Chris Elliott, a farmer and pastor from Pennsylvania, and his daughter Grace served in Rwanda from January to May 2022. Chris helped with farming and also visiting other churches and projects in Rwanda and nearby countries. Grace taught in the church’s nursery school and has now returned as a BVS volunteer. Find their reflections from Rwanda here.
Officially recognized Church of the Brethren groups exist in the African Great Lakes region (Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Uganda), Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, India, Nigeria (general Nigeria page & history) (Nigeria Crisis Response), Spain, and Venezuela.
Mission prayer updates
Global Church of the Brethren Communion
For the Global Mission office, an area of particular energy and growth is the Global Church of the Brethren Communion, a fellowship of Church of the Brethren denominations in various countries. Here are brief descriptions of the current members of the communion beyond the United States (also seen in the map above):
Brazil: One fellowship. Community outreach programs and family therapy.
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC): 32 churches, 8,000 members.
Dominican Republic (DR): 15 churches, 10 fellowships, 2,800 members (including two districts).
Haiti: 22 churches, 8 stations, 4,500 members. Haiti Medical Project.
India: 29 churches, 39 worship centers, 10,000 members.
Nigeria: 605 local church councils (congregations), with additional preaching points and church plants under most councils, 750,000 or more members. A full denominational program including women’s and youth programs, agriculture program, educational institutions and a seminary, missions in neighboring countries.
Rwanda: 4 churches, 724 members, 12 choirs, 2 schools. Significant outreach to the Batwa community, preschool, and Bible school.
Spain: 6 churches, 275 members. Open-air revivals, community gardens.
Uganda: 15 churches with 732 members. Orphanage.
Venezuela: 40 churches, 1,611 members. Outreach to Indigenous people.
Project sponsored by the U.S. Church of the Brethren
South Sudan: This mission project sponsored by the Mission and Ministry Board has one full-time Global Mission staff person working in the areas of agriculture, reconciliation, trauma healing, prison ministry, evangelism. The first church is being planted.
Emerging missions and projects
In addition to the countries where churches are members of the Global Communion, there are emerging missions and projects in the following places:
Burundi: 50 churches and 6,000 members since 2006. Registered in Burundi but not yet formally recognized by the Global Church of the Brethren Communion.
Cameroon, Chad, Niger Republic, and Togo: Missions of EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria.
China: Hospice and autism projects (China is a former Church of the Brethren mission).
Colombia: Churches started by refugees from Venezuela.
Ecuador: Agriculture project (Ecuador is a former Church of the Brethren mission).
Kenya and Tanzania: Two churches each planted by the emerging church in Burundi.
Honduras: Emerging connection with an existing congregation.
Community development organization
Community development organizations with connections to the Church of the Brethren in the US.
Mexico: Emerging churches. Long-term Church of the Brethren-founded community project in Tijuana (Bittersweet Ministries).
Ukraine: One fellowship.
Vietnam: Vision project for retinopathy of prematurity (former Brethren Volunteer Service location).
Other worldwide connections not listed here are Brethren Volunteer Service projects and disaster grants given through the Emergency Disaster Fund. Global Food Initiative partnerships are located in many of the countries named above.
The ministries of Global Mission seek to integrate faith and service as they challenge and equip Brethren to respond to human need and grow the church of Jesus Christ throughout the world.
Global Mission ministries include:
- Global Food Initiative
- International ministries (this page)
- Global Church of the Brethren Communion
The programming of Global Mission falls into six broad categories:
- church development
- health and well-being
- economic empowerment and
- agriculture development
Global Mission envisions the development of a global Church of the Brethren consisting of autonomous groups that witness to their broader communities while mutually encouraging one another as branches from the denomination vine. It seeks to deepen faith and relationships with established mission points, promoting outreach ministries and developing leadership. With emerging mission points, it seeks to promote core Brethren beliefs and practices while building organizational capacity and deepening faith.
Marcos Inhauser, GM staff in Brazil, has created an eight-minute YouTube video explaining the beliefs and practices of the Church of the Brethren. It is in both Spanish and English. We invite you to view it here:
- Churches in Nigeria fill with music, dancing, and prayer as WCC visits
Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) was among the Nigerian denominations whose congregations received visits during a recent meeting of the World Council of Churches (WCC) executive committee in Abuja, Nigeria. Members of the WCC executive committee visited an array of congregations on Sunday, Nov. 12, “bringing a deep spiritual aspect to their gathering,” said a WCC release.
- EYN farmers suffer violence in northeast Nigeria, interview with EYN district secretary for Wagga
Clergy of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) have counted 107 farms harvested by Boko Haram said Mishak T. Madziga, EYN district secretary for the Wagga district, in an exclusive interview. In addition, he reported several deaths of EYN members at the hands of the terrorists. EYN president Joel S. Billi, who was in the area to celebrate the autonomy of a new local congregation, confirmed the report of many farmers losing their farms to Boko Haram in this critical time of harvest.
- 29th October: A day to remember
This poetic reflection on the experience of members of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) when under attack by Boko Haram was written by Sara Zakariya Musa and contributed to Newsline by Zakariya Musa who serves as head of EYN Media.
- EDF grants offer aid and relief in Haiti, the United States, Ukraine and Poland, the DRC, and Rwanda
Brethren Disaster Ministries has directed grants from the Church of the Brethren’s Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) to respond to multiple crises in Haiti, support continued Brethren Disaster Ministries work following 2022’s summer flooding in the central United States, aid displaced Ukrainians with disabilities, provide school kits for displaced children in the Democratic Republic of Congo, provide flood relief in Rwanda, and support a summer program for migrant children in Washington, D.C.
- Visit to Nigeria boosts agriculture program of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria
The trip was a fact-finding visit and a chance to learn more about the agriculture and business initiatives of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). We had opportunities to discuss and assess the possibilities of EYN’s idea to open a government-recognized seed business to serve farmers in northeast Nigeria.
- Burundi church celebrates the 315th anniversary of the Brethren movement
On Aug. 9-13 the young Church of the Brethren denomination in Burundi, in East Africa, celebrated the 315th anniversary of the Brethren movement that began with baptisms in the Eder River in Schwarzenau, Germany, in 1708.
- More abductees gain their freedom in northeast Nigeria
Talatu Ali has been reunited with her family, along with three of the four children she gave birth to during her 10 years of captivity. She was rescued by the Nigerian military, from the Gavva area of Gwoza Local Government, Borno State, during an operation in which 21 people were rescued including women and children who were mostly trapped in the area by Boko Haram.
- EYN: A wounded healer
“EYN is regarded as a wounded healer,” said Ekklesiyar ‘Yan’uwa a Nigeria vice president Anthony Addu’a Ndamsai. The statement was made while addressing staff members at the EYN Headquarters at Kwarhi, Adamawa State, Nigeria. He was one of a group of EYN leaders who have just returned from the United States, encouraging members to sustain the peaceful heritage of the church which Ndamsai considered has helped the church survived the difficulties imposed by Boko Haram terrorists.