Government News Source|5 December 2019
The Governor of Cross River State, Sir Benedict Ayade, has charged intending Christain pilgrims from the state to the Holy Land, Jerusalem to be of good behavior, law abiding and positive ambassadors of the state and nation.
Governor Ayade, who gave this admonition during the orientation programme for the 102 persons sponsored by the state government for this year's pilgrimage programme to the Holy Land, on Wednesday in Calabar said that the pilgrims should reflect the good name of the State in the way they carry themselves in the Holy Land.
The governor who was represented by Father Bob Ettah, stated, "I want all of you to know that pilgrimage is important to the state, that is why the government of Cross River State is investing over 1 million on each pilgrim here today. I equally want you to use the opportunity of being in the Holy Land to pray for the state."
Speaking, the Chairman elect of CAN, Amb Ekpenyong, thanked God for the opportunity they all have to go to the Holy Land, Appreciated the work of the team that organized the contingent, while at the same time commended the 2018 team adjudged the best for not recording abscondments like other states.
In the same vein, the Archbishop of Calabar Metropolitan Archdiocese, Archbishop Joseph Edra Ukpo, who was represented by the Chairman elect of CAN, Cross River State chapter, Amb. Ekpenyong, was of the positive hope that the 2019 team will equally be exemplary and carry the name of Jesus Christ high as well as that of he State.
He Appreciated governor Ayade for making the trip possible, adding that "Pilgrimage is not mere tourism and so all ambassadors of Christ and Cross River State going should expect spiritual upliftment, Good luck", the Archbishop maintained.
Also speaking, Fr. Malachi, said that the word, "pilgrimage is derived from Latin word Peregrinasio, which Means traveling for a purpose. It's a journey made for devotion or a spiritual encounter with the result of a transformation. Traveling to a spiritual destination for the purpose of transformation. Ignore those who may have had such journeys in the past without any encounter and focus on your own encounter with God," Fr. Malachi admonished.
The Cross River state government under the able leadership of Sir Benedict Ayade, sponsored 102 Christians on pilgrimage to the holy land, Jerusalem in 2019.
Christain pilgrimage orientation is intended to give intending pilgrims first hand information about Isreal and medical fitness while on pilgrimage.
Talks included moral values and etiquettes, security consciousness while on pilgrimage; spirituality and tips for successful pilgrimage operation.
Jerusalem is the cradle of Christianity but Europe is another destination for Christian pilgrims because Europe is where the early Christians experienced persecutions and began the spread of the faith across the world.