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!

SUBSCRIBE
Local Church
Students at the Maun Senior Secondary School in Maun, Botswana, gather for a school assembly. The United Methodist school has grown significantly since it opened in 1970.  Photo by the Rev. Tafadzwa Mabambe.

Botswana boarding school sees historic enrollment

The United Methodist Church’s Maun Senior Secondary School began in 1970 with 70 students and now has 2,400.
Evangelism
United Methodist clergy and church members witness the dedication of the Chin’ando prayer shrine in Old Mutare, Zimbabwe. Photo by the Rev. Taurai Emmanuel Maforo, UM News.

Celebrating women’s movement at historic prayer hill

Monument reignites the flames of revival started by Lydia Chimonyo, a United Methodist pastor’s wife, in the 1920s.
Theology and Education
Participants of the African and Asian Women Theologians Conference visited Ehwa Womans University, Seoul, Korea. From left are the Revs. Elaine Goh, Elvira Moises, Memory Chikosi, Ruth Daniel, Beauty Maenzanise, HiRho Park, Maaraidzo Mutambara, Kathy Armistead, Elizabeth Tapia and Yani Yoo. Foreground: Helena Guidione and HyunJu Lee. Photo by the Rev. Thomas Kim, UM News.

Women theologians: Following in the footsteps

United Methodist theologians from Africa and Asia gathered to discuss their interpretations of the Bible and find common ground.