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April 2011 (njp) Mubi, Adamawa State, Nigeria

Posted April 28th - Update from Nate and Jenn Hosler

Nate and Jenn with elephants

EYN recently elected a new president, Rev. Dr. Samuel Dali.  Here he stands with his wife, Rebecca S. Dali.

Update from Nathan and Jennifer Hosler in Nigeria – April 2011

Election Violence

Nigerian Presidential elections occurred on Saturday and there has been violence Sunday and Monday.  Supporters of one party are angry that their candidate did not win.  Rioting has occurred in Mubi (30 minutes drive South) and Michika (40 minutes drive North), along with other main cities in Northern Nigeria.  This is the first time Adamawa State (the state we live in) has experienced violence like this.  Stores and cars have been burnt. People were shot.  Churches in Mubi (including a main EYN church) were targeted but the army was able to intervene before the attack occurred.  

URGENT PRAYER REQUEST
Please pray for safety and a restoration of calm and order.  Pray for peace of mind for us and our families in North America.  Please pray for wisdom and accuracy in information.

KBC Peace Club Outreach Program in Mubi
KBC Peace Club successfully completed its first outreach program outside of KBC.  Elections in Nigeria often bring violence and intimidation.  On March 20th, in light of the upcoming elections, the KBC Peace Club traveled to EYN Gi’ima—a large church in Mubi—to present a program on youth and peace.  Within Nigerian culture, “youth” typically includes people from high school through the ages of 30 or 40.  This classification of people as “youth” is drawn out much longer than in North America, due to young adults being dependent on parents for a longer period of time  (due to a high level of unemployment in the country).  Youths, aimless and without jobs to occupy their time, are often and easily persuaded to take up arms as thugs for politicians or others who wish to cause havoc. 

The program included two dramas and two speakers.  The message, given to the 750 people in attendance, was simple but relevant: youth should avoid being used by politicians for violence and instead work for peace.  The first drama and speaker focused on the role of parents in guiding their children in the ways of peace.  The second drama and speaker showed two examples of politicians and youth.  One group was peaceful while the other caused disruption and trouble. 

KBC Students Pose as thugs during drama
 KBC Students Pose as villagers during drama
 KBC Students Pose as elders during drama
KBC Students pose as thugs
(click to enlarge)
Students pose as villagers
(click to enlarge)
Students posing as elders
(click to enlarge)

Even though there was a full two hours of church program before our group began, the audience seemed to be quickly enlivened and engaged by the dramas and messages.  Some male students dressed as mothers, a “bad” youth lit a gigantic fake cigarette, and machete-clanging political thugs spiced up a notably long and hot service.  Unfortunately, we can confidently claim the program’s relevance—since the elections this weekend, Mubi has joined a long list of cities in northern Nigeria that have been marked by rioting, destruction of buildings, and violence.

Nate and Jenn with elephants

Members of the EYN Women's Fellowship (ZME) in a singing competition.

A Peacebuilding Partnership with the Women’s Fellowship
In mid-February, Jenn had a successful meeting with the Director of EYN’s Women’s Fellowship (ZME) about partnering for peacebuilding initiatives.  ZME is one of the strongest church groups here in EYN.  This month, Jenn has developed several project outlines for the ZME Director’s consideration, trying to incorporate peace into some of ZME’s current activities (piggybacking on existing organizational infrastructure and group experience). 

One of the requests from the ZME Director is for the EYN Peace Programme to teach peacebuilding topics during the annual national women’s training seminars.  Women from every church district gather together and learn topics that range from health and sanitation, skills acquisition (jewelry making, batik, etc.), and biblical and theological topics.  The women attendees then return to their districts as resource persons to teach others what they learned and eventually the teachings filter down local churches throughout the entire denomination.  Peace teaching at the national event would then filter down through the denomination, a very effective way of spreading awareness and skills for peacebuilding.

Hover to see the same fields during the dry season

Nate Hosler strolls through KBC fields in October 2010 during the rainy season.
(hover over this image to see the same fields as they appear in mid-March during the dry season)

Interesting and Ordinary in Nigeria – Rain in a Very Dry Land
This weekend, we had our first rain in months—since October 29th to be exact.  Nigeria’s dry season is very dry.  While many trees retain their green leaves, most plants growing on the ground shrivel up and die (or get eaten by goats and cattle which roam freely).  The soil becomes hard-baked and a tired-looking gray.  When rain comes, the soil looks like it comes to life. 

Saturday morning (April 16th), we woke up to a dramatic increase in humidity (which serves to make our already 100 degree-plus weather quite sweltering!).  The air smelled different, like a change in season, and much to our enjoyment, we were blessed with a cooling shower, which we enjoyed by standing out in the raindrops.  It will still be a few weeks until we will have rain more consistently, but we are thankful for some refreshment and the coming transformation of the dry and barren land. 

In Christ's Peace,

Nate and Jenn


Nathan and Jennifer Hosler
P.M.B. 1
Mubi
Adamawa State
NIGERIA

if you would like to contact Nate and Jenn to encourage them, or to ask questions, you may post a comment or question below, or you may contact them at the address above . Nate and Jenn will be alerted to any comments you post below and may respond as time allows.


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There are 6 comments

What a wonderful treasure to find American Missionaries serving so close to friends. I served in the 2004 COB workcamp there in Nigeria. We spent most of our time split between KBC and the CSS there at headquarters. I have maintained rough contact with two individuals that live very close to KBC. I was wondering if you have or can make contact with these two people. It has been almost 2 years since I have heard from them. And I am fearing the letters I send via snail mail get lost in the shuffle. I would absolutely love to reestablish contact with both people and let them know they are not forgotten and prayed for. Please contact me if you think you can help. I will gladly give you their names. The adress I write to them at is the same as yours with a different name. Thank you so much for hearing me and I pray that I may hear from you soon.

Lisa Ebersole
July 22, 2011 - 03:24
Reply to Lisa Ebersole

Hi Lisa,

Thanks for your message! Yes, we can try to help. Sometimes Nigerian church workers get moved around a lot, so they may have moved, but we can definitely try.

You can send us their names and information at our email address: nateandjenn@hotmail.com. If we know them (or know people who know them), you could potentially email a letter through them to re-establish contact. Snail mail can be reliable but sometimes it has problems.

We look forward to hearing from you.

In Christ's peace,

Jenn and Nate

Jenn and Nate
July 30, 2011 - 14:27

Dear Nate and Jenn,
I look forward to reading your newsletters. Thank you so much for all the details you have shared, and the pictures, too! We are looking forward to the summer weather here, but not the extreme heat you experience. You are in my thoughts and prayers! I hope you are feeling well, Jenn!
Love,
Robin O'Boyle

Robin O'Boyle
May 03, 2011 - 18:07

Nate & Jenn
We always enjoy when drama is used in teaching a life lessons and at looking at ourselves in these situations. We pray that the drama is used powerfully by the Lord in bringing about peace in the midst of turmoil. Thank-you for the photos of the field, it is almost too hard to believe it is the same place. The dry season really is dry. We had a bit of that last summer, 2010, but nothing like the photo. Blessings to you both.

Rich Bushong
May 01, 2011 - 19:02

Dear Nate and Jenn,
I just want you to know that we are praying for you and specifically for the urgent prayer request you mentioned in this most recent letter. God shield you and keep you safe. May He stand between you and harm in all the dark places which you must walk. Thank you for reminding me to pray for your families here in North America. We sometimes forget to pray for those who are concerned for you. And thank you for these letters. How they humble me. I'm typing this from my basement office which is so cool this afternoon that I must wear a sweatshirt and I noticed on your homepage that it's 110 degrees and evening where you are. I hope some refreshing rains come your way, you could have some of ours, if only I knew how to send them to you. Hope your Easter was glorious!

Shawn
April 28, 2011 - 14:36
Reply to Shawn

Thanks for all of your work with the website, Shawn. It is always very encouraging to get messages and to hear about the prayers of our brothers and sisters!

We appreciate your continued prayers as we head back to Nigeria. We will arrive in Abuja on August 2nd!

In Christ's peace,

Jenn and Nate

Jenn and Nate
July 30, 2011 - 14:29
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