Raising The Youth From The Dungeon
ST. John’s Anglican Church, Fegge, Onitsha in Niger Diocese, Anambra State, recently, gathered all the youth organisations in the church from February 12 to14, 2015 to seek the face of the Lord. This event was spiced with serial teachings based on the theme: Raising the Youth from the Dungeon.
The Archdeacon and vicar in-charge of the Archdeaconry, Ven. Patrick Nwakalor observed at the opening of the event that youths are leaders not only of today but also of tomorrow and, therefore, need to be guided. The devil is on prowl to devour and destroy destinies of young people, if possible. Ven. Nwakalor, therefore, hoped that such a gathering would offer the youth better opportunity of coming closer to God. He then announced that the gathering from now onwards would be made an annual event, as he had the backing of the Parochial Church Committee (PCC), a team of ministers working with him that include: Rev Canon Engr. J. Anyachebelu, Rev Francis Chuckwurah, Rev. Peter Izu Okoye and Catechist Okechukwu Emma Nnabuike and also the entire women of the church ably led by the wife of the Archdeacon, Mrs. Adaeze Nwakalor.
At the event, the Rector of Ibru Centre, Agbarha-Otor, Ven Ernest Onuoha, drew the attention of the youth members to the need to have a close walk with the Lord. The days, he observed are evil and children of God should endeavour not to allow themselves be used as pawns in the hands of the evil one. He spoke extensively on Eccl 12:1 ‘Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, “I find no pleasure in them”. This is very important because ‘youth is full of pleasure but old age is full of care’.
According to Ven. Onuoha, the devil has a dungeon in which he hopes to hold bound the youths and by extension their destinies. A dungeon is a dark room underground, a prison cell, where people are held captive traditionally as prisoners and there they lose their liberty and freedom. The devil can achieve this purpose through some erroneous teachings like homosexuality, which the bible roundly condemned (Gen 19, Lev 18:22-23, 20:13, 1 Cor 6:9, 1 Tim 1:9-10, Rom 1:26-27). And when such is achieved, destinies of those concerned are destroyed. Also, through false teaching about love on Valentine’s Day, which to some people is majorly lust and not the agape type of love, which Christ had for humanity (John 3:16, Mark 10:45, Rom 5:8). The agape love is sacrificial, selfless and unconditional. St Paul noted with pride that among these three elements: Faith, Hope and Love, the greatest is Love. He elaborated on this love more in 1Cor 13:4-8.
He, therefore, called upon the youths to shun homosexuality, which is a great sin, wickedness and anybody practising it is sick, depraved and needing serious help (prayer). Also, they should turn to the true love that comes from Christ. Youths that had earlier presented a drama based on the theme of the gathering are appreciated.
It is interesting to note that among other highlights was series of prayer session during which many youths gave their lives to Christ. Indeed, the attendance was quite impressive. To God be the glory, forever and ever Amen.
Ven. Ernest Onuoha
Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre, Agbarha-Otor, Delta State.
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