This is a mountainous land, a part of crumbling Yugoslavia. Denise, my wife, and I were up early and on the road. It was very hot, but I loved the heat. The roads are narrow, winding and yet the views are splendid. We are making our way toward Medjugorje, a place of pilgrimage for hundreds of thousands of people a year. As I was carrying the cross this morning, many people stopped and were so friendly, all so very happy that I was making my way toward Medjugorje. One lady with tears flowing down her cheeks gave me her medallion of Jesus and the Virgin Mary. Two other ladies were waiting where Denise was parked to ask us to come into their home for coffee; they were so precious as we visited with them. They could speak only a few words of English, just enough to make the conversation very confusing, but it was clear they loved Jesus and us. They invited us back to spend the night in their home.
We arrived in the town of Medjugorje, where a vision of the Virgin Mary is supposed to have taken place. There is a huge Catholic Church in the town. We met many Christian pilgrims, especially from the United States and Britain. These people were all, of course, interested in the cross walk. We talked and prayed with many people. Before we arrived, I told Denise how wonderful it would be if in this very special place we could have one of the ministers bless our married life as we traveled on the road carrying the cross. A Catholic priest from the United States came up and began to talk. Before he left he said that he would like to have a prayer of blessing for us. God answered our prayers. The priest put his hands on us and prayed the most beautiful prayer of blessing upon us and upon our marriage and life together on the road carrying the cross for the glory of Jesus. Tonight we are back at the ladies’ home and they prepared a lovely meal, and invited all their friends over.
Today we carried the cross through a beautiful mountain area winding down past fields toward the sea. Every few moments Denise looks in the rearview mirror to see if I am coming. When she sees me, she leaps out of the Land Rover, throws both arms into the air and begins to wave and jump up and down. From where I am coming with the cross, I can see this great demonstration of love and excitement. Throughout the day, she never fails to do this, her face filled with the most glorious radiant smile, leaping, waving and throwing kisses. I had always dreamed of seeing such a sight and now God has chosen to bless me in this very special way every day, it is just too good to be true. If life gets any better, I think I will be in heaven together with the loveliest wife on this planet, hallelujah!
Later: Bosnia and Herzegovina now has a part called Srpska that is automatous.
Pilgrim followers of Jesus,
Arthur and Denise Blessitt