The Church of the Brethren Mission and Ministry Board has approved the release of $500,000 from the Emergency Disaster Fund to support Nigeria Crisis Response programing. The Nigeria Crisis Response is a joint effort of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria with the Church of the Brethren’s Global Mission and Service and Brethren Disaster Ministries.
A team of volunteers from Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) set up yesterday morning at a MARC (Multi Agency Resource Center) in Albany, Ga. CDS provides child care for families affected by disasters, often offering care for children while parents apply for aid or take care of other necessary tasks in the wake of disasters.
“We are the church, we’ll continue to be the church, and we will welcome refugees in need from all religious backgrounds. This is in keeping with our Christian faith,” said Jay Wittmeyer, executive director of Global Mission and Service, when contacted by the Huffington Post about the Church of the Brethren position on refugees.
Brethren Disaster Ministries has directed a grant of $50,000 from the Church of the Brethren’s Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) to support the next phase of response to devastation in Haiti caused by Hurricane Matthew. The storm hit the island on Oct. 4, 2016, as a powerful category 4 hurricane, causing widespread damage and considerable losses, and up to 1,600 deaths.
A summary of the Nigeria Crisis Response work carried out in 2016 has been provided to Newsline by coordinator Roxane Hill. The Nigeria Crisis Response is a joint effort of the Church of the Brethren and Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). The Church of the Brethren’s Global Mission and Service and Brethren Disaster Ministries are both involved in the effort. The following summary covers the year through November and includes tallies of accomplishments in the seven areas of focus. For more about the Nigeria Crisis Response go to www.brethren.org/nigeriacrisis.
On the night of April 14 and early morning of April 15 in 2014, militants of the terror group Boko Haram attacked the northeastern Nigerian town of Chibok. The militants quickly overwhelmed the small paramilitary contingent based in Chibok and abducted around 276 high school-age girl students, most of whom were members of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria).
Brethren Disaster Ministries has directed grants from the Church of the Brethren’s Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) to aid Syrian and other refugees sheltering in Lebanon, and refugees from Burundi who have fled to Tanzania.
Grants from the Church of the Brethren’s Emergency Disaster Fund support rebuilding projects in South Carolina and Detroit, as well as disaster relief work in South Sudan.
Financial reports and a budget proposal for 2017, grants for disaster relief following Hurricane Matthew, along with discussion of the state of the church and root causes of current tensions were all on the agenda of the fall meeting of the Mission and Ministry Board of the Church of the Brethren.
As Hurricane Matthew batters Florida today, Brethren Disaster Ministries continues to monitor the situation and is working to determine response plans in the Caribbean and on the east coast. Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) has put volunteers on alert.