Today in Bethlehem, the HCEF staff were honored to welcome Mrs. Vicka Ivanković-Mijatović, of Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina, who has been blessed with miraculous visions of the Virgin Mary for over 30 years. Accompanied by Sabrina Covik, HCEF's partner in Medjugorje and founder of the Sacramento Peace Center there, Vicka visited with HCEF staff in their offices, where Eng. Anthony Habash, HCEF's Regional Director, offered her a warm welcome in the adjacent Ecumenical Center for Research & Development, just steps away from the place where the Virgin Mary gave birth to Jesus, our Lord. Vicka has come to the Holy Land for Maranatha! An International Ecumenical Movement for World Peace and the Healing of Humanity. Over 1000 pilgrims from around the world came to Bethlehem for this historic prayer gathering.

Sir Rateb Rabie, President/CEO of HCEF, welcomes this movement, and, in a special way, Vicka's visit, saying "In journeying to the homeland of the Virgin Mary and of Jesus–in fact, bringing Mary home–Vicka is showing all people of good will and of prayer that the Holy Land is essential in our quests for peace and healing around the world. The heart and roots of our faith are here, and from here too will spring peace and healing. We welcome her to Bethlehem and hope many more pilgrims will follow in her footsteps!" 


Vicka's prayers and solidarity with the Holy Land are also special because, as Sir Rateb reiterates, "Vicka's own homeland, Bosnia-Herzegovina, was once torn by war and strife, as our Holy Land is today, but the Virgin Mary chose is as her place to bring hope and sow peace. Our prayers are hopeful ones, because history shows us that peace is possible!"