Samuel and Rebecca Dali visit McPherson College Campus

Published on Dec 6th, 2017 by wpd-office | 0

by June Switzer

On November 29th McPherson College hosted Samuel and Rebecca Dali, Church of the Brethren leaders from Nigeria. The Dalis were on campus to share some of the work they have been doing in Nigeria. They encouraged us to remember the plight of their friends who continue to live in fear of the Boko Haram movement to destroy Christians in Nigeria.

Rebecca and Samuel have been coordinating the work of the Church of the Brethren (EYN) in Nigeria and the United States. When the EYN headquarters were overrun by Boko Haram in the fall of 2014, the Dalis were displaced.
They relocated in Jos…a safer space.
They continued their work there until, as high profile leaders of Christian endeavors, they became prime targets of Boko Haram and it was necessary for them to flee the country.
They are making their home in the United States at this time, but continue to work and speak on behalf of those in Nigeria living in unsafe and life threatening surroundings.
Samuel told of many Church of the Brethren ministers who have lost their lives as they attempted to continue their work as pastors to their congregations. Other ministers are making efforts to stay in touch with their scattered congregations, and offering care for their physical as well as their spiritual needs.
Most recently Rebecca has identified the numerous widows and orphans, resulting from the Boko Haram killings of men, to be the population with the greatest needs. These single mother families and orphans often have no home or source of income. She has worked to provide services for them. The plight of the kidnapped girls who have been released has not been easy. Some have not been accepted back into their families, some bring with them infants.
While in captivity the girls were encouraged to abandon their Christian beliefs. The care of these women, girls and infants are priorities for the Center for Caring, Empowerment and Peace Initiative (CCEPI) of which Rebecca has been a vital part.

Those of us attending this event were reminded again that the Dalis have given much of their lives, their gifts and their energy to help bring change for our Nigerian friends…often risking their own lives. In the midst of the horrific losses and dangerous circumstances in which they have worked, they express hope and believe that God is answering prayers as they see things slowly improving.

We are reminded of lines in the carol “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” based on the words from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem Christmas Bells. Although written at a time of discouragement and despair, the carol concludes with the bells carrying renewed hope for peace for all people.
And in despair, I bowed my head, “There is no peace on earth,” I said, “For hate is strong and mocks the song of Peace on earth, good-will to men!” Then pealed the bells more loud and deep; “God is not dead, nor doth God sleep. The wrong shall fail; the right prevail, with peace on earth, good-will to men.”
Let’s continue to pray with hope for our Nigerian Friends and the many others who search for hope in the midst of their life circumstances. This advent as we light the candle of hope, let’s remember that hope carries us through every sad and scary ending and wakes us up to watch for every new beginning.

We light candles of hope, not because everything is easy, but because God is with us even when things are hard.

May it be so…


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