Rain dancers raising hope in NSW farming communities

Cara Harris (Bendigo), John Doolan, Kevin Sullivan (Blue Mountains), Mark and Vicki Moody-Basedow (Penrith) during their visit to Cowra.
Cara Harris (Bendigo), John Doolan, Kevin Sullivan (Blue Mountains), Mark and Vicki Moody-Basedow (Penrith) during their visit to Cowra.

Cowra was treated to a special sight today with a group of rain dancers taking up residence in Squire Park.

The group organised by Vicki and Mark Moody-Basedow come from across NSW and Victoria and are travelling from Narellan to Dubbo praying for rain to come to farmers and farming communities.

Mrs Moody-Basedow said the goal was to help create awareness and spread hope.

“This was birthed out of a time of what do we need to do for our nation and what we can do for the farmers,” she said.

“To come out of our church, come out here, bring awareness to the community that we haven’t forgotten that’s happening and say we care. To network hope on the street.”

Mrs Moody-Basedow said the group had received a warm response in the areas they had already visited.

“People are very responsive and very welcoming,” she said.

“We get a lot of thumbs up from truckies, people walking by and say thank you. It’s a very positive atmosphere.

“Because it’s new, people are a little bit shocked, but we go down the street, we stop for every shop and raise awareness.

“We find people coming out starting to talk about it (the drought) and share their pain, their ideas. Some people are angry about it and we give them an opportunity to talk through that,” she said.

The group also has a special story about their sign, which depicts a tractor under a rainbow. The photo comes from one of the Victorian members, Cara Harris.

Rain dancers in Cowra

“I was invited by a friend to her mum’s bible study and when I got there, her mother was sharing how she needed rain on her land,” Mrs Harris said.

“God had inspired her to go out in her field to raindance and give thanks for the coming rain. That afternoon they received rain and this is the photo she took.

“So it’s her tractor with the rainbow over her land and it gives us encouragement that what we are doing has already achieved results,” she said.

The group hoped their cause would snowball in to the community to break the spirit of hopelessness in farming communities.

“A lot of people are giving up,” Mrs Moody-Basedow said.

“We’ve heard children don’t want to run farms anymore, they just want admin jobs, so we’re saying don’t give up.”

“We were told the farmers aren’t necessarily asking for handouts, they are asking does anybody care?”

The group will be in Parkes on Wednesday, November 28 at Cooke Park near the Elvis statue and in Dubbo on Thursday, November 29 at Victoria Park near the Rotunda.

Over the next 12 months the group will also be visiting Parliament houses across Australia.