Rebecca Dali was interviewed by Columbus’ NBC Channel 4. Reporter Ted Hart interviewed her just prior to a special insight session on Nigeria that Dali led over the lunch hour on Friday, July 4. She also presented an insight session on Nigeria the following Saturday evening.
Hart reported that Dali regularly travels to Chibok, the place where hundreds of schoolgirls were abducted by the Boko Haram insurgents, to meet with the parents at considerable risk to herself. “A lot of people are afraid to go to Chibok to see them,” Dali told the reporter, “but I took it upon myself that at least every two weeks, I will go and visit them.”
Find the NBC4 interview at www.nbc4i.com/story/25944040/church-has-ties-to-nigerian-kidnap-victims .
Nigeria insight session
At the noon insight session on Nigeria, Dali spoke about her work and the work of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) to aid those affected by violence.
She gave updated figures on the suffering of the Nigerian Brethren, although she warned that these numbers may have grown even in the few days she has been away from Nigeria: since 2006 more than 1,500 EYN members have been killed including pastors and their family members, more than 100 churches have been burned, five district church councils in the Gwoza area have been closed because of the violence, more than 8,500 homes of church members have been burned, and more than 150,000 people have been displaced.
She added, “Many pastors have been killed and some are without jobs” because of the need to flee. Other pastors and their wives and children have been abducted.
Part of Dali’s work with the Center for Caring, Empowerment, and Peace Initiatives (CCEPI) is to sit down with those who have lost family members to Boko Haram, record their stories, and collect photos of the losses they have suffered including photos of the dead bodies and burned homes and businesses.
Dali has spoken with schoolgirls who have escaped and returned home, still only a small number of the total number of girls kidnapped from Chibok. Those who have managed to escape told her about the abuses the abducted girls have suffered, including gang rape and mutilation.
Her PowerPoint presentation included graphic photos of human bodies killed in horrific ways–fathers, mothers, children. Along with her frank discussion of the suffering of the abducted schoolgirls, the pictures brought many in the room to tears. Dali herself broke down into tears at the end of her presentation.
A time of prayer and the laying on of hands for Rebecca Dali closed the insight session, led by general secretary Stan Noffsinger.
Dali spoke to the delegate body at the start of the business session, Saturday, July 5, when cards of encouragement were collected to send to the Nigerian Brethren from the US church. Find the report from the section of Saturday’s business focused on Nigeria at www.brethren.org/news/2014/delegates-adopt-nigeria-resolution.html
— Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford is director of News Services for the Church of the Brethren.