CREATED Aug. 27, 2013
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - For the second year in a row, the Celis family is celebrating Isabel's birthday without her.
Today is not just a celebration of her eighth birthday. It is another day for the family to keep the faith alive.
"I'd rather them remember her birthday then that horrible day," Isabel's mother Becky told 9 On Your Side.
There's only one wish on Isa's birthday.
"Please bring her home now, please bring her home," Isabel's father Sergio said. "Can't tell you how many times that is being said out loud, every single day."
More than 16 months have gone by since Sergio and Becky last saw their daughter, but in their minds they picture her every day.
"Constantly feeling that Isa is there with us all the time," Sergio said. "Feeling her presence in our heart. It's a constant thing."
As they've done throughout the year, today the Celis family will continue to post fliers with their daughters face.
"It is a test of faith to see how we can stand up and do it, but I trust that He is going to answer our prayers and bring Isa home," Becky said.
Instead of a birthday party, this morning the community came together and prayed at a special mass at St. Joseph Parish on the east side.
"Having Father Miguel lead us in a prayer and the whole congregation to have that focus," Sergio said.
A special birthday mass for Isa was held at 9 a.m. at the St. Joseph church at Broadway and Craycroft.
Tune into KGUN 9 On Your Side at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. for more coverage of this morning's birthday service for Isabel.