The new church building at the IDP camp in Wuro Jabbe, Yola South Local Area, Adamawa State, Nigeria. Photos by Zakariya Musa, EYN communications
By Zakariya Musa
Officials of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) have dedicated a 500-person capacity church auditorium for more than 300 worshipers at an IDP (internally displaced person) camp in Wuro Jabbe, Yola South Local Area, Adamawa State.
The project, which cost about 4 million Naira, was sponsored in the name of the late Chrissy Kulp, granddaughter of Stover Kulp--one of the founders of the Church of the Brethren Mission in Nigeria in the 1920s. She enjoyed traveling and had recently re-visited her childhood home in Nigeria.
The IDP camp itself was built with grants from the Nigeria Crisis Fund of the Church of the Brethren, and from Mission 21. The funds for the new church building were donated through a memorial for Chrissy Kulp ($10,000) and the Nigeria church rebuilding fund of the Church of the Brethren Global Mission and Service ($4,000).
The dedication service on Sunday, June 7, was officiated by District Church Council (DCC) secretary Smith Usman who, along with DCC chair Noah Wasini and Yuguda Z. Mdurvwa of the EYN disaster ministry, cut the ribbon. The dedication service was graced by people from within Yola and the Disaster Relief Ministry Team from the EYN Headquarters in Kwarhi.
Wasini, on behalf of the DCC, thanked the donor, calling on all churches to imitate hands he said “come from the love of Christ, encouraging the congregation to keep this kind of love.”
The pastor of the IDP camp, Yakubu Ijasini, in his address said, “What we never thought of has happened. God has made a way where there seems to be no way.” The worship center the camp had was destroyed by wind on April 27, 2017, and the camp continued worshiping under an uncompleted shelter for some time. They made an effort to have shade, and were disturbed many times during Sunday services by rainfall. “Sometimes we were moved to pray against rainy days, because sometimes it came at a time of preaching,” the pastor said. “Sometimes we could not hold church service for the rains.”
The camp is one of those in which many EYN members are dispersed in various communities within and outside Nigeria, having fled the Boko Haram violence. Even as some return to their communities, many are attending strange church denominations depending on the places where they find refuge, and many worship under temporary shelters and bear weather difficulties.
The camp of over 400 people with 59 households is managed by EYN. The director of Disaster Relief Ministry, Yuguda Mdurvwa, led the team of three personnel who attended, and informed the gathering about where the funds came from for the new church building and the supporting funds from EYN leadership.
During the service, different church groups presented songs. Donations were made in support, that could enable the worshipers to have more seats.