This area is very industrialized with dirty factories and stacks belching dark smoke. The streams are completely polluted and big trucks charge along the road in wild driving. Crowds gather at every little village to look and receive gospel material. There are a lot of Russian white people here and they seem to be in charge of most important things. It’s the same as in all the republics that were in the former U.S.S.R. The local Asian people seem to do the dirty work. The land is in a bloody civil war against the former communists who remain in power. We carried the 12-foot cross through here as we made our way through the former USSR. People seemed very shocked to see the cross.
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 and Russia.
Jesus did it. All glory to God.
Pilgrim followers of Jesus,
Arthur and Denise Blessitt