We are in Kiev, the capital city after several days of walking along muddy and snowy roads. We got through the border by following six log trucks. They had been stopped and when they moved I stayed directly behind them and the police did not see us until we had passed. They just stared in amazement at us as the other vehicles behind us stopped.
We have slept in two different homes in this country as well as parking by the roadside. An elderly couple seems to want us to park and stay with them. They have been feeding me pork soup for breakfast, cabbage, milk, eggs and bread. I do believe I’m gaining weight.
We went through one town where people were very angry toward us and harassed us a lot. We felt much evil and finally loaded the cross and shook off the dirt on our feet. About 50 miles later we felt at peace to start walking again toward the
Oh, Denise got stuck in the mud on the road and we had to get a road grader to pull the Land Rover out! The people where we have been staying are so happy to get Bibles in the Ukraine.
We carried the cross in the city today. We walked to the Sophia Cathedral. There was a big protest there about who will control the church. It was here that Christianity first came in 988. Different groups control different parts of the church. How awful! What a terrible witness to the people as this nation is being torn by hate. Here is the church leading the way in hate. How far do we get from Christ and still call ourselves Christians?
The cathedral is beautiful outside; we did not go in, just took a photo and moved away to the streets with real people. As soon as we were away from the church, people began to come up to us. A man with long hair and a beard rushed up to us holding a guitar. He said, “Are you Arthur Blessitt?” I answered, “Yes.” He grabbed and hugged me. “Look, I have one of your stickers, I have some of your books, a friend from America has sent them to me. Can I be your interpreter, I’m a pastor!”
We preached and he sang all through the heart of the city today. It was glorious. Hallelujah.
We are staying in a total dump hotel tonight. We needed to get our clothes clean and a bath but what a mess. There is a small shower area with the curtain mostly torn off. The toilet bowl runs all the time, the two beds are as far away as you can get them, bolted to the wall lest you pull them together. The walls are awful and the floor is filthy. The window curtains do not meet so the room is bright as daylight. The hotel brochure says, “This is one of the finest hotels in the U.S.S.R.!”
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, Tadzikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Siberia and Russia.
After carrying the cross through Moldova and Trans-Dnestr we drove on to Odessa, Ukraine and carried the cross there before driving on to Crimea.
Jesus did it. All glory to God
Pilgrim followers of Jesus,
Arthur and Denise Blessitt