Day 9: Kristin Lord

Kristin Lord
2301 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20037

Dear Ms. Lord,

My name is Emmett Eldred. I am one of many youth and young adults who belong to an active and passionate movement within the Church of the Brethren to more faithfully 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 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’s story is so important to hear because they are one of the most inspiring yet challenging groups of people committed to peacebuilding. 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 more severely than the EYN, and their situation continues to worsen.

What makes the EYN’s story so special is not just their suffering, but the courageous, inspiring way that they have responded to their suffering. The Church of the Brethren, including the EYN, is a historic peace church. The EYN has taken that mission to be the core of their approach to their situation. Although they face terrible hardship and trauma, they refuse to respond with violence, opting instead for tactical, subversive, unrelenting nonviolence.

Despite bearing the force of great hate, fear, and division, the EYN responds with even greater love, courage, and community. They understand that they are called to be a beacon of Christ’s love to a climate darkened by violence. They realize that it is up to them to be leaders in working to restore community, dialogue, and the dignity of all Nigerians, even though it means tremendous sacrifice.

These people fill me with hope, and I will never stop advocating for them.

I hope you will become more familiar with the EYN. Their story is not just important to hear because it tells of the terrible suffering of a great people, but because it moves us to action. When a group of people does so much to build peace and work towards human security in the face of such terrible danger, who are we to not get behind them? I believe that peace is possible in Nigeria, but only by investing in the peacemakers. I urge you to include the EYN and all the people of Nigeria in your thoughts, prayers, and decisions. Invest in their creativity and courage. Pay credit to their inspiration and sacrifice.

With thanks and the love of Christ,

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

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