June 20, 2005--Posted at 6:40 p.m. CDT
JONESBORO-- The search for a missing Alabama teen with region eight ties continues.
Family members and friends of Natalee Holloway are hopeful for her return.
It has been three weeks since the disappearance of 18-year-old Natalee Holloway and her family is still hoping for her safe return.
A hope that their family minister says is wearing thin.
"It's a pretty frustrating feeling to go this long and feel like you really haven't made that much progress," Southwest Church of Christ Minister Jimmy Adcox says.
But Natalee's Uncle Steve Holloway just returned home from Aruba.
He says the wait is dependent on little information from Aruban authorities and a hope for new leads in the case.
"Sometimes you have a lot of hope. Sometimes you're depressed. It just depends what you see on the news," Holloway says.
He says when he arrived on the island, it was hard to imagine what the search would be like in such an unfamiliar place.
"We were out everyday looking all day long. The land is very hostile land, very rough. It's unlike anything I've ever seen in my life," Holloway says.
But with each day, he held out hope that Natalee would be found alive.
"We would hear people say that they spotted Natalee in a grocery store or at a gas station and that they had video tape and we would go and view the video tape. Of course, it wouldn't be anything where we could say whether it was Natalee or not," Holloway says.
Through it all, friends and family say they will depend on the power of prayer.
"Just the outpouring of support and love and concern that people have shown is what keeps the family going at this point," Adcox says.
With each blessing, is a motivation to find Natalee and bring her back home.
"My family really appreciates all the prayers from all over the nation. I can't tell you how much we appreciate that. You can actually feel God's hands on you, protecting you and comforting you," Holloway says.
Anyone who wishes to aid the Holloway family in their search is encouraged to donate to the Natalee Holloway fund through Southwest Church of Christ.