In December before we left on outreach, we had a 24 hour prayer time where we asked God to speak to us about His plans for our outreach. After sharing back with each other, we noticed one common thing He was putting on our hearts: rain. We weren’t sure if this was physical or spiritual rain, nor really much of what it meant, but it was clear that He wanted it, and He wanted us to be a part of it.
A month later, I had forgotten about this theme He spoke to us until we were in the van on our way to Cunnumulla, an Australian outback town, and it surfaced again. He was again speaking to all of us about the location before we even got here, and a few hours before we arrived He reminded me, “Pray for rain.” So, without any knowledge at all of the significance of it, our team decided to pray for rain every day we were in Cunnamulla. Then, a couple hours into arrival, we were taken on a tour to the Cunnumulla River where
the pieces of God’s rain story started to fall together.
“I’ve never seen it this dry in my life,” said our contact, once we reached the water. He then proceeded to tell us the town was going on 10+ years of draught, the worst they’d experienced in decades. In his words, the need for rain could not be over-exaggerated. We couldn’t help but smile; we knew that we had most certainly heard clearly from God. With their physical dryness, we noticed too the spiritual deprivation and dryness that has been hovering inside the people of the town for so long. Later on, when we checked the weather to get an idea of the heat for the upcoming days, not even thinking about the rain, we stumbled upon a forecast for Wednesday through Friday: lightning, thunder, and roaring rain storms.
But Wednesday morning, when we were with the kids, we found their doubt was as great as the dryness. We recalled the forecast and told them about how we’d been praying, but they told us with the same certainty there was no way it was going to rain. “Not in Cunnamulla,” they said. “The forecasts always say that — it still never happens.” We could feel some despair in their voices, reflecting their feeling of forgotteness and disappointment they’d felt towards their town.
We told them with faith that this time was different. We told them to expect rain.
The forecast had a 0% chance of rain for the day until 3:00, but after lunch around noon we began to hear something on the roof! We ran outside to make sure it wasn’t just wind, and as the drops began to fall down on our skin, we knew His presence was falling too. We hadn’t seen a single cloud since we’d gotten there, but when we looked up the sun was completely masked by the rain clouds covering the sky. We began to laugh and sing and worship Him and His faithfulness, and
the more we praised Him the harder it poured.
The storm kept up all day and night, and by Friday when the sky was supposed to clear up, God still wasn’t finished. It’s now Sunday and it has rained every day since then. Through the rain, God showed us how faithful He is to move through even the smallest prayers, as He reminded us through the rainbow we saw last night – a biblical symbol of His commitment to His promises. The beauty of the storm falling was that it was all Him – it did not rain by our power nor our might at all. He showed us too that we really do hear His voice, and He most definitely listens to ours. When we left for ministry time the next day, the grass looked ten shades more green and bright than the withering brown it had been before. God can restore anything, and we believe He can even do it overnight. Through the rain, He’s bringing new life and fresh starts to this place.
By Emma Protis
Compassion DTS Student
The team stands on top of a landfill,
admiring the thunderous rain clouds.