You can give hope this Christmas
You can give hope this Christmas for countless families doing it tough in the country. You can help people like Marj and Ray give their grandkids another Christmas to remember.
Because for them every day is still a struggle, especially after going through the worst Australian drought in over a century.
The creek was dry, the dam was dry, the tap in the kitchen was dry. There wasn’t even water to drink.
Marj and her husband Ray were exhausted from trying to save their stone fruit farm. They had run out of everything: out of water, out of money, out of energy and out of hope.
“I had a point where I didn’t think I was going to get through the next day.
“And I thought,
`I can’t get through this and I can’t get through it on my own’.”
But giving up wasn’t an option. Although in their 70s, Marj and Ray had also taken sole custody of their four grandchildren – kids who had been through so much, and now desperately needed stability, a home, food, clothes, schooling and a whole lot of time and love.
When you’re on a remote farm like Marj and Ray, it can feel like you have to push through it alone. Isolated, exhausted, and facing one challenge after another.
Marj and Ray’s situation is both so unique, and yet so heart-breakingly common.
Like so many others in the bush, Marj and Ray have weathered a lot of storms lately. Through sheer determination they survived the drought, but they know the challenges will keep coming. Right now, they are dreading the thought of having to with the upcoming rains and floods.
They simply can’t work any harder. Already working seven days a week to keep the farm going, they sell extra vegetables, eggs and produce at the local market on weekends.
Marj and Ray don’t have the option to give it all up. They have to keep on going, no matter how hard it gets, because they now have four children to take care of — children who have already been through so much. They are now primary carers for their grandchildren aged 14, 13, eight and three.
Marj and Ray need to be there for the kids and provide them with security, stability, and love. Marj said:
“Some weeks are a big challenge for me, but I believe in the power of God, in prayer and that gets me through.
“Ray just works. He’s gotta keep going to pay our debt off from the drought and to have food on the table for the kids.
He’s gotta keep going to clothe them and look after them and do what we have to do for them.”
As well as the usual busy school runs, and homework, and lost hats, and sickness and emotional meltdowns, and dinners and cooking and cleaning, Marj and Ray also have to keep their large stone fruit farm running.
It’s hard physical work, and it’s never-ending.
So when the drought hit, and kept going and going and going, Marj and Ray had nowhere else to turn. They couldn’t do any more. Borrowing more money wasn’t an option and they needed help.
On that day when Marj reached rock bottom and didn’t know how she’d go on, she made a phone call. She called us Frontier Services because she trusted that we – us and our wonderful community – would be there for her.
We sent Outback Links volunteers Rob and Yvonne — an amazing couple who travel Australia in their caravan, helping people along the way.
They came just in time. The week they arrived, Marj was dealing with yet another challenge: everyone was sick. Marj shared:
“I got really, really sick. We were all sick, and Rob and Yvonne just went out there and got to work without me.”
When asked what difference the volunteers made, Marj’s response was immediate and clear:
“Without Frontier Services, we simply wouldn’t have been able to go on.
“It’s the difference between us keeping going and not keeping going.
“Ray and I can only do so much and we have to stop at what we can do.
“So when the volunteers came, it all turned around. They were just wonderful. It made me feel on top of the world.
“The kind people who make this possible are the difference between us surviving and not surviving.
Supporters of Frontier Services are the difference that Marj is talking about. Their kindness, generosity and willingness to show up for people on the land through your support.
The physical help is the most obvious benefit of your support, but more than that, the true benefit is that people like Marj and Ray know they don’t have to struggle alone. There is help.
You can give hope this Christmas.
By donating today, you are standing with people in the bush, shoulder-to-shoulder.
Your special Christmas gift today can help provide physical, pastoral and spiritual support for people doing it tough on the land.
Please, will you give now to send people like Marj and Ray the help they desperately need? Will you give hope this Christmas?
Your gift could be the difference between someone keeping going or not keeping going, just like Marj and Ray.