The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission, Jonh Kennedy Opara has said that youths are the present and future of the church and the nation at large.
He made this statement while receiving a delegation from the Catholic Youth Organisation of Nigeria (CYON), who were on a courtesy visit to the NCPC corporate headquarters, Abuja.
He affirmed that without the youths, the country cannot move forward, adding that the youths are very important for the growth, development and sustenance of any nation.
The NCPC helmsman urged the delegation to use the privilege God has given them to affect the lives of other youths positively and create favourable platforms for them to be socially and economically empowered.
He encouraged them to see God as the ultimate in life and accord all glory to Him. This, he disclosed, has been the biggest secrete of the success story in NCPC.
Opara explained that neither the government nor the church can afford to sponsor Christians on pilgrimage any longer, considering the economic challenges the country is facing.
He further explained that in a quest to bridge the gap and make pilgrimage more affordable and accessible for all Nigerians, the Commission has come up with a system that will be acceptable to the government and the church: ‘Win a Trip to Israel’ promo.
He therefore, encouraged them to partner with the Commission and take advantage of the opportunities the youth pilgrimage programme and ‘Win a Trip to Israel’ promo provides for youths; especially that of Skills Acquisition in the area of agriculture and technology.
Mr. Opara informed that in partnering with the Commission, CYON would further generate funds through the sales of tickets. He added that they would have more resources to invest in their organization and empower more youths in Nigeria through the Skills Acquisition programme of NCPC.
He assured that the commission would work with CYON open outlets for the sales of tickets for the promo. He added that if this system is adopted, it would benefit CYON and raise the organization to a level of independence.
Earlier, the Head of the delegation, Simon Ozala, commended the Executive Secretary for the great work he is doing in the Commission and in extension, Nigeria. In his words “we know what Christian pilgrimage had been before you came on board but you have been able to change the face of Christian pilgrimage in Nigeria.”
He informed that CYON was founded in 1985 to take care of the needs of catholic youths in Nigeria. He further informed that many other organizations like the Young Catholic Students fellowship (YCS) and Nigeria Federation of Catholic Students (NFCS) are under the CYON, thus, they have a good number of youths under their care.
He further informed that the purpose of their visit was to seek partnership with NCPC to mobilize Catholic youths to be partakers of the tremendous benefits of the youth pilgrimage programme which has been combined with Skills Acquisition.
He assured the Executive Secretary that many youths will be better informed on pilgrimage activities through their platform.