Overcoming Obstacles Verbalizing the Gospel


We were awakened by an explosion that shook our building. We ran to our terrace on the 24th floor, just six blocks from the World Trade Center. Above us was thick, black smoke coming from the North Tower.

Right from our terrace, we watched as a second plane came roaring overhead and struck the South Tower. The impact hurled us backward into our living room and knocked us unconscious. When we came to, we ran down the stairs, barefoot and wearing pajamas.

Soon after, the towers fell, covering us with dust as we desperately searched for a clear air pocket. We were unsure if we’d survive the day.

After waiting in Battery Park, a boat finally rescued us. As we sailed across the Hudson, I could see at least fifty boats approaching the area where my husband and I had been just minutes earlier. These boats were rushing to rescue the thousands of people who had been trapped by the burning, falling Twin Towers on September 11, 2001.

I felt grateful that my husband was by my side during what might have been our last moments on earth. But as I prayed to God, asking Him to spare us, I also felt utterly alone. I had abandoned my faith years ago, so why would He answer me now?

The boat dropped us off in New Jersey, filthy, traumatized, and with little understanding of what had just happened to us and our beloved city. Only two things were clear: we weren’t going home any time soon, and we had no idea where to go or what to do next.

Weeks of uncertainty stretched into months. Because of our 9/11 experience, my husband and I re-evaluated everything in our lives, including our relationship with our Savior. As our faith deepened, we committed our lives to Christ and our foundation became built on His promises.

Out of the outflow of my growing faith, I began serving as the Director for Short-Term Missions at Redeemer Presbyterian Church for many years. I now run a nonprofit helping meet the practical needs of those who need us most in vulnerable countries. It is the joy of my heart to spend time with the children our nonprofit serves.

As the 21st anniversary of 9/11 approaches, I look back and realize that all our current endeavors and blessings flow from that awful day in 2001. God met us at our lowest point, sheltered us, and rebuilt us in His image. And, He’s proven Himself trustworthy all over again as I nearly lost my life to Covid-19 in April 2020.

In this broken world, we know that suffering will be a constant presence. But take heart! Jesus has overcome the world, and He promises He will never forsake us.

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