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Pastors Pray For Rain at State Capitol With AM-Storms, Bjt

May 4, 1990

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) _ A few sprinkles of rain fell shortly after more than 100 people gathered Thursday at the Capitol to pray for an end to the drought.

But state officials said North Dakota needs more than that as it braces for a third straight year of parched pastures and shrinking lakes.

Gov. George Sinner declared the state a drought disaster area last week. State officials say that even if rain comes soon, it will still take several years for the soil and waterways to regain their normal supply of moisture.

Eight pastors took part in Thursday’s hourlong interdenominational service of prayer, song and Bible reading. Lt. Gov. Lloyd Omdahl and former Gov. Art Link also spoke.

″We’re here with a common faith in God and so we are here to make a request on behalf of our state, on behalf of the people who are suffering under a drought,″ Omdahl said.

″Father, our land is desolate and unproductive in its present condition. It cannot produce an abundant harvest,″ said the Rev. Dom Vetter of the Victory Family Bible Church in Bismarck. ″We are in need of you to heal our land.

″Today we come boldly to your throne of grace. The Word says we can ask you for rain in the springtime. Therefore, Father, we ask you to send the storm clouds, send thunder, send the lightning and the rain upon our state,″ he said.

About 45 minutes after the service ended, a light rain began and lasted about 2 minutes, after which the sky cleared.

The governor was in Washington to seek federal money for the Garrison Diversion Project, a $1 billion effort to divert Missouri River water for cities and rural water systems.

Thursday’s gathering is to be followed Sunday by a traditional Indian rain dance at Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park near Mandan.

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