Alma Ata: We are here! God did it. We got to go along and watch Jesus at work. Awesome. The impossible has been done. Whatever is before us, this glorious victory is accomplished. Who could have believed we would have made it driving and carrying the 12-foot cross to Kazakhstan. Over six thousand miles from where we began and no visa! Oh Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, You are here with us. This is where the vision of the footsteps of Jesus ended and after praying we felt we should drive to Siberia and carry the cross there, then make a complete circle by returning to Moscow.
Walking with the cross toward Alma Ata was one of the loveliest walks I’ve ever done. The high mountains we had crossed were in the distance. This land was open and slowly rolling with fields of flowers in full bloom.
For miles, the fields were covered in red poppies! We would stop to rest; run and roll and play in the beauty of God. I took photos of Denise in the flowers and the beauty is matchless. We are tired but the staggering beauty has immensely refreshed us. Thinking it could get no better, it did. Miles of purple, then blue, then pink, then all mixed together, flowers all seeming to try to outdo each other. What a place to carry the cross and walk. A few days before, as I walked I had prayed “Lord, You are so glorious, we are watching You work in leading us through this land. Should You want to do anything or show us anything of Yourself, You are welcome and I will try to comprehend it.” This display was like a special gift to us from God. The local people said it’s the land was covered in flowers for only a week or so each year. Praise You, oh, Lord.
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, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Siberia
Jesus did it. All glory to God.
Pilgrim followers of Jesus,
Arthur and Denise Blessitt