This is a nation of beautiful temples and some of the world’s worst traffic jams. Buddhist shrines of worship are everywhere, in the homes, hotels, businesses, and even under every big tree. This walk was one of my most difficult. The sidewalks are jammed with people. The advertising signs are too low to carry the cross under. Everything is sold on the sidewalks, from food and clothes to sunglasses. At any open space the hordes of motorcyclists race off the street and down the sidewalk. Often the traffic is backed up for miles and when a red light changes it’s like an auto and bike race for the short distance to the next traffic jam.
Now getting the cross through this safely was a world-class job! Often I would have to get into the street amongst the traffic to walk. When people wanted to talk it blocked the sidewalks, and the auto traffic and the horns blaring made talk impossible anyway.
There are no emission controls for cars, trucks, buses and motorcycles. At night after a day’s walk I would cough up black phlegm and when I blew my nose it was black soot.
We arranged for visas to Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam from here and it took over a week. For two weeks, I carried the cross in a big circle in the Bangkok area. We had great newspaper coverage, which explained our mission to millions. The reporter was so deeply moved he wanted to be our coordinator for South East Asia. I explained we had no organization, only love. As is our custom, we gave money to the horribly poor and destitute people. It’s heartbreaking – the needy in the worst conditions in a huge city in the midst of one the world’s biggest building booms. There was mile after mile of high-rise buildings under construction, but nothing being done for the streets. We used Bangkok as a flight hub to go and return to the other Southeast Asian nations.
I carried the cross in and around the capital city of Bangkok. Denise, my wife, and I made trips in different directions carrying the cross from the heart of the city. We spoke to many people and prayed with some to receive Jesus. I carried the cross out as far as the airport.
Pilgrim followers of Jesus.
Arthur and Denise Blessitt