At Potwin Kansas, a small town near Wichita there is a little 360 acre farm.
It has been owned by the Voglemen family for over 100 years. Joyce, 82 now rents out the property. She remembers when the first bathroom was put in. She wrote Sunday school lessons from this house. The farm contains a pasture, orchard, two barns and an old two-story house.
It is a mile to the nearest neighbor, and the nearest town is only 13 thousand people. It is a two hour drive from the geographical middle of the United States. Average rural America.
However, it isn’t anything like average for the last 14 years. Joyce and her renters have had visits from:
• FBI Agents
• Federal Marshals
• IRS Collectors
They have accused Joyce and her renters of being identity thieves, spammers, scammers, fraudsters, of trying to commit suicide, of kidnapping young girls, making dirty movies, and many other things.
Threatening objects have been left at their property.
Did she do anything to deserve this, or her renters? Heck no, she hasn’t ever caused any trouble as per the local sheriff.
To say it isn’t fair is an understatement.
What happened you might ask? I mentioned that it is close to the center of the United States… well the exact center of the United States is 39.8333333,-98.585522.
Ten years ago, a company named MindMax found it easier to approximate it as: 38.0000,-97.0000.
It just so happens that that nice approximate address is Joyce’s front yard…
Mindmax is a company that tries to map IP-Internet computer addresses to physical locations. You can do this by sending vehicles to drive the US and record what IP address is at what physical location. It can also see what company typically uses an IP address and figure out the location of its business. When Mindmax can’t find the actual address it uses an approximate address. So if it only knows the address is in a city, they might use a default address of the center of the city. If it only knows the address is in the United States, it used its nice approximate address of the center of the United States….Joyce’s front yard: 38.0000,-97.0000.
When a reporter in 2016 managed to get a hold of the co-founder, he was appalled and changed the approximate center to the middle of a lake.
It got so bad that the local sheriff intervened and put an official sign in her driveway warning people to leave her alone and call him if they had any questions.
Until 2016, Joyce had no idea why this was happening. She only knew it was crazy and it wasn’t fair.
Who actually caused the issue? We don’t know, they were IP addresses unable to be tracked to a location except within the United States. It could be dozens to thousands of different fraudsters. She was blamed for the sins of many different individuals, again not fair.
Here is a web site that STILL accuses them of doing all of these things. Not Fair.
It also wasn’t fair that Jesus had to die on the cross for something that he did not do. But he did it….
1 Peter 3:18 NAS
For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit
Isaiah 53:5 NIV
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.
It also isn’t fair that we can have salvation that we didn’t earn….
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works
When we think about life not being fair, we need to remember, that if it was, we would have no hope in the future.
© Vivian P. Kirkpatrick, 2017
Watch this video in video form: here.