This is California’s finest rehabilitation center for all types of physical, mental and neurological disorders and dysfunctions.

This cross walk throughout the city of Downey was a very special Walk The Cross ministry. A dear friend of ours had suffered a severe near-death, two-vehicle collision that had left him in a coma and the other driver paralyzed from the neck down. After more than a month in the Intensive Care and then Direct Observation units at Kern Medical Center in Bakersfield, Dave was still in a coma. Much, much on-going prayer continued throughout this ordeal for Dave, his wife Orpha, daughter Paige and young son, Dave Jr.

Slowly but surely, Dave came out of the coma, which was a miracle in itself.

Dave progressed so well that the decision was made to transfer him to California’s finest rehabilitation hospital located in the city of Downey, Rancho Los Amigos Rehabilitation Center.

Some special friends of Dave and Orpha asked me to visit Dave at Rancho Los Amigos and also underwrote the traveling and motel costs. I decided to stay two days and also cross walk the city after visiting Dave and Orpha.


The day of my visit, Dave was in the rehab gym and working with a therapy specialist. The specialist was also showing Orpha and daughter Paige how to properly help Dave do exercises and routines that he would continue to need to do once home. HOME. That in itself will be a giant miracle that soon occurs for Dave. All because of God’s amazing grace and mercy poured out upon this shattered life.

Much prayer is still needed for Dave due to nerve damage to his left side. But I’m here to tell you that Dr. Jesus the Great Physician has brought Dave a very long way from where he was when the horrific accident occurred. From the medivac airlift to the Rancho Los Amigos rehab gymnasium, the living God has continually poured out His resurrection power and resurrection life one moment, one minute, one hour, one day and one month at a time upon and within this man’s entire being.


It’s so funny, yet very God-ordained. Every time Orpha sends me a picture text of Dave’s progress, the theme song from Rocky plays to let me know I have a message. The words to this song stand out every time I hear it: “Getting strong now / won’t be long now.” My friend Dave is the real Rocky Balboa…and Orpha his wife is Mrs. Rocky Balboa. And…as I watched Dave work out in the rehab gym, I marveled at the tenacity of this believer and his family. Both he and Orpha have quite a powerful testimony of hope and miraculous recovery to share with so many who need hope to be restored in their lives because of tragedy, hurt and pain. Jeanette and I can’t wait to hear the entire story!



Dave’s wife Orpha walking the cross at Rancho Los Amigos. To my surprise, Orpha and other family members came up to me as I prayed at the Center’s entrance.

After spending a few hours with Dave and Orpha, I said good-bye. Driving to the motel I would spend the night at, I decided to walk the cross on Imperial Highway, the city’s largest road and which is the same street Rancho Los Amigos is located on. After unpacking, I unloaded the cross inside the motel parking lot, very aware of all the motel guests and employees who were watching me lift the 10-foot, 60-pound cross off the special truck rack and onto the pavement. I waved at them all…and they waved back. “Getting ready to pray for this city,” I shouted out for all to hear as I hoisted the cross on my shoulder and began walking north on Imperial Highway and toward Rancho Los Amigos.

Imperial Highway is a very busy thoroughfare, and I loved this great opportunity to show everybody God’s Plus Sign. Nothing negative about the cross of Jesus at all, but all things positive! By the end of the 3-hour walk, a few thousand people passing by in their vehicles got to see the beautiful 10-foot, 60-pound cross nestled snugly upon my shoulders and steadily lugged throughout a six-mile round trip cross walk. There are many believers in Downey, as witnessed by the numerous horns blaring from vehicles passing by, as well as the many, many thumbs up, one-way or “Praise The Lord” signs and shout-outs from people passing by in their vehicles.

My destination was, again, Rancho Los Amigos Rehabilitation Center. But this time I would hoist the large cross upright at the entrance and pray long and hard for all the patients, their families and the dedicated staff of this wonderful recovery Center. Three pleasant miles later, I reached the Center. Hoisting the cross upright, I prayed for about twenty minutes for everyone at Rancho Los Amigos, taking time to greet workers and family members either leaving or coming to the Center.



Orpha’s brother Orval walking the cross at Rancho Los Amigos’ main entrance. Orval and wife Stacie have been with Dave and Orpha from the beginning of this ordeal.

As I finished praying, I asked a worker if he would take a picture of me praying at the Center. A  familiar voice shouted out, “I’ll take the picture.” To my surprise, it was Orpha (Dave’s wife). She, her brother Orval and their daughters, Paige and Zoe, had just left Dave’s room to go eat. God’s timing is always perfect!

Not only did Orpha take my picture, but she also walked the cross a few moments in the parking lot, as did her brother Orval. The cross of Jesus is not only God’s Plus Sign to a weary world; it is also God’s spiritual magnet, which draws and attracts all people to Jesus! And…the cross of Jesus is God’s spiritual plow, which breaks up the fallow, stony, thorny and hard ground hearts to expose the good ground. Everybody has good ground. But it takes the cross of Jesus to expose this good ground so that His good seed can be sown, set, germinate and sprout up unto everlasting life in the heart of an individual.


Orpha, Orval, Paige and Zoee hoisting the 10-foot cross upright at the entrance to California’s finest rehabilitation hospital after joining me in prayer for Dave and all the other patients at this great rehab center.

We had church on the sidewalk! As we talked and prayed, several workers and visitors came up and thanked me for being at the Rehab Center and for praying for them and all the recovering patients. Hope changes everything, and the prayer of hope in Christ was very strong. I count it a great honor to have prayed together with Orpha, Orval, Paige and Zoee at the entrance to this great rehab center and for all the patients and their families, as well as doctors, nurses, therapists and support staff. Glory to the King of everything!

After a special time of praise and worship with Orpha, Orval, Paige and Zoee, I said good bye and headed west on Imperial Highway and toward my motel room.

Because the day was late, I decided to wait until the next day to walk the cross throughout downtown Downey.



Youngsters attending Kirkwood Christian Preschool point to the cross and in unison shout, “The cross of Jesus is God’s Plus Sign to the world!”

Early the next morning, I drove the go-ye-mobile to downtown, parked and then unloaded the cross. My destination was Downey’s City Hall and Police Department. As I approached City Hall Plaza I noticed a woman taking my picture from across the street.

I crossed the busy street and she invited me to bring the cross into the preschool’s shady side yard, where about 30 young boys and girls and their teachers were nestled together. To my great surprise and delight, the kiddos began singing, “Jesus Loves Me.” I hoisted the cross upright where they were sitting on the ground and waited for their singing to end. The teachers asked if I would pray for the kids, their parents and the school staff. Of course!


The preschoolers and staff of Kirkwood Christian Preschool in Downey, California

Nothing more precious than a group of very young believers with their heads bowed down in prayer to Jesus! I asked God to bless these kids, their parents and family members and the teaching staff of this great preschool. After the prayer, the kids began singing songs again. What a special blessing to be serenaded by this group of young believers!

After about thirty minutes of fellowship with the kids and teachers, I shared that I was headed across the street to pray at the police department and for the safety  and salvation of each officer and his/her family, as well as City Hall, where I would also pray long and hard for the mayor and council members. The teachers were very impressed that I would do this. After saying good bye to all, I walked across the street and headed for the Police Department and City Hall.

I sure could have stayed longer and listened to these young believers bellow out loud and joyful songs of praise to the living God. But there was much more praying to do for this great city.



It was a great pleasure to hoist the cross upright and pray long and hard at Downey’s Police Department and for the safety and salvation of each officer.

I have made it my personal mission to hoist the cross upright and pray long and hard at every police station in every city I walk the cross. No matter what city, police officers put their lives on the line every time they put on their uniforms. Downey’s thin blue line helps keep the peace and safety of this great city. Just think what Downey, or any other city for that matter, would be like without it’s thin blue line.

As I reached the large police building, I hoisted the cross upright and prayed long and hard for the safety and salvation of every city police officer, as well as for all the Los Angeles county Sheriff’s deputies assigned to Downey. I asked God to send His thick blue line of angelic  warriors and protect these men and women as they executed their duty to serve and protect.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Police Department stands adjacent to City Hall, so I walked the cross a few steps, hoisted it upright and began praying for the mayor, council members and all city employees, that each one would eventually accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. I also asked the Lord of life to lead each and every city leader in the way He wanted them to walk concerning the future of Downey and its residents.

As I prayed, I noticed a young woman  walking toward me, a big smile on her face. “Are you doing what I think you’re doing?” she asked. “You’re praying for all of us, aren’t you?” I smiled back and nodded. “It’s my pleasure to pray for the mayor, council members and all city employees.” She introduced herself and said she was going to Bible College as well and wanted to be a missionary. We talked for several minutes about her desire to become a missionary, then I prayed for her, asking God to bless her and guide her into His will and  to use her for His glory and Kingdom. Her parting words made all the sense in the world: “We need to be doing what you are doing, no matter where we work!”

This very special cross walk had come to an end. As I walked the cross back to the go-ye-mobile, I couldn’t help but wonder just how many lives were touched by Jesus. How many staff members and family members of patients at Rancho Los Amigos were strengthened in their faith, hope and love as they looked upon God’s Plus Sign hoisted upright and high for all to see at the Center’s main entrance. How many souls rededicated their lives to Jesus as they passed by in their vehicles and when they looked upon the wondrous cross that represents what He did for them? How many precious souls now know Jesus as Savior and Lord because of the cross’ mighty attraction and drawing power?

Only God knows for sure. But just like at every city, my final prayer for Downey was: “Lord, I ask You to start the great revival here. Kick-start the great awakening.  Capture souls in Your dragnet. Bring them all to You. In the Name above all names I ask You to converse with souls, convince souls, convict souls and convert  souls to You. Amen.”

And then a very special Red Letter verse from Jesus and the Bible came to mind:

And Jesus said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground,
and should sleep by night and rise by day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he
himself does not know how [this happens].”  (Mark 4:26-27, emphasis added)

UPDATE: On September 12, Dave Blanchat was able to go home! That in itself is a big miracle. And…moment by moment, hour by hour, day by day and week by week, the resurrection power and life of Jesus the Christ continues to heal and to restore Dave completely! Glory to the King of everything. –\O/