We did get into Fiji with the cross and carry it around much of the island! However it was tough getting past Fiji Customs!
We had no problems with immigration but when we arrived at customs the agents saw it was a wooden cross and they wanted to quarantine it. They made me remove the cross from its large travel bag. (The cross is 6 feet by 12 feet when it is bolted together. Unbolted it is in 3 six-foot sections.)
“Is it free of insects and diseases? Do you have a certificate that it is disease free? Oh, they were going to take the cross and keep it until we returned. I kept praying and talking. The head customs official came over so now there were several agents. “No,” was the only answer I could get.
Then the Lord gave me a brilliant idea. I asked, “So the problem is diseases and insects on and in the cross?” “Yes,” they replied. Then the profound thought. I said, “God keeps the cross pure!” We were allowed in the country. Jesus did it. Glory.
My wife, Denise and I rented a car at the airport. Denise would drive several miles up the road in front of me and park with water and supplies until I arrived. Often a crowd would be gathered around her and the car. She would pass out Jesus stickers and gospel material to the people. She always greeted me smiling and cheerful. Most of the time it was very hot and there she sat in the baking heat of the car waiting for me. She is the tough one of the two of us!
We started the cross walk at the airport at Nadi to Suva, the capital , along the coast highway. As the news of the crosswalk spread by word of mouth, in the newspapers and on radio, crowds of people in town after town were waiting for the cross. The village and town leaders would greet us and gather the people for me to preach.
Much of the area where we started is populated by Indian Fiji people. Then come the native Fiji people areas.
When we arrived in what is known as the ‘Coral Coast’ the crosswalk became very slow because of the glorious reception we received. It started late one evening at about 6 pm. Denise and I went to eat at a large hotel that has three restaurants. As we entered the hotel a ‘flood wave’ of God’s Glory was manifest and the moving of the Holy Spirit. The manager of the hotel came to us having heard of the cross walk. Then came his mother who owned the hotel. Then the staff gathered around from all the restaurants. I preached and many came to Jesus. We were there till 10:15 pm.
We then went to the home of ‘Mama’. We sat in the floor with all the family and friends. There was this huge bowl. They put in pepper roots and poured in water, then they squeezed the sack that the roots had been in, in the water. We were taking part in the famous Kava ceremony. They all clapped and did a welcome. Denise and I were the guests of honor. We were given a cup of the juice. It was strong! Wow and in a few moments our mouths were numb! Ha. It was a late night party with ‘Mama’ and friends.
The next day the elders and residents of every village were waiting for us. It seemed like Mama had passed the word. We would sit together and have a ‘cup of Kava’! Then I would try to preach with a numb mouth. After a few villages I decided to try to reverse the order! Ha
It was hot! I was dripping wet from my hair, face, shirt, pants, and socks. I was walking, carrying the cross, preaching and teaching and praying. What a glorious way to live.
We made it to Suva and had a wonderful witness there and had much news media coverage.
What a time of Glory it was in wonderful Fiji.
Pilgrim followers of Jesus,
Arthur and Denise Blessitt