SCOTTSBLUFF — Centennial Park turned into a point of reverence Monday at noon as people from around the community gathered to pray for farmers and everyone else affected by the disastrous irrigation tunnel collapse, resulting in the loss of irrigation water.

“Our local pastors’ group meets each week and we were discussing the impact this will have on the area,” said Jeff Fiet, co-pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Scottsbluff. “We wanted to let the community know we’re standing in support of them and are here to pray for them and help in any way we can.”

The group decided to host a prayer rally Monday so more people would have the opportunity to participate.

“We’re praying for rain in the meantime and we’re already seeing some of those prayers answered,” Jeff said.

April Fiet, co-pastor with her husband Jeff, said it’s important for the entire community to come together in support and prayer.

“What affects people in agriculture affects all of us,” she said. “They’re our neighbors and our friends, so we hope this gathering will be a good sign of community support and love for all those people.”

April said that from the pastors’ weekly meeting, it was clear all of them wanted to offer the community the opportunity to come together in prayer.

“Churches always talk about loving our neighbor, so we wanted to get out there and do it,” April said. “We want everyone to feel the support and the love from each congregation, and from all people of faith from the surrounding community.”

Area churches involved in organizing the rally included First Presbyterian Church, St. Francis Episcopal Church, Scottsbluff United Methodist Church, Calvary Lutheran Church, Holy Apostles Episcopal Church of Mitchell, First Christian Church, Immanuel United Church of Christ in Lyman, Faith United Church of Christ in Bayard, and United Methodist Churches in Mitchell, Morrill and Henry.

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Jerry Purvis is a reporter with the Star-Herald. He can be reached at 308-632-9046 or emailed at

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