Day Nine Hundred Ninety Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elijah and I led the next group out during the first watch, thankful to have the moon up for the more difficult part of our journey. I remember wondering as it sank below the horizon how the Purser would fare with his charges, as I was sure that at the time of their departure the moon was well below the horizon.

Malawi welcomed us and directed the group to their designated abodes. The whole process was much better organized this time around.

Come the hour of the Purser’s projected arrival we were disappointed. It came and then passed us by.

I can only assume that they have put it off until tonight.

Elijah is unruffled and talks of visiting Reuben.

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Day Nine Hundred Eighty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The last leg of our journey was exceedingly difficult. Malawi led us into a narrow canyon that from a distance appeared to split a massive table plateau.

We left the camel with some others in a pen situated at the widest spot, and continued on.

Our path dead ended where the two walls met. We then made a switchback that climbed the face of the canyon wall.

Tomas and Malawi had to boost, first Elijah, then me, up and over the last obstacle at the top.

As we walked the slope to the higher end of the plateau, our friend the Purser, ran down to greet us.

Arm in arm he lead us to his encampment and his wife Mary.

Day Nine Hundred Seventy Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Our friend could talk of nothing else but the explosion. He was well past the town where it went off when it went off. He turned around and ran back to investigate. But he couldn’t get any closer than the fields outside. Nothing stirred, except the raging fire – everywhere. It seemed to be feeding on something within itself.

When he passed through before, not a soul would answer him. So he had wiped his feet and left in search of us.

When Tomas had unburdened himself, Elijah had us all turn in. Only with the new morning did we open up about our journey and about the rumor we had heard.

We parlayed and unanimously decided to pursue the lead.

Day Nine Hundred Seventy Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We continued our journey through the desert while Tomas inspected the villages along the road. We agreed to reconvene in the desert to the east of the last village two days hence.

Elijah thought that the day after should land us at the crossroads where we first met Jezer. At that point we could decide whether to  return on the side to the west of the road, or retrace our steps to Babylon.

Our discussion out of the way, we trudged on in silence. But now a new thought was stewing in my mind.

Finally, I asked Elijah why we just did not wing to Babylon on the Spirit to check my hunch.

He replied that he had already asked.

Day Nine Hundred Sixty Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elam came to me early. I could tell he was distraught and agitated. So desirous was he to be on his way, he was already dressed and equipped for his journey.

I understood the feelings that were coursing through his mind, and took pains to express them back to him. And I followed that with the reminder of what happens when we let emotions blind us to the leading of the Spirit.

In that very moment I knew that indeed this was the Spirit’s prompting him. And said so, just as Elijah and the others joined us.

Elijah then released them to follow up what we had discussed yesterday. For the timing was right.

Then he told me to prepare.

Day Nine Hundred Sixty #DiaryoftheEndotheWorld

Elijah and I rode inside of Jezer’s tanker truck. We had wanted to ride in the cab with him, but he explained that it would not be possible. There were too many checkpoints, and we would have looked out of place.

Reuben was in the truck behind us, driven by Elam, and Magwich behind them, driven by Raj G.

We were cautioned to speak and move as little as possible, which was difficult, for the jostling at times was bone rattling.

It’s hard to imagine how those fared who made the trip before us. There were so many more of them.

We were more than glad to be out of the confined space at the next leg of our journey.

Day Eight Hundred Fifty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Not only did I lack confirmation, I confessed to having more questions than before.

Along the way Elijah had confirmed my suspicion that the first snowfall had been an answer to his petition on our behalf – a provision of water for the next step in our journey along an unknown path. A highly localized suspension of the drought. Purely for our benefit.

But – hence the question. Who was responsible for the crimson snow that followed. And did they know where we were? And if so, how? Were we under surveillance?

Elijah just shrugged and said it was obvious the enemy’s goal was to thwart us, but asked me to remember that the Spirit can use that opposition to help us.

Day Eight Hundred Twenty Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

As such things often work out when you give yourself to waiting, so the problem with Quasimo corrected itself. And in such a way that it gladdened both Elijah and myself.

Quasimo came to us this morning with the news that one of his cousins now believes. And he credited the joyful outcome to instructions received in a dream over night. He was given the very words to speak to the daughter of his mother’s brother.

This changed the complexion of our thinking too. We no longer feel the necessity to leave today. Rather Elijah considers it paramount that we spend the day with Quasimo and his cousin to prepare them for the task, and train them for the journey.

Day Seven Hundred Sixty Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The first part of our journey has been very difficult. Steep and challenging, especially for Elijah. Though no complaint passed his lips.

Mei kept guard behind us. I think she would fling herself at anyone who would dare follow us.

From our vantage this morning we could make out three groups coalescing on the path for that footbridge over the gorge.

We have the advantage of a couple days on them, maybe more by tomorrow.

And more good news, Jordan’s group was nowhere in sight. Nor could Tomas see them from the heights further on, where he has found the perfect spot for us to pass the night in safety.

That is, if we can get there before night falls.

Day Seven Hundred Fifty Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

After seeing the latest group off, Elijah and I sat down with Jordan for a long talk. We asked about his trip here, and then about the conditions in the countries from which the followers were fleeing.

It was a dark, dark picture. Persecution, torture, and death.

When I think back on our wanderings I consider how well we have been protected and cared for.

Jordan’s journey was attended by war and conflict as brought by the world government in subjugating all the local regions within their reach. In town after town capitulated to the mark, they await secretly the great army from the East as their liberator.

But as Jordan reads it they just want to be lords themselves.