Day Six Hundred Fifty Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

As soon as we had things sorted out yesterday we parted notwithstanding the daylight and the heat. The ex-soldiers headed back the caravan track in search of a northern branch that will return them to their villages.

We continued west to answer our call.

We pushed on after nightfall and put as much distance between ourselves and our last camp as possible.

A wind storm lent a helping hand. It blew in from the north and crossed the track behind us on its way southward, obliterating all signs of our passage. We all pray that our recent companions were not swept up in it.

I called a halt only a couple hours into the new day.

Elijah required rest.

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Day Six Hundred Fifty Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The camp is in disarray this morning. We had some unwanted visitors over the night. A swarm of drones descended upon our position  and attacked.

We believe we brought them all down. Either from the rifle fire from our new friends, or from the fierce ire of Elijah when provoked.

Tomas and I combed through the aftermath to be sure nothing was still operable that might give away our position.

There were no casualties among us. The only damage has been to some tents and their contents – supplies and equipment.

Still, it is obvious that we shall have to part company sooner than anyone had planned, or wanted.

Elijah took the chief soldier aside for instruction while we made preparations.

Day Six Hundred Fifty Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We settled into the new camp with the intent to stay a while. Elijah cannot pass up any opportunity to build people up spiritually. I concurred.

We learned that though they have been branded deserters, they repudiate that label arguing that they had not enlisted but rather had been forced conscripts.

They feel thankful, however, for the experience. One after the other told me that they never would have encountered Yeshua otherwise.

To a man they desire to return to their villages. And have remained in this place while deciding their course of action.

It is clear that to do so, they shall have to return via the caravan trail.

Elijah wants them to collect their people and move west.

Day Six Hundred Fifty Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The campfires (we could now discern there was more than one) held to their position. At my order we kept a slow pace throughout the night.

Our plan was to arrive in daylight.  It wouldn’t do to have some strangers suddenly appear out of the darkness to stumble upon a more than likely armed host.

And Elijah insisted upon an additional precaution, he went in alone, while we kept out of sight.

After a brief separation Elijah returned to collect us, and to introduce us to our new friends.

They are indeed from that huge army. A whole platoon of deserters. Minus their leaders.

And to Elijah’s delight (and our surprise) new followers of Yeshua Hamashiach.

They trailed Elijah everywhere.

Day Six Hundred Fifty Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

As the night came on, we saw the light from that campfire still in the same place. It occasioned a lively debate.

The Captain, backed by Tomas’ judgement, wanted to find a way around it. To that end Tomas volunteered to run in advance of us to reconnoiter.

Elijah and I, however, held a different opinion. We wanted to continue on and catch up to these people – all based upon the revelations that Elijah has received, and the confirmation that I’ve been convinced to accept.

What I had to say on this matter resonated with our friends, and they at last acquiesced.

At the end of this night’s trek, we estimate the camp to be only one  more night away.

Day Six Hundred Fifty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We thought those flying lights had given up, but they had only moved back their appearance by a couple of hours. They were unhurried in their movements, making wide, lazy turns over one particular area, closer to us than last night, but far enough away not to raise our concern.

However, what was markedly closer was that campfire out in front of us which we assume marks an encampment. They must not have moved at all yesterday.

We were about to turn in for the day, when Tomas discovered a source of water. He had been watching a flock of birds when of a sudden they left the sky. They led him to a pool fed by a small stream.

Day Six Hundred Fifty Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Lights appeared in the sky again last night. Not concentrated anywhere, but criss-crossing haphazardly.

We were left wondering. Were they looking for us? Or for the army?

Tomas was hard pressed to believe that they could miss anything the size of that juggernaut of an army. So he concluded that we were its object.

Neither Elijah nor I felt concern as all of them were very wide of our mark.

What we did have concern for was the pinpoint glow of a fire off in the distance. At a point for which we were headed.

It could only be the mysterious group whose camp we have come upon twice now..

We turned in with much to fuel our dreams.

Day Six Hundred Fifty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We took stock of provisions at the end of our trek this morning. The Captain thinks there’s enough water for three more days. We all hope we can replenish before then.

It was a hard passage last night. The trail left the side of the dry river bed to climb up unto a low tableland. An hour later we descended down to what Tomas considers to be the same dry river bed. The trail has merely cut off a wide loop of the same, saving us some miles and time, but the way up and the way down made it all the more arduous.

Crossing the tableland under the stars I thought much about that star on the belt buckle.

Day Six Hundred Fifty #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We called a halt in the middle of our trek last night. We had come across what we thought was another caravan camp. But changed that estimation when we discovered abandoned military equipment among the camp refuse. Uniforms mostly. Though there were a few spent cartridges.

Upon pressing on, I wondered if this was the group whose refuse we had noticed at the caravan stop a few days before. And what would happen if we came upon them.

Elijah asked me if I had seen anything familiar. Only then did I tumble to the fact that among the uniforms I had seen were belt buckles with insignias described beforehand to me by Elijah.

Was this the confirmation I’ve been awaiting?

Day Six Hundred Forty Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The terrain has changed. Much less vegetation. And the trail has taken a turn to the south, following what I make out to be a river course – dry with not a lick of moisture.

Tomas was fully recovered and ranged far to our front, vigilant to protect us.

The night air was cold. We had to keep moving to keep warm. The Captain feels it most keenly.

I remained by Elijah’s side. (He no longer hangs back to pray, rejoining us at a later time). He has added a wealth of detail to what he told me yesterday, but I still await an independent confirmation.

We halted at the first streaks of dawn and prepared ourselves against the coming heat.