Saved by Fire and Rain
By Alicia Harding
For almost 50 years, Riverside Farm Institute has been serving communities in Zambia through training schools, evangelism, health and wellness, and partnering with other organizations to maximize relief efforts in this sub-Saharan Southern Africa region.
Sometimes God answers prayer after seasons of waiting and relying solely on faith. Other times, He opens the windows of heaven so fast you can’t help but see tangible evidence of His working.
It was October and it hadn’t rained in seven months. Except for irrigated lawns and bordered flowerbeds, the earth was dry, shrubby, and parched. In the middle of the drab landscape, however, two round pivots of gorgeous golden grain stood tall, with heavy heads of wheat berries prime for harvest. This years’ wheat harvest was predicted to be the most bountiful, possibly record-breaking crop ever.
The annual crop at Riverside funds a huge portion of the mission budget and the combine machine had just arrived to start the five-day harvesting process for our 130 acres of grain.
We were relaxing that Sabbath after a nice meal with friends when my husband, Craig, got a call from a friend that a bush fire was heading toward the wheat fields. Because the wheat was so dry, one tiny spark from the fire could set the whole field ablaze and destroy everything. Craig, director of Riverside Farms, prayed for God to help save the wheat crop as he raced out to the fields in his vehicle. Others gathered and followed behind to beat the fire.
Craig called a farm worker to turn on the water from the pump house to provide irrigation, but the power went out, and there was no way to get water to the fields. When he arrived, the fire wall was about 15 feet high and heading directly toward the wheat. Sending desperate prayers heavenward, we knew God was the only one who could put the fire out and save everything.
Out of nowhere, it suddenly began to rain—heavily.
We looked around in amazement. It was dry season! There was no rain in the forecast. Taylor, one of our student missionaries, looked up the weather radar on her app, which did not even show rain in real time. Believe it or not, within 10 minutes the fire was smothered, just before it reached our fields. God put it out just in time.
Now there was a new problem, however! Craig called me and said, “Please pray that the rain stops! It’s going to ruin the wheat for harvest tomorrow!” We all prayed. The rain stopped in time for the crops to dry out by noon the next day for the combine to begin production.
I love it when we tangibly see God’s hand at work. However, can we still trust Him and know He’s good even when we can’t always immediately see His hand?
Alicia Harding, along with her husband, Craig, who directs Riverside Farms Institute, and their four children enjoy being missionaries in Zambia. They’ve been in Africa over five years now. To learn more about Riverside Farms, click here!
World Church Prayer Requests
February 25 – March 3, 2022
- Pray earnestly for our church family in Ukraine. Pictured above are Ukrainian Christians praying outdoors, in the snow, for their country in this phase of war danger. Let's pray for all the families in Ukraine and Russia, in the face of these particularly critical times; may God grant wisdom, discernment, strength, courage, protection to His children, to the authorities and to the whole population!
- Pray for Riverside Farms Institute in Zambia, and other church supporting ministry, health, and educational programs around the world.
- Pray for our brothers and sisters in Canada and for God to take the situations that the enemy has meant for evil and turn them to good.
- Keep praying for International Women's Day of Prayer, happening March 5th, 2022. Pray that many will join as we study the topic "Praying in the Last Days."
- Keep praying for Global Youth Day and Global Children’s Day on March 19, 2022, when youth and children around the world will find creative ways to reach the “forgotten” members of society.
- Pray for the Wolof people. There are 343,000 Wolof in the country of Gambia and only 0.12% of them are Christians. Pray for this group to recognize their need for the Savior and for mission agencies working among them.