By Cliff Kindy
On Dec. 10 the Center for Caring, Empowerment, and Peace Initiatives (CCEPI) team gathered food supplies at the temporary headquarters of Ekklesiyar Yan'uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). Displaced families had gathered and were already registered for ease in distribution. CCEPI is one of the EYN-connected NGOs that is being funded by Brethren Disaster Ministries through its Nigeria relief appeal.
There was a rope outlining the area for supplies and CCEPI team to operate. Rebecca Dali, director of CCEPI, called out names and as families came to the rope each family received a plastic bucket, a large mat, 20 kilograms of maize, a blanket, 2 soaps and a bag of beans.
It was a colorful scene with bright scarves, children being nursed, other children playing in the clusters of people, a corner of elderly folks sitting patiently to receive some assistance and other hopeful, unregistered displaced folks waiting to see if supplies would stretch for them as well.
In the background the regular routine of the busy compound continued its usual pattern. EYN staff were in and out of their offices, which were being spruced up with furniture to allow a more functional facility. A private school had delivered a huge load of relief supplies to the headquarters earlier that day. There were stacks of yams, toiletries, dried food goods, and other edibles ready for distribution to the people displaced from the northeast of Nigeria.
Back at the rope around the CCEPI distribution circles of people were sharing with each other. An EYN pastor from Michika who had been hit by three bullets as Boko Haram moved into his home area in September was there, still healing. Though he had not registered he was hoping supplies would stretch to him.
A Church of Christ pastor and his wife were among those waiting. He had just finished an office management course and was returning home when Boko Haram reached his region. The family fled to Yola and then on to Jos when rumors of an impending attack on Yola spread. He was the one in the crowd advocating for the group of elderly patiently waiting at the edge of the circle. It seemed these elders were not on the registration list and he wanted them to get first opportunity at any extra supplies.
The distribution went smoothly for the over 100 families. Having it off the road in a closed area with sufficient staff facilitated the process. Only a singing ZME choir (EYN women’s group) would have improved the setting!
-- Cliff Kindy is serving in Nigeria as a Brethren Disaster Ministries volunteer. For more stories from Nigeria, go to the Nigeria blogsite http://blog.brethren.org/category/nigeria .
Coming soon to the Nigeria blog will be daily devotions from Ekklesiyar Yan'uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). EYN’s daily devotional for 2015 will be posted a week at a time, appearing in mid-week for the following week. Each day’s entry will include a scripture text and a brief meditation written by an EYN member. EYN is providing the resource to the Church of the Brethren in the US for those who wish to join the Nigerian Brethren in their daily devotions.