To Sabbath School teachers: This story is for Sabbath, May 30.
Ema Macura has loved animals for as long as she can remember.
When she was 3, she begged for a horse. Mother explained that a horse was too big to keep in their city apartment in Serbia.
So, Ema asked for a dog.
Father didn’t think a dog was a good idea.
“Our house is too small for a dog, and we don’t have a yard,” he said. “Animals need a bigger place with a yard. Jesus didn’t make them to live in a small, closed place like an apartment.”
Ema didn’t give up.
“Can I have a cat?” she said.
Father and Mother said she could have a pet if they moved to a house with a yard.
When Ema was 7, the family moved, and the new house had a yard! Ema got a two-month-old kitten named him Tom.
Soon after Tom arrived home, Mother found brown cockroaches in the bathroom. Father went to war. He bought poison — shaped into small orange balls — and hid five balls in the bathroom. He strictly forbade Tom from entering the bathroom. “This room is off-limits,” he told the kitten.
Tom suddenly found the bathroom to be an interesting place. He tried to slip in whenever someone opened the door.
On Sunday, Ema and the family loaded the car for a day-trip to Grandfather and Grandmother in Croatia. Tom could not go along.
As Mother finished packing, she took laundry from the bathroom and forgot to close the door. Tom immediately darted in. Father entered the bathroom just in time to see Tom swallow an orange ball.
“He’s eating poison!” Father shouted.
Ema rushed to the bathroom. Mother and Ema’s older brother, Luka, also came running. Father opened Tom’s mouth, but it was too late.
Ema began to cry. Father and Mother tried to comfort Ema. “Maybe God will do a miracle,” Father said.
The family prayed outside the bathroom door. “Please, Jesus, keep Tom alive,” Ema said, sobbing.
Nothing more could be done. No veterinarian was available, and another family was waiting to join them on the trip. Father shut Tom in a room with plenty of food and water, and the family left for Grandfather and Grandmother.
The family prayed many times for Tom as they traveled. They also prayed at the grandparents’ house.
Grandmother told Ema not to worry.
“Cats vomit when they eat something bad,” she said.
Ema hoped that Tom would vomit.
Mother opened the door when the family arrived back home that evening. Tom ran out, and Ema squealed with joy.
“Tom, you’re alive!” she exclaimed.
Father and Mother also were happy. Luka offered a prayer of thanksgiving.
“Thank you, God, for saving Tom,” he said. “We have seen that Your power is great.”
Mother later found that Tom had vomited the poison in the room.
“God is great, and He hears prayers from us young children,” Ema said. “Thank you, Jesus, for protecting both us and our pets.”
Ema’s father is pastor of New Belgrade Seventh-day Adventist Church, which will receive part of this quarter’s Thirteenth Sabbath Offering to obtain its own church building. Right now, the church shares a building with another Adventist congregation in a town near New Belgrade. Thank you for planning a generous Thirteenth Sabbath Offering.