By Jimoh Babatunde
Nigerian youths travelling to Israel as part of the maiden youth pilgrimage have been urged to tap into the innovative spirit of the country in the area of agriculture and to remain eternally grateful to God for the opportunity that has been provided for them to encounter God in the Holy Land.
The Speaker, House of Representatives, Dogara Yakubu, who gave the charge while flagging off the maiden youth pilgrimage in Abuja Monday said that pilgrimage is a life changing experience with a lot of spiritual benefits attached to it.
Dogara noted that Israel is the most productive in terms of its agricultural achievements. Thus, urged the intending youth pilgrims to open their minds and learn from the innovative spirit of Israeli through the skill acquisition programme that has been designed for them while in the Holy Land.
He used the opportunity to call on the youths to resist every form of temptation that would hinder them from enjoying the full benefits of the pilgrimage exercise but should rather do everything possible to be worthy ambassadors that would make Nigeria proud and portray her image in good light to the outside world.
The Speaker commended the management of Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission for the manner in which they have brought great glory to God and the nation through their hard work, commitment and resilience in ensuring successful pilgrimage exercises, loaded with so much spiritual contents.
Also speaking at the occasion, the Permanent Secretary, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mallam Mohammed Bukar, commended NCPC for their hard work, commitment and excellence, adding that the government will continue to support the commission’s drive towards self sustenance.
Earlier, in his welcome address, the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission, Mr. Kennedy Opara encourage the intending Youth Pilgrims to pray for Nigeria and the President, even as they ask God for their individual desires.
He explained that in addition to the spiritual content of reconnecting them to the Lord Jesus Christ, they would undergo some skill acquisition trainings that would enable them become employers of labour.
Mr. Opara urged the youths to go with a clear objective of what they intend to achieve from the pilgrimage.
He urged them to be good ambassadors of Nigeria. In his words, “You are seen as Nigerian youth ambassadors, you are the image of our country as worthy citizens of Nigeria; seize this opportunity to portray Nigeria in good light.”
The NCPC boss charged the intending youth pilgrims to stay out of trouble but rather have an encounter with God that would affect their lives and the lives of other Nigerian youths on their return. In his words, “allow God to use you as agents of change.