Day 5: President Jimmy Carter

The Honorable Jimmy Carter
The Carter Center
453 Freedom Parkway NE
Atlanta GA 30307

Dear Mr. Carter,

My name is Emmett Eldred. I belong to an active, passionate movement within the Church of the Brethren to better reflect the teachings and love of Jesus in our everyday lives.

I want to write to you about an inspiring group of people who fill me with hope and move me to action: the Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN) the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria. 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 EYN. In fact, few groups have suffered more from the violence in Nigeria than EYN.

I want you to know about the EYN because the Church of the Brethren, including the EYN, is a historic peace church. For us in the United States, it is easy to proclaim a love and hope for peace, because we face few challenges to its viability. The EYN faces a vastly different situation. However, the EYN have been awe inspiring in their capacity for love and courageous acts of waging peace. They recognize that they are called to be beacons of Christ, cutting through the darkness of violence with the brightness of gospel-saturated love.

Despite the terrible violence, hatred, and division that the EYN endures on a daily basis, they respond with even greater active nonviolence, love, and community. They refuse to contribute to the culture of violence in which they exist, instead choosing to be creative leaders in building a better world defined by a different approach to conflict. I truly believe that there is no greater hope for peace in Nigeria than the EYN.

These people fill me with hope, and I will never stop advocating for them. This letter to you is one of a series of over 1000 letters that I will write to public figures over the next year.

Since leaving the oval office, you have been one of the world’s defining and most outspoken advocates for peace. I urge you to direct your passions for peace on the people who I consider to be some of the world’s most courageous and fervent peacemakers. Please consider working with the EYN through the Carter Foundation. I hope you will learn more about them and then share their story through your channels. Consider investing in their creative, courageous commitment to building peace and restoring community.

You have a voice that speaks much louder and with much more authority than mine. I hope you will consider adding your voice to mine in advocating for the EYN and the people of Nigeria.

With thanks and the love of Christ

Emmett Eldred
Carnegie Mellon University SMC# 2045
Pittsburgh, PA 15289

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