Together for Nigeria

Church benefit to raise money for country affected by terrorist attacks, abductions

ONEKAMA — At least 8,000 members of the African congregation of the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria are dead due to attacks by terrorist organization Boko Haram as of last year.

Around another 170,000 are displaced.

The building Onekama resident Tim Joseph helped erect in the country during a trip to Nigeria in 2009 — an HIV/AIDS treatment center — is almost certainly destroyed.

Roger Bruce / Courtesy Photo Onekama resident Tim Joseph (back row center) photographed with Nigerian children in 2009 in Lassa, Nigeria, when he visited as part of the Church of the Brethren to help with building projects. He is hosting the Together for Nigeria benefit on Saturday, Jan. 31 at the Onekama Church of the Brethren to raise money for the country.

Roger Bruce / Courtesy Photo
Onekama resident Tim Joseph (back row center) photographed with Nigerian children in 2009 in Lassa, Nigeria, when he visited as part of the Church of the Brethren to help with building projects. He is hosting the Together for Nigeria benefit on Saturday, Jan. 31 at the Onekama Church of the Brethren to raise money for the country.

The headquarters of the Ekklesiar Yanuwa A Nigeria (meaning “Church of the Brethren in Nigeria”) was overrun a few months ago, later having to be abandoned.

Joseph traveled the African nation with other members of the international Church of the Brethren congregation to help better the Nigerians’ lives.

“The Church of the Brethren and the Nigerians organized a work camp,” Joseph said. “It was an opportunity to go there and do some service and create relationships with the Nigerians.”

The Nigerian town of Chibok, which Joseph visited while traveling around the country by bus with his work companions, was the site of the abduction of over 200 girls in 2014 by Boko Haram.

With all of the destruction in Nigeria, Joseph wants to do his part to give back in their time of need.

The Onekama Church of the Brethren in Onekama is hosting a Together for Nigeria benefit from 4 to 8 p.m. on Jan. 31 at the Onekama Church of the Brethren.

Free and open to the public, the event will raise money for food and supplies for those affected in Nigeria.

“One hundred dollars really buys a lot in Nigeria,” Joseph said. “People need shelter, food and a plastic bucket to carry water in. Those are the basics. The money we can give will really go a long ways.”

A silent auction will also take place to raise money.

“There’s a handmade quilt that was donated (for auction),” he said. “There’s jewelry and handmade items.”

Different services from community members will also be auctioned.

“I’m going to offer carpenter-for-a-day services,” he said. “There will be things donated by people in the church and the community for the auction.”

A choral concert will also take place at 4 p.m., dinner at 5:30 p.m. and another more informal concert with different kinds of music will take place at 7 p.m.

“We’ll have people from the church choir and members of the Manistee Choral Society will be joining us,” he said.

Church of the Brethren congregations in Marilla and Lakeview are also taking part in the event.

Doug Comden, a Lakeview church member, said they are giving back and helping because Jesus taught to help others in need.

“We’re one body in Christ even though we’re spread out over the whole world,” Comden said. “We should be involved in our local things but involved in the greater body too.”

 

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Posted by Sean Bradley

Sean is the city and cops and courts reporter for the News Advocate, he also is in charge of the entertainment and Reasons to Celebrate pages. He can be reached at (231) 398-3109 or sbradley@pioneergroup.com.

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