Bishop Ntambo attends World Humanitarian Summit

“This is the time to listen. The time to build partnerships, to build confidence. To be more united for the sake of humanity regardless of our faith.”

Such was the conclusion reached by Bishop Nkulu Ntanda Ntambo of the North Katanga Episcopal Area following his experience at the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, Turkey, May 23-24.

The first-ever World Humanitarian Summit brought together 9,000 participants from 173 different countries, including 55 heads of state, hundreds of private sector representatives, and thousands of people from civil and non-governmental organizations. In its 70-year history, the United Nations had never before brought humanity together on such a large scale.

The summit was convened by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon “to generate commitments to reduce suffering and deliver better for people around the globe.” The event challenged attendees with five core responsibilities: prevent and end conflict, respect the rules of war, leave no one behind, work differently to end need and invest in humanity.

Ntambo said he was impressed by a session on religious engagement, where he had a chance to interact with high-ranking Muslims, Hindus, Catholics and Anglicans.

“At first, I thought only Christians and UMCOR were doing good things, but I discovered that all religions – and secular organizations – are concerned with how to solve these problems when humans are in danger,” he said.

“When a catastrophe happens, it cannot be solved by one church, one nation, or one NGO. When we hear of countries invading others, we should not just leave it to a few big countries to raise their voices. The faith community should also raise its voice. Most times we keep quiet and give evil the opportunity to act in our place.”

Ntambo has served in ministry for 40 years through The United Methodist Church in the Democratic Republic of Congo as a pastor, district superintendent, missionary, General Board of Global Ministries director and chancellor of Africa University. He will retire this year after 20 years as the bishop of the North Katanga Episcopal Area. He is also an elected senator for the Congo.

Ntambo said he had only one regret from the summit: the absence of The United Methodist Church.

“This church cares and is very generous, so how were we missed? We are involved in most of these areas already, and we could have contributed greatly to the summit. My challenge to The United Methodist Church would be to learn how we can become one of the decision-makers in these kinds of summits.”

Grace is a church and community worker with the West Ohio Conference.

Sign up for our newsletter!

umnews-subscriptions
Evangelism
Elasto Musakanda (right), headmaster at Pagejo Rarubi Primary School, shares a laugh with students and staff at Pagejo Rarubi Farm in rural Zimbabwe. The United Methodist church established on the property has been paying school fees for 20 pupils annually and providing supplies and other support, he said. Photo by Kudzai Chingwe, UM News.

Farm churches spread Gospel in rural communities

To combat early marriages, illiteracy, alcohol abuse and other issues, The United Methodist Church in Zimbabwe has helped to establish and support churches on two farms in the region.
Evangelism
Josiane Bahi, 33, holds her 1-year-old granddaughter, Grâce Debra, at Ampain Ivorian Refugee Camp in Ampain, Ghana, where Bahi, a United Methodist, has resided since 2012. Her granddaughter was among more than 540 children who received a gift on Christmas Day from The United Methodist Church in Côte d'Ivoire. Photo by Isaac Broune, UM News.

Children at refugee camp get Christmas surprise

A delegation from The United Methodist Church in Côte d'Ivoire delivered more than 540 toys to a refugee camp in Ghana on Christmas Day.
Local Church
Obert Chikwato shows off a gift he received from members of The United Methodist Church in Zimbabwe on Dec. 13. “This is my first time to get a Christmas gift,” said the 16-year-old, who lives at Good Samaritan Children’s Home, a foster home in Harare, Zimbabwe. Photo by Priscilla Muzerengwa, UM News.

Young church members collect gifts for foster children

Members of the Harare East District in Zimbabwe delivered gift boxes filled with toys, school supplies, hygiene items, apparel and candy to Good Samaritan Children’s Home.