Bullard community gathers at Brook Hill for second prayer vigil for Kayla Gomez-Orozco's family

Published on Sunday, 6 November 2016 21:38 - Written by FAITH HARPER, fharper@tylerpaper.com

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A single guitar strummed softly as a chorus of voices sang the chorus of “Come let us adore him” Sunday evening on the Brook Hill School Campus.

Some knew the song, others swayed their bodies with the melody as families held each other tightly. Small children kept busy picking apart powder pink roses in the school’s Young Field, surrounded by no less than 400 pink balloons.

Together, through prayer and song, a community mourned the loss of 10-year-old Kayla Gomez-Orozco, who was found deceased on Saturday evening after a four-day search.

Pink was Kayla’s favorite color, and people wore it to honor her. Pink ribbons were folded and pinned on shirts and tied around wrists.

Some attendees, like Juanita Beltran, knew the family. Others, like Molly and Tom Crawford came to support a grieving community as it realizes evil can lurk anywhere, even in small towns and churches.

Ms. Beltran said she is a member of a sister congregation of Afiliacion Apostolica International. Her church is in Tyler, while the Gomez-Orozco family worshiped in Bullard.

“There are no words of comfort when you’re going through a sorrow so great,” Ms. Beltran said. “All you can offer is prayer. He’s the only one who can heal.”

Ms. Beltran said her congregation, and countless others across East Texas, have prayed continuously for days. Those prayers are still needed to comfort a grieving family.

“We are one body of Christ,” she said. “When one finger hurts, the whole body hurts.”

The event was organized by Brook Hill’s senior class, and was student-led. It included prayer, contemporary Christian songs and scripture readings.

They prayed for the family, for peace for Kayla and to the community.

“We pray that even in the darkest of days, You’d be their light,” a student prayed with a voice cracking with emotion. Sniffles followed in the audience.

The short ceremony culminated wit the Lord’s Prayer and the release of heart-shaped balloons.

As the mass of a few hundred people made their way back home, they stopped and wrote messages of support to be delivered to the little girl’s parents.

Twitter: @TMTFaith


Notes from live coverage of Sunday's vigil

Tyler Morning Telegraph reporters Faith Harper and LouAnna Campbell covered the vigil live on twitter at @TMTFaith and @LouAnnCampbell. Here's a sampling of some of their reporting:

Community members gathered for a prayer vigil slated for 6:30 p.m. at The Brook Hill School to remember Kayla Gomez-Orozco, whose body was found Saturday after she was missing for four days. 

Headmaster Rod Fletcher said The Brook Hill senior class organized the event on their own, with a program including student-led prayer, scripture and songs.



This is the second prayer vigil at the campus in recent history. Another was held for a student killed in a drunken driver crash.

"Our students know what it's like to lose a fellow classmate. Our community is close. It acts like a family," Fletcher said.

In addition to coordinating the program, students also decorated the area, welcoming guests to the stadium with a large, "We love K!" sign and scattering pink helium balloons throughout the area.



As of the event's scheduled start time at 6:30 p.m., there were easily a couple hundred people gathered on Young Field, where Christian music played as people talked quietly.



Among those who gathered to show their support was Maria Alanis.



Juanita Beltran, who attends a sister congregation of Afilacion Apostolica International, also was in attendance. Her church is in Tyler, while the Gomez-Orozco family worshiped in Bullard.

Ms. Beltran said she was next door, about to start a prayer circle, when Kayla's family was notified of her death.

"We heard loud crying from my sister in Christ. We knew something tragic happened." Ms. Beltran said.

"There are no words of comfort when you're going through a sorrow so great. All you can offer is prayer. He's the only one who can heal."



The night was all about prayer and healing, but also remembering Kayla. The vigil was decorate with at least 400 pink balloons, and many who attended came adorned in pink, which was Kayla's favorite color.



Students prayed for the family through tears, asking "even in their darkest days that you'd be their light." Crying and sniffling coudl be heard throughout the crowd. 



Students led the crowd in singing "Lord, I Need You" and "Your Love Never Fails."