Today, we carried the cross through the city center of Riga. The main church, which has been closed for years and made into an atheist museum, is opening! The people were friendly and many tried to talk with us. Denise walked with me and then she drove the Land Rover as I walked out of the capital city.
There was a cold wind blowing today. I had to wear my sunglasses to keep my tears and contact lenses from freezing! We are parked beside a big truck along the roadside tonight. How glorious to see people tasting freedom. We are carrying the cross on to Lithuania.
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 no permit for the Land Rover and no visa for any of the other countries! Jesus got us through all the borders and checkpoints with no 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 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 materials in
Russian and local languages. The Land Rover was also towing a small trailer with the food and 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.
The order in which 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.
Arthur’s diary of the events in Latvia
Jesus did it. All glory to God.
Pilgrim followers of Jesus,
Arthur and Denise Blessitt