One year ago, Toni Clark and her daughter Emily went to the cinema. Before the movie started, God spoke to Toni.
“We had treated ourselves to a movie and it was during [the previews] that I definitely heard God speak to my heart,” Toni told Hope Mornings.
“‘You’ve got to write it down.'”
Toni immediately told Emily about something she had “never experienced before”.
They agreed this instruction from God referred to writing down the personal story of what life on the Australian land has been like for Toni.
Still ensconced in drought at the time, Toni and her family at Peak Hill in the Central West of New South Wales could see no end in sight.
For a while already, Toni had already been sharing her life and offering support to others through her Farmer’s Wife, Farmer’s Life page on Facebook.
But the prompt to “write it down” blossomed further into what has become the Dusty Boots, Faithful Hearts book of raw, honest accounts.
Many farming women contributed to Dusty Boots, Faithful Hearts, including Linda Young, who told Toni she had had the same word from God about “writing it down”.
Rachael Limburger is another contributor.
A long-time dairy farmer living near the Murray River town of Mulwala, Rachael told Hope Mornings that being part of a network of Christian women living on the land has been a Godsend.
“The reason I reached out to Toni in the first place was I felt I didn’t have anyone who could actually empathise with me,” Rachael said about the difficulty of surviving as a farmer throughout challenging years.
“Now I have this team of women that I just put a little message out and I know they will be praying.”
“No matter what your circumstances, God has promised he will never leave us nor forsake us,” – Rachael Limburger, Dusty Boots, Faithful Hearts contributor
We can meet many in this “team of women” in the emotive pages of Dusty Boots, Faithful Hearts. Whether we live on the land or not, Toni and Rachael hope the book offers a clear insight into what farming life is really like in Australia – and the part played by faith.
“You can have God and be the really good, tough, rugged Aussie bloke, [or] the beautiful, supportive and often farming wife,” Rachael said.
“No matter what your circumstances, God has promised he will never leave us nor forsake us.
“When we are in our deepest depths, that is when he is the strongest and he really comes in so beautifully and lovingly – and really helps you through.”
Listen to the full interview with Toni Clark and Rachael Leimgruber in the player above.