Rachel Held Evans
3900 Sparks Dr SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49546
Dear Ms. Held Evans,
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 over the next year about the Ekklesiyar Yanuwa a Nigeria (EYN) the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria.
I have chosen to write to you, because I think it is important for you and your readers to hear the inspiring, challenging story of the EYN and respond with positive, practical action. I’m sure you remember the 276 school girls 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 more than the EYN, and their situation continues to worsen.
What makes their story so inspiring, though, isn’t just that they are suffering, but the courageous, faithful way that they respond to their suffering. The Church of the Brethren, including the EYN, is a historic peace church. Despite the terrible hardship that they endure, the EYN has remained resolute in their prayerful, active, and surpassing commitment to peace.
In the face of great hate, fear, and division, the EYN has constantly responded with even greater love, courage, and community. They understand that they are to be a beacon of Christ’s love to a climate darkened by hatred. They have taken seriously the leaders that following Jesus entails when it comes to using the tactics of nonviolence and creativity to restore community, dialogue, and the dignity of all Nigerians.
These people inspire me, and I will never stop advocating for them.
I hope you will learn more about the EYN and add your voice to mine in publicly praying for peace in Nigeria. I urge your to feature the EYN in a blog post, so that your readers can join us in our prayer.
What makes this story so important for you and your readers to hear is not just that it is inspiring. This story is important to hear because it is challenging. I hope you and your readers here about the EYN and question, like I constantly question, could my faithfulness be so great?
With thanks and the love of Christ,
Carnegie Mellon University SMC# 2046
Pittsburgh, PA 15289