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Praying for father to accept Jesus

When Father started smoking again, the Roma girl refused to give up in Slovakia.

Dominika Gaborova couldn’t wait to tell her father about Jesus.

After attending the Seventh-day Adventist church, she ran through the door and greeted Father at their home in Rakúsy, a Roma settlement of 2,000 people in Slovakia.

“I believe in Jesus!” the girl exclaimed.

Father turned away. He didn’t want to listen.

Dominika felt sad.

Then Uncle Robert came to visit. He was a Seventh-day Adventist, and Father couldn’t refuse to listen to him.

“Do you remember how I used to live?” Uncle Robert said. “Well, I don’t anymore because Jesus helped me, and my life is much better now.”

Father knew that Uncle Robert was telling the truth. He had seen big improvements in Uncle Robert’s life. He accepted an invitation from Uncle Robert to go to a Bible study group at a neighbor’s house.

While attending the Bible study, Father believed in Jesus. He stopped smoking and drinking and gambling. He and Dominika, who was 12, were baptized together.

Dominika liked her new father. In the morning and evening, she and Father prayed together. They read the Bible together. They went to church together on Sabbath.

But one day, Father had an argument with someone at church. The next Sabbath, he refused to go to church. He began to smoke and drink and gamble again.

Dominika felt so sad. She also didn’t like the cigarette smoke in the house. Every time she smelled it, she felt like vomiting. She prayed for Father to return to God.

“My God, I beg you to help Father to stop smoking,” she said. “Please bring Father back to church so we can go together as a family to church again.”

She prayed every day. She also shared Bible verses with Father. Every time she read the Bible, she shared what she had read with Father. He listened thoughtfully.

Several months passed, and Father stopped gambling. Then he stopped drinking. One Sabbath, he called out to Dominika as she prepared to go to church.

“Wait for me,” he said. “I’m going with you.”

Dominika was overjoyed! God was answering her prayers.

She continued to pray for Father. She kept sharing Bible verses. One day, she read 1 Corinthians 13 and gave her Bible to Father so he also could read the chapter.

Father read, “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.

“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

Father began to weep. The tears surprised Dominika. Father was a big, strong man, and she had never seen him cry.

Father read, “Love never fails. But whether there areprophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.

“When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but the nface to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

“And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

Tears rolled down Father’s cheeks as he finished reading. He hugged Dominika tightly.

“Thank you, Dominika,” he said. “Thank you for helping me to find my way back to God.”

Now Father goes to church on some Sabbaths and still smokes. He is under great pressure to fully give his heart back to God. An Adventist neighbor visits regularly and reminds him that he is father not only of Dominika but also of five younger sons and daughters.

“Can’t you see that life is better with God than without Him?” she says.

Mother is not an Adventist, but she also wants Father to return to God.

“You were a better man when you went to church,” she tells him.

Dominika is praying for Faher and Mother.

“I’m very grateful to God because I can see that God is helping us,” she said.