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November/December 2011 (njp) Mubi, Adamawa State, Nigeria

Posted Dec 16th - Update from Nate and Jenn Hosler

 KBC Students Pose as elders during drama

KBC Peace Club members perform a skit on cooperation, poverty, and peace at EYN No.1 Church in Mubi in November 2011


Advent season is upon us and we are heartened by the season, filled with hope, expectation, and longing for God's Kingdom at hand.  We look to the first coming of Jesus, look at declarations from the prophets of a new world to come some words already, some words not yet.  We look to the time when the Prince of Peace will reign and when there will fully be "peace on earth".

The spirit of Advent is one of expectation and hope.  This season of our work in Nigeria, we are also in a season of laboring within the expectant hope of labors being made fruitful.
Two years ago, we wrote this as part of an Advent reflection in our newsletter about our work with EYN (Ekklesiyar Yanâuwa a Nigeria) in Nigeria. We have had much time for reflection lately with farewell parties, goodbyes, and graduations and feel content at the progress that has been made since we arrived in 2009.  Peace and Reconciliation curriculum is now complete and included in the course of studies at Kulp Bible College (KBC).  An interfaith steering committee, CAMPI (Christians and Muslims for Peacebuilding Initiatives), has been in existence for more than one year, it has completed its first peace initiative and is currently planning the second. Through CAMPI, imams and pastors have been brought together, have dialogued with each other, and have built relationships across religious divides.  A KBC Peace Club was formed and it is actively pursuing peace initiatives within communities around KBC. 
We leave thankful that we can see fruit of our labors and the labors of our colleagues.  The EYN Peace Programme has assigned new Nigerian staff to the organization and the denominational leadership of EYN has expressed its commitment to further strengthening peacebuilding in EYN.  We know that the work will move forward and pray for a continued strengthening of the Peace Programme, CAMPI, and peace education within EYN. We look forward with expectation and hope that we will hear more about the progress for peace which will come in the future: Christians and Muslims living together peacefully, EYN churches modeling reconciliation, conflict transformation, and justice to their surrounding communities.


 KBC Students Pose as elders during drama

During October, Nate conducted a mediation training workshop with all 25 KBC peace club members, some of whom are pictured here acting out conflict scenarios.


Peace Club Update

When we think of peace, we typically assume that the opposite of peace is conflict or violence. However, when we think about the broader practice of peacebuilding and the biblical theology of peace, we must expand our thinking to include many other aspects of life. For many people the absence of peace means poverty. When your children are hungry, susceptible to treatable diseases, and are unable to attend school because of poverty - this is the absence of peace. Additionally, resource scarcity tends to lead to conflict. This semester, the Kulp Bible College Peace Club prepared two dramas and two sermons addressing the issues of peace and poverty. They suggested that we can deal with poverty through working together (literally in Hausa it is "putting heads together") and challenging injustice. The program was conducted on November 5th and 6th as well as November 12th and 13th. Between the two services, more than 2000 people attended the programs.  They constituted the 3rd and 4th outreach events conducted by the KBC Peace Club.



In early November, Church of the Brethren videographer Dave Sollenberger visited Nigeria and EYN.  He conducted filming for a documentary on the conflicts in Nigeria and EYN’s response to conflict through its Peace Programme. Dave attended the Peace Club event on November 6th.  He also filmed a CAMPI (Christians and Muslims for Peacebuilding Initiatives) meeting, KBC peace classes, the Peace Resource Library, and interviewed many EYN workers and members.
Hosler Visit

As Dave left, Nate's parents, Randy and Sandy Hosler, arrived. Actually, they crossed paths briefly and traded vehicles in Yola.  Dave took the Hoslers' plane to Abuja while they took his jeep to KBC. Because of recent concerns for the safety of traveling and the Hoslers' interest in seeing Nate and Jenn's work, friends, and area, we mostly stayed within the general vicinity of KBC. They were able, however, to travel within Abuja, go with CAMPI to visit the Emir (king) of Mubi, and hike into the mountains to visit Sukur kingdom (a world heritage site in the Mandara Mountains).

Nates Parents visit
 CAMPI visits with the Emir of Mubi
  Nate and Jenn in Sukur with baobab tree
Randy and Sandy Hossler (Nate's Parents) are introduced to Peace Club members after an outreach event at EYN Mararaba Church near Kwarhi
(click to enlarge)
In November 2011, CAMPI interfaith peacebuilders visit the Emir of Mubi to reinforce his support for their efforts
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Nate and Jenn with a baobob tree in Sukur on the Mandara Mts.
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 Nate and Jenn Farewell

The CAMPI Comittee along with the new EYN Peace Programme Staff at the farewell meal for Nate and Jenn as they finish their term in Nigeria
(click to enlarge)


Finishing Up Our Work

If there is an excuse for the delay in writing our newsletter, it is because of the above mentioned activities and fast-approaching departure from Nigeria. This coming Tuesday, December 13th, we will be leaving KBC.  Our final weeks have included the expected packing up procedures and farewells, as well as handing over Peace Programme documents, tasks, and projects, working to organize the Peace Club so that it will continue, and finishing all of the other relatively small but numerous tasks.  
We are grateful for the prayers, support, and encouragement that sisters and brothers have given to us during our time of service. As we head back to the United States, we look forward to three months of home leave where we can rest, regroup, visit with family, attend a staff meeting in Elgin, IL, and speak at Church of the Brethren churches about peace ministry in Nigeria.
We pray that your Advent season is one of joy and hope.  May you be filled with peace as you celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace this holiday season.
Prayer Requests

1.      For travel preparations and travel. The Christmas season is expected to bring more incidences of violence.

2.      For peace in Nigeria in this time when the angels proclaimed "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

3.      For a smooth transfer of our work to other Peace Programme staff.


In Christ's Peace,

Nate and Jenn

Nathan and Jennifer Hosler

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

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There are 3 comments

Blessings to you both! Thank you for all the amazing work you have done in Nigeria.

December 20, 2011 - 11:29

I have been praying for your work in Nigeria -i will pray for the continued work and for your safety in travel .May you enjoy rest and peace as you return home.

Millie Hoffman
December 20, 2011 - 11:21

Thanks Nate and Jenn for doing the good work of promoting peace in Nigeria!

December 17, 2011 - 09:41
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