John: “I grew up on a farm, yet we never had some of the essentials of an independent lifestyle, such as a wood stove or hand water pump. I endured a heart-wrenching broken engagement in 2012. It was such a blow in so many ways, yet it was the only decision that could be made that would honor the Lord. It was during that time of hurt and healing that the Lord really started to show him the importance of a self-sufficient country living lifestyle. I moved out of my parents house and temporarily moved to a small town of 15,000 people after the breakup and had much time for self-reflection. It was like hitting the reset button for me.
I saw a flyer in the mail for a camp meeting in Middle River, Minnesota. Jere Franklin from You Can Survive Ministries was a featured speaker there. That was the direction and motivation I had been looking for all along. I didn’t know exactly how everything was going to fall into place, but I was on my way. I began to pray that the Lord would show me the way.
I already had land available to build on but I lacked housing. I spent countless nights beating my head on the Internet wall while trying to find the best housing options. After many dead ends, I finally settled on having a local cabin company which constructed a very small (504 sq. ft.) but affordable cabin. I started my own garden in the spring of 2013 and moved into the cabin in September of the same year. I was very aggressive on repaying the private loan on the cabin and finished paying it off in December 2015.
In June of 2014 I married the love of my life and she came all the way up from Tennessee to live with me.
Choosing to live in the cabin for a few years before building a larger home has allowed us to tame the land, establish a garden, plant fruit trees and bushes, build up our pantry supply, and build up a wood pile. Along the way we have learned many important lessons and expanded our skills. I am so thankful to God for giving us the opportunity to live the country living lifestyle that we both wanted so much.