While NSW farmers are struggling under the drought, it seems many Christian farmers are finding comfort in their faith.
Hope 103.2’s Sam Robinson spoke to Elliot Hathway, a farmer from Gunnedah who is a Christian, about his perspective on the drought.
“Only last night we had a prayer meeting in town for the community,” Elliott said. It was run by the Shire Council in conjunction with the ministers… That was really encouraging. And then this morning after that prayer meeting, we woke up to the sound of rain.”
Elliot believes prayer is the most important thing we can do to support our farmers.
“This morning after that prayer meeting, we woke up to the sound of rain.”
“We think of prayer as the last resort – If nothing works I’ll pray. But really it should be our first ‘go-to’ thing. I think prayer for rain and also just for farmers would be the number one thing we need.”
Elliot added that farmers want people to know times are tough on the land, and many appreciate knowing people are praying for and supporting them.
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“You’re Not in Control, But That’s Ok”
Isabele Roberts, a farmer from Cudal, says the drought has been particularly hard on those who define themselves by what they do as farmers.
“There are farmers who find this hard to cope with, because being a farmer is so fundamental to who they are, and it’s really hard when they’re not in control.”
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As a woman of faith, though, Isabele says she has a different perspective, because her vocation isn’t the most important thing about her identity.
“When you’ve got faith that you’ve got a higher purpose in life, you can take a step back from it,” she said. “You’re not in control but that’s okay.”
From a spiritual perspective, Ruth Klinger, a mixed farmer from Forbes, also says it helps to acknowledge that she’s not in control.
“Ultimately I can’t fix a drought,” she said. “As a Christian I pray to God that he makes it rain, but I actually pray that it’s in his right timing. God does things in his right timing for anything in our lives. It’s in hard times that we grow in our faith and our trust and reliance on God,” she said.
She wants believers to pray that he gives strength and wisdom to people working the land.
Ruth added that it helps her to not look inwardly too much, and take her eyes off her own problems.
“Yes, we need to sort our own issues, but there’s so many people hurting even more than we are,” she said.
For Isabele Roberts, the drought has been a reminder of who she is as believer.
“My identity is in Christ and not in the things of this world and that is very, very comforting.”