Trip to Nigeria Yields Testimonies of Thanks for Support from American Brethren

By Roxane Hill

This report from Roxane and Carl Hill’s recent trip to Nigeria highlights testimonies about how the aid of the Church of the Brethren is appreciated by members of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). Carl and Roxane Hill are co-directors of the Nigeria Crisis Response of the Church of the Brethren.

Testimonies of thanks for the support made possible by Church of the Brethren or “EYN America” as some locals are calling us:

A pastor trapped on Michika mountain: “I thought I was alone not knowing that I had someone who could be of help. I lost all hope and didn’t know what else to do when I was chased from my church. I was stranded and didn’t have a penny on me and my family didn’t have much to eat. This little sum of money means a world to me and I pray that God will always use people like you to bless others.”  
An IDP (internally displaced person) in Chinka who was put to work on a building project: “You don’t know but this project has brought us ‘blessings.’ We were idle, not doing anything and having nothing to work on or for. Being incorporated into this work has changed our view of life. We have even forgotten that we are IDPs, please don’t take this project from us.”  
The mother who received medical help for her daughter: “I had been spending lots of money but there was no improvement for my daughter until we administered the new drugs (provided by EYN). She is now responding to treatment. God has helped her using these people. Thank you very much.”  
Director of a school for displaced children: “The pupils are already settling down to their new environment and making new friends in the process. We are noticing a lot of positive behavior changes and academically are seeing improvements in pupils’ ability to interact in English.”  
Gurku interfaith IDP: “We are thankful to the leadership for involving us in the paid construction jobs of the housing project. We were able to get some money for the needs of our families. Thanks to this camp, we have hope for a better life.”  
A woman receiving a livelihood gift: “Madam, you have succeeded in putting smiles on the faces of the needy. Poverty is over for us.” Another man said, “This type of assistance is a sort of poverty eradication; instead of giving a child a fish every day it is better to show him how to catch the fish. Thank you!”  

What an encouraging visit! It was wonderful to connect with old friends and make some new ones.

EYN leadership has settled into their Headquarters Annex in central Nigeria. The roof has been replaced, offices are equipped, meeting space is furnished, and business is getting back to normal. Every morning starts with all-staff devotions. Last week one person prayed and thanked God for the completion of the roofing of the EYN Headquarters Annex office. It happens that two days after the roofing, it rained heavily in Jos and he was thankful to Church of the Brethren for making the funds available because it would have been a very big loss for the staff if the roofing was not done before the rainy season.

The energy level is high and leaders are poised for action. The EYN Disaster Team is functioning well and we were able to see evidence of their many activities. Overall, the team is working hard in the difficult task of meeting the overwhelming needs of EYN and its people.

EYN also used the funds to hold the Minister’s Conference. Over 500 ordained ministers came from far and near to attend this unifying event. Carl and I were able to address the ministers with a comprehensive overview of the Nigeria Crisis Response and to encourage them in their role as servants of Jesus Christ. We urged them to put their hands to the plow and to take to heart Christ’s instructions to Peter in John 21:17: “Feed my sheep.”

— Roxane and Carl Hill are co-directors of the Nigeria Crisis Response for the Church of the Brethren, working in cooperation with Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). For more about the crisis response go to www.brethren.org/nigeriacrisis .