Sumter farmers’ rain prayer answered after photo of group goes viral


Many testify to the power of prayer at certain critical moments in their lives, and several local farming families are now part of that group. They even have a viral keepsake to always remember it by.

Given drought conditions since the first part of May, several farmers in the northern part of Sumter County got together on the morning of June 3 to pray for rain, according to one farmer’s wife, Donna Rivers.

At the request of a friend from church, Rivers took a picture of the prayer gathering on her husband, Buddy Rivers’, farm on DuBose Siding Road.

She then posted the photo on Facebook, something Rivers said she rarely uses.

“I just added stuff about being a farmer’s wife and what our families go through,” Rivers said.

The men also prayed that morning for farmers in the Midwest who have lost many of the crops in fields and in stored grain bins because of flooding, and Rivers also included that in her post description.

As of June 4, most of Sumter County was abnormally dry, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, while the southern tip of Sumter and most of Clarendon County was in moderate drought, which can cause damage to crops and pastures.

By the next night, the first quarter inch of rainfall reached the area, she said. Wednesday, a little more rain than Tuesday, and by Thursday, the floodgates were opened.

The photo on Facebook has since gone viral.

A look at Rivers’ Facebook page Monday shows before last week’s post she hadn’t made a post since 2015.

As of Monday, the June 3 post had 2,800 shares and 540 comments.

“We have had wonderful rains, which have made a huge difference for our crops,” Rivers said. “I didn’t think anything of the post. I have a great group of prayer-warrior friends. A lot of people prayed, and we’re thankful and grateful.”

Kathy Burrows, a friend of Rivers who is also married to a farmer, said their prayers have been answered.

“This community is very agricultural-minded,” she said, “and people feel for the farmers.”

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