Historical Events I Recently Attended in Jerusalem and the Vatican

On May 29th, Silas Esteves, João Pereira and I traveled to Rome to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal—the 50th anniversary of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit within the Catholic Church. Over a number of days in the city, we attended meetings in the Vatican, met new brothers and sisters in Christ, and had the chance to tour important Christian sites in Rome. This Golden Jubilee celebration was a time to look back and worship God in thankfulness for pouring out His Spirit into the Catholic Church. It was an opportunity to also look forward to the further renewal of the Church and to see what the next 50 years of God moving within the charismatic Catholic communities might bring. Our participation in this event brought the faith and love of everyone in The Living Word Fellowship. I believe we made great strides during this trip with many new connections in the worldwide Body of Christ.

Gary Hargrave and Father Bruno Lins

Gary Hargrave and Father Bruno Lins

President Reuven RivlinWhile Silas and Joao stayed in Rome, I traveled to Jerusalem for another celebration: the first inaugural Jerusalem Prayer Breakfast, held to honor the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem. I was invited to be a founding member of this event, which will be held annually from this time forward. The breakfast hosted more than five hundred spiritual leaders as well as government officials from almost sixty nations—including pastors, rabbis, ambassadors, members of parliament, and Israel’s president Reuben Rivlin. While there, I had a chance to meet a number of these distinguished guests.

Simultaneous to this, while in Rome, Silas and João had a chance to represent myself and The Living Word Fellowship in a moment of greeting and blessing with our dear Pope Francis. For several years now we have been building a relationship with our Catholic family. Dom Orani Tempesta, Cardinal of Rio de Janeiro, was instrumental in arranging this meeting, as well as Father Bruno Lins, from the Vatican Secretary of State, and Father Andre Rodrigues from Rio de Janeiro. Silas and João were introduced to Pope Francis as pastors of The Living Word Fellowship, a church which prays for the Pope and is committed to help others join into an open-heart relationship between Catholics, Evangelicals, and Jews. Pope Francis replied with a big hug and a brotherly kiss and said, “Tell them all I need prayer, much prayer.” While I could not attend this momentous occasion, I felt very included in it.

More photos of Pope Francis and Silas coming soon.

The 50th anniversary events for both the Catholic Church and Jerusalem were historical milestones and significant markers of God’s moving. I know that much fruit will come out of these events and all that has transpired for us in the last few weeks. I join my heart with you today in a drive to see a new level of oneness in the Body of Christ. Let’s believe for Christianity to find its place of love and authority in our generation as we are led by the Holy Spirit of God. I want to personally thank every single person who participated with us in these last few weeks, including so many who are faithful to continually seek the Lord in prayer for me.