There are 3 key moments I can recall when thinking about why we are offering raw milk as a gift to others.
The first was related to Josh's health. In 2007, Josh experienced a major health crisis shortly after we were married. This began a desperate search for answers from standard medical doctors, naturopaths, extensive online research, and reading books such as Nourishing Traditions, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, The Makers Diet, Pottinger's Cats, and countless others. Through all this research he learned about the benefits of raw milk. In 2010, he decided to go on a 30 day raw milk fast. “Whoa,” you might say, “this sounds crazy.” Well, at this time, Josh had spent a year eating the same handful of foods 3x a day. He was skin and bones and had severe reactions to just about every food he ate. All milk products were out of the question during this time. In a desperate act to gain some ground on his weight and overall wellbeing, he plunged into this fast. (A little side note-I, Kyra, come from a long line of dairy farmers on my father’s side. I spent 13 years of my youth drinking raw milk, but never knew the amazing benefits of the gift I was receiving every day.) Josh started to gain weight within the first week and began to have feelings of joy and well-being return. This began a complete switch from pasteurized milk to raw milk for the whole family. Josh was by no means completely better, but the raw milk was a steppingstone in his health, and there would be many more needed. (He still suffers from health issues that no one has been able to heal.)
The second event happened in 2016. We had 6 children at the time and were living in a single wide trailer. I was desperate for a dishwasher, so Josh lovingly installed one in August of 2015 and unbeknownst to us, it was slowly leaking from a bad connection underneath. For 3 months we could not understand the sudden intense mood swings we were all having, the daily rashes, colds and constant sickness, and feelings of hatred and despair towards our house and life. When we noticed the wet wood underneath the sink one day, we panicked, and found amongst the total damage of all the wood underneath the sink, a football size pile of moldy sawdust nearby. We spent 2 months living at a friend’s house who was on vacation and Josh went to remediating the house. (There is much more to this story, but to keep focused, I will not share it here.) This 3-month stint of living in a moldy house led to the whole family having allergic reactions to foods, soaps, cleaners, etc. Mold, we discovered, was everywhere and many foods contained trace amounts of it. Because of Josh’s years of research, we knew how to detox our home and our bodies. However, for 6 months we could eat only a handful of foods; rice, beef, lettuce, apples, blueberries, and raw milk. There are only so many combinations we could come up with and after six months, we were sick of everything but milk. I remember crying one mealtime where I was eating the same boring meal and complaining to God about it. He lovingly said to me, “Have I not sustained you?” I looked at my children and despite the lack of food variety and sickness, their eyes were bright, their weight normal, and their cheeks rosy and plump. We had been drinking raw jersey milk and if you know anything about it, you know that it has lots of creamy goodness and I believe it was in part what kept our children looking healthy. I thanked the Lord and said to Him, “Yes, you have sustained us. If I could ever give raw milk to anyone in need, I would be honored to do so.” We were poor by American standards, but God supplied us during those months with milk we could not afford to buy from our dear friends the Wincentsens (Little Bear Dairy). They sacrificed their time, money, and labor to ensure we had milk. God provided for us later and we were able to pay them for the milk.
The third event was earlier in the spring of this year. During a discussion/prayer time about the upcoming construction of the dairy, we were strongly encouraged by the Lord not to view the dairy as a typical business. We had been reading one of Joel Salatin’s books about how to farm and create businesses. While we respect and appreciate what God is doing through Joel, we believed that God was wanting Abundance Endeavors to be a farm that glorified God in a way we (and most people) have never seen. Our desire is to give access to healthy homegrown food to people of all income levels. We have witnessed, lived, suffered, and now fully believe that what we eat is an integral part of our ability to function and thrive mentally, physically, and spiritually.
A few quotes and Bible verses that encourage(d) us;
"Those who preach faith, should live by faith." - Rees Howells
"You are not called to succeed, but to obey." - SB a friend
Luke 12:22-37, 42-48
Josh: Founder, father