When Denise, my wife, and I went to Haiti in October the nation was in real turmoil and confusion. The country was on the verge of civil war. I will not get into the political discussion but the situation was explosive.
We arrived at the airport at Port-Au-Prince where we began carrying the cross. People immediately gathered around the cross and we passed out gospel material. We carried only two backpacks and the 12-foot cross. Oh, it was hot!
Four young men in their early twenties came up to us and were behaving in a dangerous way. We had walked toward the city so we were away from the airport. We had been warned that we would not make it from the airport to the city without being robbed.
The Lord told me to ask them to carry our backpacks. It seemed they had come to rob us and now I was giving them the trust and love of Jesus. They looked at each other and smiled. We put the backpacks on two of them and the other young man wanted to carry the cross! On we went into the city with our own escorts! They were tough. They could have run away with everything but they responded to the Spirit of God with love and trust.
The city was a mess. There were open sewers in the streets and crowds of people everywhere. People gathered around to get gospel material and to have us pray for them.
When we arrived at the hotel we gave our four 'guides' some money and they prayed to receive Jesus.
News reporters based at the hotel poured out to do stories about us and about the cross. They wanted us to go to the nearby Palace and carry the cross there. I had planned to do this anyway. At the hotel I met a man named Charles whom agreed to interpret for us.
By the time we arrived at the Presidential Palace about 100 reporters were gathered all around us. I lay down on the sidewalk and prayed a few minutes. Then I stood up and prayed for Haiti. I then gave a brief message of salvation through Jesus Christ and led a prayer for salvation.
Soldiers arrived and ordered us away from the Palace. We walked to the end of the block and a man on a motorcycle came up screaming at us. A crowd that was a bit further on moved to surround Denise and I. Some soldiers came again and checked our papers and then left. The crowd drew the news media again. I knelt to pray. Angry men came up and begin to kick the cross. They thought we were on the opposite political side. It was explosive now. It was a matter of life and death. Some people in the crowd had guns.
Denise and I left carrying the cross and the crowd kept waving and screaming at us. As we walked down the sidewalk toward the hotel, carloads of attackers would drive by us and wave their guns and shout in anger. The press had stopped following us. I think they thought they were going to get shot. When we arrived back at the hotel we noticed our interpreter was gone. He later came to us and said he was afraid to go into the streets with the cross and us. He would keep interpreting for the news media.
We did arrange to meet a top military commander, Colonel Andre. We talked about Jesus. His wife was with him and she really loves Jesus. He said, “You have done a great thing in bringing the cross here." I told him our mission was Jesus and not political. We did have a long prayer time together. He promised to arrange a meeting with the Army Commander. He and his wife phoned us and said they could not arrange the meeting but they were very kind.
We did more cross walks in the city. The people were warm and friendly but when we got anywhere near the area of the government protest, the people's mood turned angry.
It was very difficult to separate the cross from the politics. The man aspiring to the presidency was Aristide, a Catholic priest. We were perceived to be carrying the cross in support of him. People would become angry before they knew what we were doing.
I was in Haiti on my 53rd birthday, October 27, 1953! My mother saw me on TV in that angry crowd. But she was so happy. I was serving Jesus and still alive! My Godly mother has learned my whereabouts many times on the news from around the world! I just seem to get into one jam after another while carrying the cross for Jesus around the world.
There was a lot news coverage including one was with Denise and the cross with a soldier which appeared in the Dallas Morning News .
After several days we felt it time to go. The message of Jesus was beginning to entwine with politics.
God bless and have mercy on Haiti.
Pilgrim followers of Jesus,
Arthur and Denise Blessitt