In recent months, as I visit congregations and communities, I’m asked questions about the drought and what we can do to help.
We can pray and lament, as we should, for the rural families, individuals and communities in crisis across the country.
I have mentioned before that there is an African saying, When you pray, move your feet.
So, what else can we do? People in rural communities often feel ignored, or forgotten, by governments and metropolitan communities, especially in long term crises like this drought.
If you really want to help, hop in a car with some friends and drive to a (preferably small, or medium sized) rural town for a couple of days. Stay in a motel or caravan park; buy your meals in the bakery, and the café, and the pub.
Fill up your tank there, or in a town nearby. Go to the films; buy some Christmas presents.
If you’re there on a weekend, go to the local church – it doesn’t matter what brand – and put some cash in the plate.
In the bakery, and the church, and the shop, have a chat with the locals and ask them how the week has been. If you’re inclined, tell them you pray for them every day, and that you’re here because your prayers are both spoken and enacted.
One congregation recently said that this doesn’t sound too difficult. It’s not. It’s mission. It’s service.
It tells people they are not forgotten.
It’s a hint of the hand of God.