By Reg Chapman

CAMERON, Wis. (WCCO) — A Wisconsin community came together Sunday night to give thanks and celebrate the safe return home for Jayme Closs.

The 13-year-old had been missing since October from her Barron, Wisconsin, home when she was found some 60 miles north in Gordon.

She had managed to escape her suspected kidnapper and find help.

For nearly three months, they prayed for the safe return of 13-year-old Jayme Closs. Tonight they gathered at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Cameron to give thanks.

“It was an extension of faith and an extension of prayer and hope that she would come back. And of course this is a hope that did not disappoint,” said Luke Spehar, a musician.

The service is exactly what many in this western Wisconsin community needed. Words can’t express what they feel in their hearts. It was through song and prayer that they expressed their gratitude.

“We also want to thank God for the gift of James and Denise because they gave Jayme the gift of life and love and gave her that faith that sustains her,” Father John Gerritts said.

They prayed for law enforcement, school officials, friends and family of Jayme Closs. On Sunday night, the power of prayer was celebrated.

“I think the power of prayer is to let someone know they’re not alone. And again, tonight is a celebration that she was never alone, even though it may have seemed like it. There was this whole community supporting her and lifting her up in prayer,” Spehar said.

The community says they are grateful but know their work is not done. They know they must pray continuously for healing to begin.

“Prayer needs to continue. Jayme certainly needs healing. Her family. The community needs to heal,” Father Gerritts said.

We were told this service is exactly what Jayme Closs’ family wanted to show where they are on their journey. They’re giving praise to God and are grateful for the prayers they believe led Jayme home.

Reg Chapman