1992: Roadside near Omagh: At the border of Lithuania the guards gathered about and wanted me to pray. They took me to a place where seven guards had been murdered earlier. We prayed together. Denise was driving before me and she stopped at a roadblock on the Byelorussia border where she had a talk with the soldiers. No one even came out when I passed and, of course, we didn’t have a visa or automobile permit.
Tonight there was a beautiful orange sunset. I could not be happier. We are here! With the cross! On the road! With God!
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Somewhere beside a home: After the walk today in sunshine and cold wind we parked and Denise cooked. Some boys were playing about us. I gave them Bibles, crosses and Jesus stickers, and played with them. When they left I told Denise, “Remember, the person you make your friend now may later be the one to save your life”. After dark and just before we went to bed, three of the boys were back. They were pointing to the forest where we were parked by and saying, “Bandidos, Bandidos!” and they made a slash across them like a knife. They pointed toward town and motioned us to follow them. They took us to a place beside their home and their family came out smiling and pointed to the forest, “Bandidos, Bandidos!’
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Last night we parked next to a closed petrol station. Today we got gas for $.24 a gallon. A van stopped and two men from Finland who spoke English came to me. They had gospel materials and Bibles in every language spoken in the former U.S.S.R. They felt God told them to load up and come to this area thinking they might put them on some army bases. These were what we needed because we only had gospel materials in Russian not the other languages. We had already given away the gifts so we had room for the Bibles; we loaded up with thousands of gospel tracts. What a blessing, we were excited and had material for each area before us.
Minsk: We had a team of about ten believers that met with us today. Huge crowds gathered in the city. I had a good interpreter and much response and people who could help teach the converts. At the Orthodox Church a big crowd gathered to hear the message. A man began shouting that I had no permission to be here. I replied that God had given us permission so it was okay. The crowd moved him away. Reporters from the national newspaper also came out. It was a wonderful day. We saw a ballet and then a circus for a total of a dollar and twenty cents for the both of us.
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Porayee: We got gas today for between five and six cents a gallon! As I’ve walked, the Lord has been speaking to me that we must drive and walk. God wants us to carry the cross in each former USSR republic where, if we were to walk any step it would take three to four years, but the time is urgent, to do it now while the way is open and clear. The Lord has said He will tell us when to drive and when to walk and where to stop. We must follow His exact directions and timing and all will be done as we face the great danger ahead.
During much of 1992 my wife, Denise and I carried the cross through Russia and all of the former USSR. The USSR was just breaking up after the fall of communism. We only had a tourist visa for two weeks in Russia and had no permit for the Land Rover and no visa for any of the other countries! Jesus got us through all the borders and checkpoints without a visa or permit. We made it through over 250-armed roadblocks. God led us to places to fill up with gas, as only a few gas stations were open the entire trip. We went from extreme cold and snow to the desert heat all in one historic and glorious trip. The impossible had happened. The cross was carried in all the USSR. All glory to God. Many were saved as the cross was carried in all of these nations.
Denise drove the 4×4 Land Rover. She would drive up the road a few miles and wait for me to arrive carrying the 12-foot cross. I would have something to drink and eat and then walk on. In most of these nations we would drive part of the way and then carry the cross a few days or a week or so. We had Bibles and gospel material in Russian and local languages. The Land Rover was also towing a small trailer with food and the gospel materials. We carried many cans of gas on the Land Rover and inside was a stove. We slept in a pop-up tent on top the Land Rover. When we left England we drove and went by ship to Finland. We crossed over to Estonia and made a complete loop around the USSR and then drove back via Poland and back to England. We drove almost 11,000 miles and I walked many hundreds of miles in the USSR.
In order we carried the cross in the following countries:
Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, Trans-Dnestr, Moldova, Crimea, Abkhazia, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tadzikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Siberia and Russia.
Jesus did it. All glory to God.
Pilgrim followers of Jesus,
Arthur and Denise Blessitt