Day Nine Hundred Thirty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

As for Elijah, there was no question over the decision. We were out here and very close to turning up another missing group. And that was the bedrock of his thinking.

Jezer expressed surprise over this decision given the concrete evidence for one versus the scant evidence of the wheel tracks for the other. Even when he added that rumors were afloat that the group in prison was facing capital charges, did nothing to budge Elijah off of his decision.

I was torn seeing the value behind both arguments. So I counseled to wait and pray for direction. My two friends concurred.

Thus we waited, prayed, and watched. And this morning we saw our answer – a tanker truck lumbering along.

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Day Eight Hundred Ninety Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

No news yet as to the whereabouts of Meesa. Before she left, she said only that she wouldn’t go further than some villages north of Damascus.

Well, Jezer has been there and back. But reports nothing concrete about her. Good or bad.

However, some people told him stories about strange people in their villages who have come and gone lately. He thinks that if she heard the same rumors, she would have stayed in the area to check them out.

When we heard this detail, we decided we had to go and look for ourselves. But Jezer prevailed upon us to stay put and give her another day to make her way back to us.

Elijah considered this wise counsel.

Day Eight Hundred Seventy Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

It has come to pass sooner than Jezer thought possible. Stricter controls have been dropped in place overnight between the various quarters within the city, and on all the ways in and out.

And demands have been stepped up for more work and longer hours from those who refuse the mark. Rumors are flying about that harsher measures will soon be implemented.

On the plus side Meesa has scheduled meetings for Elijah and me to reach out through the network leaders.

So Elijah and I were resting in preparation for the next series of meetings, when Jezer came in with news that a search is on for us, launched by world government forces in Damascus.

Someone has betrayed our presence.

Day Five Hundred Ninety Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Though by the ship’s clock, it was past midday when we arrived at the gateway to the East, the lights of the city were still lit against the cloying darkness.

The water was motionless and all sound muffled as we maneuvered up to our berth.

Workers appeared from nowhere to secure our lines and hurried back out of sight.

It was an odd welcome. Like they were fearful to approach.

This notion was indeed confirmed by the timid port official who finally dared to come aboard. Rumors were rife that we somehow were responsible for the unending night.

The two guards debarked with P as soon as they could. In one last audience we laid hands on him and prayed.

Day Five Hundred Twenty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

When the Raj twins failed to return from the shipyard over night, the rest of their family begged us to seek them out.

Since Elijah and I were aware of the push to finish repairs on our ship, we weren’t too concerned, and explained our reasoning. This calmed them until rumors electrified the streets that global security forces were entering the city.

We left immediately for the shipyard, taking the family with us. They realized that now is the time.

We were the first to arrive at the yard with the news, and in turn were surprised to see our ship again afloat.

The Captain brought everyone aboard, reuniting the family with the twins.

We standby for our next move.

Day Four Hundred Fifty Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Hurry up and wait. The tune called by our hosts. At one time, all for getting rid of us at the earliest opportunity, only to turn around and hold us here while they check on rumors of stowaways.

I don’t believe it possible. The Captain and Tomas have been fastidious in their efforts to keep anything from being surreptitiously placed aboard. Especially as Elijah warned them that an attempt would be made to compromise us.

Late in the day they gave up and allowed us permission to depart, hoping that we would put it off till tomorrow.

The Captain decided to leave immediately rather than be forced to endure the like later.

The pilot took us out into the night.

Day Three Hundred Forty Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Permission was granted us to go ashore. The Captain stayed behind to supervise loading. I believe he would have come himself, if he had any notion of what to do next about his problem.

We found some Hamashiachites in the poor quarter of the city near a small fish market. Elijah took the morning to instruct their gathering in deeper things of the Spirit. Afterwards we set out to chase down rumors of another group meeting elsewhere in the city.

The whole metropolis crowds the shoreline, being pressed to it by the surrounding high hills. It is more intact than any city we have thus far visited, yet for all that, emptier.

We shall return to search these hills tomorrow.

Day One Hundred Sixty Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Lyle’s mission yesterday bore fruit. He emerged from the west with five children. They are now scattered to other families throughout the encampment for safe keeping.

We now know that by no means is the mark borne universally in the west. But people there reported rumors that those who have, are forming bands to sweep through the city to seek out those who don’t. And Lyle saw evidence of this on his way back through the district. A band surrounded one of the west end markets and checked each customer.

Talking with Lyle about this, I was feeling overwhelmed. There must be a better way to help.

I was unsettled further when he described smoke rising from the first district.

Day One Hundred Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Our roles have undergone another reversal today. This time the widow and her son are taking the lead. They have been given a home, and Lyle and I are assigned to live with them.

What it all means, we do not know, but we are looking for answers.

Lyle and I have been given permission to circulate freely within the city. A privilege that we will make good use of.

Already we have heard many strange rumors. Some disquieting. I shall endeavor to ascertain the truth in each situation. I sense that many things need to be resolved before I pass on to the desert beyond.

Yes, someday soon we will leave this all behind.

We are here for now.