Saudi Arabia

March 1998
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After having tried for years to get a visa for Saudi Arabia but to no avail, Denise and I felt Jesus say to ‘go’ anyway! Saudi along with Afghanistan is the most ‘closed’ nation on earth to tourists. Only business visas and Muslim Hajj (pilgrim) visas are given. There are no churches allowed. All crosses the Bible and all non-islamic material is banned. Even U.S. military chaplains who normally wear a cross or other religious symbols must remove them in Saudi Arabia!

I completed the distance around the world in 1987 and then Jesus called me and then Denise to give our lives to carry the cross in every nation. Even if only for a short distance the call was to carry the cross in each nation. To get into Saudi Arabia and carry the cross and pray was our mission. So with no visa Denise and I departed from Florida on this mission of Jesus. Denise had said, “Let’s just go and Jesus will show us the way”. As I prayed over maps I felt God lead us to the United Arab Emirates. The UAE is made up of 7 nations and is booming in oil wells and new cities. It is most modern and liberal with many churches. God said,”Go to Dubai, then to Abu Dhabi – go right, that is the way in!” (When I was a child in the cotton fields back home in Louisiana, Jesus would speak to me go right 50 steps, then left – then go where I tell you. Often He would lead me all about the big farm that way. He taught me to hear His voice and obey without question and beyond reason to just trust His voice. And that is how He has led me around the world – go there – start here – stop – now go on this way – speak to that person – stop. An awesome and profound life to live).

After studying maps and every possible route to Saudi, Jesus showed us the way to go to get in. Through 102 degrees Fahrenheit weather and hours of driving through the desert from Dubai to Abu Dhabi we arrived at the oil rich Liwa Oasis in the heart of the desert. We had rented a car and at the dead-end junction at Meziyrah we turned ‘right’ and continued until the paved road ended. We were surrounded by huge sand dunes and now a sand road! This is real 4-wheel drive country and we were in a car! We prayed and I speeded up to keep moving in the soft sand. At places the sand was deep and sweeping across the road. We would slip and slide like on ice but Jesus kept getting us through. We were truly off the tourist route. This was a road for the oil fields and big trucks. On and on, mile after mile until we saw a small store where we got a coke and asked the man where we were. He could only point ahead and say ‘Police Station’ about 6 kms. We
were almost stuck in the road but finally got started and got back up to speed. After a while we could see a fort-like police station on a hill. The temperature was about 102 degrees Fahrenheit and midday. No one stopped us at the checkpoint but just beyond an old man waved at us to stop. He had a small store and opened the fridge to show cold cokes and Snickers! Ha. He then pointed us to the police trailer. There we aroused the sleepy officer and he directed us to the huge police station. I parked the car and went in but could not find anyone. Finally a man appeared and motioned for us to wait. After a while a policeman came and we tried to explain our mission. He had another man take us to an air-conditioned room where men were sitting on the floor eating and drinking tea. The men invited us to food, tea and cigarettes! This was the critical moment! Almost half way around the world, no visa but Saudi Arabia just a short distance ahead. We sat and chatted and were shocked as they said Saudi Arabia is just there! Pointing to the edge of the station. When you leave this station you are in Saudi! You must have permission from the Chief of Police in Tarif. This is not a normal border with customs and immigration as this is just desert, but Saudi is there. We had thought it was further. After a while Denise said, “I will stay here as a guarantee, Arthur will come back or one of you can go with us”. I showed photos of me with Yasser Arafat, Mohmar Ghadaffi, etc. and the Guinness Book of Records for my world record of walking the farthest. In a miracle moment after talking together they said, “Just leave your passports and car papers and you can go out the border into Saudi Arabia – just come back”. We thanked them and with one policeman we went to the car – He gave our passports to the officer in the trailer. We could not get the car up to speed after stopping so we were stuck in the sand – 100 yards from Saudi!!! They got a truck and pulled us out. Racing off in the sand, slipping and sliding we made it past the border.

We drove only a few yards and one could see the border wire fence alongside
a straight road. There were barricades to the left but open road to the ‘right’. It was a paved road in Saudi and we drove about six miles and stopped. We wanted to get the cross on the ground before a Saudi patrol came by to stop or arrest us. “The earth is the Lord’s”, the Bible says so we had permission!!! Hallelujah! The hot wind was blowing sand in our eyes and faces but nothing could stop us now as I got the cross bolted together. Denise grabbed the cross and said, “I want to carry the cross first!” Oh heaven must have exploded in joy and satan and the demons of hell cringed in anger and fear. What war there must have been in the heavens! I took photos and video of Denise. We wanted this documented. Then I took the cross and waves of joy and glory flooded me. “Jesus did it!” I kept shouting. God wanted the cross carried here. And we did it with the consent of Abu Dhabi – The UAE! Denise drove alongside and filmed me. There was nothing but sand dunes and a straight road. After a while, I left the road and went south through the sand dunes deeper into Saudi. I made a big loop and then climbed up a high sand dune and stood the cross straight up! The cross lifted up in this land. I then lay in the sand praying for God to bless Saudi and grant liberty of the gospel, freedom, the message of the cross, and Jesus to be shared unto salvation. God has His followers there. As I came back to the highway the scripture kept coming back to me. God had given it to me before we left on this trip.

“The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord; Make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low; the crooked places shall be made straight, and the rough places smooth; The glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
and all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” Isaiah 40:3-5

It is unreal but the sand road came to this hard highway – in the desert – straight and smooth!!! . It was done. Jesus did it! The cross has been carried here. We drove back to Dubai. This miracle trip had taken 560 miles and just over 12 hours. We had not eaten but had a celebration dinner at an Indian Restaurant! We were exhausted but ecstatic.

Pilgrim followers of Jesus,

Arthur and Denise Blessitt
Luke 18:1