The Simplicity that Prepared Us – Part 1, by John S.

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.

FORGING CHARACTER

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.)




26 Comments

  1. Great testimony to the honor of those of few words and mighty deeds. Thankful also to have had parents who reversed the the sins of our ancestors. Everyone who is born by the Spirit knows the battle of this life is prefaced by: “Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” – Jesus
    Those crying out to be cared for by a government have a misplaced trust. Forfeiting
    God’s promises for the illusion of peace and prosperity, free rather than freedom and welfare for wellness.
    Communism is alive and well in America and is every bit more infectious than covid19, killing the spirit and the flesh – just as you describe its insidious keep into Montana.

    1. From your post: “Communism is alive and well in America…”

      Terribly troubling, and true.

      Thank you for sharing the inspirational story of your family. You remind us how important it is to set good and strong examples within our families and communities, and how important it is to tell the stories of family history too. Thank you, thank you!

  2. Wow. Thank you so much for sharing. I don’t think we can hear enough of your story. I was just telling my children, “There are four generations in our family that have not suffered real hardship.”

  3. Thank you for an amazing account filled with important insights. I have traveled the world as a student and tourist over the past 50 years, and although I was not in the trenches as the author was, I saw enough poverty and misery to understand that there really is no true poverty in America. We suffer from our first world problems of which color shoes to wear with the outfit, or having to wait in a long line at the grocery store, or the doctor keeping us waiting for 45 minutes. On this Good Friday, let’s remember to say a sincere prayer for the truly suffering, truly hungry, truly destitute people of the world. Thank you again, can’t wait to read the follow up tomorrow.

  4. My dad was abandoned by his father and he, his sister and my grandmother struggled through the 30’s without very much of anything. He told me stories of walking the railroad tracks, gathering coal that had fallen off the trains so they would have heat. I asked once how bad it had gotten and he said that one evening the only thing they had to eat for dinner was a can of green beans that they shared. When he was 15 he lied about his age and joined the Merchant Marines as a cook so he would have something to eat. As soon as he turned 17 he had his mother sign the papers allowing him to join the Marines (Iwo Jima, Guadalcanal and China) and he quickly volunteered to cook anytime it was needed. He took very good care of us and although we heard the stories, he made sure we never experienced those things. He was a great faithful dad. We really have no idea how difficult things could get. Thankfully, this isn’t all there is and through trust in the finished work of Christ, we can have the confidence of life beyond the grave. Ultimate survival… 🙂

  5. Readers might consider TREASON: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terrorism by Ann Coulter. The work is well written, and tells the story of the entrenchment of communism in our culture, and in our government (with access to the highest reaches of government including the ear of the President). I am not personally the blind-fan of any political pundit, but I did find this book well written and sourced, insightful, informative, and a “good read” overall.

    Remain steady. Be safe. Stay well everyone!

  6. Waking up to this story with a cup of coffee was truly a blessing today. Thank you for sharing your family history of Hardships, Hardwork, Humility, Faith, and Love. You made my day 🙂 Looking forward to part 2.

  7. Thank you so much for this inspirational article. I am at the point now where I can use that inspiration. Our legislature has passed dozens of anti-family laws this year and I made my declaration that I will run against them. I have a tough fight ahead of me, and I feel compelled by the Lord of Hosts to do His work.

    None of the liberal media has published my formal notice I am running. My new,
    non-pen name personal facebook account was deactivated and blocked. This is only small, irritating stuff however.

    As your father showed by his life how the power of the Holy Spirit moved and influenced the world, so all of us need to acknowledge that ‘the same power that rose Jesus from the grave lives in us, lives in us’. We need to live in the confidence of using that power to be His warriors.

  8. Thanks for this great article. We need more people like you and your family around. Regarding the link between marxism and satanism I recommend the book Marx & Satan by Richard Wurmbrand, the fonder of Voice of the Martyrs. He suffered tremendously at the hands of marxist in Romania.

  9. My younger brother has a great saying for those that are considering the Socialist route, “How many people have died trying to get out of Socialist countries and into Democratic ones and how many people have died trying to get out of Democratic Societies and into Socialist ones?”

  10. I agree wonderful article! Looking forward to tomorrows part.

    A couple of questions that are somewhat “off topic” but definitely needed ASAP. we are expecting severe weather around my area thru the weekend…two power outages last night.

    1. What is the best cleaner for kerosene lamp chimneys?
    2. Can “lamp oil” mixtures be mixed? ( I purchased several bottles of assorted “lamp oil” over the years and am concerned about using them with lamps that already have kerosene in them or other “lamp oils”)
    3. Absolutely off topic but does anyone have a recipe for whole wheat bread (freshly ground red or white wheat) that really resembles store bought stuff (especially for sandwiches) My bread turns out good but I can only slice it in “texas toast style”.

    As always, I appreciate the collective knowledge everyone has here. we can all learn from one another.

    Stay safe and Happy Easter to everyone!

    1. Lisa
      This is the recipe I use to make sour dough bread. It has never failed for me and it is so easy. I mix it in my bread maker and then let it sit in a buttered bowl until it rises, usually overnight, then I put it back in my bread maker and mix for about 2 minutes. I then turn it into a greased bread pan until it rises then I bake it for 40 minutes at 350 degrees. I let it cool a few minutes then dump it out on a cooling rack. I can cut this very thin for sandwiches but it does crumble if you are rough with it but does an excellent grilled cheese sandwich with tomatoes.
      https://www.culturesforhealth.com/learn/recipe/sourdough-recipes/long-white-sourdough-loaf/

    2. Lisa in TX…hope you get answers to your lamp oil question from someone who KNOWS and is not guessing since it could well mean your safety.

      On the bread, you might just need to let your bread sit overnight or even refrigerate to firm up your loaf for slicing. (I slice the whole loaf at once and keep it refrigerated/frozen so the “un-preserved” loaf gets used.) Make sure to use a just sharpened knife as well and you will be able to slice thinner slices…i don’t have fancy knives but always try to freshen my blade when cutting bread and tomatoes.

      Hope this coming week really IS the last of the rowdy winter beast so gardening may commence! My potatoes will wait for the weekend after Good Friday this year…maybe between now and then i will find a truly good way to grow them without using so much space!

      Blessed Easter…

  11. Lisa, most lamp oils are kerosene based but even if they a paraffin based there is no problem mixing them. As to cleaning, just use anything you would use to clean any glass surface. Ammonium works great, just a couple of drops on a rag. Vinegar works great too.

  12. Lisa, I don’t think the oil differences will matter if they are both kerosene, but I would avoid mixing two different compounds. You could always pour the contents of lamp 1 into lamp 2 and the oil the now empty lamp 1 with a new lamp oil.

    As for the bread, try adding dough enhancer, which is mostly gluten. This will create a less dense loaf.

  13. Very interesting insights, looking forward to part 2. Every time I hear about the Greatest Generation like your father I think we are now a nation of pansies. Seeing the young people in our military and first responder vocations helps but I don’t think we’ll ever live up to their deeds.

  14. Just a note: [Liquid] Paraffin is just a more refined version of kerosene. Most modern lamp oil is paraffin based because it has less odor. Mixing the two will cause your not so smelly lamp oil to smell more like kerosene. In many parts of the world paraffin and kerosene are used interchangeably. If you ask for lamp oil in England it would just be assumed you where asking for paraffin, not so in the Colonies.

  15. TX~Lisa
    I’ve mentioned Bonnie (for bread making) before. I’ve bought and highly recommend their grinder. So much so, that I visited their store and was wowed even more. It was the best of both worlds. Bonnie loves baking and her husband who manufactures them is a machinist, who also makes high speed commercial ammo production equipment. I digress.
    Back to your question on bread…
    Follow this link:
    https://grainmaker.com/category/bonnies-recipes/
    and you’ll see a recipe for Honey Oatmeal Bread.
    I have found that the addition of the oats makes the bread a tad bit softer and it seem to still be a favorite of most people I share it with. A side note; after following Bonnie’s (or anyone’s) recipes for a while & going through many bags of gluten and adding her dough enhancer – I gave in to the basics & use what I have. You’ll figure it out. Sour dough starter and bread of starter, flour, water & oil is our new favorite. Learned these techniques from another MT woman I met at the street market in Missoula. Enjoy

  16. Lisa, I hope you made it through the rough weather unscathed. Perhaps with a couple of loaves of fine bread.

    The spring blizzard here has blown itself out, leaving five inches of heavy snow. Being out in it was no picnic. I reckon you had it worse.

    Carry on in grace

  17. Thanks JWR and editors for posting. The resurrection of Christ is what our brothers foresaw and hoped for in the Holy Bible. This was the “better things” referred to in Hebrews chapter 11.

    I put this essay together very fast, because of the dire times we live in. In another writing, i’ll share the stories of hope, helping many need children in rural villages and more. Hebrews 11 is about many amazing biographies, and their sufferings are listed there. It says they lived by faith. Some did not receive what Heaven promised (yet).

    God’s word is what matters most in 2020. What Heaven declares “sticks” in our lives. The opinions of others are often shallow, and sometimes worthless!!! It’s like submitting to what people say vs. what God says. The resurrection day is all about what God says matters…. most.

    There’s alarming anti Christian ethics and corruption flowing out of the swamps in our nations capital. This is the mystery of lawlessness and it fits with Communism. They aren’t like believers in Christ who seek responsibility to help society.

    The most problematic, clamouring leaders seek sheer power. If you looked at their lives, you’d see them fighting with their neighbors. That’s what happens when power corrupts individuals. It changes them from people into hollow forms of their former selves. They start trashing and thrashing their own citizens.

    Their fellow careerists are also not helped. I couldn’t believe the extent that they attacked the Ambassadors career and yet he helped campaign for Pres. Obama. He was the foremost foreign policy advisor before 2013. If you check Google, you’ll see that he’s been scrubbed from everything. It’s like the establishment was saying “We hate Christians. We know he was a valuable public agent for America and helped accomplish much. But we hate people like him.” He’s been scrubbed from nearly everything because the left wing Marxists do exactly that. They blot out the lives of the most effective public servants. They hate transparency, honesty and integrity. They seek raw political power and retaliate in the same spirit.

    Kenyan leaders were speculating on why he got axed so fast. Most concluded that he did not attend the post modernist gay rights parade event at the Embassy. That seems to be a possibility.

    As i observe the Communism in our government it alarms me. It’s people who have not sought to help America or the patriots. In fact, they’ve attacked nearly all of us. When you look around their lives, you’ll see these destructive patterns. They are a wrecking ball to humanity and America. They are the rulers of the ruins. They run nearly all the low income housing and run down areas in our nation.

    Yet, there are STILL great agents and patriots in America. They need our prayers too. I’ll share more in the future about these amazing leaders.

    I’d counsel all true leaders to seek responsibility, the kind that helps heal America. I’d forewarn them respectfully NOT to seek power for the sake of.. power. Power corrupts nearly all who seek it.

    Communism (at its core) is a bitterness/resentment movement. It’s a hate group operating with a veneer of authoritarianism. It’s sheer tribalism that’s worst than its 3rd world versions. It chooses winners and losers, and often destroys lives. That’s all it really is, and its more popular than it ought to be.

    I can’t imagine being an agent with a US flag stitched on my shoulder, but instead of representing the Constitution they are dual agents for Marx. I couldn’t imagine being a hypocrite in my place of official duty. They strike all those who differ ideologically. Marx is a revolutionary philosophy that’s shed the blood of many good Christians worldwide. That’s what they do. That’s who they are. That’s what happens to ALL those who seek power, and not responsibility. You get nasty Arab Spring’s with ISIS beheading and torturing millions of innocent people.

    Heaven will have the last word about these bloody leaders in our world. They willfully and knowingly caused wars and sufferings. Someday Heaven will call the curtain on it (see Revelation 11:18). No world leader will escape God’s evaluation about the harm they’ve done “destroying the earth” or destroying innocent people’s lives.

    Facets of Communism are pretty much the opposite of Jesus’ Beatitudes in Matthew chapter 5. He also mentions suffering (mourning) and joy in this amazing Gospel chapter. Much of the Word of God is about us learning to be humble enough to seek responsibility (obedience to do the good we know to do, daily). It’s 180 degree opposite of the power-mongering, fear mongering and retaliatory political attacks we see today in the news.

    I choose to live by God’s Word about my life and my family. Not men’s opinions or the trendy, ever changing political winds. Jesus also faced insincere leaders and crowds of people. At times they loved him and called Him “king and Messiah.” At other times they yelled, “crucify Him!”

    99% of the Christian life is learning to live by God’s word. Not people’s opinions. Lets face it, people will love you when you do what they want. They hate you when they can’t extract what they want from you.

    May God bless all leaders who seek the highest responsibility of helping America! It’s a variant of “love your neighbors, as you love yourselves.” I pray that we are all humble enough to do the small things that God puts in front of us. Never seek positions or power but seek responsibility before God (helping others). Loving God really does mean… loving others. It means not being full of self preoccupation.

    That’s the essence of effective missions. We’ve lived an amazing journey that most can only imagine. God uses normal, everyday people to accomplish his purposes. He gives the grace and courage. Glory to Christ Jesus!

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