Pilgrims participating in the Global Anglican Future Conference GAFCON traveled to Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus, on Friday, June 27. Having heard the draft statement from the conference read to them and discussed possible last minute changes in closed provincial meetings, they left in high spirits.
Christian pilgrims have been traveling to Bethlehem since the second century. After visiting the Shepherds Fields on the outskirts of Bethlehem, GAFCON Pilgrims traveled to The Church of the Nativity. The church building is one of the oldest continuously used places of Christian worship in the world. It was first constructed in the fourth century and has changed little since the sixth century.
Florence Awosoga, Nigeria, said the experience was very meaningful. “Being here brings to reality what I have read in the Scriptures,” she explained.
Onesimus Asiimwe, Uganda, agreed, describing a chance to see where Christ was born as “Grace added unto grace…This is for me a life-changing experience. It’s a dream come true.”
While in Jerusalem, pilgrims have visited a number of sights connected to the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, including the Mount of Olives, the Via Dolorosa, The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Upper Room, the Western Wall and the Southern Steps of the Temple. On Saturday, June 28, pilgrims will travel to the Sea of Galilee, Capernaum, and the Mount of Beatitudes.