Will you pray with us?
Stephen says, “There were indeed scattered but good showers in our region a week to ten days ago; “Netanyah”, 20km out of Wee Waa, received 35mm at least, Werah Creek breaking its banks and the dams partially refilling. Christian friends at Warren have their small remaining herd on grass for the first time in a year after rain a few weeks ago, though they are still hand feeding as well. But the showers were scattered and a number of our farming folk received less than 5mm, things being pretty grim.
The cotton gin and “co-op” locally has made a number of redundancies, laying people off; local businesses have reduced hours of trading but some service industries have put their workers onto a 4 day week, including our son Michael who is employed by a local engineering firm. Some families are or have moved away. Without soaking substantial rain the local economy will continue to struggle and burdens of debt and distress grow. We have generally been spared fires locally.
In the midst of this we are seeking with other believers in the area to reach out with a helping hand and a willing ear; our partnership with Charlestown Presbyterian Church is prayerful and they are full of practical generosity. I was able to worship with them 3 weeks ago, and update our situation in the service interviewed by Stephen Taylor. A number of hampers, and funds to be spent locally esp. for kid’s presents etc are scheduled to arrive for distribution.
Louis Brennan (from Jericho Road’s Counselling Service) has been unable to come out our way as the road from the coast is cut around Walcha a number of wooden road bridges burned and fires continue, she needs to sit tight at Port Macquarie as even long detours would bring her near present bushfire regions. She has been keeping in touch with me by phone and text, and the same with some of her Wee Waa clients. Her church has given a gift toward purchasing end of year gifts for our SRE students in Gulargambone Central School.
Very thankful for continuing prayer and good will, and to support our sister churches in the northwest with their gospel ministers: Narrabri, Gunnedah, Moree, Inverell and then those without ministers Delungra, Warialda and Bingara small gatherings pressing on. Also trying to encourage indigenous ministries in towns like Pilliga and Gulargambone, and a number of aboriginal believers and seekers.”
Stephen has just completed a six sermon series on Psalm 107 at Wee Waa, truths very applicable to our situation, and an enterprising church elder has been distributing the via “Whatsapp” to folks on their phones outside the immediate congregation, and been met with some positive response.
David says, “The immediate threat seems to have settled a bit. The sirens over the past weeks are much less frequent. Foster is still experiencing some days where the smoke is around, but it is also certainly much better than it had been.”
Gunnedah had 5ml of rain a week ago, with a few scattered storms with one farm in the area getting 20ml. Give thanks that it made the air feel fresh which was wonderful. The area still need lots more rain. Lyle says, “Please pray for people’s appreciation of the real wonder of what God has done in bringing Christ as the smallest human being into broken world for broken people like us. Pray for the overcoming of worldly cynicism and courteousness among God’s people. Pray for transformation (Romans 12:1,2) of all of our redeemed humanity. And yes, please pray for rain.”
Andrew says, “We are thanking God for the rain – 6 mm at our place, but 55 mm 10 ks away! Perhaps our turn today! Thank God that many local fires are out, which is a blessing, but lightning strikes have started others. We are grateful to God that so far the injuries to fire fighters have been minimal. The dangers include being trapped and falling trees as well as exhaustion and tiredness and so making mistakes with machinery. The farmers have to go out at night after working all day feeding their stock. It’s very tough.”
Peter says, “West of Wauchope certainly bore the brunt of some serious fires and certainly a solid threat of more. Rollands Plains and Comboyne where we also have people and worship services have both been in the fire line and been cut off at times. There has been a small amount of drizzly rain out in these vicinities. A number of properties have needed to be evacuated a number of times … having done their best preparations for buildings and for the livestock. The air quality has been appalling and is still now not good in the mornings. It’s always a bit weird to see people in masks around the place. There’s a lot to be said. And people are in various states … some pretty low emotionally. In the midst of it all the Lord is sovereign and He is good and He is just and He is gracious.”
Paul says, “Things have settled down here. We actually had a good drop of rain! Thanks again for all your support. Good to tangibly feel and know the prayers of the saints!”
Manilla got about 8mm of rain. Still not near enough to break the drought! Christine says, “Pray for farmers who are struggling to keep any remaining stock alive. Also for those affected by these raging bushfires as some of our farmers are volunteer fire fighters too!”
Thanks so much for your prayers and concerns. Still waiting for rain. The people here are resilient but are doing it tough. George says, “God has shown his love in extra ordinary ways and continue to look to him.”
Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honour and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created. (Rev 4:11) Thank you, Father, that we know that as the creator of all things you care for your creation. We have seen the terrifying power of bush fires over recent weeks and the terrifying effect of no rain over recent years across our land. Father, have mercy on us. We give you thanks for lives spared and protected. We pray for comfort for those who have lost family and friends. We give you thanks for the reprieve of cooler weather and showers of rain. We pray for less wind and lightening, cool changes and rain across fire grounds. We ask that you protect those in our emergency services who seek to protect lives and property in the face of fire. Thank you for those who persevere and for those that speak the name of Jesus in communities that are suffering. We pray for steady, slow, drought breaking rain to stretch across the country. Lord, have mercy on us.
CEO, Jericho Road