Across the island of Aruba tourists and Arubans alike came together in prayer for missing teen Natalee Holloway’s safe return and for her family.
ORANJESTAD, Aruba Ã¢â‚¬” Islanders and tourists attended church services Sunday to pray for a missing Alabama honors student, and defense lawyers for two men detained in connection with her disappearance said there was not enough evidence to continue holding them.
With all the back and forth news reports and retractions lately regarding this story; a day of prayer and putting perspective on what this story is all about was the order of the day. In churches and chapels across Aruba many came in prayer and support for Natalee Holloway and her return.
“I just hope they find her so the family can have closure,” said Valerie Stanton, 35, a computer technician from Washington who prayed for Holloway at the Alto Vista chapel outside the capital. “This could happen in any city and it’s unfortunate a dark cloud is now over the island because people here are so nice.”
At the Santa Ana Catholic church in Noord, also outside the capital, the Rev. Rudy Lampe told about 300 parishioners to “pray to give the family an oasis of peace.”
“Today we stand with the family of Natalee,” Lampe said. “This is the first time something like this has happened on our island so we are all in shock.”
Pictures of Holloway were posted at the church entrance.
Tourists and local residents said that despite their prayers, hope was fading that Holloway would be found alive.
“We’ve been following this our entire vacation,” said 57-year-old Barb Bickham, who arrived from Binghamton, N.Y., with her husband just before Holloway went missing. “It’s not realistic that she’s found alive, but we still pray she is found safe.”
From AP come some pictures from Aruba of the day of prayer for Natalee Holloway.
Lets all take a moment to remember what this story is all about and remember to say a prayer for Natalee. Remember the family and the grief that they are going through. Pray for Natalee’s safe return and that her family friends and loved ones be given the strength to deal with this overwhelming task at hand. God Bless.
Red & Tom