How does one who walks in faith handle a major loss? How do we explain it in terms that do not betray the strength of our faith? On August 10, 2017, I was confronted by this challenge when a friend who was closer than a brother said a final farewell.
BOB BATHO of Houston entered the embrace of his Savior at 9:13 that morning. We’re hurting deeply down here below. Life-long friend … brother in Christ … humble counselor … board director of this ministry … irreplaceable!
Bob and Peggy Batho came into my life in 1979. From that day forward, they have been replacement parents to me personally. If there is any one word I could use to define the life of Bob Batho, it would have to be LOYALTY. Bob walked in the light of consistent, never-faltering “loyalty” to those whom he loved and served. You always listened to Bob, because his responses were always from a heart engaged with you in whatever you were doing. If he liked you, he seamlessly came along side with support and encouragement … and you never had to ask for it. It came with the man.
That is what I will miss (already do miss) in his absence. Call Bob on the phone at any time, and you knew that you always had his “yes!” Not that he was a “yes man.” No, it was the fact that he supported you because he believed in you. That’s all it took. He knew where your focus in life was, and knew how to assist you in that focus. To one, it meant occasional cookies. To another, the gift of a cookbook. To yet another, copies of what he copied off the Internet or out of a book that he knew you would be interested in.
And that was his “Legacy to Jesus” in his life. That’s how he saw Jesus — in loving, quiet, humble, supportive service. Bob was always an old man with youthful exuberance toward everything and everybody. You never want to say good-bye to someone like that. How can you?