I recently visited northeast Nigeria after a three-year absence. This was my fifth trip to Nigeria and my travel was centered around my role as an international adviser to a UNESCO World Heritage Site encampment at Sukur near Madagali on Aug 1-10, 2021 (https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/938). However, what I came to discern as the “theme” of this trip was unexpected encounters–people, places, and things.
The Nigeria Crisis Response budget for 2022 has been set at $183,000 after careful deliberation. Five years ago, we expected the Nigerian government would restore order in northeast Nigeria and families could return to their homes while the response supported their recovery. This led to planning to end the crisis response in 2021, but these plans had to be revised due to ongoing violence.
Ilexene Alphonse, pastor of Eglise des Freres Haitiens, a Haitian Brethren congregation in Miami, Fla.; Jenn Dorsch-Messler, director of Brethren Disaster Ministries; and Eric Miller, co-executive director for Global Mission traveled to Saut Mathurine in southwest Haiti in the second week of September.
Athanasus Ungang, Church of the Brethren Global Mission staff in South Sudan, was released from prison this week after a detention lasting more than three weeks. He and other church leaders and colleagues had been held for questioning following the murder of a church leader in May, although he was not a suspect in the case and the authorities did not press formal charges.
Every other month, leaders from the Church of the Brethren around the world meet to discuss issues facing the global church. In the most recent meeting, the group continued to discuss the meaning of being Brethren and watched a video produced by Marcos Inhauser, a leader of the church in Brazil. “No other church is like this,” several noted.
The general secretary of Eglise des Freres Haitiens (the Church of the Brethren in Haiti), Romy Telfort, is expressing appreciation for prayers from the US Church of the Brethren following the assassination of Haiti’s president Jovenel Moïse.
A disaster relief response to the volcanic eruption that has affected the area around the city of Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and around the city of Gisenyi, Rwanda, is planned by Brethren Disaster Ministries. Brethren church members and congregations have been affected in both the DRC and Rwanda, with damage to homes and church buildings reported. Continuing damage is occurring from the earthquakes that followed on the volcanic explosion that took place May 22.
Norman and Carol Spicher Waggy have concluded an interim assignment as directors of Global Mission for the Church of the Brethren, as of May 14. They served in the position on a part-time basis starting March 2, 2020.
Hillcrest School in Jos, Nigeria, has issued a statement about former principal James McDowell’s admission of having molested students. He was principal from 1974-1984. He made the admission in a Facebook post on April 15. McDowell was not a Church of the Brethren mission worker.
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.