A Homestead-Style Dream

It's here! We're celebrating my turning 70 and the 25th birthday of Homestead. We have a plan which is of course what we had to do to build our life on the river though that didn't mean we didn’t have to make many changes to our plan along the way. That's what homesteading (and life) are about. Winston Churchill once said that "Planning is essential but plans are useless." We found that out.

But we have a plan anyway. For the next six months we will have a different opportunity for someone to receive a copy of Homestead, donate (if you wish to the Burundiproject) AND have a chance at the grand prize in August which is lunch with Jerry and me and three additional friends that the winner picks...at the homestead!

Now a winner may not be able to make that excursion down the reptile road because he or she lives in Vermont, let's say.  Or Florida. We have a plan for that. We'll identify a lovely restaurant near you, we'll pick up the tab and I'll Skype during your lunch maybe even while we're at the homestead. More details to follow.

Here's how it will work:

NOMINATE a Homestead-Style Dream:

Each month, you can nominate someone (see each month's categories below).  There are  3 ways to nominate someone:
1. Commenting on this blog
2. My Facebook Page and write on my timeline or click here to comment on the announcement post.
3. Reply to my Story Sparks newsletter (Subscribe here)
(please only use first names. If your nominee is drawn at random we'll contact you for their address -- and yours as you'll get a copy too!)

February: Individuals who have built or are in the process of building their “Homestead-Style Dream” for their family.

I'm taking a suggestion from a woman who said how much the book had meant to her when she and her husband were building their dream home, off the grid, where they wanted to raise their kids. The book gave her hope. So we'd like readers to nominate others in your lives that are pursuing their dream to begin something new that might not have the best chance of success but seems like the right thing to do.


March: Local libraries- the keeper of stories. (click here for March's post)

This can be a church library, a senior living facility library, public or non-profit library. The site will receive a signed copy and so you will the nominator.


April: Small Business owners or Non-Profits who are overcoming obstacles and pursing the "Homestead-Style Dream." (Click here for April's post)

Small business homesteaders, people who have dreams to start a business will be nominees who could use a little encouragement. And yes, you can nominate yourselves!


May: Mothers who have faced challenges and teach her children that life is like The Homestead.  (click here for May's post- NOMINATIONS OPEN NOW!)


June: Fathers who rise to the challenge in leading their family and have sacrificed so that their children can live a "Homestead-Style Dream."


July: Public Servants!!!! Police Officers, Fire Fighters, Peace Corps, Missionaries, Service Men/Women, or volunteers who have a passion and dream to serve others improve their communities and/or country.

We'll remind you each month so don't worry. We'll pick two nominees a month (and their nominators) who will each receive a copy of Homestead with the grand prize being chosen from all entries.

August will be our grand prize given out from the generosity of the new Homestead owners and from those many nominees and nominators!  Oh, and the winners will get copies of Homestead as well.

DONATE to a country where people are looking for a "Homestead-Style Dream" in search of their identities.  

Some of you remember that last year this month, I went to Burundi with two others from First Presbyterian Church Bend and a representative of African Road, a non-profit organization working in Africa with a local Christian group. We returned committed to help three villages of Batwa people, the indigenous people moved from the rain forests and marginalized by the government. Many of you helped us acquire identity cards for over 800 villagers, helped issue birth certificates and provide new suits and cloth for the dozens who chose to marry once they had ID cards. They also can now access medical services, vote, work away from their villages and utilize the justice system. If you're on Facebook you can visit scenes from these villages by visiting here.

These villagers have become our friends and last fall, we committed to helping them send 150 children to school for the first time providing uniforms, books and school fees. AND, here's the homestead part, we agreed to help them lease land, buy tools, seeds and fertilizer.  For the first time ever, they are working together to raise crops to feed their families. The size of the corn, beans and potatoes and their smiles of pride of accomplishment have been a great reward for our efforts. They are finishing their first harvest and will replant during the rainy season to have food during the dry seasons.

To honor their efforts and to continue raising funds for school fees, seeds, land leases etc, I'm donating $3 from every online book order from jkbooks.com this year.

There are 3 ways you can donate:
  1. Placing an order online at my website
  2. Donate through africanroad.org directly
  3. Mail a check to First Presbyterian Church,Bend, 230 NE 9th, Bend, OR 97701.  Be sure to indicate in the check memo line or instruction space that it's for the Batwa of Burundi.
  4. Via PayPal using the "Donate" button below.
Just as our going to the land in 1984, and publishing Homestead in 1991 changed our lives, I thank you in advance for helping change the lives of others through an encouraging word, an inspirational book and now and then a dollar here and there for a people in a far away land. As the sign on our homestead gate still reads: "We seek neither convenience nor ease but to live a the edge of possibility."  That's a huge part of the "Homestead-Style Dream." Thanks for your part in these new possibilities.

I look forward to reading the various stories from our nominators!