It was around April this year of 2020, my wife and I were living in Essex in a Coronavirus-stricken world of lockdown. We lived in a nice area on paper, but, once national lockdown came into effect, many people were clearly very affected by these new measures.
Neighbours around us started behaving in a passive-aggressive manner towards each-other, leaving sanitary wipes, gloves, cleaning products, and just general waste dumped in front of each-other’s houses. Music started blaring even at anti-social hours (something residents at Holland Hall know nothing about I’m sure), and some people really just allowed their worst character traits to take hold.
My wife and I sought the Lord in prayer, we prayed for those around us in the name of Jesus Christ and reached out to people, including writing encouraging notes and leaving Bibles in their postboxes. Once it was clear that things were getting worse, I decided to stop parking my car in front of our place and instead started leaving my car down the road. The reason for this was so that I could leave at whatever time I wanted without neighbours getting aggressive or calling authorities because I’d been out more than once.
My wife and I would go and drive to the countryside, only 10 or so minutes away and walk in fields where nobody was. It was brilliant, we’d usually bring food, guitars, and blankets, and just be away for a while from the craziness on a micro-scale that was our neighbours, and on a macro-scale that was great turmoil around the world.
I don’t remember the exact date of this but it must have been around Mid-April, my wife and I drove out in my car to a field where nobody was there, just some deer in the distance. It was around 11PM and there were no cars or lights to be seen. We started talking about our current lives and I told my wife, quite matter of factly as I normally do, that I was fed up of living where we were and that I wanted to move out and go and live in a tent for a while. My wife started crying and said that she was really afraid of the prospect of such living, I told her that this was a pressing matter on my heart and not to worry because God is with us.
As I said that to her, this huge white light flew right in front of the car from the right side to the left and then disappeared. My wife looked at me and asked,
“Did you see that?”
I responded that of course I did and I was curious to know if she’d had as well. This peace came over us and we decided to go back home, and for me anyway, I knew that we would be moving out soon.
Later on in this week, we went back to this vast woodland area and actually went in the direction of the shining light that we had previously seen. We were eventually led to this beautiful area surrounded by massive trees with good cover and space and this overwhelming peace and beauty shone over us. We knew that this was where God wanted us to pitch the tent.
By the time of May 2nd, we had gotten ourselves a tent, food, some gear, and we’d learnt about fires and foraging to prepare us for this chapter of our lives. In concordance with my tenancy agreement, I paid a month’s rent in advance to my estate agents and informed them and the landlord that I was moving out. I told both entities that I did not care about my deposit and if they wanted to keep it all, then that was between them and God.
Now I’ll add as well that my wife and I do not have any support systems as our families are extremely turbulent and unrepentant and it’s best for us to have limited contact with them. So, making this decision, we couldn’t do it half-heartedly. Long story short, lots of abuse of children, and no admittance, apologies, or change of actions from the various perpetrators. We really were just trusting in God here, but He had never let us down before. We knew that as Christians we are not meant to have easy lives.
We left what was our house early in the morning in the drizzling rain, and went to the site to pitch up. The slight rain was actually a blessing as it made the soil we were digging up to pull out the roots of trees a lot softer. After about 4 hours I’d say, we had gotten our tent up, as well as moved all of the necessary items from our respective cars.
If I was to say that the next few days were easy for both of us, I’d be a liar. It took time, prayer, and fasting to acclimatise to this way of living where we were surrounded by hundreds of deers, badgers, foxes, and more. It was all a blessing really because as someone who grew up in a crazy home, I had become fearful of the unknown. I had found it difficult to trust people and situations, but this environment of having little to no possessions, sleeping at night and having all of these tired thoughts of what if a bunch of deer run through the tent as we sleep and trample us and so on. But eventually, I just stopped worrying, through the Grace of God, I realised it did not matter. When my time was up, it was up. Going back to what Jesus Christ said about just concerning ourselves with the day at hand, so-called ‘modern’ life can really hinder such perspectives.
As you may have guessed, all of our meals were now cooked with a fire that depended on natural elements, we didn’t want gas, all natural. By some days in, my wife and I were pretty proficient at making good fires to cook food, and it was dinner time. For some reason, the fire would not start, it was not wet, we were using fresh leaves and all we got was smoke and no flames.
I decided to start a new fire in a different area thinking that maybe the soil been burnt through or something, but alas, same story, just a bit of smoke. This carried on for about 30 minutes or so and my wife and I were feeling hungry and dejected. I was then moved to stand up and say,
In the name of Jesus Christ, I rebuke you, Satan. Leave this area now, and do not come back. Amen.
The second I said this, the first fire in front of my wife lit up with a flame straight away, and after that, the one in front of me did also. As both fires were going strongly in front of us, my wife looked up at me in amazement and said.
You’ve got to be kidding me.
We both just praised God and started cooking a big one-pot meal.
We stayed in the woods for 2 months and 2 days, and in that time, as well as the time beyond, God did so many amazing things along with what has already been mentioned. I may write a Part Two to this but for now I feel led to post this to encourage current Christians wherever they are in their walk, as well as the sheep whom Jesus Christ is calling. I take no glory in this and give all of the glory to Jesus Christ, my Lord, my King.
I pray that whoever reads this does so with a humble and sincere heart and is encouraged to know that events of Biblical times are not isolated, they are not myths, they still happen, Jesus Christ is still here, and He’s coming back again soon.