sponsors 274 Christians on pilgrimage to Israel, Jordan< State Government on Friday said it had sponsored 274 Christians on pilgrimage to the Holy Lands of Israel and Jordan, urging them to pray for the state and Nigeria.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Christian Pilgrimage is an occasion for Christians (Pilgrims) to step out of their comfort zone to encounter God where He has revealed Himself.
It also entails visiting places associated with the life, times and teachings of Christ especially his birth, passion, death and resurrection.
For Christians, it is an opportunity for quiet introspection and spiritual rebirth; they are expected to return as more dedicated practitioners of the Christian Faith.
Speaking during the inauguration of Batch A of the 2022 Christian Pilgrimage in Enugu, Gov.
Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi enjoined them to pray for peace, security, unity and progress of Enugu State and Nigeria as a whole.
Ugwuanyi, who noted that Nigeria was going through strange and difficult times which needed God’s intervention more than ever, urged them to pray for the country.
The governor, who was received by the elated beneficiaries, enjoined them to also “pray particularly that we may love one another as this, in my judgment, is the missing link in our society, for love bears all things (I Corinthians 13:7).”
He further told the the pilgrims to equally pray for peaceful electioneering campaigns, successful general elections and seamless transition in Nigeria, in 2023.
“I congratulate the intending Pilgrims for the unique opportunity and thanking the Almighty God for using the instrumentality of his administration to accomplish.
“In keeping with our commitment to deepening the practice of Christian Faith in our State, we are sponsoring 274 Pilgrims, 24 for Jordan and 250 for Israel,” he said.
Ugwuanyi, however, advised them to obey the extant rules in their letter, adding that “the state expects 100 per cent return of our Pilgrims and the handlers should ensure that no one absconded from the trip”.
The governor, therefore, wished them journey mercies and spiritually enriching experiences.
Ugwuanyi earlier, the Executive Secretary of the Enugu State Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board, Mr Nestor Ezeme, described the governor as “God fearing and the best Pilgrimage Governor in Nigeria”.
Ezeme thanked Gov.
Ugwuanyi for his commitment to God and immense contributions to the success of religious programmes in Enugu State, stressing that they are unprecedented in the annals of the state.
He pointed out that the governor’s faithfulness to God was responsible for his enviable feats in all spheres of development despite the nation’s numerous challenges.
“No wonder you are number one in education, health, rural infrastructure, Judiciary, security, everywhere you are; and you have taken number one in pilgrimage,” he said.
In his goodwill message, the Chairman of Enugu State Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board, Bishop Emmanuel Edeh, expressed profound gratitude to Gov.
Ugwuanyi for his steadfastness in championing the noble objectives of the board.
Edeh who is also the Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Enugu State chapter, said the Christian community was highly impressed that Enugu State under the watch of Gov.
Ugwuanyi, had been outstanding in sponsoring pilgrims.
“It is on record that talking about Pilgrimage in the South East, it has been Enugu State all the way,” the CAN Chairman said.
He recalled that Gov.
Ugwuanyi was recently conferred with the ‘Best Pilgrimage Governor in the South East Nigeria’ by the National Christian Pilgrims Commission (NCPC) for committing resources towards the growth and sustenance of Christian Pilgrimage in Nigeria.
The cleric encouraged Gov.
Ugwuanyi to hold on tightly to his vision and Christian belief, beseeching God to continue to guide and protect the governor to finish well.
Other dignitaries at the event were Chairman, Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), Enugu State, Bishop Godwin Madu, Director of Special Duties, Nigeria Christian Pilgrims Commission (NCPC), Mr. Sunday Udeh, the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the Governor on Religious Matters, Rev.