Dear Young People In the Imbisa Region
As your shepherds the Bishops of the IMBISA Region we want to thank you for thanking part in our 13th Plenary Assembly held in Windhoek Namibia. IMBISA Region has nine countries which are Angola, Botswana, Eswatin, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Sao Tome and Principe and Zimbabwe. The theme for our Plenary: Building forward together – Regaining the Church’s Engagement with young people in the IMBISA region in the light of Pope Francis’ Exhortation Christus Vivit has a very clear and strong message on how the Church is so much ready to engage with the youths. As a region we have taken this message seriously and we are ready to start this new journey as recommended by Pope Francis. You are a precious gift to the Church, you offer the Church the beauty of youth by renewing her ability to “rejoice with new beginnings, to give unreservedly of herself, to be renewed and to set out for ever greater accomplishments”. The Youth is not only the future but also the now of the Church. (ChV 37).
It is our joy to journey with you as we have listened to your concerns in the deliberations we had throughout the Plenary. Pope Francis calls for a Synodal Youth Ministry that involves young people themselves accompanied and guided but free to find new paths with creativity and boldness and values the various charisms (ChV 203). This is our vision as the IMBISA Region we want to see more and more of a renewed Church in our region and the participation of the youths in various arms of the Church. We on our part we will try as much as we can to create a space for you to exercise your ministry in the Church in light of the Apostolic Exhortation Christus Vivit.
Pope Francis in his Apostolic Exhortation has also invited you the youths to have outreach programmes, to go out and attract new members to an experience of the Lord, while you also continue to nature growth on those who have already had an experience with the Lord so that it matures (ChV 209). This is our exhortation as we come to the end of our Plenary that as you go back to your different countries take note of these two lines of action in your ministry. We as your Shepherds are prepared to journey with you and continue to show the beauty of IMBISA with united bishops and a united Church, especially you our youths. This can be achieved by the provision of assistance in facilitating the creation of a youth structure in the IMBISA region that will mobilise for resources and capacity building for young people to be able to run functioning structures and commissions for the advancement of the body, soul and mind of a human person which includes but not limited to faith and skills development.
We are alive to the challenges and short comings in our region today but as the saying goes a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step and as your Bishops we assure you that we have begun a process. As you may be aware that as a region we have already published a manual for the Pastoral care of Young People and implementing this in our various countries will see our Church in IMBISA growing and more of the participation of you the youths will be realised.
We impart on you our blessings and encourage you to go and share with others the experience you got from our 13th Plenary Assembly. Pray for us as your Shepherds and we promise you our prayers.
MAY GOD BLESS YOU ALL
Yours in Christ
+Liborius Ndumbukuti Nashenda,OMI