3333 14th St. NW, Suite 200
Washington DC 20010
Dear Mr. Wallis,
My name is Emmett Eldred. I am one of many youth and young adults within the Church of the Brethren who belong to an active movement to better reflect the teachings and love of Jesus in our everyday lives. I am writing to you as part of a series of over 1000 letters that I will be writing to public figures over the next year about the Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN) the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria.
The EYN is an incredible group of people whose inspiring story is beyond worthy of the attention of you, your readers, and the many people you influence. I’m sure you remember the 276 school girls from northern Nigeria who were kidnapped by Boko Haram. What few people realize is that roughly three fourths of those girls belong to the the EYN. In fact, few groups have suffered from the violence in Nigeria as severely as the EYN.
What makes the EYN of interest to you and your readers is the remarkable and courageous ways that they are living out their faith in the midst of such tragedy. The Church of the Brethren, including the EYN, is a historic peace church. In the face of terrible hardship and suffering, the EYN has refused to respond to its circumstances with violence and retaliation.
Despite great fear, hatred, and division, the EYN continually and faithfully responds with even greater courage, love, and community. They understand that they are to be a beacon of Christ in a landscape darkened by violence. With vigor and creativity they respond to their call to be leaders of a different approach to conflict. They work tirelessly for the restoration of community, dialogue, and the dignity of all people, though it requires great sacrifice.
These people fill me with hope, and I will never stop advocating for them.
I hope you will feature the story of the EYN in your magazine. I urge you to become an advocate like me within your spheres of influence, though your voice speaks much louder than mine. The story of the EYN brings much hope and inspiration, but in many ways it is so invigorating because it is provocative and challenging. Your readers will ask themselves a question that continue to struggle over: If I was a member of the EYN, would my faithfulness be so great?
With thanks and the love of Christ,
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA 15289