We grew up in the woods of northwestern Montana. Life was tough. We were five kids and shared each others clothes, while growing up. Mom and dad worked a hard, simple routine. We didn’t have ski passes, adornments, and excesses. We had the bare minimum. We got mocked a lot, by the social climbers in school, church and work. Wealthy people stood out in our small Montana village. I didn’t understand the value of hardship growing up, until decades later.
As a child, I complained at times, not comprehending the valuable life skills our struggling parents displayed to us, daily. Later, the poverty and hardship would become my greatest blessing, a skill-set to overcome in any nation on earth.
My small town once was a conservative bastion of logic, reason and temperance. That was then.
Today, its governed by retaliatory (bitter) left wing politicians. People from the USA’s largest cities moved in. Today, they are bringing their lawsuits, stress and character defects with them. Literally, they are exporting their culture even as they fled their stress filled urban nightmares.
I spent ample time throughout the USA in places like Skid Row and Crow Reservation. We embraced a faith mission approach, which had grown into our full-fledged outreach. This was different than socialism.
In socialism, they blame other “groups” for their own problems. It’s an escapist dream, to perpetually blame the “Kulaks” in USSR or “the Boers” in South Africa. Socialism is the most cunning way of stealing other people’s property. While claiming “we are for the common man.” It always produces death, division and strife in every culture it ever takes root. Always. I had witnessed this first hand overseas.
Socialism is left wing bitterness expressing itself in acts of revenge, retaliation and hate. Whether Bernie Sanders, Castro other left wing politicians. They are masters of deceit. And they all know it. In Marxism they always zero’s in on some “past injustice” to exact reparations, bitterness and hate.
It’s the most cunning form of resource theft on earth. Multitude millions fall for it, and its killed over 100 million people since 1915. Yet, a multitude of modern USA youth are still falling for it.
OUR WW2 DAD – PILLAR OF FAITH AND INTEGRITY
Dad was a WW2 veteran. He served as a chaplain during the 1964 Olympics in Melbourne, Australia. He had learned to live on a $1 a day, while doing Christian service worldwide. He recounted tales from India, Asia, the Mid East and Europe. It’s hard not to feel nostalgic about those good ol days. He would share insights about seeing people in India “picking out corn from a cow pattie, they were so hungry.” Those stories formed our life message and values.
He was a fighter, a USMC warrior. A true overcomer. In the 1980s i remember him trying to battle an unjust eminent domain attempt. Liberals would steal his property under the guise of “city necessity” and pay less than 10% of the market value. I remember his frustration with sleazy government scalawags and corruption. It was always these wealthy, trendy liberals harassing normal families in our once conservative region of Montana. He always told the truth and stood up for what he believed in. Everyone respected his stand, and knew his values.
OUR AFRICA YEARS 2000-2020
In October 2000, all I could see was small village huts, from the corner of my airplane window. “Wow, I’m really in East Africa.” The shaky airplane landed. I was heading out to build a remote rural mission, as a new carpenter volunteer. Later, I worked in the most hardship laden regions of Kenya, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Nigeria and parts of the Middle East.
The governments were usually corrupted by bribery and/or complete poverty. Occasionally, I’d befriend sincere agents and leaders in the community. It was so fulfilling to see Third World suffering and struggle. Most youth in the West have no clue about how the real world lives. They complain about their First World problems while demanding government intervention and social programs. Much of America is ignorant and unlearned in how the rest of the world struggles to survive. They take for granted the freedoms and blessings in our land of liberty, the USA.
Overseas, the USA is viewed as honest, hardworking and ethical. This was a common view from our allies. We were viewed as a hope for civil rights and citizen priority. But in many Third world nations, the citizen is despised. Everyone joins the government to steal and loot from the national treasury. Many of them are indebted to China and the BIS for massive construction projects like roads and dams.
My family has experienced malaria dozens of times. I was so scared of getting it those first years in Kenya. We took every precaution from mosquito nets to not wearing shorts. Usually malaria mosquitoes show up in the evening or nighttime. They are nocturnal parasites. They actually remind me of some of the lingering Marxist agents lurking in the shadowy halls of DC. Literally, they come to take from your life, not help you. Mosquitoes seek and destroy healthy people. About 500,000 people perish every year, and that’s a greater health crisis than our current coronavirus, by far.
I have been sick as a dog in regions like Northern Nigeria. I remember three days and nights of sweats, vomit and suffering. The only comfort was knowing “These dear Christians experience terrible sufferings.”
Persecution is real, for faith in Christ. That’s what the West has to comprehend. I’m not talking about “no prayer in schools” I’m talking about Boko Haram coming to destroy and abuse your family, in front of the parents. I can’t be too explicit about it. Being sick unto death was overshadowed by the sufferings of true believers in Jesus Christ.
I counted it as an honor to hear their stories in Jos, Plateau State, and Kano. In Turkana, Lokichoggio and Istanbul. In Izmir, Turkey. These predominately Islamic strongholds threatened anyone not swearing allegiance to their sharia conformity. Fear and coercion run amok, in most of our modern world. America is an oasis, a miracle of Constitutional freedoms. The USA is a rare gem.
Africa is Like the Wild West
Modern Africa is like the wild West in the 1800s. It’s got vigilantes, AK-47s and mob justice. Amazing events occur, daily on this continent. We lived on less than $100 per month, when we started out. That money was for bare bones missions outreach. We ate tons of rice, beans and sometimes goat stew. The food was amazing and I lost 30 pounds and looked like a skinny toothpick, for about a decade.
We would help officiate hundreds of funerals and weddings. Life was about helping kids get to school. There’s no public school or concern for it in our region of Kenya. We helped start two schools in our region which took root. They are run by locals (yay!). It was hard to break the mentality of “West has $$$ and is supporting the school”. Socialism is popular because it provides the escape hatch to escape personal responsibility and accountability.
I’ve seen wealthy and corrupt statesmen use socialism to steal millions of dollars from their own voters, most who don’t even make $1 per day. It’s utterly sickening. Socialism is a lie from satan. No wonder, most satanists are Marxists or socialists. Literally. Both exude this hate for traditional family, marriage and Christian family’s. You wouldn’t believe it, unless you witnessed it. They undermine missionaries and US volunteers, sacrificing their time and hard earned money.
NO RUNNING AWAY FROM HARDSHIP, WHEN IT ARRIVES
My family learned skills accumulated in the hardship regions of Africa and the Mid East. You learn to survive and overcome out here. You learn to know your neighbors and find out who is trustworthy.
One of the local chiefs tried to deport me, but I had won the trust of some of Africa’s highest envoys. These diplomats intervened in 2011, preventing local leaders from stealing our work and deporting my family. I had high level diplomatic help from the East African government we were registered with.
SNAKES AND OTHER THREATS
Africa has this beautiful and mystical side. One day, my kid saw a snake, and ran too me, crying. He said that he heard a snake. I searched for it and found it. Luckily, it had just eaten a lunch snack. I wounded it with machete, and while it struggled, I beheaded it. It was a black mamba! [Editor’s note: The mamba is a green snake, but the inside of its mouth is black – hence the name black mamba.] My kids were amazed and celebrated! Many times, I had wished that I had a firearm or better protection than my bear spray or machete. At that time, we lived in a relatively safe region of East Africa. But elections were scary and we endured terrible ethnic threats related to violence (2007) and witnessed the worst atrocities.
People would commit hate-filled acts, like cut up their neighbor’s kids and gave them back to them in plastic sacks. This was the worst part of the experiences in our mission. People would be transformed into insane beasts – animals who destroy their very neighbors. Fear and chaos would govern the nation, in every county.
FOREIGN ALLY ENVOYS, DIGNITARIES
I won the trust of the highest diplomats in places like Nigeria and Kenya. I was able to visit the Parliaments and meet Senators, and pray or discuss issues with them. This was an unexpected success that i had never expected. They really wanted to know what Christian Americans are like, and many of them were trained or mentored by missionaries. Including the current and former Presidents of Kenya.
My dad passed away in northwest Montana in early 2014. It shook our family because he was the patriarch of faith, love and sincere service. He forged the foundations of hard-work and honesty. Literally, he was an anti-Communist.
For years, he played for us movies like Fiddler on the Roof, the Sound of Music, Spartacus and other historical epics. We watched movies about the Nazis and Hitler being brought down. Our dad was on fire with faith and truth. The world hated him for it.
The world hates the truth and wants to blame someone else (identity politics) for their own problems. Dad exorcised this demon out of our family’s history, circa 1970s. We had no one to blame. We had to grow up, succeed, fight and work. Life is struggle. It’s like a Jordan Peterson “Carry Your Cross” video on YouTube. He pretty much summarizes my dad’s belief system of Christian pragmatism. My dad had been tortured in an orphanage during the Great Depression. His parents ran out of money, and sent the kids to terrible social services.
Our dad forgave and overcame those sufferings. My siblings went onto become successful CEOs, others run military branches in EU nations. The West Pointer is married to the Marine commander. He shoots those massive 155mm howitzers and trains our US allies. Every one of them embraced their Christian faith and roots.
(To be concluded tomorrow, in Part 2.)