Denise, my wife and I landed at the airport in Brazzaville, the capital. After clearing immigration and customs we took a taxi into the city where we were to carry the cross. This was one of the most chaotic airport arrivals in the entire world. Ha!
People were pushing and shoving at immigration. But it grew worse at the baggage area. There was only one small door for people to get in and out. It was madness! Whoever came up with this design must have hated the human race! At long last we were shoved into the room and climbing on top of bags I got our bags and the cross. Now, how do we get out?
Talk about ‘body contact’ the mass of people seemed like one as Denise and I fought to stay near each other and hold onto the bags and the cross bag.
Now you may think this was madness but it was nothing compared to what was on the outside! At least inside people were trying to get their own bags. Outside the wild crowd was trying to get ‘your’ bag! A dozen hands grabbed at each bag! Then came the second wave. The taxi warriors! We maneuvered to a wall with only three directions to defend. After a while I left Denise holding onto all the bags and went to find a ‘quiet, no hassle taxi’.
Denise and I had prayed and Jesus led me to a nice man standing quietly in the back of the crowd. The taxi warriors almost attacked him! We struggled to get to the taxi and with great relief we left the airport in an old dilapidated car and rode through the ghost-like city of Brazzaville. At long last we reached the hotel where it took over an hour to get checked in. They did not want to accept the special rate that Denise had gotten from the hotel chain before we had left home.
We had the name of a Catholic sister in the city and we began to try to make contact with her. She did not know us at all. Our inquires got us an address and off we went in a taxi to find her.
We arrived at a small house at the Catholic Convent. We met one of the most wonderful Godly ladies I have ever met on the mission of carrying the cross around the world.
One lady said the Sister was resting, so we waited. Soon Sister Bridgett came out smiling and rejoicing in Jesus and in love. We told her of our mission to carry the cross in every nation. She was happy we were here to witness to her people. Sister Bridgett said she would arrange an interpreter for us and she would like to take the cross and us to the hospital and to a home for the blind, and introduce us to the city.
For many wonderful days we traveled the city with this saint. It seemed everyone knew and loved her. Every place was open to her and in the streets the crowds mobbed us, eager to hear the gospel and pray to receive Jesus and follow Him.
One of the most touching places was the Blind Center! They heard the gospel and prayed and then all wanted to do a cross walk! I could hardly walk as tears flooded my eyes. They touched and held the cross in such a beautiful way.
There was a lot tension in the city as civil war had broken out, but our witness went on in the Glory of the Lord. I was arrested one day as I carried the cross and interrogated for hours, being moved from one room to another. At the end I was warned and let go. I carried my cross out of the police headquarters. I refused to be intimidated.
After we left Brazzaville, war did come to the city and many of the blind were killed and the house burned down. Sister Bridgette escaped and came to the United States for a while. She then went back to bring the love of Jesus and hope and aid to the people again.
We came to bring blessings and the cross. We left feeling we were the ones blessed of the Lord for just having been there.
May God bless and heal this suffering nation. God bless Sister Bridgette.
Pilgrim followers of Jesus,
Arthur and Denise Blessitt