SUNDAY, MAY 26, 2013.
THE IMPORTANCE OF RELIGIOUS TOUR
I was glad when they said unto me; Let us go into the house of the Lord. Our feet shall stand within thy gates, O Jerusalem.’ Psalms 122v1-2.
GOING to God’s house could be delightful. For the writer, it was a delight. As a pilgrim attending one of the three great religious festivals, he rejoiced to worship with God’s people in God’s house. But if we are close to God and enjoy His presence, we will be eager to worship and praise Him. Our attitude toward God will determine our view of worship.
Interestingly, the centre recently played host to the founder of Practical African Tourism and Hospitality Ways Development Initiative (PATHWAYS), Olorogun Wanda Ibru together with 24 graduates of different disciplines under scholarship in PATHWAYS. The visit was purely for a religious experience.
Fortunately, Olorogun Wanda was optimistic that such contact with the centre will go a long way in preparing the young people spiritually and to keep them focused, even, in their future endeavours. She was concerned with the restiveness of youths in the Niger Delta area and felt that people of goodwill should do everything within their powers to assist, train and help them find their rhythm in life. Some youths, especially the unemployed, are idling away and this has contributed in no small measure to the high incidence of kidnapping, oil bunkering and pipeline vandalisation, prostitution, armed robbery and others. There are a few young ladies, who believe the best way to solve the problem is by leaving this shore for greener pasteur abroad.
However, as a mother, she is of the opinion that good spirited individuals should come and help stabilise the youths for a better future. According to her, a Holy environment is what young people, of today, need to be closer to God.
While conducting the visitors round the centre, the Rector of the institution, Ven. Ernest Onuoha, assisted by the Chaplain, Rev. Canon Gabriel Kpagban revealed that the centre was set aside by the founder, the late Dr. Alex Uruemu Ibru, as a place of spiritual activity. He said coming closer to God is the only sure way to success in life and commended Wanda for her vision and commitment in assisting the young unemployed graduates to find the true meaning of life, saying that this action will go a long way in preparing a generation that will give hope to modern Nigeria. “Youths are the life wire of any nation and things pertaining to them should be taken seriously, especially their spiritual wellbeing.
Quoting the Bishop of the Diocese of Ikwerre, Rt. Rev. Blessing Enyindah as saying ‘youths of today are elders of tomorrow’, Onuoha said, “the youths, the Bishop meant are those who are trained and tailored to the things of God and who will not disappoint God wherever they go”. I think it is in this direction that the visit of Wanda and her team became a commendable one.VEN. ERNEST ONUOHA Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre, Agbarha-Otor, Delta State.