Chapter 9 – Help



Mike, Maria, and John returned outside to find the temperature was dropping fast and the camp was in near white out conditions. Mike was tending to the main campfire. John noticed how small the camp felt; the white out skewed depth perception. The winds howled in the distance.

“We’ll need to take turns standing watch,” Mike said. “The fire is our lifeline, and it won’t last the night without help. John, we’re going to need you rested for tomorrow’s trip, why don’t you take the first watch,” Mike said.

The winds were picking up to blizzard speed of thirty five miles per hour outside the camp; as soon as you left the protection of the valley, large snow banks were appearing wherever snow could collect.

“I have an idea,” Mike said. “Let’s go get some help.”

“What help, what are you talking about John,” Maria said?

”When I was out here earlier moving the rick of firewood; I took a walk out of the camp, to the main road. There are people wandering around out there by the property entrance,” John said. “Let’s go get them.”

John, those people are likely all demon possessed, and they are waiting for us outside the property line. We’re enjoying protection from the forces of evil here. Gabriel told us they would be close, Maria said.

“Jesus, what would He do in this situation,” John asked?

“Jesus would have helped the demon possessed people John; there is no doubt about that. But you’re not Jesus,” Mike said.

I know that Mike; but we’re going to need more help that you two realize to get out of here,” John said. Let’s just try and save one person, and see what happens.” Mike and Maria reluctantly agreed to accompany John to the property border. “Hang on a second,” Mike said. “We’re going to need a few supplies”.

John, help me carry the food supplies out of the trailer,” Maria said.

The trailer was positioned directly in front of the cabin; in the center of the valley. Mike and Maria had a stash of freeze dried food and MRE’s in the trailer.

The wind always blew a certain way making fires safe and predictable. John and Maria took a few minutes to carry the supplies from the guest trailer to the main cabin. After the food and water was moved Maria unhooked the battery bank to keep the system solar system safe. John moved the last of his personal effects into the cabin as well.

“So, what’s going on in your head John,” Maria said? “What do you think is going to happen when we get to the top of the hill, to the property line?”

“I’m just going to go up that hill and into the street, and cast the spirit out of one of those poor hijacked souls. If it works, I’ll move to the next person and cast out the spirit, and I’ll keep doing that for as long as I can.”

“I need you and Mike to talk with these people after the spirits have gone, and explain to them what is going on. Some of these people are going to be waking up out here, and it’s going to be a huge mind trip for them. Some of them will want to know the Gospel, and some won’t. We’ll help those that want help, and they can help us in return.”

Mike came around the back of the cabin pulling a sled. ”Great idea Mike”, John said.

“John there is a cave at the top of the hill,” Mike said. “We have firewood, blankets, and rifles stashed up there. What’s the plan John?”

“I’m going to toss a few spirits out of the people up there, to get us some help, what are you going to do Mike?

“I’m going to go ahead of you and set up a fire. We’ll need a warm place to call base for now.”

Marie grabbed Mike and Johns hand and pulled them both close for a prayer. Everyone joined hands. Maria asked God for protection and for God’s will to be done.

After the prayer Mike gathered some extra blankets; his trusty can of gasoline, and some water. He tied the supplies carefully to the sled except for the gasoline. That was going up with him.

“Guys we’ll have near blizzard conditions coming out of the valley. I’ll need to be able to ID you, so I can protect you.” Mike took a glow stick and attached it to John and Maria’s jackets and bent each in half to activate them. Maria took one of the glow sticks and attached it to Mike as well.

“I’ll take the rest of the glow sticks and space them out, one every fifteen feet or so; I’m going up in front of you two and I’ll space them all the way to the top of the hill. When I get to the top I’ll start a fire a hundred feet or so from the road to give you a safe zone to work in.”

“There is orange paracord tied from here to the top of the hill,” Mike said. “I’ll attach the glow sticks to that.”

“Give me a fifteen minute head start to get these glow sticks in place, and get a fire started. You guys follow the lights up the hill, pull the sled and stay together. John, you stay close to Maria, she knows the camp site and terrain pretty well.”

“Make sure and stoke this campfire well before you go, the wind is blocked well here, and this fire serves as a lighthouse to find our way home,” Mike said. Mike walked slow and steady out of the camp; he disappeared into the white out, the glow sticks left a trail, a green glow that can easily be followed.

“Mike we’re going to walk two hundred feet or so directly along this path; then we’ll take a right turn, and stay to the right side of the road for another thousand feet. This will put us in the taller grass and we should get good traction there,” Maria said.

John, I need a few minutes to myself before we go up, Maria said. Mike told us to wait fifteen minutes before following him, come inside with me and warm up for a moment.

“Thanks Maria, I better get this fire stoked though, John said. Maria walked to the cabin and opened the door; she turned around and smiled at John before walking in. She is so beautiful John thought; totally ignoring Maria’s infamous past. It never occurred to John that he was in love with someone who destroyed Christians for fun in her past.

John added new firewood to the fire; he stirred and stoked the fire until it was blazing. As he walked by the cabin window he could see Maria inside. She was praying on her knees. Mike turned away as he didn’t want to ruin this solemn moment by gawking at Maria.

Mike closed his eyes and said a silent prayer. John prayed for Maria and for Mike, and for all the lost souls awaiting them at the top of the hill.

When Maria returned she handed John a walking stick. They each grabbed onto the rope and proceeded to walked out of camp, pulling the sled behind them. The first two hundred feet was easy because it is sheltered. Now positioned at the bottom of the hill they look up to see the green glow of the lights disappearing in just a hundred feet.

The sound of the wind howling was amazing; Maria and John started climbing slowly. One foot after the next they pulled the sled behind them as they hiked out of the valley. About a third of the way up they came to an open property gate that is normally locked. “Mike must have left this gate open for us,” Maria said. “Let’s shut it behind us to be safe John.”

John wasn’t scared, he didn’t know if it was confidence from his team or something more spiritual in nature. The small silent voice that put the idea in John’s head about saving the people on the road, continued to encourage him to press on.

John didn’t realize the gate was actually a couple of feet longer than the road. He grabbed the fence and walked it into the closed position falling into the ditch by accident. To complicate matters John slipped under the protective fence while trying to stand up, everything had a coat of ice.

John could hear Maria calling out for him but he couldn’t see her. He removed the green glow stick from his jacket and waved it in the air. Suddenly a light was shining a few feet behind him, it was Maria laying down on the road and offering him a hand.

Maria guided John just a few feet further where he could find some traction on some old concrete blocks that were left in the ditch to help secure the gate. “I’m thinking this is why Mike left the gate open Maria added, so we wouldn’t be tempted to close it, I’m sorry John, are you OK?”

Maria helped John out of the ditch and they retrieved the sled which was stuck at the main gate. Anything broken John, Maria asked? I don’t think so Maria, let’s get up there and make sure Mike is OK before he heads back down looking for us.

They started back up the hill together, pulling the sled. John used the walking stick more to maintain his balance.

Out of breath, Mike and Maria crested the top of the hill. A spark transforms magically into thirty foot flames. “Mike sure knows how to start a fire,” John said.

“Yes, yes he does”,” Maria said. Mike was still busy building the fire when Mike and Maria caught up with him, but the fire was warm, and felt wonderful.

* * *

John and Maria joined Mike at the fire. The weather conditions at the property line were not as kind. When you’re wrapped from head to toe for cold weather, a unique tunnel vision skews reality. Like a horse with blinders on, you can only see straight ahead unless you turn your head.

John was holding his leg from the fall earlier. “What’s wrong John,” Mike said?

“I was closing the gate and fell into the ditch; then I slipped on the ice when I tried to stand and fell under the fence. Maria helped untangle me,” John said.

“That’s my fault,” Mike said. I’m sorry; I left the gate open so you wouldn’t fall into that trap.

That’s OK Mike; these things happen, I’m more concerned with what we have to do up here,” John said.

“I don’t see anything out there John; I have a terrible feeling about this. Let’s go back to the cabin, please.”

“They’re out there all right; I can actually feel their eyes on me right now. John stood up and backed away from the fire. Mike, go back to the cabin if you need to my friend, I have to do this.”

“Can you feel it Maria, it’s like an entire wall of darkness moving this way. It’s hard to describe,” John said.

“Yes I feel it John, I can feel the eyes of those people staring right through me too,” Maria said.

As soon as Maria spoke, a few animals that had sheltered in-place for the storm immediately left the encroaching area, running right past the group as if they weren’t even there. A few owls took flight as well.

Using his new gift John looked up into the night sky. At first just the storm was visible. This view gave way as John concentrated on seeing with his spiritual eyes. He saw the outline of forty foot tall Angels that stood shoulder to shoulder, protecting the property.

Guy’s, I’ll be back, John said. Mike stood up with his shotgun and cocked it. Maria tried to talk Mike into calming down, but he wasn’t going to hear of it. John walked slowly for the next hundred feet as he approached the dividing line. He was leaning heavy on his walking stick; but pushing forward.

Faint whispers in John’s head begin; obtrusive thoughts grew more frantic with each step he took. The obtrusive thoughts strengthened his resolve, John’s courage kicked into full gear. Being spiritually attacked is usually a good indication that you’re doing something right.

The wind was blowing so hard that it was difficult for John to stand, but he kept pressing forward. Vague shadows moved in the distance, getting closer, he continued on. A few feet from the road John counts five people in his field of vision.

Ahead a woman in a dress walks towards John; when she was in sight he could tell she was possessed by the red streak on her face. “Come out of her, in Jesus’ name,” John said. The spirit came out of her with a scream.

“What in the hell is going on, the young lady asked? I’m freezing; the last thing I remember is having a few drinks with friends after work, and now I’m in a blizzard? Where in the Hell am I? And who are you?”

“I’m John, Mam; and you are?”

“I’m Andrea.”

“Andrea, are you a believer?”

“A believer in what; what’s going on here”?

“Andrea, I’m John Smith. Let me give you my patented ‘Pastor John’ rundown. I just booted a dis-embodied spirit from you. If you have trouble believing this concept ask yourself what you’re doing on the Minnesota/Canadian border during a blizzard with another ten possessed people closing in on you and a random Pastor. Come into the camp Andrea and warm up while we sort the rest of this out.

Andrea had this look; she wanted to believe, she just never got around to it. “Given the situation I’m inclined to believe you Pastor,” Andrea said.

“Go on in the camp dear,” John said. Mike will take you over to the fire to warm up. Maria is waiting over there for you.”

John noticed as Andrea passed through the property line; she was allowed to enter by the Guardian Angels. Thank you John, Andrea said as she headed for the fire.

The people kept coming, one after the other, all with the same result. The disembodied spirits fled from everyone that approached John through the power of Yahushua, Jesus Christ. Some people screamed, some people sneezed, and a few burped. Spirits always come out of the body in air John noticed; just like Mike said.

A girl named Kris just walked right into the camp. She was allowed to pass and went to the fire and sat down, an obvious believer to walk right in.

Not everyone believed though, even some who said they believed were turned away. For one reason or another most were not allowed to pass into the camp

One lost soul came back after being turned away; “you’re that preacher from TV aren’t you”?

“Yes Sir, I’m John, what’s your name?”

“Hi, my name is Jerry; look John, I know I was stubborn at first, I just watched you cast spirits out of three more people. If evil is real and spirits are real, then God must be real too.”

“I’m not sure what I believe to be honest John, but I don’t want to die out here with these people I don’t know. Please let me in your camp and teach me what you know?”

“I will,” John said. The Guardian Angels let Jerry walk through with John. Jerry made his way to the fire to meet the others.

John walked back to the campfire and put his arm around Mike. “Please Mike, load the sled with all the remaining supplies and take it to the people still out there. Maybe they’ll come around; I know I’m kidding myself; it just hurts leaving them out here.”

Mike took the sled to the road and left it for those who couldn’t join us. An impatient mob was starting to form.

“What kind of Christian leaves people out here in the middle of nowhere to die, one stranger asked Mike?”

“We’re people you know, my name is Jack, I’m from the Northeast, and you can’t just leave us out here to die.”

“Jack, we’re not leaving you here to die,” Mike said. “There are enough supplies here to help you make it out of here if you choose.”

“How did you get here tonight Jack?”

“I don’t know.”

“Look Jack, you’re on the wrong side of this war. You have the ammunition you need to believe if you want to seriously entertain the idea. But we both know you don’t.

“Do you expect me to believe you just kind of woke up in the wilderness, on the Canadian border, and you’re not sure how you got here? Most of you have seen spirits thrown out of the others. Yet something doesn’t allow you to make the connection we are in a supernatural war.”

“Thanks for nothing asshole,” Jack said. “You guys are all stupid, following a spaghetti monster it seems.

“Where are we” a stranger asks?

“You’re about a half a mile from the nearest road.” Mike pointed to the east; “follow the road to the end and take a left to go into town, just follow the tree line out of here.”

“Maybe we should just take your camp by force,” Jack said. The strangers rushed the line but were held by an unseen force, the Guardian Angels. “This place is protected,” Mike said. “If I were you, I’d get as far away from here as you can and don’t come back.”

The strangers reluctantly headed down the road. John noticed the leader of the disheveled group Jack, had what appeared to be a tail as they walked away. “That man is a Fallen Angel”, John said.

* * *

John and Mike walked back to meet their new guests; Andrea, Jerry, and Kris. They were cold, tattered, and scared. Maria and Kris seemed like old friends by the time John got to the fire. Andrea was staring at Jerry; longing for the days when her faith was like his, like a child’s faith.

Jerry became a believer today, it’s amazing to witness. His eyes were opened, full of belief and wonder. Jerry faith is unshakable; for now anyway. Time has a way of making miracles lose their magic though. Many in Jesus’ day didn’t believe, and they witnessed His miracles first hand.

Jerry re-evaluated his life today; He saw John throw spirits out of six people tonight. For Jerry; if there is a bad side, there has to be a good side too. That makes God real for him; and that’s all that matters right now. Jerry is ex Special Forces; he’s here to protect John.

Andrea has a lonely past, not letting anyone get close to her. Her brush with the supernatural would awaken even the deepest sleeping Christian. And Kris is a Seer; it’s her destiny to be here with us.

Seers are different that Prophets. They see into the future as they are allowed; and that’s what they know. They are seldom given reasoning or context; they don’t speak for God. They serve as a compass; they keep believers on track.

“Welcome,” John said. I wanted to invite everyone to come back to the cabin with us; warm up, and get something to eat.” Everyone stood; staying close to the fire.

There is certain awkwardness in the first few minutes of any new group. People are reserved; even kinder for a moment as they size up everyone in the group and figure their pecking order.

“I’m Maria and this is Mike,” Maria said. “You have already met John.” The pensive situation was evident; a life changing moment with serious ramifications.

John and Mike re-built the fire before taking the guests down to the cabin. “I’ll stay behind and guard the fire,” Mike said. “The fire has to be kept burning. It will serve as a beacon to the rescue crews that are already on their way.”

Mike threw John a rope he retrieved from the cave earlier. “It’s pretty slick going down the hill, John said. The rope will safely guide us into the valley. We’ll follow the green glow down the hill; and stay to the left at the gate,” Mike said.

John tied the rope around a fence post and led everyone down the hill. They followed John safely to the halfway point. “Down is sure a lot easier than up,” John said.

The rest of the hike wasn’t very steep, “just a couple hundred feet to go”, Maria said. The wind was much calmer in the valley, the visibility was clearing up, you could see for hundreds of feet now.

In the distance the camp fire flickered; a welcome sign for Maria, and John, a promising sign for their new friends.

A short walk and everyone gathered in the clearing. The fire was barely burning but the coals were red hot; Maria added a few logs and the fire took off again.

“John, why don’t you take everyone into the cabin where they can warm up? I’ll be right in,” Maria said.

John opened the door and held it while everyone walked in. The great room of the cabin greeted visitors with a warm fire immediately when entering. The gloves were the first to come off as the hands warmed, then the hats and scarfs, and finally the jackets.

The fire filled the air with a familiar aroma. “Welcome to the cabin everyone,” John said.

“It’s so cold outside,” Andrea said.

“Thanks for helping us back there John, I truly don’t have words for your kind help,” Jerry said.

John started some coffee brewing. “Make yourselves at home everyone,” John said

“I’m here to help you with your web sites John; where is the computer,” Kris said? Kris is a renowned internet expert. “Let’s get you setup at the table Kris,” John said. When Kris was comfortable at the table; John slid the laptop over and brought Kris up to speed on the message, as the coffee finished brewing.

“A Minister telling people to not go to church; you’re certainly going to be Mr. Popular,” Kris said.

Jerry and Andrea were both intrigued; they joined John and Kris at the table. When the coffee was finished John poured everyone a cup. Maria came in and joined us after the camp fire was burning strong.

John explained the different documents; and why they were needed. “Originally these files were supposed to be used as a backup; in case I couldn’t get the message out in time,” John said. “This is great, because I don’t know how long I’ll have,” John said.

“How long you’ll have before what” Andrea said? It hadn’t clicked with Andrea yet that this mission could be dangerous. “I’m not ready to die yet” Andrea said. She looked distraught, and walked back over towards the fire.

“These files are going to play a pivotal role now; all you have to do now is get the web addresses out over your broadcast John while you have a signal. The web sites will do the rest.”

You’re web site will be number one in about twenty four hours,” Kris said. “We’re going to need the passwords to the site though”.

“Mike has those,” Maria said.

“I can go relieve Mike on watch,” Jerry said. “Maria, do you have anything warm I can borrow; I’m numbing out there.”

Maria walked to the coat tree and returned with a ski mask, warm gloves, and a scarf for Jerry. A camouflage jacket as well, Jerry looked right at home as soon as he donned the gear. Maria handed Jerry a knife, just in case Mike wouldn’t trust a stranger with his rifle. “Good luck Jerry,” Maria said. Jerry walked out of the cabin and into the distance.

As John explains the last few days to Kris; the backstory builds into keyword and search tags, META information that will drive web traffic. Kris turns John’s plain PDF documents into an award winning web site with graphics, downloadable books and tools, comments, and more. Kris found the password(s) cached for the web site. She logged in; made quick backups of the old web site, uploaded the new one, and registered the site with the search engines.

“Well done,” John said. “Well done Kris, that’s a fantastic job on the web site.’ Kris looked somberly at John. “What’s wrong Kris.”

“I’m an Empath John; I can see what you’re giving up to get your story across, it’s heartbreaking.”

“Most of your family and friends will disown you. The church will give you the left foot of fellowship; they’ll excommunicate you and strip you of your title. Your promotion, your fiancé, and your family are all on the line,” Kris said

“I’m not worried about any of that anymore Kris,” John said.

Andrea on the other hand was having a come to Jesus moment; spawned by the choices she made in her life. John thanked Kris for all of the help. He walked over to Andrea who was crying by the fireplace.

“I don’t deserve to be here,” Andrea said. “I haven’t done anything in my life that deserves saving. The only thing I’ve ever been good at is stepping on people on my way up the corporate ladder.”

“That’s why it’s called grace; Andrea, it’s unmerited favor,” John said. “You can’t do anything to earn your way here. Your either a Christian or you’re not. I do need to know if you’re with us or not Andrea.”

“Yes I am John, just tell me how to help,” Andrea said.

“ I will as soon as I know John.”