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OPINION

FIRST-PERSON (Lonnie Wilkey): The hardest of interviews

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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BRENTWOOD, Tenn. (BP) -- I have interviewed countless people in more than 30 years as a journalist. The overwhelming majority of those were positive, but there were a few difficult interviews along the way. That's part of the job.
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But probably one of the hardest interviews I have ever conducted occurred recently.

I visited and interviewed Karen Bobo, mother of Holly Bobo, the 20-year-old nursing student who was abducted from her Tennessee home in April.

The purpose of my interview was not for a sensational story. Rather, it was to give a glimpse into how a family's faith was helping them through the worst nightmare imaginable: the disappearance of a child.

What can you say to someone whose life has been turned upside down? At the end, I did the only thing I knew to do. I gave her a hug and led in prayer for Holly, asking God for strength for the family.

But during the course of those few minutes with Karen, her son and her mother, I learned how vital faith and prayer are to that family. They end every day reading Scripture together and lifting up a prayer on behalf of their loved one.

Karen apologized after I took a photo of her and her son. She noted that she rarely smiles anymore because she has lost her joy -- not the joy of her salvation but the joy found in life in general. Who can blame her?

Yet, through it all, she has an unwavering faith and hope that Holly will return. She allowed me to read one of her prayers that she penned for Holly. It was overwhelming to see her pour her heart out to God. She told me she has penned a different prayer every day since Holly's abduction six months ago. She has filled one journal with prayers and is working on a second one.

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Her desire is that when Holly returns, God will be glorified through whatever has happened.

"When that day comes, it will be a miracle from God. That is the only way she's coming home," Karen said.

Join with me in continuing to pray for Holly and her family as well as for their church, Corinth Baptist Church in Darden, Tenn., and the entire community. All continue to hurt.

Lonnie Wilkey is editor of the Baptist & Reflector (www.tnbaptist.org), newsjournal of the Tennessee Baptist Convention.

Copyright (c) 2011 Southern Baptist Convention, Baptist Press www.BPNews.net

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