My phone is ringing off the hook with journalists! I can’t get any work done, so I’m writing here what I would say individually to journo’s, and then I’ll just direct them here for my comment.
With all the journo’s calling, I called Emma’s family to ask what to say, and they simply wish to not be distracted while they focus on Emma so far away at this time. They ask,
“in Emma’s best interest, please tell [media] to contact the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.”
I am an Outreach Specialist with OAC Ministries WA, and one of the many things I do is weddings. As such I am the celebrant for Emma’s twin brother’s wedding coming up in February, and I know him through his fiance, Mel. Hence I really know the bride more than the Kellys.
I did work with Mel and Emma on a Christian youth camp earlier this year, so I can say that Emma is a bright, energetic, sensitive, thoughtful young person, in her early 20’s, and a faithful attender at her church.
On Wednesday morning (Perth time) I received a prayer request from Mel: Emma had gone missing in Argentina, walking on a mountain trail. She failed to get to her checkpoints. At that point she had been missing for over 20 hours.
A local church in Argentina was helping police and helicopter rescue efforts. We spread the word amongst other prayer-networks. My prayer-list is about 100 strong, and 21 replied to say they were praying. This was just one of many prayer networks. Word spread by facebook, text, emails… The size and scale of what must be thousands of praying people, is testament to the way Emma is loved, and the quality of people in her support networks. Pray, worry, pray, worry, pray…
Late Thursday night (Perth time) we received word that Emma was found. Scratched, bruised, but walking and safe, and was being transported to the nearest hospital.
One prayer-partner who lives in South America said he would pray in his “own feeble way.” When she was found, he noted that he “was amazed that the girl who went missing in Argentina, had been found.” God does amazing, even when we’re feeble. Just another adventure in Prayer-town.
Remember, Emma’s family do ask, “in Emmas best interest, please tell media to contact the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.”
And now, I have other work to do, too.