Frederick Buechner

Frederick Buechner
Frederick Buechner Center
P.O. Box 380264
Cambridge, MA 02238

Dear Mr. Buechner,

My name is Emmett Eldred. I am one of many youth and young adults who belong to a movement within the Church of the Brethren to better reflect the love and teaching 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 over the next year about the Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN) the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria.

I think it is important for us all to hear the inspiring, challenging story of the EYN and resound with practical, positive action. 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, and their situation continues to worsen.

What makes their story truly gripping, however, is not just their suffering, but the courageous, faithful way that they have responded to their suffering. The Church of the Brethren, including the EYN, is a historic peace church. The EYN has remained steadfast in its allegiance to Christ-filled peace, even though they face terrible hardship.

Though they are confronted with great hatred, fear, and division, they continue to respond with even greater love, courage, and community. They understand that they must be a beacon of Christ’s love in a culture darkened by violence. They have taken seriously their role as leaders in using tactical, Christ-driven nonviolence to invest in restoring community, dialogue, and the dignity of all Nigerians, even though it requires great sacrifice.

These people inspire me, and I will never stop advocating for them.

I hope you will take the time to learn more about the EYN and then share the story through your channel. Please, add your voice to mine in publicly praying for piece in Nigeria. Your voice speaks much louder than mine, and by sharing the story of the EYN, you will cause the great many people that you influence to be inspired, but more importantly challenged by their story. I hope you ask yourself what I now constantly ask myself: Could my faithfulness be so great?

With thanks and the love of Christ,

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

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