Vicki decides to tell Melinda her story in order to win yet another convert. Thankfully this is told mostly in a few lines of summary so we don't have to suffer through yet another reiteration of stuff we already know. I can't help but note that while Vicki is seen doing more conversions than Judd, it seems she's only shown converting other women. Guess Ellanjay take the whole "no woman should have authority over a man" very seriously.
Anyway Mark interrupts her before we get to the all-important prayer. Y'see he wants to put some parameters on who they allow to stay at the school, pointing out that unbelievers like Melinda And Charlie could endanger them, thus reminding the young RTCs reading this book that Christian hospitality means you only have to help your own; everyone else is an unperson, so you are under no obligation to rescue those left homeless or sick as a result of Acts of Zod because Zod hates everybody.
Another thing, since Zod poisoned everybody's water, shouldn't the YTF be trying to make their supplies of bottled water last as long as possible through rations? Baths and showers should be a thing of the past as water would be too scarce to use for anything but drinking. But then again, there I go again, worrying about silly things like the consequences of a world-shattering event.
But anyway, the manly men (Judd, Mr. Stein, and Lionel) are in Israel and like before, they see nothing worthy of note even though they are at one of the most holy sites in all of Christendom. They might as well have just saved money on airfare, stayed home, and gone to the local 7-11 for all the effect the Garden of Gethsemane has on them. BTW, who wants to tell Ellanjay that the keys to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre are wielded by the hands of a filthy Muslim. Every since Fred did a post on that I've wondered what would happen if someone told them. I'm betting there'll be some head-exploding action myself.
A man wearing a hat comes looking for them. But fear not, he has the Super Special Awesome Secret Marks that reveals he is a follower of the one true faith as laid out by God's prophet, Tim LaHaye. Said hat dude has what is possibly the most Jewy McJew names in the series, yes, dear readers, even more Jewy than Chaim Rosenweig. Don't believe me? Here's his name: Yitzhak Weizmann. Hat Dude (I'm going to keep calling him that, thank you) takes Our Brave Heroes to Hebrew University so they don't have to spend another night sleeping out on the streets (all hotels are booked apparently) because heaven forbid Our Band of Plucky Young RTCs be forced to suffer minor discomfort in the aftermath of a worldwide calamity. Remember if persecution required sacrifices beyond just being an asshole towards the overworked, underpaid cashier who has the gall to wish them a happy holiday or voting for Republicans in the hopes that they might eventually appoint justices who might overturn Roe vs. Wade, well let's see how long RTCs stand for their faith.
Okay so Vicki holds a meeting and to her credit, she and most of the YTF decide to open the school to anyone who wants to come. But Mark has reservations and decides to leave in search of his aunt for reasons that are not adequately explained. Back to the men.
Okay all they do is pray before this massive meeting featuring Token Jew and the Gruesome Twosome along with other RTCs from all around the world. I'm only assuming the reason that Nicky Chittagong is letting this worldwide gathering happen and not say arresting everyone or dropping a nuke when they're all at the gathering spot, is that he's got people recording the names and is informing the secret police in their home countries who needs to be made to "disappear." I have to believe this or else I'll go insane from how despite how Nicky Matterhorn is supposed to be worse than Adolf, Stalin, and Pol Pot combined, I can think of villains on Captain Planet, who were more of a threat than Nicky. Heck, Squatt and Baboo from Power Rangers were scarier and they had maybe one braincell between the two of them.
Okay so next chapter, they're at the stadium where everybody hears what's being said in their own language. The speaker gives a prayer describing Zod as a God of new beginnings and second chances which makes me, the surly, sarcastic reader of these books add, "excluding people who died as a result of the disasters caused by Zod because they died before they had a chance to take advantage of said second chance, not to mention, all the poor, who ate suffering because Zod's disasters destroyed what little societal infrastructure they had and now they can look forward to death by starvation or death from poisoned water." Either way, this gathering won't really reach them because they don't have radio or television so the desperately poor are screwed either way. But as RTCs know, the God of the Bible hates poor shmoes living in places like Somalia or Haiti. Why do you think he made them poor in the first place?
They then sing "Amazing Grace" even though given what they're up against "Be Still My Soul" might be more appropriate.
I would snark Token Jew's speech except that for the most part, it's a standard altar call speech you might hear at Bible Camp, which given that they are already believers (that's why they're at the speech) and they are going to have to live through massive suffering for five more years before the world finally ends, it seems a tad inappropriate.
But there is of course a part where he basically says, "you're either with us or against us," otherwise known as the gospel according to George W. Bush. He says this because he knows all those heathen Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, etc. don't really believe in what they say; they just hate Jesus. Oh and Token Jew claims that those assembled in the stadium survived all the horrific Acts of Zod because Zod chose to spare them and give the middle finger to all those third-world nations because everyone knows Zod loves America above all other nations so naturally he'd make sure his chosen were either Americans or people who recognized the inherent superiority of America above all other nations. Why do you think the prophet John talks continually about how important America is in the book of Revelation?
But Leon Fortunado shows up, bringing the Super-Pope with him. But the Babelfish spell doesn't work on Leon and the Super-Pope so they're forced to rely on translators. The Super-Pope asks Token Jew to join the EBOWF. Naturally, it doesn't go over well, so Carpathia enters. The chapter ends with Judd spotting Taylor creeping along the back of the stadium. I would question how Judd can see one person in a hugeass crowded stadium, but to hell with it. I'm already excited because Taylor's going to appear in next week's snark and Taylor, by virtue of being the only one who does shit in this universe, is awesome. It can't be said enough.