Completing a Degree During Troubled Times

by Janet Crago

Zakariya Musa

Zakariya Musa

In 2014, Zakariya Musa was pursuing his Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communication at the University of Maiduguri.  It was supposed to be a 6-year journey.  He works for EYN Headquarters as the Editor of Sabon Haske, which is an EYN publication reporting on major events in EYN.  The University of Maiduguri offered a program where he could travel to Maiduguri to attend classes on Friday evening and all day Saturday.  He would travel earlier in the day on Friday to get to Maiduguri for the Friday classes, then travel on Sunday to get back to EYN Headquarters at Kwarhi.  He was given study assignments to work on during the two weeks he would spend at EYN Headquarters before again returning to Maiduguri for the Fri – Sat classes, then back to Kwarhi again.  Zakariya would work at EYN Headquarters during the day, and study at night.  He has 8 children, so to get a quiet place to study, he would frequently go to the Library or the classrooms at Kulp Bible College (KBC) at night to study.  It was a very busy life.  But, this was a schedule he expected — before the Boko Haram insurgency geared up.


Maiduguri is a very large city north of EYN Headquarters.  If you travel on the road that goes north and is the shortest route, it takes about 4 hours.  Soon, however, it became unsafe to travel the shortest road up to Maiduguri.  Even today, because of the insurgency, it is not safe to pass on the road through Bama / Gwoza.  Instead, travelers leaving Kwarhi must first travel to Yola which is about 4 hours SOUTH of EYN Headquarters.  Then you have to travel from Yola to Numan, Adamawa state /to Gombe, Gombe state/ to Damaturu, Yobe State/to Maiduguri, Borno State, a further trip of approximately 10 hours through 3 state capitals.  So, total trip time now become 14 hours one way.  Getting his degree became very difficult as Zakariya continued to pursue it.  Not only did the travel time increase so much that it became almost impossible, but the trip is not even very safe in some places like Damaturu.  Another problem was that the city of Maiduguri imposed a curfew during this time to help ensure the safety of the city.  Zakariya’s probem was that they kept changing the time.  Sometimes it was 5 pm to 6 am, sometimes it was 6 pm to 7 am, and sometimes it was 7 pm to 7 am.  Zakariya always called ahead to determine the time so he didn’t have to stay in the bush.  He had to stay over night in Yola several times.   But, Zakariya still persevered toward his degree.

Then, to make matters worse, Boko Haram began an all-out effort to carve out a radical Islamic state in a section of northeast Nigeria.  They weren’t having success in overcoming Maiduguri itself so their eyes moved toward its surroundings with a bomb blast here and there within the city despite the heavy military checkpoints at all road linkages. They began a march south, overrunning Bama, Gwoza, Madagali and Michika in mid September, moving into KBC on Oct 29 and overrunning Mubi on Oct 30.  People were anxious all over the area, but didn’t want to abandon their homes and crops.  They didn’t want to run away until they had no other choice.

But, Oct 29th was that day for Zakariya’s family, who lived in Kwarhi near the EYN Headquarters.  His older children abandoned their house early in the morning of Oct 29th by starting their trek, on foot, toward Gashala, then Hong, then Gombi, before getting transport to Yola.  Unfortunately, Zakariya’s wife didn’t leave soon enough.  She got trapped in her home in Kwarhi.  Thankfully, she was able to sneak out later in the day.  She went through the bush to Gashala, then Hong.  She trekked about 15 miles before spending the night in Gashala.  She and her group (which included a pregnant woman who was in her eighth month) were finally able to get transport from Hong to Yola.  That same day, Zakariya had made the long journey back from Maiduguri and arrived in Yola the evening of Oct 29th.  His wife arrived on the 30th.

The pastor and parishioners of the Vinikilang EYN church, just outside Yola, were allowing displaced people to gather in a large open area near their church.  Zakariya estimates that there were about 400 adults staying in this open area.  Sometimes they were able to get one plate of food for the younger children.  He had very little money with him, but was able to purchase a little food for the rest of them.  They stayed there for 6 days.  Ultimately, the displaced people there dispersed to many areas, wherever they could get a safe place to stay until they could return home.  After discussing their options, Zakariya’s family decided to move to a refugee camp in Bukuru (near Jos) run by the Stephanos Foundation.  There they stayed in a shelter which only had half walls.  They decided to hang cloth around the open top half so they could have a little privacy.

Then, Zakariya got word from his university supervisors that he needed to finish his final project as his allotted time had almost expired.  He didn’t know how he was going to finish his project while living in a camp.  There was no private area to work in.  His advisor agreed to communicate with him about his project through email.  He had a laptop, but how was he going to power it?  Well, Zakariya is resourceful, and again he pulled off the almost impossible.  He finished his project on time and was able to complete his Bachelor of Science Degree.  But, the story doesn’t end there —

Zakariya with his wife and Carl & Roxane Hill

Zakariya with his wife and Carl & Roxane Hill

While working on his final project he got word from Gavva that his parents had been killedby the insurgents.  Gavva is one of the villages in northeast Nigeria very close to the Cameroon border where people are still afraid to go back because they are likely to be killed.  Then, he then got word that his mother had been seen alive.  But — he has now not heard from his mother for over 6 months, and he’s doubtful that this is really true. His father and mother lived in Gavva their whole lives, and Zakariya grew up there.  The death of his parents has been a terrible blow for him.

Zakariya thanks God for getting him through the difficult challenges of getting his degree.  He is also grateful to Stephanos Foundation for helping to provide for his family during a time when he’s also mourned for his parents and the other colleagues he has lost to the Boko Haram conflict.

When he reflects on what has happened to him he says he appreciates people, particularly in Jos, for their concern for EYN.  His prayer is for peace to come back to Nigeria, especially in the northeast where the insurgency has taken over.  He prays for God to give EYN a forgiving heart because we have all sinned before God.  He prays for the new government of Nigeria under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari and for the betterment of all citizens.


Devotions (EYN Daily Link) November 1-7, 2015


EYN Devotions graphicA Daily Devotional Guide from the
EYN (Church of the Brethren in Nigeria)

EYN leaders in Nigeria believe prayer is one of the most important ways to support the Nigerian people and the Church.  These daily devotions were written by EYN members and published by the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria. Reading them daily is a powerful way we can be in solidarity and connect with our brothers and sisters caught in this crisis.  EYN’s daily devotional for 2015 will be posted a week at a time on this blog, appearing mid-week for the following week. More information about the crisis can be found

Click on this link for Devotions Nov 1-7, 2015

EYN Disaster Team Brings Relief for Maiduguri’s Displaced

Rev. Yuguda

Rev. Yuguda

By Rev. Yuguda Mdurvwa (Manager of EYN Disaster Team)

By the special grace of God, we took off for Maiduguri on the 15th of October to bring much needed food and household items to the displaced people in Maiduguri. Rev. Amos Dwala (also a member of the Disaster Team) and I passed through the towns of Potuskum, Damaturu, Beneshek and many others on our way to the capitol of Borno State.  Indeed, the Boko Haram has done much damage to these towns, and many places remain desolated. As we traveled, we were moving with fear and pains in our hearts seeing the kind of damage that has been done. One positive thing we noticed on the road is that the military are patrolling and stationed in these dangerous zones leading to Maiduguri. When we arrived on Thursday, we witnessed three bomb blasts, one in Moloi (a section of Maiduguri) at a Mosque. More than 50 people were killed, and the next day another bomb blast at Ajalari killed 20 more. On Saturday, the 17th, another bomb was exploded at Ummurari where 8 other people lost their lives. On Sunday, a lady suicide bomber was about to enter Maimalari Army Barracks but was shot dead by the soldiers.

Food and Household items ready for distribution

Food and Household items ready for distribution

The people in Maiduguri are always living in fear of the unknown, but despite all these violent things happening, God is still in control. We distributed food and household items to 544 households. The items included were: rice, blankets, mosquito netting, cooking oil, detergent, salt, Vaseline, maggi cubes and sugar. The IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) were happy to receive this kind of help. They said this was the best assistance they had received, so far. Those that are living in the camps in and around Maiduguri are 7,572 in number, while the people living with host families and rented houses are over 3,ooo. These are the people we gave out assistance to because the Borno government is taking care of the ones in the camps. After the distribution, I worshipped in my former church EYN Maiduguri which was burnt by the insurgents in July of 2009, when I served as pastor there. We rebuild it in two years and the final improvements were completed this year.  Worshippers that day were up to 3,700 in number. What a great God we are serving, in him we put our trust. On Monday 19th of October, we returned safely back to Jos and the EYN headquarters.

EYN #1 Maiduguri Church

EYN #1 Maiduguri Church

Saratu’s Escape

By Janet Crago

Personal Note:  This story was especially important to Tom and Janet Crago because Saratu’s goat herd got its beginning in 2007 with a donation of $100 from Florence Crago, Tom’s mother, who was moved to help a widow in Nigeria when she heard her story.

Saratu and Rita

Saratu and Rita

It was Oct 3, 2014.  They first came as thieves, and were dressed as soldiers.  They surrounded the whole village of Gavva East.  Saratu and her mother were at home.  It was 8 o’clock in the morning and Saratu was taking her bath.  When they started firing their guns, the sound of gunshots came from all over the village.  Everyone started running for the mountain.  The Boko Haram insurgents killed some people and kidnapped many women and children that day.  Saratu was one of the lucky ones.  Her mother was with her and they were fast enough to run and escape captivity.  Saratu tells of gunshots passing very close to her and how panicked she felt.  She ran until she thought she would burst from lack of breath.  It is a steep climb up the mountain.

After that day, the Christians from Gavva East did not return to live in their village.  They were too frightened. They stayed on the mountain.  They didn’t want to leave their home area and were hopeful that the Boko Haram had gone away for good.  This area of northeast Nigeria has had a very lucrative farming history.  They grow guinea corn, sesame seed, and onions.  But the Boko Haram were persistent in their aim of driving Christians from the area.  They came again on Oct 14, 2014.  They dressed in football (soccer) uniforms and pretended they were Christians.  They told everyone to come out and that it was safe, but the ones who came out were killed or captured.  Many more women and children were kidnapped.  The men were killed.

The word spread that the Muslims from Gavva East went to the Sambisa forest and joined Boko Haram.   So, the neighbors and former friends of Christians in Gavva East had now become their enemies who were trying to kill them or drive them away from their homeland.  The Boko Haram insurgents came back to the mountain hideaway on Oct 24, 2014.  They came from all directions around the mountain and surrounded it.  Saratu and her mother hid in a small cave.  The Boko Haram spent one week of relentless searching by surrounding the mountain and calling out to people to come out.  They would cry out every day saying, “Come out, come out, you will not be killed if you convert to Islam”.  But if you refused to convert they would slaughter you (cut your throat) and throw pieces of your body into the community’s mountain spring water source. They spoiled the water for everyone.  Saratu and her mother never came out.  They remained true to their Christian faith.  They stayed hidden while trembling with fear.  They refused to convert.  During this horrible week of intense fear, other insurgents were in the village of Gavva East looting houses.  They took away everything valuable, including the zinc roofs of the houses.  Then they set fire to the Christian homes.  It was a very difficult week.  The Christians in hiding would come out in the dead of night to search for a way to Cameroon.  Finally, they left on their trek to Cameroon.  Because they didn’t have water, they kept their eyes open for wet spots on the ground.  When they spotted a wet site, they would dig down until water started filling the hole.  When the water filled the hole enough, they would drink the water.  They did not eat for a week on this trek to Cameroon.

Survival in the Cameroon, too, was difficult. The town where they went was predominantly Islamic.  They discovered that if they could do a little work for a Muslim home, they would be given a little money for food.

At one point, a Muslim man who took passengers to Yola told them that he would take them to Yola for 5,000 Naira ($25) each, but he just took their money and disappeared.  Many others fell for this trick as well.  Finally, Saratu and her mother were able to arrange transport for the two of them to be taken to Yola for 18,000 ($90) each.  Saratu’s father was able to send them the money.  When they got to Yola, it was easy to arrange transport back to Maiduguri.  By that time, Saratu’s girls had not heard from their mother for 6 months.  They had lost hope that she was still alive.

Saratu is a widow with four daughters.  Her husband, Daniel, was killed in a road accident

Twins Walla and Wassa

Twins Walla and Wassa

when Saratu was just 27.  Walla and Wassa are her oldest children and twins. They are attending university.  Rita has just completed secondary school and is staying with an uncle.  Her youngest, Renate, is attending boarding school.  Saratu left 22 goats behind when she had to flee.  Losing her goats was a big concern because she was using the money from the sale of goats to pay for her girl’s school fees.  They also gave her a source of protein for her own family.


Saratu is now about the business of recovery.  She recently got a job at the Center for Caring and Empowerment Initiative (CCEPI) in Jos, run by Dr. Rebeccah Dali, the wife of EYN’s President.  She is very happy to have work again.  Before her escape, she had been employed by the Literacy program in Gavva.  This program was a function of EYN providing much needed education in the Gavva area.  That program doesn’t exist any more because all Christians have had to leave the area and all the buildings have been destroyed.  The Christians of Gavva East are still mourning the loss of the Literacy program.  They now have to focus on moving on with their lives in another area.  Please pray that God will bless them in their new workplaces and that their industry and Godliness will have a huge influence in the new place.

Devotions (EYN Daily Link) October 25-31, 2015


EYN Devotions graphicA Daily Devotional Guide from the
EYN (Church of the Brethren in Nigeria)

EYN leaders in Nigeria believe prayer is one of the most important ways to support the Nigerian people and the Church.  These daily devotions were written by EYN members and published by the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria. Reading them daily is a powerful way we can be in solidarity and connect with our brothers and sisters caught in this crisis.  EYN’s daily devotional for 2015 will be posted a week at a time on this blog, appearing mid-week for the following week. More information about the crisis can be found

Click on this link for Devotions Oct 25-31, 2015

Stories of NOAC 2015

The beautiful Lake Junaluska at NOAC 2015. Photo by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford

The beautiful Lake Junaluska at NOAC 2015.
Photo by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford

By Kim Ebersole, former director of National Older Adult Conference (NOAC)

The creative energy was flowing as the 2015 NOAC planning team gathered for its initial meeting in May 2014. The primary concern of every NOAC planning committee is to create an experience that inspires, nurtures, challenges, and renews those who attend.

Again and again, the 2015 team remembered what was shared by 2013 keynote presenter Phyllis Tickle about the importance of telling our faith stories to our children, grandchildren, and others we encounter. With this inspiration, we created the 2015 theme, “Then Jesus Told Them a Story,” related to Matthew 13:34-35.

The 2015 event lived up to its storytelling theme as preachers, keynote speakers, workshop leaders, musicians, and performers explored the stories of Jesus, and encouraged us to share our own stories through conversation, writing, art, drama, music, and service to others far and near.

One of the greatest joys of NOAC over the years is hearing how the gathering has positively impacted the lives of those who participate. Attending NOAC can be a transformative experience, as these quotes from 2015 attendees attest:

“It feels good to have Brethren living together with love, laughter, and great hospitality to one another. It’s like fresh air coming down out of the mountains that causes us to look up and smile.”

“I walk beside the still waters of the lake, smell the roses, and my soul feels restored, healed from the daily grind back home.”

“I feel so alive, so refreshed, renewed, challenged to reinvent myself into a better vessel for service and ministry.”

“My life’s story has not been fully written. Gaining inspiration from NOAC speakers, the next chapter has the potential to be the best one.”

“No one told me about the power of NOAC. I’m going home and getting a group of my friends ready for the next one.”

We hope you will attend the next NOAC in 2017 (September 4-8) at Lake Junaluska,N.C., and experience the power of NOAC for yourself. How beautiful it is to fellowship together and feel the creative energy of God move on that sacred ground.

Kim Ebersole recently completed nine years of service to the Church of the Brethren. Learn more about the 2015 National Older Adult Conference at . Support this and other ministries of the Church of the Brethren at .

(Read this issue of eBrethren)

Tough going at Kulp Bible College

When asked for a brief report on the start of Kulp Bible College (KBC) last week, Dr. Rebecca Dali wrote the following:

Final year Bachelors of Arts class

Final year Bachelors of Arts class

Greetings in Jesus name. I hope you are well. I went to KBC and taught from 7am to 4pm daily because I taught extra lessons to cover for next weeks lessons.

Generally the report so far

  1. Most of the old (returning) students  BA 2,3 &4 and DCRS 2&3 were in class and most of them are very attentive to learning. New Student are few only 2 in DCRS 1 and 5 in BA 1.
  2. 30% of the teaching staff did not resume their teaching assignment although I saw some came on Friday.
  3. Security: Students and staff are carry on with their normal work, some are harvesting their groundnuts, maize etc. but most of them are not sleeping at night they are being like watchmen in the nights. It resulted to many students sleeping in the class. Boko Haram still attack villages near Lassa, Chibok areas and also Madagali, Wagga areas and many students in those areas are looking sad and not free as other students.
  4. Economically it is very hard for them to pay school fees and feed themselves including paying medical bills. CCEPI with partners is providing food 10,000 worth of 25kg of Rice and Maize. 4 mudus of Groundnuts and Beans, 2litres of Groundnut oil and salt per household. We gave Vouchers and the beneficiaries will go to Rescue authorized  and trained  vendors to claim the food. We registered these households since July and started  to get the foodstuffs since August, 2015. Therefore some student who did not register are not getting them. And from all indication they will receive the last one next week.  Hunger will emerge and extreme poverty has already set in. When I went more than 20 students ask me money as small as 20Naira to buy salt which was not usual.
  5. Many of their children are out of school, I went around the compound during school time and many are staying at home. Some said their parents could not buy uniforms and pay school fees. I went to EYN Women Fellowship Primary school and the Headmistress said the students are not paying tuition fees.
Teaching "Work of a Pastor's wife"

Teaching “Work of a Pastor’s wife”

Generally, the situation has worsened because of Boko Haram and life is not easy. Even those who graduated they are still in the compound. Some of them have no home to go to and no pastoral work. This is what I briefly observed in my 7 days in Kulp.

thank you.


Race, Cages, and the Church

Criminal justice reform has become a top priority in the past few weeks, with bills in both the House and Senate poised to be marked up by the end of the month. These bills address many of the problems discussed in a previous post, and the Office of Public Witness will be present at a Senate hearing discussing the Senate bill later today. Supporting these reforms is important, but the problem of mass incarceration goes beyond legislation and requires an examination of our values.

When one in 28 children has a parent in prison, we should wonder if this really the land of the free.

When one out of nine African-American have parents in prison, we especially should wonder if this is a land of equality.

As a community of faith, we need to stand up and acknowledge the injustice of our prison system, especially in relation to its disproportionate representation of African-Americans. By understanding the causes of this unfortunate phenomenon, we can begin to develop creative ways to tackle racism in our system of mass incarceration.

Calling a system racist may seem odd, especially in a country that, since the Civil Rights Movement, generally opposes overtly racist ideology. As a church, however, we acknowledge the complexity of racism in a 1991 Annual Conference report, which, quoting a National Council of Churches policy statement, says:

Racism is personal prejudice plus power. Racism is the intentional or unintentional use of power to isolate, separate and exploit others. This use of power is based on a belief in superior racial origin, identity or supposed racial characteristics. Racism confers certain privileges on and defends the dominant group, which in turn sustains and perpetuates racism. Both consciously and unconsciously, racism is enforced and maintained by the legal, cultural, religious, educational, economic, political and military institutions of societies. Racism is more than just a personal attitude; it is the institutionalized form of that attitude.

Racism subtly pervades the structures of our society despite past efforts to eliminate it. Overturning segregation and various Jim Crow laws were important steps towards racial justice, but the conversation on race has largely been absent since then. In that complacency, mass incarceration has become a new system of segregation that, when examined seriously, proves just as controversial and problematic as Jim Crow laws.

The numbers are terrifying. Despite the fact that whites and blacks use illegal drugs at roughly the same rate, 45 percent of all drug offenders in 2011 were black while only 30 percent were white. When coupled with 500 percent increase in prisoners in the past 30 years, the numerical difference between white and black prisoners is staggering. This discrepancy is important to understand because it reveals the racist implementation of supposedly “colorblind” legislation developed during the War on Drugs.

A major problem lies in the decision to wage the drug war in poor, minority communities despite the fact that illegal drug use is comparable across racial lines. Convenience is often the justification for this behavior since poor individuals often lack an ability to commit such crimes in private space, making their crimes readily visible. Other motivations are political; far less attention is given to a drug bust in a marginalized community as opposed to middle class home in suburbia. (For a more sustained discussion of this topic, read chapter 3 of The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander.)

Such motivations are dangerous because they offer seemingly justifiable reasons for colorblind policy that, in practice, is racist. Racism is prejudice plus power. The ability to choose targets of police action is power. The choice to focus almost exclusively on poor, minority neighborhoods reveals the prejudice. But the moral wrongness of this practice extends beyond simple choice and into the effects it has on communities. Targeting the same minority communities creates a vicious cycle that exacerbates drug crime. Most drug offenders in these communities are addicts or dealers making barely enough money to pay rent. When dealers are taken off the street, the vacuum is filled by those with an actual need for money (these are poor neighborhoods, after all). As a result, more and more individuals get arrested, further fracturing that community.

Attempting to portray criminals as victims of societal ills, for some, seems like a weak attempt to disregard the American values of individuality and agency. These critics instead blame black men, who by being absent at home, cause the moral “degeneration” that leads these communities down a path of crime. Daring to enter a chicken-or-egg discussion, it is important to note that they are absent because of overly-aggressive, prejudiced crime enforcement. One in four black men born since the beginning of the War on Drugs in late 1970’s has spent time in prison. That this War has successfully incarcerated so many so should not be taken as a success, but as a failure to address the heart of the matter. Caging human beings en masse is guaranteed to harm a community, and mass incarceration assures this brokenness. Money that could be spent on drug rehabilitation and community development programs instead goes to a racist system of mass incarceration that costs billions of dollars each year. But most of all, this system destroys lives more than it helps.

People lose years of their lives under harsh mandatory minimum sentences and three-strike laws, only to return to a further crippled neighborhood. Worse, those years in prison are not the end of one’s punishment. Most job applications require felons to declare their criminal status, hindering their ability to get a job and thus their transition back into society. However, the legacy of a criminal record haunts black men far worse than any other group. Studies have shown that white men with a criminal record get called back for jobs more frequently black men with a criminal record and black men without a criminal record. These studies reveal the horrible cultural assumption that black men are dangerous criminals despite evidence to the contrary. Rounding up black men to put in prisons has exacerbated this false perception and only complicates law enforcement when police are given full discretion to tackle crime. Socialization works against even those who would consciously not consider themselves racist, yet from this mix of power and subtle, unconscious prejudice is born a racist justice system.

The topic of race is often uncomfortable to discuss, especially in the context of an overwhelmingly white church, but it is a conversation that needs to occur if we are to truly embrace everyone as children of God. The Church of the Brethren is making an effort to ensure that this conversation occurs, specifically through Ecumenical Advocacy Days (EAD) and Christian Citizenship Seminar (CCS). EAD brings Christians from all over to participate in workshops and prepares participants to visit lawmakers with a particular legislative “ask.” EAD 2016 takes place April 15-18, 2016, with the theme is “Lift Every Voice! – Racism, Class and Power.” This event, cosponsored by the Office of Public Witness, provides a powerful platform for Brethren to learn about and take part in racial justice work. Click here for more information or to register.

CCS occurs the following week on April 23-28 2016, and invites youth to come to Washington, DC and New York City to learn how to be faithful, impactful citizens. CCS 2016 will explore the issue of race and mass incarceration in detail, and participants will visit legislators and learn skills to enact social change in their own communities. Encourage your youth to take part in this important conversation!

In 1963, the Church proclaimed, “The deepening crises in race relations all across the land confront the Christian church with its sharpest challenges to integrity and discipleship in this century. A revolution in relations between the races is upon us. We can neither stop it nor delay it. We can only hope to help guide it by active participation in it as concerned and courageous Christians.” May our commitment to God’s justice be strengthened by remembering that those words still ring true today.

Jesse Winter

Peacebuilding and Policy Associate

Office of Public Witness

Washington, DC

Devotions (EYN Daily Link) October 18-24, 2015


EYN Devotions graphicA Daily Devotional Guide from the
EYN (Church of the Brethren in Nigeria)

EYN leaders in Nigeria believe prayer is one of the most important ways to support the Nigerian people and the Church.  These daily devotions were written by EYN members and published by the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria. Reading them daily is a powerful way we can be in solidarity and connect with our brothers and sisters caught in this crisis.  EYN’s daily devotional for 2015 will be posted a week at a time on this blog, appearing mid-week for the following week. More information about the crisis can be found

Click on this link for Devotions October 18-24, 2015

Food Week of Action and World Food Day

This week marks the observance of Food Week of Action. Throughout this time, individuals and churches are able to celebrate the good work being done to establish food security and food sovereignty around the world while also recognizing a call to action to collectively move forward in this work. According to the Presbyterian Mission Agency, this week is “an opportunity for Christians and others around the world to act together for food justice and food sovereignty. It is a special time to raise awareness about farming approaches that help individuals and communities develop resiliency and combat poverty.  We are called also to examine our food choices and call for policy changes that will ensure the right to food for everyone.”

Through the Food Week of Action and World Food Day resources co-sponsored by the Church of the Brethren Office of Public Witness, groups can engage in discussion on a variety of topics from the importance of healthy soils to farm worker solidarity. Other actions include such things as joining the Zero Hunger Challenge from the United Nations or becoming involved in a local community garden or farm. For more information about the week, as well as other worship and action resources, please visit the webpage for the event.

If you are interested in getting your hands in the dirt over this week, consider making a visit to a nearby Going to the Garden congregation. For those interested in becoming more involved in Going to the Garden and other ways you can engage hunger-related issues, please visit or e-mail