By David Piper – Field Staff, Lightning Ridge
With a generous donation from link church St John’s Asquith, the Lightning Ridge Community Church was recently able to fund a ‘cottonseed drop’ at a local property.
“Usually we give out hay,” says David Piper. “But we were finding it difficult to get good quality hay, so we bought a truckload of cottonseed, which has a high nutrition content.”
David explains that some hay is like cardboard – it might fill your stomach but it won’t give you any energy. So it was better to get one truckload of quality food over two trucks of low quality hay.
“We had about 20 farmers there on the day from the eastern side of town, coming and going,” David says. “The farmers were appreciative, and we had good opportunity for conversations.”
Diocese of Armidale Bishop, The Rt Revd Rick Lewers also attended the ‘cottonseed drop’ and was able to meet lots of farmers and see first-hand the situation in Lightning Ridge.
“We didn’t initially tell people who Rick was so that they would relate naturally,” David says. “And they sure did relate naturally, which for some meant their usual language and crudities! But Rick took it in his stride and it helped that people saw he was a normal bloke who loves Jesus.
“This ministry to farmers has been a real team effort. Supporting churches have donated money. Trish and Eric Greenham (BCA supporters from Brisbane) have brought hampers, visited, and coordinated haydrop events. Ran and Jenny Mitchell have visited the area and built relationships. Some church members have adopted drought relief as one of their ministries. BCA Nomads have also helped to pack and distribute hampers on occasion.”
Many farmers are happy for BCA Field Staff to pray with them. One lady shared with Ran and Jenny that she can talk to them because she knows they won’t gossip to others.
In other good news, there was two inches of rain in late June which should put some moisture back in the soil. “I worry for those who are planting crops at the moment,” says David. “If there is no more rain then there isn’t enough existing moisture in the soil to get a decent crop. But much more than rain I pray that they will see their need for God – that hearts will not rest until they find rest in him.”