Kazandzik: We are here, carrying the cross in this Asian desert country. Iran is only a few miles away. It’s a miracle we are here. Everyone we ask, even officials, said we, as Westerners, could not go
into Soviet Asia. We could not get a ticket on the boat across the Caspian Sea.
I had carried the cross into Baku past the huge oil fields and through the gates of
the city but, no, not Asia.
Denise pressed on and God led us to the head of the U.S.S.R. Inflot shipping
company. Jesus touched his heart and he got the Land Rover and us on the ship.
What was impossible, God did.
We sailed across the Caspian Sea all night and docked at Krasnovodak. We were let in with no visa or auto permits.
We began carrying the cross at the market in the city. We can tell we are in Asia now. The road makes its way through the dry desert. There are a lot of camels, herds of donkeys, cattle and goats.
I do love the desert, there seems to be little life but if you look there is life everywhere, little plants, flowers, and bugs. What a great feeling to be here. God wants us in Asia. There is almost no traffic, only a few big trucks. Denise is so happy. I love her smile and excitement. She feels so free here. Twice today she came running to meet me as I arrived carrying the 12-foot cross. Tonight we are parked at a police checkpoint. The officials only seem to want to shake my hand. All other vehicles have to show papers of some sort.
It’s so peaceful tonight, we have the flap open to our tent and look out at the moonlit night across the desert sand. Oh, but it’s good tobe alive. We are here
and heading east through five Muslim nations.
I almost forgot to write it, but the next day after we left Baku there was a coup
The president was overthrown, marshal law declared and the border closed!
We are on the way with the cross to Uzbekistan.
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 of 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 material in Russian and local languages. The Land Rover was also towing a small trailer with food and the 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.
In order 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.
Jesus did it. All glory to God.
Pilgrim followers of Jesus,
Arthur and Denise Blessitt