Bartering and Ministry in times of Crisis

As someone who has lived through multiple large scale disasters as well as worked and lived in a long term training replicating third world living conditions after a major disaster, I have a few points that I would like to throw out for you all to consider.  Being prepared is great, but if you stay focused on just yourself and the ones that you are caring for, then you will start to self-destruct…and it will happen quicker than you think.  When you focus on helping others, even in small ways, you will get re-energized, realize that you are not alone, and it will make your situation a little easier to bear.  This is easy at first, but as time goes on it is harder to maintain.  That being said, if you soldier on, it will pay for itself — even after you establish your new normal. 

Some points to be aware of when preparing for a crisis and serving and/or bartering with people in the times of crisis:

Beforehand:

  • Remember, "Loose lips sink ships."
  • Do not show off your XYZ – especially on social media.
  • Develop a network of like-minded people and a way to communicate that is not dependent on a functioning infrastructure.  HAM radios are great for this.  Please, get your license if you are planning on using a GRMS or HAM radio.
  • Set up a food stock to help out others and be ready for distribution opportunities after an event.  A few days of food for the elderly neighbor or the single parent family and a way to cook it could mean the world to them.   This will cost you very little now and may open the door to witness to them.  It is not only the right thing to do, but it may even improve your own situation as well. 

After a Crisis:

  • Never give food from your house.
    • Go to another location and barter/distribute from there.
    • Do not brag about what you have stored or say something like, "I’ll just run home to get more of X" – you run the risk of being followed home or worse.
  • Be aware that some people will try and barter for more than you have visible to see if you are have extra stocks somewhere else.   It could be on the level, but it may not be the case — discretion is key to staying safe.  i.e. – Don’t say, "Well, I can get that come back tomorrow."  Instead, say something like, "Let me ask around and do some more deals to see if I can come up with what you want.  Is there something else you are looking for?"
  • It is better to be known as the guy that can get anything than the guy that has everything
  • When helping others, sometimes it is good to charge a little — it has a greater value than the free hand out and lessens the likelihood of people coming to resent you because they feel they owe you something.  Pray about this and follow what the Lord is leading for you on this.

These are just a few things to think and pray about.  As always, please feel free to ask questions and add comments.

 

 

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