Thursday, April 27, 2017

Off Grid Survival and Discipleship ministry

Every so often I see articles about how to prepare for a social collapse and take a moment to consider my preparation level.
With solar power, decent water and food storage, chickens, and a large movie and book library I think other than no interesting or amusing distractions from the Internet I might not even notice for a month or two in warm weather.
Perhaps after about a month in cold weather as I would have to go to fill up my propane.
So depending on season other than Internet and the occasional phone call no real change in my life for about a month or two.
After that I might want to go I to town to get a few convenience foods and propane, but finding fuel gone after Mass looting I would end up connecting up my floor heat to a metal barrel with a fire under it outside my house and shoot/trap a couple of game animals and be fine, although after a few months I might have to cook outside at the fire pit/iron forge after propane ran out.
I figure after about 5-6 months I would start to tire of venison, wild turkey meat and eggs, although I usually have about a 8 months supply of rice and 2-3 year supply of soy sauce I would still be well fed, but begin to tire of my diet.

I think after about a year lack variety in the diet and perhaps by then running out of multivitamins to compensate might result in health issues and I would be forced to become mobile and scavenge other foods, by then most of the crazy should have died down and folks should have got most of the violence out of their systems either by being shot dead for it, or running out of ammo and food due to their impulsive natures and lack of ability to plan ahead.
There is of course the slim possibly a few folks in my area might come over to my place with the expectation that since I still have lights and look well fed they can take by violence what I have.However with all the dysfunctional guys I have had on my property when I was helping addicts and the mentally ill folks I have gained a reputation as being a place to avoid....
Anyway barring the few folks who make it back to my property in the early days of the collapse  I think it likely I won't have to deal with the mass mayhem of the 1st 6 months after a economic or social collapse.
Would be nice if I had a decent well so I could irrigate and grow some crops here as then I could blissfully ignore the outside world for years if I choose, however as my income is pretty low and I have not felt motivated to go earn a lot of money when I lack so little and am fairly content with my situation I doubt I will raise the money for a well anytime soon. There is a river a few miles from here though and I could easily haul water from their as well as collect and store enough rainwater for hygiene, cooking, and drinking for both me and the chickens.

As I watch the news and observe the changes every time I go into town I am struck by how many people are completely dependent on what appears to be a system on the verge of collapse.
Most have no idea how to harvest any kind of food from the land, and fewer still understand the basics of water purification. when the city water shuts off I see a lot of people who will die from dehydration not from lack of water but from the Hershey squirts as they drink untreated water and lack medicine after the stores are looted.
When I moved where I did it was because I both wanted to be near my brother to lend a hand from time to time when his wife was in the hospital and the kids were younger, and because I grew tired of the constant rat race involved with living in densely populated areas. I knew very few people who were not either renting or in debt. Both conditions made regular work a necessity rather than a choice.

 Being able to work from time to time to pay off my property taxes and if I choose a prepaid phone for Internet and phone calls with few other bills I actually need to pay made many things possible. I was able to just take off and go on 3-4 year missions trips, I was able to provide food, shelter and a safe place for those recovering from drugs and alcohol as well as a few with mental illness for many years, without having to do any fund raising or receive even one dime of government money. Often just because I helped enough people folks would randomly throw a few bucks my way or replace a vehicle that broke down from all the miles I put on it carting people around.
Most years I would have guys with mostly drug problems and a few with mental issues stay with me during the warmer months and help them get on their feet. However after being in and around this type of ministry for many years I started to grow a collection of men who either are incapable or have chosen to never become independent enough to move on and support themselves.
I found that this has become a microcosm of our country as a whole. 
More than 50% of our population is now receiving some form of financial aid from the government that is trillions of dollars in debt. As we have continued to enable people to live off the labor of others without the consent of those being leached from our society has developed an entitlement mentality that if left unchecked will result in the mother of all collapses.
I have realized after a couple of years of having mostly men here (with a few notable exceptions) that are unwilling to provide for themselves but look at other peoples tax money and the soft heartedness of other ministries as a career choice. That it is time for Atlas to shrug. 
I still feel a need to help others and show kindness to the poor, but there has to be a line somewhere between helping someone out of a hole, and enabling them to live off other peoples hard work permanently. 
I have tried to instill this lesson by example as well as creating an environment on my land where every resource requires at least some work to be able to use. In the past this helped many as they would learn both a bit of basic work ethic as well as the ability to live within their means and conserve when they had limited resources. Better than 90% learned these lessons and eventually went on to live if not perfect at least better lives. 
Unfortunately there is the other 10% and out of them 1-2% that actually just figured out how to be just functional enough to get a govt check, and when they ran through that due to lack of impulse control learn how to panhandle and beg from places outside my property (I don't allow begging here).

The other 8% or so have decided that living at homeless ministries and behaving like people do when they are going through withdrawals is normal behavior and adapt just enough to not be a problem other than taking up space and resources that could be used to help others who truly want to be either productive members of society or at least stop being a drain on it.

So now I am faced with the problem of how to best serve my fellow man from this position I am in where I require little to no outside help, but can no longer afford or tolerate those who seem determined to suck either ministry resources or the government tit for life.
 My hope is that this year as I stop accepting any new dysfunctional men and no longer have to spend most of my time trying to prevent my place looking like a crack house.
 I will be able to eventually improve the infrastructure for less wasteful and dysfunctional visitors who wish to come for a short period of time to train for front line missions trips or perhaps provide a temporary place of peace for those who have to work in ministries that involve 24/7/365 living and working with the dysfunctional as well as perhaps teaching some classes or hosting seminars on how to both survive off grid and reduce overhead to get out of debt and help others without needing to beg.

As I notice that many would find the loss of income, or even power for even a week a major catastrophe. I on the other hand were it not for the time I spend on facebook I would not notice the zombie apocalypse for most likely a month and I could ignore it for the next 6. Because of this I am thinking I might have something else to share that is more valuable than only being a place to crash for the most dysfunctional in our broken society.
So as I prepare to enter this new chapter in my life and ministry. I must decide how best to help others. I wrestle with the balance between making sure I am not merely trying to avoid the sacrifice that ministry requires, and wasting the resources that God has given me to steward on those who need to be weaned and grow up.
I still lack some of the wisdom to know how vest to accomplish this, your prayers would be helpful.

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