One hundred kilometres north of Longreach is a property that’s been experiencing drought for the last six years. Anna Hetherington and her family have been really doing it tough. And getting spiritual input so far outback isn’t easy.
‘It’s really hard getting up in the morning on a Sunday, doing the chores, then heading into town for a 200 km round trip to be with other believers,’ Anna said. ‘After a while we really felt that the Lord said He was with us whether we were there or not. Where two or more are gathered in His name, He’s there. So He’s brought His word to us and His revelation. He’s brought other believers into our hearts and home, so we don’t feel so very isolated. Into that journey along came Vision radio.’
Anna says that the station is picked up via satellite internet connection. ‘You have no idea how much of a difference it has made to us all. My husband has an aerial on the truck so that when he’s on the road train, doing long journeys, he’s able to listen to teaching and be encouraged. Vision radio has made a huge difference to his walk.’
Listen to Anna sharing her story on Rise & Shine
As the income from the land has reduced dramatically, Anna’s husband has had to seek employment off-farm. The impact of the drought on the animals, on bringing up the children and on their financial position has been severe. ‘Having Vision live-streaming and being able to access a variety of teaching and music is so very encouraging. You help me clean the troughs! You’re there with me!’
Despite everything, Anna is thankful for the situation. ‘Once you stop fighting, it’s actually very comforting to rely on God. I’m not saying I walk through life in a bubble of denial—just that I’ve come to know whatever happens in life, it will be my God goes before me, He undergirds me, He is my strength, He is my portion, His grace is sufficient for me. Our financial situation as a result of this drought is bleak—yet, again it’s not bleak because God’s in charge.’
Anna says that God has the family there for a reason. He hasn’t pulled them out. And, through learning to rely on God, she was delighted to hear her daughter say recently, ‘I’m falling more and more in love with God every day.’
As Australia came through its driest September on record, Vision radio commenced a month of prayer for rain. The Bureau of Meteorology reports that, during this period, rainfall was above average in some areas and, while rainfall deficiency has broadly decreased, there are many areas still drought-stricken. Please continue praying.
In order to bring hope to people in such severely affected regions, we’ve facilitated Project Boost, an initiative of one generous donor in the Vision family. 130,000 copies of Words of Life in the Hard Times, a special edition of The Word for Today, have gone out to households in drought-affected areas throughout Queensland, New South Wales and Vitoria. In addition to spiritual comfort and hope, Project Boost has a practical component. Gift cards worth $1000 are being given out through local churches, via our ministry partner, Samaritan’s Purse.
Many churches are already saying that it’s been a great way to connect with and support their community. One family have not only been impacted by the drought but by vandals who damaged property and killed livestock when they crashed their car into the property. The gift card was much needed.
[maxbutton id="8" ]
Many people are struggling with extreme poverty. One church pastor mentioned how most farmers in their community have no money to buy even basics like underwear. These gift cards restore dignity and hope. One aspect that is particularly appreciated is that the gift cards for grocery stores benefit the local economy. One town has a single grocer and he’s been amazing—he’s willing to accept the IGA gift cards, even though he won’t benefit from them.
So far $66,000 in gift cards have been distributed by 33 churches, leaving—at the time of going to print—a further $33,000 of the original amount to go.
Churches can still apply to be able to distribute these gift cards to those in need. Check out projectboost.org.au
Thank you to each and every person in the Vision family, including ministry partners and local churches, who have supported this incredible initiative through the blessings of finance, prayer and practical resourcing!