My son Joshua and I were in the beautiful nation of New Zealand in the spring of 1989 for gospel meetings in New Dunedin, Christchurch, Hastings, Hamilton and Auckland. We also carried the cross with groups of people marching in these cities. The people were responsive and very lovely. We had some powerful organized meetings and street preaching.
Joshua and I were invited to the Royal Palace to meet her Royal Highness te-Ata-I-Rangi-Kahu, the queen of the native Maoris. There were many speeches and formalities. We had a lovely dinner with this follower of Jesus. She also attended one of my meetings and came to the cross, touched it tenderly and was so delighted the cross was being carried in her land. She is a most wonderful woman and leader. I will never forget her great welcome to the cross.
In 1995 my wife Denise and I arrived to carry the cross in New
Zealand. We rented an RV and Denise drove and I carried the
cross from Auckland to Wellington. A distance of well over 400
miles the route we walked.
We met many people and had a glorious month in this wonder-
ful land. We came to feel a great bond with the native Maoris.
They were very responsive.
My most profound memory is this experience:
I was carrying the cross along a highway beside the beach. We were nearing to Wellington. It was cold. I saw a young lady in jogging clothes running in the sand on the beach. I started carrying the cross up a steep narrow road into the mountains. I had forgotten about this young lady. Then I heard someone calling out to me. I looked up and the lady was in front of me. She had run up a trail ahead and was running to me on the highway.
Almost out of breath, she asked, “What are you carrying the cross for?”
I explained my mission of walking with the cross around the world to her. She then told me that she had been living near the beach for about two years. Today she had planned to run into the sea and drown. She had made her last run. She stopped and cried out to God, “I need Life.” She looked up and saw the cross! She said, “I have come to the Cross!”
She burst into tears. I talked to her about the love and mercy and salvation of Jesus and we prayed together and she repented and gave her heart and life to Jesus. It was so glorious!
I will never forget that she said to me, “Now I have life”
We received great news coverage in New Zealand.
It was a beautiful time in this country. We have now carried the cross in New Zealand more than 500 miles. We met many wonderful people and saw many come to know Jesus as Savior and Lord.
God bless New Zealand.
All glory to God.
Pilgrim followers of Jesus,
Arthur and Denise Blessitt