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Leaving The City To Live On The Land — Life On Promise View Acres

Feels like we’re all having the same conversations. Like many families, we are leaving the city. Our grandparents and great grandparents migrated to big cities from the South, mostly looking for better jobs and “integration.”

We’re over it. 

Planning For The Next Generation

Like many husbands, I have decided that the city, and all of its “amenities,” are no longer what’s best for my family. 

In 2024, we closed on a home one-hour away from Chicago in another county. It’s a home on two acres of land. My wife sold her marketing agency and transitioned to homeschooling our two kids, so this is perfect.

As far as leaving the city, I’m done with the mediocre schools, the constant threat of violence, the taxes, parking fees, the noise pollution, the bad attitudes, the disconnection from nature, and most importantly the high cost of living. As a husband and father, it’s my responsibility to protect my family by choosing the best environment for us — emotionally, spiritually, and financially.

Our new home would easily cost three times as much in the city and immediate suburbs. 

I’m looking forward to this new chapter with my wife and children in new surroundings. We are homeschooling and gardening to grow food. I’m looking forward to seeing deer and chopping wood on Sundays. And having enough land to build stuff on.

Our home backs up to a 1000-acre forest preserve where we’ll have plenty of trails to hike and animals to watch. We even have a creek in our backyard. Most importantly, I want to learn about the land. 

My home inspector, a fellow brother in the faith, joked that this home is meant for end times.

Leaving The City & Living Off The Land To Escape The System

I marvel at how Yahweh set up his new nation of chosen people in the Torah. He gave them land that was move-in ready and expected them to rely on him for guidance and protection. 

Instead they went to other gods. Eventually, they decided that being self-sufficient, following His law, and hearing from Yahweh directly or through prophets wasn’t good enough. They wanted a king, an ancient form of centralized government. Yahweh warned them what would happen if they went this route in 1 Samuel 8:10-18: 

Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking him for a king. 

He said, “This is what the king who will reign over you will claim as his rights: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots. Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. 

He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. 

He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants. He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants. 

Your male and female servants and the best of your cattle and donkeys he will take for his own use. He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves. When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.”

1 Samuel 8:10-18

In other words, the king (aka the gub’ment) will take, take, take. In fact, in this short warning Yahweh repeats “he will take” 5 times. That means working for the king more than for yourself. Your children will be his slaves, and eventually you’ll be crying to God for relief. So the system we’ve been trying to integrate with is designed to do nothing but take.

John Berry Meachum, the namesake of this ministry, warned us back in 1847 to stop going to the cities because having land would help secure our stability after slavery. Keeping our industrial skills and working our own land meant we wouldn’t have to deal with employment discrimination, housing discrimination, redlining and all the other sinister methods of big city racism. 

John Berry Meachum urged Black Men coming out of slavery about division and the need for unity

Look at the colored citizens of America; I must think that they have sowed more sparingly than any other nation that I can think of at this time, so they are reaping sparingly, just according to the word of God…And what is the reason that great houses and farms do not belong to some of the colored citizens of America? In the first place, the most of them settle in towns, and there they work every way but the right way…With industry you may have as good a farm as your neighbor’s. You may raise as good corn and oats, wheat and barley and rye as any man. The God of heaven sends the rains to water the earth, and my crop is watered with my neighbor. Then, I ask, why are you so far behind? You are to be a nation in time to come, let us be an industrious people. I recommend the colored citizens of America to turn their attention more to farming than they ever have done.

John Berry Meachum, 1847
John and Mary Meachum, Christ-followers, abolitionists, and freedom riders

Read John Berry Meachum’s Advice for Blacks Coming Out Of Slavery

John Berry Meachum and his wife Mary were devout Christians and abolitionists. They were born into slavery, but John purchased his family’s freedom at 21 years old. John and Mary started a school for Blacks in their church. When Missouri outlawed education for Blacks, they moved their school to a boat outside of state lines. As an entrepreneur and pastor, John Meachum purchased and freed other enslaved people. Before he died in 1854, Meachum wrote a pamphlet with clear instructions for Blacks coming out of slavery. Maybe now we’ll listen…

It’s always been the case that the cost of living in rural areas is lower than in urban centers.

Families in urban areas spend more than families in rural areas according to Bureau of Labor Statistics
Families in urban areas spend more than families in rural areas according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

I believe this is one of the primary reasons Black families have not made much progress in building wealth since emancipation.

“Eight generations [after emancipation], the racial wealth gap is both yawning and growing. The typical black family has just 1/10th the wealth of the typical white one. In 1863, black Americans owned one-half of 1 percent of the national wealth. Today it’s just over 1.5 percent for roughly the same percentage of the overall population.”

— The Washington Post, June 19, 2019

So, for Black husbands who are looking to be providers for our families, we have to select locations that keep us out of the two-income trap, which demands that both us and wives work to pay bills and debt. After years of prayer and research, that meant leaving the city for my family.

I also want my kids to be industrious as well. I want them to learn to build, grow food, make a fire, and catch bugs. I don’t want my family to always need tickets and screens to have a good time. 

Plus, my son is on the autism spectrum. It’s my job to give him a solid set up—skills, a paid off home, and family traditions that he can do with his own children. 

Here’s an awesome testimony of a young couple who left the city to buy a 21-acre homestead—with a private lake—in Indiana. This allows them to grow their food for their juicing business, and hear from the Lord through his creation. Their goal was to show that doing it God’s way is always better. 

The fact that they went from 600 to 20,000 subscribers in one week just talking about leaving the city, shows that there’s a growing group of us who are ready to make this jump.

Here, they give the background on their journey.

Take Home Messages & Reflection Questions
gray check box icon If you’re looking to leave the city, what are your reasons for it?
gray check box icon If you’ve already done it, what lessons learned can you share with fellow believers?

Meachum village conversation cards about family and cards about faith

Check Out The Equally Yoked Conversation Cards

Christian couples can get on the same page about make-or-break issues, if they have the right discussions before it becomes a problem. Check out our conversations cards to get the conversation started.