN. The EYN have been more severely damaged by the terrorist organization Boko Haram than any other group or church. Nearly 100,000 church members have been displaced, many have been killed, and dozens of churches have been destroyed. Of the 276 schoolgirls famously abducted from Chibok, three fourths are members of the EYN. A few weeks ago, the EYN headquarters was attacked and overtaken by Boko Haram.

Despite their suffering, the EYN have chosen to be the Church in northern Nigeria, and we need to stand with them. Whereas nearly every other organization has left the area, the EYN are committed to nonviolent resistance and community development to both stand up to Boko Haram and address the broader, systemic causes of violence in Nigeria.

The EYN are also providing essential refugee services not just for their own members, but for other persecuted Christians and equally persecuted Muslims. The EYN are committed to rebuilding and empowering communities. They understand that sustainable peace requires strong leadership and courageous action. They have chosen to be leaders in working to shape communities towards reconciliation. They have chosen the courage it takes to build peace.

The EYN are committed to building peace by answering the hate they have been shown with far more powerful love. When I look at the EYN, I see Jesus, and I know that I have to stand with them. These people fill me with hope, and I will never stop advocating for them.

I look forward to communicating with you further about how we can work together in partnership with the EYN. The EYN represent the possibility of peace in Nigeria, but they need our support and awareness 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,

Emmett Eldred
Carnegie Mellon University SMC# 2046
Pittsburgh, PA 15289

One thought on “day338_lay_mission_helpers_association

  1. Kathleen M says:

    This organization was not prepared to send myself and 3 others to Kenya. We ended up with no work visas and I had a difficult time finally getting all my papers in order so I could leave the country ( I had malaria and needed to get back for medical attention but was delayed several weeks due to LMH at first indifference and then incompetence. The director ( Janice England) actually suggested to my father that perhaps paying off officials to get visa might be the way to resolve it ( i.e.: bribing). ARE YOU KIDDING ME? My father, an attorney was beyond speechless. I do believe that would constitute a felony even in Kenya. The matter was finally resolved after several weeks after constant calling Janice from me and my family. ( the American embassy said if I was arrested they could do nothing as I was illegally in the country. An organization that sends folks overseas to work should, in my option, first and foremost respect the laws of those countries and certainly protect their workers by insuring that they have valid visas and work permits. Janice kept telling us don’t worry everyone does it. ( this was after I was already there and realized the situation I was in)
    Btw The parish they sent us to was run by a totally corrupt priest who only wanted money from us and we had to find places on our own in the dioceses to work, which there were plenty of wonderful parishes and orphanages and schools but yet we were sent to the most notorious parish priest in the diocese. Myself and the others with me felt there was no support from the director (Janice England) and found out later she had been bad mouthing us to the priest at the parish and I still have her emails to him that he inadvertently sent to me. This was a very troubling and negative experience for all of us ( one positive is we 4 bonded closely and are good friends still) I have before and since worked for many lay catholic organizations successfully and happily but I recommend avoiding this organization.


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