Around noon on the third day, after we’d brought the stranger here, I was sitting in the rocker in my bedroom keeping watch over our patient. I was taking a good look at him, wondering again who he might be and how he came to be in Norrisville. He appeared to be a few inches shorter than me, with a lean and wiry build. He had shoulder-length curly black hair. He had an olive complexion and looked to be in his late teens or early twenties. As I was sitting there watching him, I suddenly realized that his eyes were open and he was watching me.
“Oh hey!” I said, jumping slightly. “You’re awake! Now just lie still. I’m going to go get Trail so he can examine you. Just…just don’t move, okay?”
Bobby, you loon. I thought. He’s been unconscious for three days and he has a broken leg. Just where do you think he’s going to go?
I found Trail sitting in Grandpa’s big recliner reading.
“Trail, better get your medical bag,” I said.
“Is something wrong?” Trail asked, getting up immediately, grabbing his bag, and heading to my room.
“No,” I said; “he’s awake.”
“Well, welcome to North Carolina,” Trail said, smiling. “I’m Trail Tyler. I’m what passes for a doctor around here. Just lie still and let me give you a look over. Now, I’m going palpate your abdomen. I need to see whether or not you have any internal injuries.”
After doing this and checking his pupils, taking his vitals, looking at the stitches, and examining the splint and bandages on his leg, Trail addressed the young man.
“Well, there doesn’t seem to be any internal problem, your vitals are excellent, and as far as your head, the airplane glue is holding.” Seeing the puzzled look in the man’s eyes, Trail smiled and said, “I’m just joking. You have about eight stitches over your left eye – no, don’t touch them; we’ll probably be ready to take them out in about seven days. You also have a pretty bad break in your right leg. It was a greenstick fracture – a clean break, no punctured skin, no compound fracture, praise God. We’ve got you splinted and bandaged up. You really need a cast, but we can’t do that here.
I don’t want you moving or trying to get up by yourself. Let us help you if you need to go to the bathroom or even just want to sit up; call one of us to help you. During the day, there’s a little bell beside you on the table there. Just give us a ring; someone will always be around. Someone will be checking on you hourly anyway, and someone will be here in the room with you all night for a while. You suffered a pretty good lick to the head. You’ve been in and out of consciousness, mostly out for a few days, but I don’t think you’ve suffered a brain bleed or any internal injuries. You did, however, suffer a pretty good concussion; so, although it appears that you’re okay, you’re not out of the woods just yet. You still could have a slow bleed on the brain, so we’re going to be observing you very closely for a few weeks.
Now, you’re likely to have an almighty headache for a while, but I need to know if it gets worse than it is now, or if you develop any new symptoms such as double vision, dizziness, confusion, or if you become nauseous. I need to know at once if you develop any of those symptoms. My two nurses, my friends and I have been taking turns watching you round the clock. We’re going to keep doing that for at least the next two to three weeks. If after that you’re improving and we see no signs of a developing subdural hematoma – a bleed on the brain – then we’ll let you have some privacy; but until then, you get round the clock care.
Now, I’m going to ask you a few questions, just routine so I can assess your neurological status. The nurses and I will also be asking you these same questions several times throughout the day. It’s going to be annoying, I’m afraid, but it’s necessary. Like I said, all of this is to assess your neurological function, to see if your cognitive status is changing or deteriorating; something that might indicate a more serious problem, so don’t be offended. Try not to shake or nod your head or you’ll regret doing it. Just answer yes or no and try not to move too much. I promise to try not to tire you out too much. Are you ready? Okay question #1 – Can you tell me your name?”
“Yes. My name is Uri. Uri Benjamin.”
“Okay, good deal; glad to meet you, Uri. Question # 2 – Do you know where you are – in general, I mean?”
“Yes, I am in the United States in one of the Carolina states, I believe,” replied Uri.
“That’s excellent; now last question for now: Do you remember what happened to you?”
Uri paused for a minute, looking unsure.
“I remember my new friend Will. I remember that we were going to make a trip up the mountain to meet his friends but…” Uri trailed off. He looked absolutely exhausted just from answering these few questions.
“That’s fine. You’re doing really well, Uri. Don’t worry that you don’t remember the accident. That often happens with head trauma. Most likely your memory will come back on its own. Right now, you need to rest and sleep. Let your body heal. On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the worst pain you can remember, what would you say your level of pain is now,” asked Trail? “Now be honest; if it’s bad, say so.”
“It is pretty bad. My leg is maybe a 10, but my head is a 12,” Uri said closing his eyes. Just that little exertion left him pale and sweating – utterly exhausted.
“Alright; are you allergic to any kind of pain medication,” Trail asked? “We don’t have much here, and honestly, with a head trauma, I’m leery about giving you too much medication anyway, but I do have some Vicodin. That will take the worst edge off the pain. Can you take that medication, do you know?”
“I am not familiar with that one but I have had pain medication before, different kinds, and have never had a bad reaction,” said Uri, his voice barely above a whisper.
“Bobby, go get the nurses and ask them to come in for a minute,” Trail said.
When both women were in the room, Trail introduced Uri to Sarah and Lilly.
“Girls, all we’ve got is one bottle of Hydrocodone, a bottle of Percodan, and a bottle of Vicodin. I’m going to give him the Vicodin, 1 every 6 hours until he gets to where OTC meds can handle the pain. Because we don’t know his medical history, and because his neurological status is still in doubt, we’re going to keep up the round-the-clock watch for the next 3, maybe 4 weeks. That may be a bit long, but I’d rather be overly cautious than under,” Trail said.
“Okay, Uri; Bobby and I are going to lift your head and shoulders just enough for you to swallow this pill so you don’t choke. Do you think you can swallow?
“Yes,” Uri whispered. He hissed in a deep breath when we moved him, but he did not cry out.
“That’s good,” said Trail. “You sleep now. We have two of the best nurses on the planet right here. Lilly will sit with you for a while; then Sarah will take over. If you need anything, one of them will be right here.”
“Thank you,” Uri answered, barely above a whisper.” Yeshua bless you.”
Over the next couple of weeks, Uri slept a lot of the time. Trail said that was partly from his injuries and partly from the pain meds. Izzy made sure he got plenty of water and made him lots of beef bouillon and homemade chicken soup loaded with fresh garlic. We were blessed to have plenty of water from the little creek behind the house, though we always boiled and strained it through charcoal and cheesecloth before we drank it. Izzy kept a big pot of water boiling on one of the two pot cranes on the fireplace all the time. Then we bottled the water and stored it.
After two weeks’ time, Trail felt Uri was well enough to ambulate – at least as far as the great room. The day Uri had woken up, Trail had said he was going to need crutches. Since we had none, I told Trail that I’d make him a pair. After measuring, I went out to my shop; and in a couple of days had fashioned a good, sturdy pair of crutches. It was comforting and relaxing to be able to work in my shop again using my hands, doing the kind of work I used to do. Izzy and Byllie used the rest of the thick foam from the attic; using that and some quilt padding and other fabric scraps made comfortable arm-padding for the crutches. After I cut and glued the foam onto the tops, they wrapped, stitched, and fashioned the softest pads they could make.
After about two weeks, Trail felt it was safe to let Uri join everyone in the great room. Chief Little-John had stopped by and decided to stay and ‘meet’ Uri now that he was up and able to join us.
“Here you go, Uri,” Trail said, “your very own set of custom-made crutches. Bobby made them, and Izzy and Byllie decked them out with these arm pads.”
“Thank you so much, my friends,” said Uri.
“Okay, slow and easy does it as we stand you up. Stand still for a minute and get your balance before you try to move. You’re going to be weak and off balance, so take your time,” said Trail.
Clyde and Little-John helped Uri into Grandpa’s recliner, steadying him while Mitch arranged pillows and blankets around him. Uri hissed as we got the chair leaned back, but once he was settled, he looked at us all with a shy smile and said, “It feels so very good to be sitting up and to see you all face to face now that I am more aware. Thank you, my new friends. You have taken excellent care of me. I bless you in the name of Yeshua ha’ Mashiach.”
“Uri,” Mitch began, “do you remember what happened? Can you tell us your story? How did you get to Norrisville, and how did you meet Will? Will was a dear friend of ours. Do you feel up to telling us what you remember? Oh, and just so you know, we are all believers in Jesus-Yeshua, as well. I take it that you are Jewish,” Mitch said, smiling at our new friend.
His story, when it came, was nothing short of amazing.
“And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel. Of the tribe of Judah were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Aser were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Nepthalim were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Manasses were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Simeon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Levi were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Issachar were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Zabulon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Joseph were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand” (Revelation 7:2-8 KJV).
All of us were anxious to officially ‘meet’ Uri Benjamin now that Trail said he was up to venturing out of his bed. Taking a moment to look around the great room at each of us gathered there, Uri began.
“As I am sure you all know by now, my name is Uri Benjamin and I am a Jew. I am twenty-three years of age. My home is – was – in Galilee, Israel, not far from the Lake of Tiberias; what the scriptures call the Sea of Galilee. I was working as a computer analyst with a branch of the Israeli government before the day that Ezekiel’s prophecy concerning Gog and Magog came to pass. Are you familiar with this prophecy in Ezekiel regarding the Magog invasion,” he asked?
“We are all very familiar with the prophecies of Ezekiel, Daniel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Joel, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and Revelation concerning what the scriptures call ‘the Time of Jacob’s Trouble,’ said Mitch.
“Ah yes? Very good. Then I see I am talking to brothers and sisters in Yeshua – Yeshua, whom, as I now know, has always been Israel’s Messiah. This was a knowledge that I did not possess prior to the invasion of Gog and Magog, but a joy that I know now and treasure above all else.” Uri beamed a smile at everyone.
“I was not an orthodox Jew, not even a faithful practicing Jew, although my grandparents were. I am ashamed to say that Yahweh was not very high on my… how do you say it? My top priorities?
At any rate, I was in Jerusalem the day of the invasion. I watched in amazement as the sky was filled with the thunderous sounds of aircraft. The number of planes covered the sky like a huge, dark cloud. I remember standing in the doorway of my office building too numbed to move, thinking that this was certainly going to be my last day on earth, and equally certain that Israel’s demise as a nation had finally arrived. I determined in my mind to die with as much dignity as I could muster, although my heart broke at the thought of my mother and father dying. I wept with anger, frustration, and grief. I watched as the everlasting hatred of the enemies of my people – my beloved Israel, would finally have the victory against us for which they had so long sought.
Then I saw the most amazing things begin to happen. As the first bombs, missiles, and air assaults began, the planes began to target each other! The missiles that were tipped with nuclear warheads, malfunctioned. The invading ground forces began firing upon each other and not upon us. Then, a great earthquake hit. As the ground began to shake – and this, my good friends, was the most amazing sight – so amazing that I still have trouble believing what my own eyes witnessed. What looked to be the final annihilation of Israel became the death knell of all of the invading forces! The planes and rockets either blew up in mid-air, or if they fell, they fell away from us. It was as if a great invisible hand… how would you say?… swatted them away from every Israeli house or building as if the planes and missiles were mere insects that one would flick away with his hand.
Our IAF had certainly been sent aloft, but not one, not one Israeli plane or soldier was harmed! The ground, when it began to shake, started to split open. Wherever the enemy ground vehicles were, the earth opened and swallowed the armored vehicles where they stood, yet the splitting of the ground stopped before it reached any Israeli home or business. The enemy dead lay scattered over the entire area of northern Israel. The invasion was over within a day. The enemy dead lay everywhere but none in Israel were hurt. Our leaders determined that, indeed, nuclear weapons were on hand and that radiation was present in the bodies of the dead.
We were told to leave the city of Jerusalem and the surrounding areas, but amazingly, no nuclear detonations took place and no Israeli ever suffered from radiation. When we were allowed to go into the area, onto the Temple Mount, many of us volunteered to mark the places where the dead were located. We went in full protective gear, but we were not allowed to touch or remove any remains. We were told to merely mark the places where the dead, or their fragmented bones, lay. Others who had special training in decontamination would come along behind us and remove the contaminated dead. It took, as you know, a full seven months to clear all of Israel; and as you know, we are using the nuclear weapons as fuel.
After that, I knew that Yahweh was real, and I felt Him drawing me to Him, but I did not as yet know the Messiah.
On the day that Lucius Draken signed the covenant on the Temple Mount, I saw a… a vision. I was watching the signing of the covenant in my home on the television. The very moment Draken stood to speak, my entire surroundings went dark as night. I saw all around me a vision of the earth, and above it was the two-headed golden bird of Euro-Phoenicia. As I watched, the lovely bird flew over all the earth. After circling the whole earth, this phoenix flew to Israel, hovering over the man Lucius Draken. Then this beautiful golden bird transformed into a fearsome red dragon, raging, with wings unfurled and breathing fire. The dragon flew down and landed behind Lucius Draken. The fearsome dragon folded its great leathery wings around Draken and roared, spitting fire with each breath. Then it spoke with the voice of a man and said,
‘Son of the Dragon! You will pursue the woman Israel who gave birth to the man-child until you shall crush the woman and remove her from the earth. By flattery and by false peace shall you destroy her. I have sent you here to bring in my kingdom! Go forth now conquering and to conquer! Go forth and deceive the earth in my name!’
Then the dragon engulfed the man Draken and became him. Then, I saw the Great Dragon setting fire to all the earth. Multitudes, too many to know the number, whom he killed, appeared underneath a huge altar in Heaven. Those who had been killed were dressed in blinding white robes, and each one carried in their hands palm branches. All of Heaven rang with the sound of their worship and with their cries to God to avenge their deaths. All were praising God and calling Him Holy and True. Then I saw the ancient city of Petra, where a multitude of others whom I knew to be Jews yet still living, were being hidden within the great rock-walled city where Yahweh was protecting them from the dreadful wrath of the Dragon. The Dragon was exceedingly angry that he could not reach those Jews who were protected in Petra. Also, his wrath was great in that he could no longer harm those in the shining robes.
The end of my vision came with a blinding flash of light. A glorious figure on a white horse appeared. This figure was beyond my ability to behold. His hair was white as snow; upon His head was a golden, multi-layered diadem filled with precious jewels. His garment was blood-stained, and his countenance was fearsome to behold. In his wrists and feet were the scars of what I knew to be crucifixion. In my vision, I saw a Lamb as if it had been slain. Before my eyes, the Lamb changed into a great and mighty Lion. I saw the Dragon fall before the Lamb/Lion who became the Rider on the white horse. Then the holy figure upon the white steed opened His mouth and spoke to me. From His mouth it seemed a great sword issued. I heard Him call my name:
‘URI BENJAMIN!’ He cried, ‘Look upon me whom you have pierced! You are one of my chosen brethren. I will place my seal in your forehead. You and your fellow brethren from Israel’s twelve tribes will go forth into all the earth as my witnesses. You will go forth into all the world and preach the gospel of My coming kingdom.’
In my vision, I fell before this Holy One and cried aloud, ‘Who are you, Lord?’
The Holy One lifted up His voice and cried aloud in a voice so powerful its sound reverberated throughout all of the Heavens and the earth like the crashing of many mighty waterfalls. The resounding voice thundered forth until the whole earth and all the heavens trembled at the sound of it.
‘I AM – the Ancient of Days! I AM the Alpha and Omega! I AM the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. I AM the Root of Jesse! I AM the Lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the world! I AM He that liveth, was dead, but am alive forevermore! I AM the Holy One of Israel! I AM Yeshua of Nazareth! I AM Israel’s Messiah! I AM the King of kings and Lord of lords! I AM THAT I AM!!
Go now, Uri Benjamin, and wait for the coming of My two witnesses. When they appear, go and find them. They will tell you of Me and show you what you must do.’
Here my vision ended; and when I came back to myself, Draken was signing the covenant. I heard in my ears these last words, ‘ Woe! For today, Israel has made a covenant with Death.’
Then it ended, and I was once again alone in my home. So, I am here because this is where Yeshua has sent me. First, He sent me to a place in Central Africa. There I stayed for three weeks, and many there came to salvation in Yeshua. I was led away just before Draken’s forces arrived. Most of the new brethren there have already given their lives for the namesake of Yeshua. Draken has set up many places where the guillotine is being used to kill his enemies and all who follow and love Yeshua. Next, the Lord sent me to a small village in the jungles of Ecuador. There, for six weeks, I preached of Yeshua to the people of that little village, whereupon the entire village became believers in Yeshua.
Then, Lord Yeshua sent me to the United States – first to the cities of Columbia and Greenville in Southern Carolina, and then to the cities of Black Mountain, Asheville and Iverson in the Northern Carolina. I preached in each of these cities for a few weeks. I was in the small town of Iverson when the quake hit. I stayed there until the air cleared, and God led me to Norrisville where I met my brother Will. Will told me about all of you, and I felt led by Lord Yeshua to join him in his journey to reach you here. Here I will stay until He sends me elsewhere,” Uri finished.
We all sat dumbfounded, too stunned to react for a while. Finally, I asked him,
“Uri, how did you get from Israel to Africa to Ecuador, to the Carolinas?”
“The Lord sends me where I need to be,” was all he would say.
“So you are one of the 144,000!” Mitch said, wonderingly. “No wonder Will was so anxious for us to meet you! I’m terribly sorry we had to meet under these circumstances though. I wish Will could have been here.”
“Mitchell, my dear brother in Yeshua, we will all be with brother Will in a short while. Then we will have all of eternity to fellowship and to worship our Lord together,” said Uri, reaching out to take Mitch’s hand. “May I pray for us all now?” he asked.
“Please do,” said Mitch as tears coursed down his face. “Uri, we all praise God that He has sent you to us for however long you can stay.”
Uri lifted his hands and began to pray:
“Abba Father, we bow our hearts before You now in deepest gratitude and worship. We thank You for Your vast love and tender mercies; for Your great grace and for the salvation You have procured by Your death, burial, and resurrection; salvation You have offered to us freely. We praise Your holy name, our Lord Yeshua ha’ Mashiach, that You have, once and for all time, paid in full the penalty for sin that Your holy justice and righteousness demanded. We give you honor and glory and praise that You offer salvation freely to all who will believe and look to You alone for redemption. Abba Lord, I ask now for Your blessings to be upon each person gathered here. Bless these brethren of mine greatly, Abba, in the holy name of Yeshua. Abba, as they have cared for and ministered unto me Your servant, may they know that their care and ministrations have been as if they have done them unto You. Have your hand upon us, Lord, and keep Your Holy Spirit upon us. Keep us faithful, our Father, even unto death. Amen.”
We sat together quietly, all of us with our heads bowed. The power and presence of the Holy Spirit was so strong among us that we were hushed and stilled in the presence of the Lord. Whether it was only a few minutes or a few hours, I cannot say even now, but what I do know is that, for a time, there was the most precious closeness among us, and the Spirit of Peace was so strong among us that we silently wept and prayed and worshipped together in what I truly believe was our Abba Father, as Uri would say, holding His children close; comforting us over the losses of our friends and families and giving us a small foretaste of what fellowship in the Kingdom will be like. The joy and peace we shared together during that time was unlike anything I’d ever experienced before. This was, we all knew, a mere foretaste – a precursor of what God has in store for us. What great comfort we took in that ‘Sweet Hour of Prayer’ – as told in the old, old hymn that Grandma used to sing.
As whatever time passed and our time of silent worship closed, Trail eventually looked at Uri and said, still amazed,
“So you’re one of the 144,000! My mind is blown away by that.”
“Blown away? I do not understand,” said Uri, puzzled.
“It’s just a figure of speech. It means I’m amazed and awed,” said Trail.
“Ahh!” said Uri, smiling.
“You’re looking tired, Uri,” said Trail, slipping once again into doctor mode.
“Let’s get you back to bed. You need to take things slowly for a while longer. Go back to bed and sleep for the rest of today. You can join us again tomorrow when we have our Bible study and prayer time. We do this every day. Oh, but before we help you back to bed, I have just one more question: “Which tribe are you from?” Trail asked.
We all burst out laughing as Mitch spewed coffee out of his nose.
“Trail, for someone as smart as you are, that’s the dumbest question I’ve ever heard you ask! His last name is BENJAMIN! Ding! Ding! Ding!” said Mitch, giving Trail a playful punch on the shoulder as we all cracked up.
“Oh yeah,” said Trail, “Duh on me,” he said with a laugh.
“Trail, my new friend,” said Uri, “You have blown my brain.”
That slayed us all. We were still laughing as we got Uri settled into bed again.
“And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (Matthew 25:32-40 KJV).
Journal Entry: Friday, May 21, 2021
Over the next six weeks, Uri’s leg continued to heal well. He’s been able to stay up longer and join us in our Bible studies. In fact, it is we who are learning from him. I can’t tell you how precious these hours have become to us after the sun goes down and we all gather to eat our dinner together after a hard day’s work. After dinner, one of us, usually Uri now since his headaches have so much improved, opens the scriptures and teaches. Over the past few weeks, he has been taking us from the Old Testament to the New, showing us how all scripture dovetails seamlessly together to form a cohesive whole; how the Old Testament was and is fulfilled in the New; tying together all of the prophecies concerning Israel and the coming Kingdom.
Our faith is growing and maturing as we all study the Living Word together; but, oh, how we miss our friends Will and Mike. We miss and pray daily for our friends Carter, Grant, and their group as well, and for our friends still in Norrisville
We pray daily for our persecuted brethren all over the world. We pray that God will strengthen and help them and us if or when we are called upon to give our lives. We pray that we all will remain faithful even unto death. We never mention Eva. She and all those like her who died lost are forever beyond all hope. That is a pain our hearts cannot carry.
As another spring begins, we are very aware of how different our lives are now from what they were this time last year. For one thing, after the earthquake along the entire the Pacific Rim, our atmosphere never fully recovered. Although the air has cleared enough, at least where we are, that we can be outside, it’s colder than it normally would be this time of the year because of the ash and debris in the upper atmosphere that blocks some of the sun’s rays. We never have a fully clear sunny day anymore, but we have planted our garden anyway. We even cleared half of the garden area to plant some corn and buckwheat so we can make bread. Chief Little-John helped me build a plow to hitch to Balaam. Clyde, who grew up watching his granddad and dad plow with a mule, helped too. Once we got it done, Clyde slipped into the harness, hooked Balaam up, and plowed our garden area. What a beautiful sight it was to all of us to sit together on the side porch as the day waned towards twilight and watch Clyde hitched in harness behind a mule, walking behind the plow, listening to his soft calls to Balaam to ‘gee or haw.’
We’ve done what we can. We are learning to leave our fears and worries in God’s great and loving hands. Even amidst all the horrors and losses, God still blesses us with times of such simple joy and pleasure that our hearts nearly break with the beauty and peacefulness of such times. Many evenings this spring we would sit on the side porch watching Clyde and Balaam plow the small field that had been Grandma’s garden as the sky purples towards twilight and the candle flies float, their bioluminescent lights fading in and out, dotting the night with tiny eldritch lights; listening as the hens softly cluck and burble as they settle in for the night. On nights like this, we can almost forget that we are living in the Tribulation – almost.
Our food situation is holding out so far, but we have had to make some adjustments so that our finite supply can last as long as possible until our new crops come in, if they do. We only eat two meals a day now. We eat breakfast which is usually eggs and a bit of bread with a dollop of honey or some fruit preserves the women canned last year. Izzy and Byllie are learning to make do with what flour and cornmeal we have left. We skip lunch, and for dinner we have either fish or game that Mitch, Clyde, Trail, Little-John, and I catch or trap. A few times we have caught feral pigs in our snares. Izzy taught the girls how to render the fat, so we do have lard with which to cook and bake when we have cornmeal. Feral pigs, along with pheasants, wild turkeys, geese, quail, ducks, deer, rabbits, grouse, and the fish we can catch are good sources of protein, with the pigs being our source of fat for lard. We keep snares and traps set, with one or more of us hunting or fishing every day.
Our vegetable stores are limited, so the women pick one of the jars of canned vegetables from our root cellar to go with our dinner. We are hoping our garden this year will fare well, but how successful we will be will depend on how much sunlight we get. There are edible greens such as poke salad, ramps, and wild onions among other wild greens still left in the woods – for now – but with what we know is coming judgment-wise, we know that we are going to have to ration carefully and be diligent in gathering and preserving what we can while we can against the times we know are coming. We all work from sunup to sundown just to have food to eat, wood to burn for heat and for cooking, and keeping the home place and our food sources and animals safe from predators. Bears, cougars, and bobcats are our biggest worry, although foxes and coyotes getting into the hen house are always a concern.
When I say we are off grid, I mean exactly that. Even though it would be difficult for anyone to reach us by road, we know that we can still be found. Since we have no electricity, we are completely off grid. Because the creek is behind the house, we can still haul water in to flush the toilets and to boil to drink. We guys went ahead and dug out and built an old-fashioned outhouse to have just in case we should ever need it. We also found and cleaned Grandpa’s two 55-gallon food-grade water barrels. We keep those filled with water from the creek. We know from scripture that our fresh water sources are soon going to be in jeopardy, so we’ve scrubbed and filled both bathtubs with water we’ve hauled in. We try to keep them all topped off as well for as long as we will be able to have clean water. We take our baths and wash our clothes in the river. The girls go to the river on certain days; we guys go on the other days.
We have also begun to put blackout curtains up in the evenings when we light the oil lamps so that no light is visible from within once darkness falls. We burn the lamps as little as possible to conserve oil. I find that I have little time or energy to keep writing as often as I used to, but everyone insists that I write when I can; and they have all agreed that I should have use of the lamp whenever I need to write in the evenings. All of those notebooks and pens the girls gave me for Christmas back in 2019 come in very handy now. I keep my journals (this is my fourth one so far) in the backpack that Big Mike gave me almost two years ago right after the rapture. I treasure that backpack. It’s become a sort of mobile library; the place where I keep my Tribulation archives.
Another one of our biggest worries has become faithful old Balaam. We’ve taken to letting him into the surrounding woods during the day to graze and forage. We have no more feed; and what few oats we have, we save for him. We pray daily, asking the Lord to feed and protect Balaam because he’s been a loyal and faithful animal and we’ve all grown to love as well as depend upon him. The hens are faring pretty well so far. We did lose some in the aftermath of the earthquake, and Izzy sacrificed one for Uri’s sake when he was still so sick; but the rest are still laying, so far, and our egg supply is, for now, sufficient.
Uri now can get around just using one crutch inside, unless he’s outside and walking on uneven ground. I’ve made him a good, sturdy cane to use whenever he’s ready to lose the crutch altogether, which Trail says should be soon. He still walks with a limp, but his mobility improves with each day, and his awful headaches have finally stopped, praise God.
The book of Revelation has become our daily news source. It’s a weird hybrid life we lead now – somewhere between the 19th and 21st century. Electricity is spotty at best, so we don’t watch the news on television. Even if electricity were available, we would still choose not to use any at all. This means, of course, that we no longer have refrigeration. We debated the pros and cons of going off and staying completely off-grid, and finally decided in favor of anonymity. We know that soon Draken will be setting up his marking system for buying, selling, and services, but taking his mark that would supply our needs is a price we absolutely will not pay. We will do our best to stay under the radar, so to speak, for as long as possible; but if we are found out, then we will die rather than take the mark that will soon be coming.
We have a good cool root cellar; we have a smokehouse where we smoke our meat and fish, and we can or dehydrate our food. Our ancestors fared without electricity, and we are learning to adapt as well. The only exception is Mitch’s internet connection. He has several solar-powered chargers and, so far, they are sufficient. We need to be able to know what’s going on without relying on the ‘managed’ news media.
For one thing, the news is fully controlled and censored by Draken and the globalist EP. All that is put out now is pure propaganda and lies. All the ‘approved’ news consists of glowing reports of how wonderful Draken is and how the new global unity is progressing. The reality of God’s judgments proves otherwise, however.
So, we have lost the use of all modern conveniences except for Mitch or Uri intermittently checking the dark web for news. We live as our grandparents and great grandparents did. Our undetectability is far more important to us than our ease or comfort. Of course, there is no gasoline and no way to get down the mountain even if we had a running car. We get our water from the creek, our meat from the land, and our vegetables from what we can grow for as long as we are able. We now live for the most part as if we were back in the 1800s.
Mitch’s several solar-powered battery chargers keep his laptop and tablet charged for when we dare to use them. Once a week, always on a different day and always at different times, he and now Uri too, log into what is in essence the ‘dark or deep’ web as they call it – bypassing all major search engines. He is part of a network of believers from around the world who share news of what’s really going on worldwide with pictures and video of the reality and brutality of Draken, Gulden, and the Antichrist system. Draken is not only beheading all believers he finds, but he’s also using 5G networks and towers as weapons of mass destruction that he can turn on any person or group of people who defy him, if he can locate them. He is encouraging everyone to turn in those who are followers of Jesus Christ even if they are friends or family members, calling believers ‘enemies of the New Dawn.’
Mitch has done an amazing job of blocking, changing, hiding, rerouting and bouncing his VPN, or whatever it’s called, from different locations all over the world, hiding his identity and location as much as possible. We take very few chances. We only use his connection for brief periods to monitor the news so we can keep abreast of what’s going on across the world.
We knew the next trumpet judgment was due any time, so we waited to hear when and where it would occur. We didn’t have too long to wait. In late August, we found out what the next judgments were and how they would affect us.
TO BE CONTINUED