by Karen Shankster
Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) had its origins in the work of missionaries sent by the Church of the Brethren starting in 1923. My husband, Don Shankster, pastor of Papago Buttes Church of the Brethren in Scottsdale, Ariz., was one of the children of the missionaries who helped give EYN its start. He was born and raised in Nigeria. His parents, Owen and Celia Shankster, were in mission in Nigeria for more than 40 years.
Since 2014, EYN has been in crisis, affected by the actions of the terrorist group Boko Haram. In 2015, some members of EYN, including members of the Women’s Fellowship choir, attended Annual Conference in Tampa, Fla. The red fabric that the choir wears is specific to the Women’s Fellowship. Other representatives from EYN wear the same fabric, but in other colors. Some Nigerian fabric was sold by the group to help with their recovery efforts, but not the red Women’s Fellowship material.
I inquired about the availability of the red fabric worn by the Women’s Fellowship, and Carl and Roxane Hill graciously sent some yards for a payment made to the Nigeria Crisis Fund. Since that time, I have been working to make something special with it, to support the ongoing needs in Nigeria through the Nigeria Crisis Fund and Brethren Disaster Ministries.
The result is this quilted wall hanging. Our Papago Buttes Women’s Fellowship has offered feedback and support along the way. This summer, Suzie Evenstad referred me to a quilter in Chandler who did the machine quilting. The “Nigeria Quilt” is now completed!