Faith Rising out of the Ashes

By Donna Parcell (Volunteer in Nigeria)

On April 24th we were able to accompany a team from the Swiss Embassy to visit Mubi to see the EYN (Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria) headquarters, schools, and several EYN churches.  We saw the destroyed buildings and burned churches.  It was difficult to see.  The clinic at EYN headquarters was totally destroyed and lying in rubble.  We observed places that had been bombed, with shrapnel still by the roadside.  Abandoned military equipment was by the road.  There were bullet holes in cars still parked in the compound.  The EYN offices were vandalized and ransacked.  The churches were burned.  But rising out of the ashes is an unquenchable spirit of hope and reliance on God.  The people continue to worship in the shadow of their burned churches.  Community unity is very strong.  The people are relying on each other and on God.  There is much work to do for healing and peace, but the hand of God is at work.

While visiting a church in Mubi, I met Mrs, Gahara Bella.  On October 29, 2014 she was at home, the children were in school, her husband was out on the farm.  She heard gun shots and people screaming to run for your life.  She didn’t know what was going on or where her family was.  Filled with terror she started to run.  There was no time to take anything.   Her children escaped through holes in the wall at school.  She and her younger children headed for the mountains, as they are traditionally thought of as safe places.  They escaped to Cameroon.  Meanwhile her husband and oldest son tried to escape via the road.  Many men tried to escape on the roads while the women and children ran for the mountains.  The roads were blocked, and many of the men were shot, including her husband.  Her son hid himself under sheaves of maize until the soldiers were gone and was able to escape.   Several months later she still had no word of her husband.  When Mubi was reopened she went to search for him.  The soldiers had left his ID on him.  He had been shot and killed and was left by the road.  She was able to identify him by his clothes and identification.  Now she fully relies on God.  She trusts Him for all things and is hopeful.Donna

We met with women’s groups from several other EYN churches and discussed their trials, concerns, and needs.  Food and water are the two most prevalent needs.  They escaped without taking anything, and all of their possessions and food were taken or destroyed.  The rainy season is quickly approaching, and all crops have been destroyed and there is not time to replant.  The livestock has all been taken.  The bore holes have been vandalized so there is not access to clean water.  There is no source of income.  Their homes have been destroyed.  They are still living in constant fear and find it difficult to trust their Muslim neighbors.   In the midst of their extreme trials, their faith is strong.  They are working together and trust God in all things.

Reports from Nigeria: A phone report from Cliff Kindy

Phone Report from Cliff Kindy to Carl and Roxane Hill on Feb. 3, 2015. Cliff is currently a Brethren Disaster Ministries volunteer reporting from Nigeria.

  • Cliff is helping organize a
    Cliff at Garku

    Cliff Kindy (right) volunteering in Nigeria. Photo courtesy of EYN Nigeria.

    Peace and Democracy Conference in Yola: promoting civic responsibility as the national elections draw near (scheduled for 14 February)

  • He will accompany delegates from the Swiss Embassy as they visit IDP (internally displaced persons) camps in Yola and survey the conditions in Mubi
  • Boko Haram insurgents continue their campaign of fear with bomb blasts in Gombe where President Goodluck Jonathan was campaigning earlier this week
  • Cliff has been instrumental in encouraging and participating in various Trauma Healing workshops – Mennonite Central Committee is sponsoring one for EYN leadership this week, helping these leaders to lead despite the trauma they may be experiencing
  • Cliff received reports that the Nigerian military attacked Boko Haram headquarters in the Sambisa Forest. With the successful defense of the city of Maiduguri, it appears that Boko Haram is being limited to hit-and-run tactics
  • With Cliff’s encouragement, EYN’s director of education has established a teacher-training program and set up locations to begin teaching at the five IDP camps in Jos
  • Cliff is asking for prayers for his mother who was recently hospitalized
  • Continued prayer for Cliff’s safety and health as he continues his important work in Nigeria
  • Lastly, as most of us are digging out of the recent snow storm, Cliff is enduring 100-degree heat with failing electricity and fighting mosquitoes in humid east Nigeria – way to go, Cliff!

Stories from Nigeria: Churches – What a difference a year makes

By Roxane Hill, co-director of Nigeria Crisis Response

Michika EYN dedication

EYN church dedication outside of Michika. Photo Credit: Carl & Roxane Hill

On a bright sunny day last February, Carl and I attended a dedication service for a new church (Local Church Branch) of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) just outside of Michika. The atmosphere was festive and the people were excited to imagine what God would do at this new church. There were so many of us at the dedication that we had to gather outside for the prayer.

Michika EYN burned 2

Photo courtesy of EYN Nigeria.


Fast forward to the outlook today. – The church branch has been burned, the roof caved in and the people who would have attended have been displaced. But… God is still sovereign and he knows the past, present, and what the future holds. Despite the devastation and destruction, God’s people will continue to meet where they can.

Michika EYN burned 1

Burned EYN church outside of Michika. Photo courtesy of EYN Nigeria


On Christmas Day 2014, in Mubi, a town 60 miles from Michika, displaced persons returned and held a service outside their burned church.

With the Nigerians, we continue to pray and we continue to put our hope in Jesus Christ.

Christmas Service outside church by Monday Ali

Christmas Service outside of a burned church in Mubi. Photo courtesy of EYN Nigeria.