Faith, prayers sustain family of Holly Bobo
DARDEN, Tenn. (BP) -- Nearly six months have passed since 20-year-old Holly Bobo was abducted from her home in rural Tennessee. A massive search effort involving hundreds of volunteers took place with no results.
There is still no word on her whereabouts or who took Bobo, a nursing student, but family and friends have not given up hope that she will return.
"We believe she is still alive. There is no evidence to the contrary," Don Franks, pastor of Corinth Baptist Church in Darden, Tenn., where Bobo's family are members.
"We are praying that we will be able to find her and bring her home to her family."
Faith and prayers have sustained the family during this traumatic time, Holly's mother Karen Bobo said.
"Every day I pray that this will be the day Holly returns. It hasn't happened yet. We are still waiting for that day," she said.
Every night the family gathers to read Scripture and pray, Karen said.
"We are holding on to the hope and have faith that she is still alive and that we will get her back. We just don't know when," the mother said.
The family has remained active in their search for Holly, primarily by posting flyers and passing out business cards with Holly's picture and phone numbers to call should anyone see her.
Holly's brother is in the process of placing flyers at gas stations and rest areas within a 100-mile radius of Decatur County, including Memphis and Nashville, Tenn., Murray, Ky., and Corinth, Miss. In addition, friends and family members have placed flyers throughout the South as they travel for vacation and business.
In all, thousands upon thousands of flyers and cards have been distributed since Holly's abduction. Decals for 18-wheel trucks also have been provided for truckers willing to place them on their vehicles.
"Hopefully, someone who has seen Holly will see a flyer and make a connection," Karen said.
Holly's disappearance not only has devastated her family but has impacted the community and Corinth Baptist Church, Franks said. Holly was extremely talented and often sang solos at church on Sunday mornings, the pastor said.
Not a Sunday goes by that the church does not have a special time of prayer for her and her family, Franks said. He has known her most of her life and has known three generations of the Bobo family.
Franks said Holly's abduction is the most traumatic experience he has seen a family go through during his 53-year ministry. He has been Corinth's pastor nearly 25 years.
"It's hard not knowing what she went through and where she is," the pastor said.
Franks has seen firsthand how Holly's abduction has impacted the Bobo family.
"They get up every day with the hope and expectation that they will find her. They end the day with the disappointment that she has not been found," he said.
Franks' experience with the Bobos has impacted him as well.
"I had no idea what families of missing or kidnapped children go through until this happened," he said. "The Lord's grace and His enabling has gotten them through this. The family is not giving up. They are determined to find her."
Karen said hope is what keeps her, her husband Dana and son Clint going. She cannot imagine how someone could go through such an ordeal without faith in God.
"There are days I don't want to get up, but I do. God gets me up," she said. "The hope that Holly comes home is what gets me up every day."
Karen's mother, Donna Goff, agreed.
"You have to get up every day and do normal things because that might be the day that Holly comes home."
Karen is grateful for the support the family has received from her church, the community and others.
"We have felt the prayers of people from all over. We get cards every day from people who say they are praying for us and for Holly."
Karen asked believers to pray for the safety of her daughter and that she will return home.
"Pray for our family to be reunited. One of us is missing," Karen said. "We have to keep hoping and having faith that it is God's plan for Holly to make it back home. When that day comes, it will be a miracle from God. That is the only way she's coming home."
Lonnie Wilkey is editor of the Baptist & Reflector www.tnbaptist.org), newsjournal of the Tennessee Baptist Convention. A limited number of flyers and cards The Baptist & Reflector has obtainable by calling 615-371-2003.