St Peter’s Anglican Church in Tamworth ran a Fodder, Food and Family Fun Arvo where they gave out 600 bales of good quality fodder mostly in 10 bale lots. 60-70 farming families in genuine need were contacted through the event.
Contact was made through a handwritten letter by the Senior Minister, Rod Chiswell inviting people to come together to enjoy community with hospitality extended by the St Peter’s church family.
The hay offer was acknowledged as just a drop in the bucket in view of the needs, but people responded well to the idea of coming together to get some encouragement and support during drought. Lots of good phone conversations and text conversations were shared in the lead up to the day as times for pick up needed to be roughly worked out to avoid long queues.
On the day itself there was three inches of rain in the morning. This was the best rain the region has received in over 18 months. The timely rain of course meant people were in a good frame of mind to come together, and it all had a very positive hopeful feel.
The delivery happened in the St Peter’s church carpark and the logistics went smoothly. Nearly everyone who received hay then parked their utes or trailers and came in to enjoy a free BBQ and some live music. There was a good barista brewing coffee for the adults, and a jumping castle and face painting on offer for the kids, and that was all greatly appreciated as well. Farmers and families stayed generally for between 30-90minutes.
During that time Matt Stones, one of the Moore College team members who had come from a property near Gunnedah was interviewed. He spoke about how the drought had affected his family, but also of the hope beyond drought that was theirs through faith in Jesus. The testimony was well received by all.
There were a number of congregation members invited to come and connect with and listen to who came along. Lots of good conversations were had as the church community connected positively with people off the land. Information about counselling services was available and government assistance on offer.
Invitations to the guest service the next day were handed out plus a copy of Luke’s gospel. Rod Chiswell is still receiving thank you texts and letters from those who came. And they even made it into the local paper: https://www.northerndailyleader.com.au/story/6007281/church-connects-and-brings-hope
Thanks again for your partnership in the gospel and your generous support of farming families which enabled this event to happen in North West NSW!