A release from EYN by Zakariya Musa
Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) held its General Church Council Annual Conference, also known as Majalisa, with successful approvals, deliberations, commendations, celebrations, and presentations on April 27-30.
About 2,000 pastors, delegates, and heads of programs and institutions were in attendance at the EYN Headquarters in Kwarhi, Hong Local Government Area, Adamawa State.
Guest preacher Yuguda Z. Ndurvwa talked under the topic “Everyone Born of God Overcomes the World” (1 John 5:4).
EYN president Joel S. Billi in his address reiterated calls on Nigerians to seek the face of God in order to save Nigeria from various challenges that are lingering, with little or no reasonable effort to tackle them. From his address:
“It is time for all Nigerians to lift up our voices and cry to God to save our nation. Nigeria is dilapidating every day with no sign of hope at all. Public schools, government hospitals, roads, employment, subsidizing fertilizers for peasant farmers, and many other things are no longer in good shape. Former and current leaders allowed all these things to slip off their grip because of their selfishness and they don’t have the masses at heart. They always stand aloof from the masses because they can afford overseas treatment, sponsor their children to study abroad, and have the money to go round the world at will.
“As we are all aware, breaking of prisons (Correction Centers) have become the order of the day in the south. Burning of police stations and killing of soldiers have become rampant. Abduction and kidnapping have become a very lucrative business. Going by this trend, will Nigeria survive? What is the future of our children? Posterity will judge most of us for being complacent.”
Lamenting on the global pandemic and the setback the pandemic brought to mankind, he said it “cannot be quantified…. We are still in the struggle of stay safe with masks on our faces like bulls who are plowing. But we should not give up or lose heart. Don’t lose heart, for God’s power and miracles are under way.
“Let us continue to pray for the release of the remaining 112 Chibok School girls, Rev. Yahi, Leah Sharibu, Alice Yoaksa, Bitrus Takrfa, Bitrus Zakka Bwala, and hundreds of others in the forest. Please, we should not relent in praying for this huge number of people in captivity. We should ask God to keep them in the faith no matter what. Lai Mohammed is still lying that the Federal Government is working tirelessly to ensure the release of the remaining 112 girls. These girls were seven years in abduction on 14th April, 2021…. The federal government has totally failed.”
The three-day long highest policy making body of the church received reports of the year 2020 activities presented by all directorates. Six District Church Councils (DCCs) were commended by the Majalisa for their extra effort in remittance to the Headquarters, which has enabled the church to pay staff salaries during COVID-19 economic setbacks. The DCCs and their secretaries are Maiduguri: Julius Kaku, Maisandari: Joshua Maiva, Utako: Patrick Bugu, Nasarawa: James T. Mamza, Jimeta: Smith Usman, and Yawa: Fidelis Yerima.
One of the EYN Bible schools, Madu Bible School in Marama, was applauded for producing good candidates, rated during job interviews by the church.
One of the spirited EYN members was praised for their contribution to the church. “My heart is sparkling with joy by what our brother Mr. A. A. Gadzama and his family have done for EYN. This noiseless man who does not blow his trumpet built a magnificent church to LCB Gidan Zakara in DCC Nasarawa. He built and furnished it with modern chairs. We really express our gratitude for this unprecedented offering, sacrifice, donation, and gift to God. This is not the first time they have done such a thing. May the face and peace of God, dwell in their hearts and bless them spiritually and physically.”
Resolutions of the 74th Majalisa include but are not restricted to the following, as shared by the office of the EYN General Secretary:
- The Majalisa accepted the long-awaited amendment of the 1983 Constitution of the Incorporated Trustee of EYN-Church of the Brethren in Nigeria. It will soon be published, all legal requirements will be met, and copies will be made available.
- The “Disaster Relief Ministry” is now “Disaster Relief Management.”
- Building Sunday school classes as a requirement for granting autonomy to Local Church Councils (LCCs, or congregations) is still encouraged but not a must where the strength at the beginning is not available.
- The name “Director of Audit and Documentation” is now “Director of Audit and Compliance.”
- EYN is to establish a printing press. A committee will be set up by management to work out the modalities.
- Six out of 12 LCCs that had an income below 1 million naira, that are not in danger zones, will be served with warning letters. These LCCs are Kali Sama, Kubuku, Wurojam, Mintama, Bantali, and Wakdang. If they do not meet up by the end of the year 2021, they will be merged next Majalisa.
- The conference for ministers’ wives will be held May 18-21.
- There is an urgent need of the sum of 8.1 million naira to buy land for Billiri Mission Field (N4.4m) and to roof nine mud-built churches in Rijau Niger State (N3.7m). Management will work on how LCCs and DCCs will raise these funds and communicate to LCCs and DCCs soonest.
- EYN Founder’s Day: Any pastor that collaborates with church committees to hide some part of the revenue realized that day, or had multiple offerings on that day, will be suspended without salary for a period of six months effective 2022.
- Next of kin to all EYN employees should be their spouse; anything other than this has to be in consultation with the office.
- Education of Pastors’ children: EYN will establish a boarding primary and secondary school where pastors’ children can be educated. This will help reduce distorting pastors’ children education. A committee will be set up by management to bring proposals.
- The Majalisa approved 18 LCBs to be granted autonomy, one DCC to be charted, two DCCs to have their names changed, and two LCC to have their names changed.
- LCC Song is transferred to DCC Golantabal for the reason of proximity.
During the Majalisa, a thanksgiving service was observed in honor of pastor Bulus Yukura, who was kidnapped from Pemi on Dec. 24, 2020, and was miraculously released by Boko Haram terrorists after two months in captivity. Yukura, his wife, Grace, and their children were invited to the floor of the Majalisa. In his response, Yukura thanked all for their prayers and joint efforts towards his release, which he considered “the grace of God.” Songs of joy, prayers, and special offerings were made.
A spokesperson for the parents of the Chibok schoolgirls, Yakubu Nkeke, also was on the floor of the Majalisa for a briefing, and asked for continued joint prayers for the release of the remaining 112 girls and many others.
Some few EYN sons who are holding political office, and a delegation of Adamawa State Governor His Excellency Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, paid a thank you visit to the synod.
While concerned over the non-attendance of partners, the EYN president informed the house about the COVID-19 challenges that banned the Church of the Brethren and Mission 21 from attending the 2021 Majalisa. President Billi brought their greetings.
We appreciate God for the answered prayers.
— Zakariya Musa is head of Media for Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria.
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