By Bernard M. KONG
The journey started in 1987 when the then Bishop of Limburg Mgr. Emeritus Franz Kamphaus and the then Bishop of Kumbo, Archbishop Cornelius Esua agreed to begin the venture.
At the time, they looked for ways to live the guidelines of the Vatican II Council, which calls on churches in the various parts of the world to reach out to all. How best could this be done in the context of two local churches was a question in the minds of the Bishops. Like a mushroom shooting out from the earth, the relationship started by the faithful of both Dioceses exchanging letters and short visits. People had to go out of their normal day to day lives into the unknown. Travel a long way to a strange country with a strange language or languages and even have to dare eat stuffs that one was not brought up with.
These daring ventures where carried out by people of different age groups. The fruits of this precious relationship are immeasurable. The many letters and visits have given members of both dioceses the chance to get to know each other better. It has helped people to learn that it must not always be the way it is done. This is common in our society where whenever there is a change, we say “It is not done this way”. We have come to know that live changes with time. With this spirit, we are able to accept our brothers and sisters of Limburg as they are. They too in Limburg have come to learn that Limburg or Germany is not the world. Today, the 22nd day of April 2007 we celebrate 20 years of existence of this relationship. In his sermon during the Mass to mark the beginning of the celebration, Fr. Cyprain Tatah called on the Christians to love unconditionally. He said Christ after resurrection referred to his disciples as friends; the same people who all rejected him before his death. He called on the faithful to emulate Christ and the relationship between Kumbo and Limburg will surely grow from strength to strength.
Twenty years after is a time of stock-taking! It is time to stop and look back. Bishop George Nkuo in his address to the partnership committee said he is ready to continue in the relationship. He thanked all those who have worked hard down the years to build the relationship. He promised to make his contribution and called on all to continue to give life to this precious relationship.
May 11, 2007