This land, for years torn by civil war, is the site of the horrible Killing Fields and as we arrived 23,000 United Nation peace-keeping troops were trying to hold an election.
In Bangkok before we boarded the flight to Cambodia, a Japanese man rushed up to me and asked, “Who are you?” I answered, “Arthur Blessitt”. He asked again, “Who are you? Your face is glowing”. I showed him the cross as we were checking in and explained the love of Jesus for his soul.
Surely God’s glory was upon us as we arrived in Phnom Penh, the capital. We carried the cross through the city and in a large circle around it. The only traffic was U. N. vehicles, motorcycles, bicycles, and rickshaws. No traffic lights were working and it seemed the only businesses were United Nation projects and hotel construction. Yet the people were among the most friendly and smiling people in all of Asia.
Some people would ask Denise and I, “Aren’t you afraid? There is so much killing and you have no gun!’ We would reply, “God sent us here with the cross and the message of hope, love, peace and salvation. Should He want us to live we shall live; should He allow us to die, we will be with Him.” Oh, Denise is so pure in motive and pure in heart. She trusts totally in the Lord Jesus. She never holds back but is ready to live, ready to die, we both are. We love each other, we love God, we love people, and it’s that simple.
We were up early and hired an old taxi to take us out of the city to the Killing Fields at Cheong Ek. In 1975 the Khmer Rouge killed tens of thousands and put their bodies in mass graves. Some have been opened and the skulls put on display in a glass memorial. Denise and I knelt and prayed there after putting the cross together. Such a sad feeling of how savage humanity can be to humanity. Of the devil, Jesus said, “He came to steal, kill and destroy.” But Jesus has come to give life and that more abundantly.
At the memorial children were playing and shouting. I could feel life overcoming death where many died in horror and screams. A new generation full of life plays where death once reigned. The people in the rice farming countryside welcomed us and gathered about when we stopped. We ate and drank along the way as we prayed. The road was first dust then paved but with a lot of potholes. In the city everyone looked at us with amazement.
A news reporter from Voice of America said, “I saw you and interviewed you in Jerusalem in the 70’s, it’s good to see you here. I thought God had forgotten this place.”
In the city center we were staying in an old hotel under going repairs, so the room was cheap. We could keep the cross inside the hotel. Four men rushed in after us. They were from Thailand and worked at a bank in Cambodia. They were trembling and pale. “We saw you in the Bangkok Post newspaper and then on the street, we rushed to speak to you, look, our arms are with chill bumps. I’ve never felt this way before.” There at the hotel I explained about Jesus and the three Buddhist men came to know Jesus as their Savior and committed to follow Him. We shall stay in touch.
The glory of God has been special since a night of prayer in Laos.
During the following days we did a lot of news interviews with the world press, which was in Cambodia covering the war and the election. The weather was hot and our walk went great. We would get a ride out of the city into the countryside then walk into the city a different direction each day. As happened throughout Asia, when I began talking to people the crowds would gather until the streets would become blocked. One local reporter commented, “Now I know God cares about us, He sent the cross!’
Pilgrim followers of Jesus,
Arthur and Denise Blessitt