THEY came from far and wide to pray at St Bishoy Coptic Orthodox Church for missing six-year-old girl Kiesha Abrahams.
The church is just streets away from where Kiesha went missing almost a month ago from her apartment unit on Woodstock Ave.
About 100 members of the parish and the wider community attended a special church service for her on Sunday.
Father Antonios Kaldas, who lead the half-hour service, told Mt Druitt-St Marys Standard that he was humbled by the sign of community spirit and hope.
“Everybody imagines themselves in the parent’s place. It’s a horrible feeling but it’s nice for everyone to express their hope,” he said after the service.
“It was a lovely chance for people from different backgrounds and faiths to get together.”
A letter from Kiesha’s family to the congregation was read aloud during the service.
“Thankyou for your prayers and support,” the letter stated.
“Although we are not strong enough to attend, we are very grateful.”
A minute of silent prayer was held for “beloved Kiesha” in between hymns and prayer readings.
People were asked to pray to “find Kiesha, bless her and help her family and her loved ones.”
In his speech, Father Antonios encouraged the audience to think of Kiesha’s family.
“They must be going through terrible anxiety. It’s been weeks now, but our heart goes out to them,” he said.
“As we think of Kiesha and her family, we pray for them and hope they have some comfort in this difficult time.”
A touching hymn of hope was sung by Silvana, a young member of the parish, whose voice echoed through the church.
An concluding prayer from Father Antonios urged everyone tell their family much they love them.
“Parents, go home kiss your children. And kids, go and give your mum and dad a big hug. Because you never know what tomorrow will bring.”
Bidwill residents Diana and Lester Pasley said they decided to attend the service after they read about it in the Standard.
“I’ve been keeping track (of Kiesha’s story),” said Mrs Pasley, who had a folder of newspaper clippings related to Kiesha’s case.
“I know how the family are feeling and I feel for them.”
Rooty Hill grandparents Charlie and Carmen Quattromani were among the last to leave the church after the service. The couple brought flowers with them.
“We have kids and grandchildren. It’s so sad,” Mrs Quattromani said.
“She is such a beautiful child.”
The police search at Nurrungingy Reserve in Doonside recently failed to turn up any clues to Kiesha’s fate.
(The search did uncover the remains of missing Carlingford woman Kristi McDougall).