By Zakariya Musa
President Joel Billi of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) has said that “EYN is in a state of mourning.” He made this statement to the EYN congregation at LCC Jigalambu in his address at the funeral services of a key staff of the organization, the director of EYN’s Integrated Community Based Development Programme (ICBDP). The late Marcus Vandi, aged 59, died on May 12 after a brief illness. The president, who also read from the book of Psalms 49:1-10, encouraged the wife of the deceased to look unto God and be strong to take care of their children.
Vandi was buried at his ancestral home town in Bazza, Michika Local Government Area, Adamawa State, on May 14. A sermon was delivered by EYN’s director of evangelism, Musa Daniel Mbaya, who based his message titled “Ignorance About Death” on 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. He said humans are made to die through different ways, which he said many people misunderstand. He admonished that only God gives life, and death is a change from body to eternity.
Vandi served from 1984 to 2018 and retired from a Nigerian government position as an assistant director in Health Personnel. His appointment as the director of ICBDP for EYN was confirmed in April 2019 by the EYN General Church Council (Majalisa). He supervised three departments under ICBDP: Rural Development and Agriculture, Community Development Department, and Rural Health Department. He is survived by his wife, Dangana Marcus, and five children. He also helped many orphans.
Many relatives, friends, and colleagues within and outside EYN witnessed the funeral service. Here are some of their tributes:
“We didn’t know God sent him to the Headquarters for a short period of time, a man of peace,” commented EYN vice president Anthony Addu’a A. Ndamsai.
The pastor of EYN’s LCC Yola Town congregation, Musa Z. Abdullahi, called him a “dedicated worker.”
Dlama Iyasco Taru, on behalf of the family, said their uncle was the one they depended on as orphans, and had been a friend and supporter to them.
Others who paid their tributes included the ICBDP representative, Emmanuel Timothy, a representative from Specialist Hospital Yola, his father-in-law Yohanna Kwatiri, and a Reverend from the Lutheran Church Council.
In continued mourning, EYN also has lost Ishaya Kwada, a retired minister from EYN LCC Waramboge congregation in the Michika district, on May 10; and pastor’s wife Mrs. Kamdadi Inusa of the EYN LCC Durkwa congregation in the Marama district, on May 13.
May their souls rest with the Lord.
-- Zakariya Musa is communications staff for Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria).