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Arthur Blessitt, born in 1940, carried a 3,6 metre cross around the world. For 44 years he walked more than 60 000 kilometres, through 317 countries and major island groups. He carried the cross for the first time in 1968. (See photo of Arthur Blessitt in Moscow in 1988).

He wrote the following (shortened and edited): “When I was seven years old I went to a church with my parents. I remember the evangelist preaching and when he extended an invitation at the end of his message for people to come to the front, to pray and give their lives to Jesus so that they may  be saved, I wanted to go forward, but my mother held me back by my shirt and would not let me go to the front. On the way home I asked mother and dad why they would not let me go and give my life to Jesus. I will never forget; my dad turned the truck around and drove back to the church grounds. Almost everyone was gone. But then I saw a single car with the pastor and the evangelist approaching it. I ran to them and said: ‘I want Jesus in my life, I want to be saved’. The evangelist knelt and told me about Jesus and how Jesus died for me and arose from the grave and ascended into heaven and that He will hear my prayer now and live in my life forever. He then led me in a simple prayer, something like: ‘Dear God, I give You my life, I repent of my sins and give my life to Jesus. I believe Jesus died for my sins. Cleanse me and write my name in your Book of Life. Make my home in heaven. Thank you, Jesus.’ I know Jesus saved me then and there!”

People often think that a child of seven years is still too young to understand the Good News, let alone understand surrendering his life to Jesus. Arthur also writes: “I well remember sitting, as a child of about seven or eight years old, in the big oak tree in our front yard and praying all night. I would sit in that tree and communicate with God. I knew that Jesus was there with me. Those are some of the most wonderful moments of my childhood. To pray and just be in the presence of God has been normal for me all my life. I would sit in that tree and talk to God. I would tell Him all that was on my mind, just sit there and enjoy his presence. Time and time again, throughout my life, Jesus has spoken to me, telling me where to go and what to do and even the dates to be at places etc.” Arthur received a special calling from God, whereby he brought the Good News to many people who would otherwise not have heard it. He preached to groups such as Hell’s Angels, runaways, drug addicts and teen prostitutes.

We must not underestimate children’s experience of God. Moses said to Israel, after his meeting with God: “Israel, remember this! The LORD, and the LORD alone, is our God. Love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. Never forget these commands that I am giving you today. Teach them to your children. Repeat them when you are at home and when you are away, when you are resting and when you are working” (Deut. 6:4 -7). Today we have the Good News that Jesus died on the cross for our sins so that we no longer need to be afraid of God. We can talk to Him and enjoy his presence.

It is so important to use every opportunity to bring the message of Jesus’ grace and love to our children. Do not underestimate them, God does not.

Lord Jesus, thank you for what the testimony of Arthur means to us. Amen.


Gert Berning