5 December, 2018

Your donations to ADRA’s recent Drought Relief Appeal are making a real difference in the lives of farmers and their families.

Take the rural kids from far-flung farms and stations  who look forward to the Isolated Children’s Parents’ Association (ICPA) sports camp every year for example. The camp is an opportunity for the children to develop skills and connect in fun ways – so important for those who live in remote locations.

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“These rural kids look forward to this camp all year, but many families weren’t able to afford to send them this year due to the financial stress from the on-going drought,” says Charlene Luzuk, ADRA Director for Northern Australia.

ADRA donated $13,500 from the drought relief appeal to help subsidise camp fees so that all children could attend. The camp began during the first weekend in December.

“Thank you to everyone across the country who donated to the appeal — it really does make a difference in people’s lives,” Charlene says.

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And this isn’t the only way your generous donations are making a difference.

To date, ADRA has provided more than $101,500 in assistance to farmers and graziers in areas impacted by the severe drought – graziers Michelle and Michael Lyons from northern Queensland who had been praying for rain.

Rain would bring relief — not only for livestock, but for the graziers themselves who have had to manage their properties through the extreme conditions.

The Lyons were one of many families who received much-needed help from ADRA. But they wanted to use the ADRA money to give back to their community, so they organised a “Pray for Rain” event, held on 18 October. “There are so many families worse off than us, so we decided to use the money to bless others and encourage them,” Michelle says.

More than 40 people gathered at their property, Wambiana Station, with farmers from different denominations spending time in prayer and sharing a meal together.

Charlene, who also attended the “Pray for Rain” event, says, “It was great to see a group of people come together in prayer, and spend time reminding each other that God is with us and we can trust in Him. Talking to the graziers here, I’ve seen how the drought has really impacted their lives in such a huge way — and it drags on. I can understand why they have banded together to encourage each other through it.”

In the days following “Pray for Rain,” Charlene found out from Michelle’s mother-in-law Rhonda, that rain had fallen on the property of one of the families who had attended the event.

According to Rhonda, “The Black family, who are on a property to the south of Wambiana which has been in drought for seven years, received 43 millimetres of rain soon after they arrived home following the service! Looking at the Bureau of Meteorology map, there was no other rain to be seen for kilometres around — just a large rain cloud over their property.”

Thanks to you, individual farmers in Queensland have received more than $9,000 from ADRA. In New South Wales, ADRA has provided $13,500 to 27 families in partnership with the Salvation Army. And in South New South Wales, ADRA enabled representatives from 16 churches to attend training in Nedley Depression and Anxiety Recovery Program in October. The attendees will use the training to conduct the program in their own drought-affected communities.

Thank you for your generous support.

Although the Drought Relief Appeal has now closed, you can ensure ADRA continues to respond to disasters ongoing by donating to our Disaster Preparedness Fund.