The images I viewed on the morning of September 11, 2001, will be engraved
forever in my memory. As my co-workers and I watched the unfolding news
coverage on our local television station, I trembled with fear. Seeing the
destruction and loss of life was more than I could comprehend, and I wanted it
so much not to be real.
I had worked as a paramedic for the last 13 years, so I knew I had to do
something. I felt that I had a moral and ethical responsibility to go and help
out in some way.
I contacted the American Red Cross. As I spoke with their officials and
other agencies, I learned that they had plenty of medical help and volunteers
in the area.
I felt totally helpless because I wanted to go to New York City and help my
fellow citizens in this time of need. I thought over and over of what I could
do to help. Finally, I realized I needed to ask God what He wanted me to do,
not what I thought I needed to do.
Throughout the week I prayed continuously to God and asked for His guidance.
It was on the evening of September 16, while my daughter and I were on our way
to church, that Gods will came to me. I was to go to New York City to pray and
visit with the people there. I thought to myself at first, God, why do you want
me to do that when I am trained as a paramedic?
Then I realized God had bigger plans for me. I needed to stop resisting what
God wanted me to do. Even though I feared that I would fail on this mission
since it was my firstplus my Crohns disease was flaring up, and I would be far
from familyI knew God would take care of everything. The time had come in my
life for me to walk by faith.
I prayed to God for strength, courage and wisdom. I knew without a doubt
what God wanted me to do, and I was going to do His will. By surrendering my
life totally to Him, I received an inexplicable peace.
I spoke with my pastor and our church, and they supported me both
spiritually and financially. On Sunday, September 23, my church commissioned me
to go and serve. On the evening of September 24, a friend and I boarded a bus
to New York City.
We arrived on the morning of the 26th. We visited with people from all over
the city, praying with them on the subways and streets. We prayed over the
pictures of people still missing that were placed throughout the city on walls
That afternoon we made our way down to Ground Zero. The air was full of the
odor of smoldering debris. You could actually feel the grittiness of particles
that were still in the air. Ash and dust were everywhere. Seeing the debris and
rubble from the World Trade Center was very moving. Just to imagine that all of
that debris and rubble was a tomb for thousands of people left me speechless.
We had the opportunity to witness and visit with rescue workers and friends of
victims at Ground Zero.
The next day we visited with several firefighters throughout the city. As we
made our way back to midtown Manhattan, we had a Bible study with some homeless
people. We gave them food and blankets, but more important, we gave them the
Word of God. As we continued to walk through the city, we talked about Christ
and handed out tracks to hundreds of people. What an experience it was to share
Gods word and love.
Everyone we spoke to said they knew Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior
except one man by the name of John. We met John down in Times Square. He told
me he wanted to know God, and he was depending on me to show him the Way. As we
prayed together, God gave me the strength and words of scripture. God was in
control, and I wasnt nervous anymore.
Right there in Times Square, John accepted Jesus. I realized at that moment
why God had sent me here to pray with people and not to provide medical
As John and I shook hands and hugged, I told him that I may never see you
again on this earth, but Ill see you in Heaven. A peace came over Johns
face. He went on his way, and my friend and I went to the bus station to board
We arrived home on September 29, and Im eagerly seeking my next opportunity
to be on mission.
Whats your special mission and how do you find ways of sharing
Christ with others? Send your story to On Mission magazine, 4200 North Point
Parkway, Alpharetta, GA 30022-4176 or fax 770-410-6006 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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