Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Are you preparing to help others?

Call us preppers or survivalists, we're all preparing to help ourselves and our families during the difficult times ahead.  But how many of us are you preparing to help those in need?  To help our neighbors who didn't prepare? Or even to help complete strangers?

Those of us who are Christians need to be prepared to help others, not just ourselves and our family or group. Yes, our first priority should be our family, but as Christians that is not our only priority. Throughout the Bible, we're taught the value of helping others, and especially helping those that cannot help themselves, or who have lost their natural guardians. The oft-given example is "widows and orphans." But, really includes anyone who is unable to help themselves for whatever reasons. Consider what James writes in his general epistle: 

"But be doers of the word, and not hearers only... Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world." (selection from James 1:22-27)

What James is getting at (and please read his entire epistle for yourself - it is short), is that we are expected to live out our faith, and not just pay lip-service to it. James gives three hallmarks of faith that is pleasing to God. One of which is to take care of the poor and needy. We (faithful Christians) are expected to be their guardians.

The mark of a Christian prepper, in my opinion, is in our preparations to help not only ourselves and our family or group, but also to help those in need, such as widows and orphans.

Expanding Zones of Responsibility

Think of expanding zones of responsibility. Our first zone of responsibility is to our immediate family. When difficult times come, we don't want to make things worse by being in need ourselves. By preparing and building self-reliance, we not only remove the burden from others of our needs, but are then able to be in a position to help others. This is especially true of men. A man's first earthly responsibility is to take care of his wife and family (his first overall responsibility, of course, is to obey God in all things). One of America's greatest sins in recent decades is the failure of most men to live up to these responsibilities but that is a different article.

But we are not to use "taking care of our family" as an excuse to avoid our other zones of responsibility. The second zone of responsibility is to our fellow believers, particularly, of course, those that cannot help themselves, such as orphans and widows. The third zone of responsibility is those strangers, including non-believers, that cannot help themselves for whatever reasons. Note well the Parable of the Good Samaritan.

Ideas for Preparing to Help Others

Several years ago, I read or heard about an older couple who are preppers. Even though this couple had no children or grandchildren, they included in their stockpile of food and other supplies many baby items, such as diapers, baby wipes, bottles, and whatever else... Sorry. I don't remember the specifics of what all they stored. I just remember "baby stuff." The point is, these items were totally superfluous to their needs, yet they stored them anyone because they figured that there would be a need for these items by parents unprepared for bad times.

Here's another idea taken from a real life example: A church I attended many years ago had a small room where they stored old coats & jackets, blankets, canned and dried food, baby supplies, and other similar things. These were then given to the homeless or other people in need that would show up at the church from time-to-time asking for help. There were no strings attached - folks didn't need to be a member of that particular church, or even have to be a believer, in order to get help. Your church could do something similar - buying and storing supplies that could be distributed to either church members and/or needy folks in an emergency.

I know also that there are some peppers who are planning for when distant relatives or friends show up unexpectedly at their homestead or retreat once the stuff hits the fan. Rather than greeting these needy people with a shotgun and running them off, these preppers have taken steps to prepare to accommodate a certain number of folks by storing extra food and supplies, and in some cases even preparing housing for them in the form of campers, trailers, or small cabins on their property. There are actually some You Tube videos of how to turn storage sheds into a small, but very livable, cabins.

Another idea, to help those folks you must turn away, is to set up a number of small survival packs to give folks. You can buy small inexpensive backpacks at Wal-mart for less than $10, especially during back-to-school season. Then fill these packs up with a couple of bottls of water, some basic foodstuffs (Cliff Bars or other protein bars, packs of raisins, nuts or seeds, individual foil packs of tuna or chicken, a small jar of peanut butter, etc.). Add an emergency poncho, some basic first aid supplies, matches, toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, washcloth, and other inexpensive items. Check the camping & outdoors section of Wal-mart, as well as the travel-size aisle for inexpensive supplies. I figure you can put together a fairly decent pack survival for under $20.

All these are great ideas for preparing to help others in a SHTF situation, and I'm sure you can think of others. But don't forget to help people now, before any collapse or SHTF event. Lots of people are hurting and in need today. Community food pantries, hospices, and crisis centers are always in need of supplies and physical help (volunteers). Faith-based organizations such as the Salvation Army, Samaritan's Purse, Operation Blessing, Catholic Charities USA, and International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), help on a national and global level, are in need of donations and volunteers.


  1. Excellent article! Whether one is a believer or not helping others is a moral obligation. You expressed it very well.

  2. I don't want to help those who don't want to help themselves NOW. I have too many "welfare lifestyle-ists" family members who won't work because "they will lose their food stamps".
    No garden, no work, they play video games until 5 am and then sleep when the kids are at school. Ugh. It leaves a bitter taste in my mouth to try and help these folks when I bust my butt to work and garden and can and grow beef/chicken and process it all.
    No one wants to help NOW, I don't have food later. The are the grasshopper, I am the ant. :)

    1. Okay. But my article is mainly about helping those who cannot help themselves - such as the elderly, the disabled,orphans and widows. We do have a duty to help them.

    2. I understand...but I guess "lazy" and "fun" is far more important for many to at least help themselves now.
      I know of plenty of elderly that like their casino's as well.
      I do have those I know I can help (I do now with extra eggs, produce etc.) so helping doesn't need to wait until there is a major event.
      If there were a disaster know of at least 25 family members who would show up here asking for food, but no one wants to help NOW. They have their EBT card so why work now is their mentality.

  3. And then those you help spread the word and you are assaulted with armed vigilantes that will take every speck of food and every supply you have sacrificed to store in the event of a collapse. How do you explain that to your starving children??? Oh, we are blessed to have given to those scumbags!!
    Sit quietly, hide, and after coast is clear, unprepared are dead, you can help those that were prepared and survived because of it.
    I Timothy 5:8

    Look it up!!

    1. As I explained in the article, our first responsibility is to our families. But, as scripture illustrates, that is not our ONLY duty. Scripture clearly says that we are to help others, especially those that cannot help themselves. Scripture must be read in context of ALL of scripture, not just cherry-picking those verses we agree with... You are right. Our first priority is our family. But you are wrong if you think that is our ONLY responsibility.

  4. I will add: most people today are self-centered. "ME first" and instant gratification mentality. It's sad.

    It's hard to include some (family or not) in our plans because I simply can't do it all. I tried and got burned out.

    Too many today do not understand that food takes time and work to grow, then must be harvested and processed (canning, dehydrating, cured etc.) They don't have any helpful skills to pitch in and help and don't want to learn either.

    My mother has dementia and is an awesome "armchair quarterback" at giving instructions (canning, gardening, milking) but gets sidetracked easily and needs a helper to keep her focused on the task at hand. Toss in a 3 year old grandkid and boy do things get exciting! (ha)

    There are many things to consider (and ponder), we for sure don't live in a perfect world.

  5. I agree that we cannot "do it all" ourselves, and I certainly hope my article doesn't come across that way. That is why I tried to explain about the different "zones of responsibility," as I put it. Our first responsibility is to our own families, then to our fellow believers in the larger community, then to everyone else.

    Take care of "our own" first, so that we will then be in a position to help others. But never use that as an excuse to ignore the very real needs of others when we can help, even if the others aren't "one of us," be they non-believers or non-preppers, or even our supposed enemies.

  6. To Everyone:

    The interesting thing about the Good Samaritan is that he saw someone in need and helped him. It didn't matter to him that the one in need was a Levite (Levites & Samaritans did not get along). It also didn't occur to the Samaritan to check characters references to make sure the Levite was a good, hardworking person who deserved help, before helping him. The Samaritan just saw someone suffering, had compassion on him and helped him. No litmus test to see if he deserved help or not.

    We are commanded in scripture to love our fellow man, not just our fellow believers. This means we are to love non-belivers, too, as well as to love those we disagree with, those we think are lazy or selfish, and even those who are our supposed enemies. This doesn't mean we have to let others take advantage of us - sometimes what is needed is tough-love - but there is no loophole that lets us get out of helping people we don't like or approve of...

    Do what you can, when you can. Even if all you can do is a little. Check out the story of the Widow's Mite: Mark 12:41-44; Luke 21:1-4