Back to Reach • Testimony #2
Larry Gabbara | Accounting Bookkeeper
I was brought up Catholic as a child; I always knew there was a God. I went to a Catholic school through 8th grade, so that meant religious class and mass every day. I felt something missing.
As an adult, I tried to bring up my children to know God, but again still that empty feeling inside me, and I think them too. We only did it out of guilt and habit. There was not any buy in yet.
When I met and married my wife Debbie, I was living in the world. Fortunately for us, she came back to God. She then began praying for me to have an actual relationship with Jesus. This went on for 12 years. I began to go to church service with her and the kids, but still that empty feeling. The Lord was working on me; things slowly began to change. We attended a Carman concert; something happened to me that night. I knew that God was moving me.
Then there was a Power Company demonstration at the church, and I heard what salvation was that night. I still was not all in; I was only interested in a quick way to Heaven. I was not ready to put Jesus first or to build a personal relationship with Him. I was not willing to give God my whole heart. We were attending church regularly, but I was still living in the world.
My wife was still praying for me to be all in, but I was not ready. We had been talking about baptism, but I truly did not understand. Our youngest daughter accepted Jesus as her Savior and then was baptized. I did not understand it.
Proverbs 18:22 says, “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.”
I was blessed that my wife was praying diligently for my salvation.
I had heard John 3:16 (NIV), “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” I never actually understood the sacrifice that God made for me until that weekend.
The day that I truly was all in was a Sunday in 2002 at a Couples Conference. That weekend the Holy Spirit grabbed me. I was baptized that Sunday in Waterford, and I have been a child of God every day since.