Austria 1987


We had a glorious walk with the cross in Austria. We began at the border of Liechtenstein and Austria and carried the cross east to Innsbruck. My son, Joshua, was with me and he would drive the Land Rover up the road in front a few miles and then wait for my arrival. At Innsbruck all my other children joined us. They are Gina, Joel, Joy, Joseph and Jerusalem.

We carried the cross on to Salzburg and then on to the capital Vienna.

Imagine one of the most beautiful scenes possible. I was walking with the large cross and Jerusalem one of my sons was carrying his small cross. Joshua another of my sons was behind him carrying his cross down the roadside in this lovely country. What joy to have two of my sons walking with me, both carrying their crosses. After a long walk we stopped for lunch along the roadside. Soon after finishing my meal I leaned back to rest and as I looked up, seven-year-old Arthur J. was standing by the highway with his cross standing straight up. I called out to him, “What are you doing?” He answered,

“Well, Daddy we weren’t carrying the cross, we were just resting. I wanted to hold up the cross so that people could see it and think about Jesus.” That was just too much, tears poured from my eyes. It’s one of the sweetest things that I have ever seen anyone do. Even though he was tired and when most children would be sitting down resting or complaining. Jerusalem was holding the cross up for the world to see. Hallelujah.

Today we are still in Austria and I have that old Amazon River feeling. We carried the cross only a few feet away from the waterline along the Danube River – it was incredible.

After a long mid-afternoon walk some men came out and were waiting alongside the road near a rock quarry where they worked. One big man could speak English, and he was so deeply moved, he had tears in his eyes. He was standing drinking a beer and as I witnessed to him and asked him to give his heart to Christ he just kept shaking his head no. But he couldn’t believe that we had walked so far. He looked at me so intently and he said, “Would you give me your shirt and I will give you mine?” I was wearing my favorite blue jean shirt. A shirt I’d had for years with so much road character. I would have given him my money but my shirt – it was so difficult, but I thought, “What would Jesus do?’ A big pot bellied heavy drinker, and a dirty, sweaty shirt that had just came out of a rock quarry. Well Jesus said, “If a man asks for your shirt, give it to him.’ So I did. And he gave me his stinking dirty T-Shirt and I put it on. Praise God.

This was a beautiful cross walk and I met wonderful people. Many people prayed to receive Jesus as Savior and Lord.

I had a glorious time with my children as we carried the cross in this fabulous country.

Pilgrim followers of Jesus,

Arthur and Denise Blessitt
Luke 18:1