I have carried the cross in what is today Germany several different times. As you may know back in the 80’s there was the country of West German and a different nation of East Germany. Then there was West Berlin and East Berlin that was controlled by the four powers of United States, United Kingdom, France and the Russia. The Berlin Wall divided the city of Berlin. These account for three nations and territories in my cross walk.
Berlin, June 6, 1981: There was a rally in Berlin called ‘Berlin for Jesus.’ I had been carrying the cross through West Germany and the Lord had used me to make a powerful impact through the news media. My walk had been featured in every major newspaper with several pictures and good stories.
We were meeting at the 90,000 seat Olympic Stadium. About 15,000 gathered on a Saturday afternoon. I was scheduled to speak for about 15 minutes. I spoke in the real power of the Holy Spirit. When I came to the end of my message I said, “This stadium was built by Hitler to commemorate the 1936 Olympics. It was built to glorify man, there was a flame lit to commemorate the start of the Olympics. In just a moment I am going to take this cross and carry it across this field, up the steps, and we are going to raise the cross above where the torch burned. I pray that those who hunger and thirst will be filled with the fire of the Holy Spirit.”
Everyone on the platform was stunned. I had told none of them of my plans. I stepped off the stage, took the cross and started walking. Everyone in the stadium was roaring, people were standing, clapping, and praising God, cheering, as the man with the cross walked across the playing field of the Olympic Stadium. Then I started walking up, step by step by step, up, up, up, carrying the cross higher, higher and higher. All the way people were climbing over the rails trying to get
onto the playing field. Hundreds began to pour towards the cross. No, I didn’t ask the people to join me, it was spontaneous. Only Johannes Czwalina, my dear German friend from Basel, Switzerland, and a friend of his were meeting me there.
When I arrived at the top, Johannes gave me a boost and I climbed up to the top of the platform where the torch had been. I then reached down and pulled Johannes up as his friend gave him a boost. He handed the cross up and then we raised it up above the torch that had been lit for the 1936 Olympics. As we held up cross, people exploded in praise and tears. People were weeping and praising God. It was one of the most glorious moments I have ever lived. Everybody’s mind, like mine, went
back to the memories since Hitler had this stadium built. World War II, the bombing of Berlin, concentration camps, war, death, chaos, the division of Europe. We remembered what had happened since. And yet, here is the cross, raised above the Olympic Stadium for the glory of God. No matter how dark the hour, there is hope! Even when faith fails, out of the rubble of war: look, a flower grows where a bomb fell. The cross stands where Hitler’s torch is extinguished. High over Berlin stands the cross and hope.
June 20, 1981 : I spent the night at the East German-West German border. My daughter, Gina was with me when our car broke down just inside the East German border. I prayed for God to fix it and He did not. In vain we tried to get it fixed or towed into West Germany. At midnight I was still praying, “God, you have me in here for a purpose, what is it? ” Then I felt the Lord speak, “Arthur, you’ve been praying about when to carry the cross behind the Iron Curtain. Well, I don’t have an Iron Curtain.” “There are no walls. The walls are in your mind.”
God had finally gotten through my hard head. The term ‘Iron Curtain’ is a political term, not a Biblical term. The Iron Curtain is in our minds. The Iron Curtain of disbelief and impossibilities. Oh, if only we had a group of people who didn’t know what God can do who would dare to believe how we could change this world!
I said, “Lord, that word is gone from my vocabulary except to use when I’m preaching or when I write about it. ”
A few weeks later I flew into Poland and on to other Eastern European nations
carrying the 12-foot cross. The Iron Curtain was gone from my mind and I was carry- ing the cross in Eastern Europe. Hallelujah!
November 28, 1989 : After the glorious night at the demonstration in Leipzig, East Germany Joshua and I drove through the night to get to East Berlin. We arrived and unloaded the cross from the top of the Land Rover. I was overwhelmed with excitement. There I stood in East Berlin with the cross in ready to carry it through the Berlin Wall! Glory.
We took turns carrying the cross’¦Joshua and me. People gathered about and the feared East German police just stood in amazement and let us walk, talk and preach! Then we came to the historic Brandenburg Gate! We took photos and then carried the cross through a hole in the wall and back, then walked on to Check Point Charlie and into West Berlin. Joshua was driving the Land Rover. We had a wonderful time and were almost in a state of shock. We had carried the cross last night with 300,000 people and had it lifted up in front of the crowd and the next day we carried the cross through the Berlin Wall. All in less than 24 hours! All things are possible! Glory.
Praise God, Joshua and I carried the cross through the Berlin Wall today. A moment of glorious history, hallelujah, and a dream come true. All glory to God. What is happening in Germany is a literal and absolute miracle, for the Berlin Wall to come down, for the East German people to be set free from atheist communism without a shot being fired is one of the most incredible things in the history of the world. All glory to God. Joshua and I carried the cross to the Brandenburg Gate, which is the main thoroughfare. The police were so very nice and shaking our hands, and welcoming us to East Berlin. We carried the cross around East Berlin, and then with Joshua driving the Land Rover, I carried the cross through Checkpoint Charlie with no problems at all. Many television and news crews were out there. They were all asking questions and filming and watching. It must have been a sight to behold. When I carried the cross into West Berlin, the shops and the streets were full of East Germans. They receive 100 Deutsch- marcs from the West German government whenever they appear in West Germany. They were buying bananas and fresh fruits and things like that. The people were very beautiful to us as we carried the cross around West Berlin.
Jesus did it. We saw the impossible happen
Today we arrived in Berlin. I first came here to carry the cross in 1981 in West Berlin; those were the days when the city was separated by the Berlin Wall. Joshua and I were here in November of 1989 when the Wall was first opened. Now I’m back again in 1990. What an experience to see the City as one. In many of the areas there is nothing that is even a reminder that there was a wall, however, over the route we took into the city today, all of the old barriers and the wall were still in place, although completely unattended. There were fences and then ‘no man’s land,’ which was once patrolled by armed guards that would shoot trespassers.
We carried the cross and took pictures throughout that entire area. Now tourists are driving their cars and bicyclists are pedaling along ‘no man’s land,’ and the people are chipping pieces off the Wall. Denise and I also chipped out a big bag of the Berlin Wall for our personal souvenirs. We walked to near downtown, sharing Christ along the way.
Today Denise and I were up at 5:30 a.m. to carry the cross on through the heart of Berlin. We walked from what was downtown West Berlin to downtown East Berlin. We made it, in the name of Jesus.
How glorious to see the historic changes in Germany since I first carried the cross there. I carried the cross in Berlin before the wall came down, during that historic time in 1989 and then after the changes. Wow! Jesus did it. God bless Germany.
Pilgrim followers of Jesus,
Arthur and Denise Blessitt