On June 13, 2008, Arthur Blessitt walked his 38,102nd mile in Zanzibar, off the coast of Tanzania, completing a journey that began in 1969. Arthur started walking with a twelve-foot cross on December 25, 1969, and has successfully carried a large wooden cross into every nation and on every major island group of the world.
Follow Arthur’s journey from his initial call from God to carry a cross from Hollywood, where he was known as “the minister of Sunset Strip,” across America to its capital, Washington, DC.
Accompany Arthur as he hacks his way through the Darien Jungle from Panama to Colombia. You’ll join Arthur and his son, Joshua, as they take the cross to South Africa in 1986. Enter into the stories of how God used them to bring people spiritual, physical and relational healing during the final tumultuous days of racial apartheid. Trek with Arthur and his wife, Denise, as they cross desert sands to take the cross to Saudi Arabia when the nation was closed to tourists. Follow them as they walk with the cross in the various regions of the former USSR just weeks after its collapse. You’ll be amazed by how people in all cultures respond to the cross.
As Arthur has traveled around the world, he has found the cross to be a universal symbol of God’s love that breaks down the barriers of language and culture. He writes, “Perhaps, I’m the only person in history who has been physically shaped by the weight of the cross. But the changes the cross has brought to my physical body are not important. What is important is how the cross has changed my life and the lives of so many others, from the inside out!”
I would like to dedicate this book to my parents, Arthur and Mary Virginia Blessitt. They are both in heaven now, but when I was a child they helped me come to Jesus and learn how to follow him. They always encouraged me to do the will of God. I honor them.
I dedicate this book also to my wife, Denise Irja Blessitt – the most profound and godly woman I have ever known. She has traveled the world with me and the cross in almost 290 nations and island groups. Her total commitment to Jesus, her courageous spirit and her incredible love for me and the people of this world has inspired me and strengthened me. She is fearless yet tender, full of joy and passion. Without her I do not believe I could have completed the call to carry the cross in every nation. I am thrilled to be in her presence and to have the awesome joy of living my life with her.
I am delighted to dedicate this book to my seven children as well: Gina, Joel, Joy, Joshua, Joseph, Jerusalem and Sophia. I am blessed to have lived with them on the roadsides of the world. They never complained of what they were missing but loved all the people of the world we met; and they love their dad. They have blessed me with ten adorable grandchildren.
I want to dedicate this book to the Arthur Blessitt Evangelistic Association board of directors, both present and past, who have loved and faithfully supported the mission and call of Jesus on my life: Pastors Gwin and Norma Turner, Fred Roach, Ken Wolfe, Pete Cantrell, Claude Townsend and Owen Cooper. They have been wise and godly counselors.
I dedicate this book to all the beautiful people of the world who welcomed us into their homes. To all the armies of the world I met in times of war, yet they let the cross pass in peace. To the many thousands of people who gave me something to eat or drink. To those who cared for my children and my wife in distant lands. I close my eyes, and as the tears flood I see the faces of countless people I have met and whose hands I have held and whose heads I have touched to bless. I love you all; I miss you; I trust to see all of you in heaven. You cared for a pilgrim stranger passing your way – and in so doing you will receive the same reward as I.
One man has been a key adviser and has stayed in touch with Denise and me for so many years as we travel the world. He calls and checks on us and is ready to do whatever is needed. Thanks, Buddy Gaster. I also dedicate this book to you.
I also want to dedicate this book to Steve Johnson, global publisher, IBS-STL/Authentic Media; and Volney James, publisher, Authentic Books, who approached me about doing this book. Only through their help and persistence was this book possible. Thanks also to Steve and Lois Rabey for their help in writing the book and to Andrew Sloan who did an awesome job of editing it and getting it ready for publication.
I am fortunate to have had the best support team in the world. I have lived the most blessed life. Thank you all. God bless you. Enjoy the book. You helped make it possible. I love you.
Thanks most of all to God the Father, to Jesus the Son, and to the Holy Spirit—who have been with me every step around the world and to whom all honor and glory are due!