By: Sheena Rawcliffe
When Madeleine McCann was put to bed on the evening of Thursday May 3 2007, no one could ever have imagined that, four weeks later, her face would be the most widely recognised face of a four-year-old almost anywhere in the world.
However, the hundreds of thousands of posters which have been displayed showing various images of Madeleine, the McCanns’ eldest child, have not brought forward the positive sightings or leads to Madeleine’s whereabouts that we have all hoped and prayed for.
Despite the fact that the police in Portugal continue to consider Madeleine’s case as dynamic, they are now becoming very frustrated at the lack of positive information they are able to supply to Gerry and Kate McCann.
Now Madeleine’s parents are to embark on a tour of Europe and other parts to raise awareness of Madeleine’s abduction as many people believe that, with no positive sightings in Portugal, Madeleine has been taken to parts much further afield.
One of my hopes was that Kate and Gerry McCann would leave Portugal before the world’s press did. I could not imagine how depressing it would be for the McCanns to be ‘abandoned’ by those that have shown so much support over the past weeks. This is not to be. Many trucks have already left Praia da Luz and others are starting their pack up operation, for there is so little for them to report from Portugal now.
The McCanns have settled into a routine here – so essential for their other two children – and the editors and producers in the UK and other parts of Europe cannot justify the not insignificant cost of maintaining a presence in this lovely part of Portugal.
It is to be hoped that the McCanns receive the support and care in other European countries that they have received here in Portugal, and for which they are grateful. As we view them on television and in the press day after day, they are shadows of the happy parents enjoying holiday time four weeks ago, here in one of God’s very special places. Even so, they tell us that they are receiving excellent support and assistance during their ordeal and certainly a great deal of energy has been channeled into caring for Gerry and Kate, as well as praying for Madeleine’s swift and safe return to her family.
Four weeks on, we can only continue to pray.
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