|Aerial view of Columbia Falls in Summer|
On my last post I received a comment from a reader, whose question may reflect many of your own:
"Great post Ric! My heart has been leaning towards the life you describe for many years now; however, my wife is a bit more attached to the conveniences and created comforts of the big city suburb lifestyle. I am curious, what influenced your decision to select Columbia Falls, MT? There are so many different places in the US that offer what you have found in Columbia Falls and it would be interesting, and educational for me, to learn how you selected it. Thanks." -- D. from California.
Our landing in "C-Falls" (as they call it around here) was a mixed bag of decision and God's providence. Here's the short story:
After deciding that we wanted to leave California (early 2011), we compared states that were friendly to the 2nd Amendment (as a litmus test for freedom in each state's culture) with states that were friendly to Home Education (another passion of ours). Of these overlapping states, Idaho and Montana most appealed to us: lots of precipitaion, definitive seasons, fertile land, plenty of varieties of wildlife, etc). Concurrently, we had heard of both the concept of the American Redoubt and pastor Chuck Baldwin's move to the Flathead Valley, and were interested in how our "story" overlapped with theirs in many ways. So my Bride and I took a "recon" trip to the Flathead, and really liked it. A little while later, some friends of ours who had decided to move there too, found a house to rent, while we had not, yet. We ended up living in a tent in their backyard for 3 months (July - October), while I looked for work (and found my current employer) and we looked for a place to buy or build. Nothing turned up on the real estate front. Finally, as it was beginning to get too cold to sleep outside, we knew we had to knuckle down and rent. Some folks we had begun attending a home church with had a rental duplex unit open up in Columbia Falls (providential!). It was a 25 minute drive to my work, and the price was right, so we jumped in and unpacked (most of) our stuff from storage. Here's more of the Providencial part: Public Transportation in the Flathead could bring me pretty much from our new home to my work for about $2/day. I started using that option, in order to free up our only vehicle for my wife and children to use. Also, I was able to (necessarily) find a 2nd job in Martin City, 12 minutes from C-Falls. Furthermore, we bought a 1.5 acre piece of land from my Uncle, who'd just moved to Whitefish (20 minutes NW of C-Falls), whereupon we would eventually build our own home. Finally, we have landed into a wonderfully encouraging church family, who loves the Word of God and the fellowship of the believers as much as we do: Berean Bible Church, Kalispell.
So, we came up here by faith, with some planning, but the Lord has certainly ordered our steps! I hope this answers your question, my friend. Remember Joshua 1:9 --
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."