Going off Grid as a committed Christian in Sydney. What's it like?

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Nov 28, 2018
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A year off the grid in Sydney City. What’s it like as a committed Christian?

This concept of stepping out and doing this came to me after I met a married couple who gave up being doctors to go off the grid in Perth City Western Australia. However I shall throw in a short story of a lovely couple I met when I first arrived in the state.
A couple of years ago I decided to go traveling up and down the west coast of Australia with nothing except a backpack and essentials. I decided to go to Albany which is on the bottom west coast of Australia. This is one of the most remote places on Earth only for a few towns scattered up the western coast. When I arrived I got myself an outside lock up garage and I slept in it for a few weeks. It was then I decided to go to a Baptist Church.

One Sunday as I was leaving and walking back down the hill to go into the main town area a person from the Church who was a complete stranger stopped and asked me if I wanted a lift. So I accepted it and he asked while we were making our way back into town whether I wanted to go back to his house and have lunch with his wife and children. So I accepted and ended up having lunch with his family.

It just so happened that he was building a granny flat outside his home and asked if I would be interested in helping him finish it and I moved into it half built. So in those days I helped him finish it and in the few weeks I was there they gave birth to a child and I was one of the first to see their baby. They asked me to stay but I declined and came back to Perth City. It was here I met a couple briefly who recently had given up both of their careers as doctors and went off the grid to become missionaries. They would do Bible studies a few days a week at the library and a few homeless people and others would attend.
They were around their early 40’s with 3 children.

I went to one of the studies just to try it out and they had some weird beliefs at the time I thought however the fact that they left their jobs as doctors to live in a caravan with their 3 children and put the Gospel first showed me something on that scale I had never seen before. One day I got a chance to be with the husband only a few minutes alone as he left the Bible study and I explained to him I was on social welfare. It was there he put a challenge to me I will never forget. He said to get off the social welfare and take nothing with me except $1 and trust God to provide me with the rest.
I thought he was mad and I certainly wasn’t in a financial position to do it so I took the advice with a pinch of salt and left Perth and travelled to Western Australia still on social welfare.

It was here I met a woman online in another state of Victoria and then travelled to Melbourne seeing if a relationship was possible and if I could live a normal life with a job and a home.

It turned out she had a job and was close to paying off her home from a bank loan.
She had been a Christian for 5 years and me 20 years. I was in that relationship for 1 year.
It so turned out we were not compatible because I wanted to do ministry and reach out to people with the gospel and she was not interested and instead wanted me to work fulltime in a secular job away from ministry.
After the relationship fell through and not seeming to get anywhere I came back to Sydney and decided out of complete madness to leave social welfare and go off the grid and become homeless.

I would be lying if I said what that doctor told me wasn’t niggling away at the back of my mind for the last 2 years before I went off grid. Maybe I was going mad….trying things out of desperation to draw closer to Christ not knowing where it would lead me even at the expense of my own security.
So I finally go off grid and move into the city. At least there were a few homeless places and shelters that offered free showers and food. It was here I started doing Bible studies with people that frequented the shelter and decided to start a FB group and create my own posts online.

In the past year quite a few strangers and people I don’t know have come up to me and given me money, some of the orthodox Christians, others Catholics….others of other faiths and no faith.
One man woke me up when I was sleeping outside the State Library with other homeless people and out of 12 homeless people all sleeping side by side picked me and woke me up and said God told him to give me $50. When I told him I was a committed Christian we prayed for each other and I never seen him again…..I’ve had about 15 similar incidents like it.
I also met a woman who was a lecturer online and she supported my ministry doing the Bible studies for 6 weeks and put me up in a hotel room for a week.

This doesn’t include all the homeless shelters and community centre and churches who come into the city handing out clothes and food and toiletries.
Sometimes Ive woken up after being asleep and someone has left me $20 next to my backpack in full view of the public without it being stolen.
One time I was at the state library and as I sleep there when it closed I went outside it and was making up my bed (sleeping bag and matt) and as the library closed a Japanese student asked me a few questions and we ended up having a chat through google translate.

How’s this…I ended up sharing the Gospel with him all about Jesus and his message through the app Google translate. It took about 1 hour but it was well worth it. And just at the finish some Christian came along and gave out free sandwiches’ and water. I told him to take 2 bags of it on his journey and he was stunned. The timing was perfect.
I’m still off the grid, and I’m still homeless but if I could tell you all the other stories how God has blessed me and others through my time off the grid I would have to write a book.

Through all my experiences in being at this end of town I know for sure that I would never meet all the people who I have blessed and blessed me if I hadn’t taken this course.
Regardless of how long the adventure and where it leads I’m grateful to the Lord Jesus by experiencing moments I would never get to experience by living a normal life in security.

The doctors were right. God did bless me and many others but I had to take a leap of faith and put him and his Gospel first before anything else in this world.

Blessings Chris Dobson.
 

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