You know what’s amazing to me? The variety of the types of people that find themselves doing the same thing we do. When you think of a large homeschooling family, living on a small farm, raising chickens, pigs, cows and sheep, eating primarily organic and/or non-gmo, what comes to your mind? The truth of the matter is, there are SO many different kinds of people that this applies to! I’ve seen it with my own two eyes!
When we bought our first pair of Kunekunes, we drove to pick them up. The people selling them were a nice couple, probably in their early 30’s. They had moved to their home in the last few years, coming from the city. They told us that they were wanting land and animals for their children to grow up around. It was a totally new experience for the whole family, as both parents had never lived in ‘the country’ or raised any sort of farm animal, but they were loving it. At the time, they had 3 boys who were all homeschooled. Needless to say, we had many things in common, and conversation was easy. For them at the time, their motivations had nothing to do with the Lord, but rather natural living and self-reliance.
The first piglet we ever sold was to a family who also homeschooled, lived on a small farm, and had 5 children. The husband was a pastor, and the wife a stay-at-home mother. Again, they raised chickens and other small livestock, and the common ground we shared was evident. Their motivations were derived from the Lord, as well as natural living and learning/teaching their children to be self-sustaining.
Another example that is fresh in my mind comes from just yesterday; we sold and delivered 3 pigs to a homeschooling family that lives in the outskirts of Atlanta. They are a beautiful interracial couple, probably just a few years younger than us, who were extremely friendly and inviting. They’ve just been blessed with their 4th child, a 10 week old little boy. The husband was glowing as he told us about their plans. They had just finalized the purchase of 400 acres in Canada, complete with a river running through it. He said he was looking forward to the ‘fixer-upper’ farmhouse that was on it, and was in love with the huge barn, too. He already raises—you guessed it—chickens and sheep, and was very excited over his new pigs. He proudly showed us their garden area, telling us everything he and his family grow. It was amazing. Again, the conversation flowed, and we traded stories of farming, gardening, and parenting. It was so wonderful to hear him say, with a 10 week old baby, that he hoped they would have several more children. We encouraged him to take as many as the Lord would give! Based on what I gathered, their motivations for their life decisions were less about faith, and more about a world-view that desired less government and more natural living.
And these are just a few experiences I’ve had through selling pigs! The variety of people that I’ve met because of their choice to homeschool is just as drastic. Some are based on faith, not wanting their children taught ‘science falsely so called’ (1 Timothy 6:20-21). Some seek to avoid government involvement in the raising of their children, in regards to required injections and government-filtered education material. Some seek to avoid the social degradation that runs rampant in many schools, claiming that children lose their innocence, respect for elders, and other values. The reasons are just as various as the types of people. And yet, we all find ourselves doing the same thing as the other. It’s astounding.
Another place I find a huge variety of people coming together, despite the fact that, on the surface, they seem to share so little in common is the grocery store! I shop at Whole Foods and Earth Fare, and wow—what a variety of people, all desiring the same thing I desire, natural food. The array of people you’d find walking down the isles may surprise you, because they come in all shapes and sizes. Some could be classified as ‘hipsters’ and liberal, and some are conservative and religious. Some are from other countries around the world, and some have never left the state they were born in. Some are in their retiring years, and some are new parents in their late 20’s and early 30’s. And yet, we are all brought to the same place, together with a similar desire.
Natural food. Self-reliance. Old-fashioned values. Conviction of faith. Love of animals and the earth that God created. Less government intrusion. Whatever the reason, here we all are, shopping the same stores, building similar homes, buying the same kinds of animals, raising our (many) children the same way. It amazes me. Of course I hope that for the people I meet, their journey will mirror mine in one critical aspect. See, before I ever asked the Lord to save my soul, we were pumping well water for our family, and shopping to avoid GMO’s, and had long decided against vaccinating our children based on the ingredients found in the vaccines. We had already begun homeschooling, and were already a family of 6 before Jesus became Lord of our lives. I was exactly where so many of these people are today. But getting saved gave more solidifying reasons to all the things that had become important to us over the previous years. Faith in Jesus actually tied it all together. I have much hope that the same will happen for the families we come across. I hope that their hearts are tender, and that in the coming years, as they see the miracles of life, and the blessings of a fruitful garden, and the undeniable need within them to be thankful for all of it, that they come to hear the calling of the Lord. I pray for them that they, too, will gain the peace and sincere joy and fulfillment that can only come from Jesus.