On September 11, 2001, Nayanna Haley was a high school junior in deep lower Manhattan. She was only five blocks away when the second tower collapsed. As she watched the horrific events unfold, she would never forget the frantic words she heard next. A policeman was telling her and her friends, “Run, run as fast as you can. Run North.”
Thankfully, Nayanna survived the 9/11 attacks in New York City. But 16 years later, the wounds are still fresh. Terror attacks continue to happen around the world, which is why I feel it’s still important to be reminded of what took place and hear the stories of hope from some of those most closely affected.
For George Slay, it was just a normal Tuesday as he travelled from New Jersey to the 91st floor of the North Tower in the World Trade Center. Even when he felt the first plane crash just above his office, he didn’t yet know how bad it really was. Later, he would learn that no one made it out alive who were on floors 92 and up. He was one of the last to get out. George shared his story with me on Haven Today:
Just across the East River, the congregation of Brooklyn Tabernacle lost more people in the World Trade Center attack than any other church. Jim Cymbala is the pastor, and I want you to hear him relate the unimaginable story of how Christ showed up for Janelle as the tower she was trying to escape collapsed while she was still inside the stairwell:
Knowing that he had lost parishioners in the World Trade Center, my friend Tim Keller is the pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan. On the day of the attacks, he took a few minutes to offer hope to our listeners as he was heading out the door to minister to his traumatized congregants in New York:
Of course, New York City was not the only place attacked on 9/11. Terrorists took control of another passenger plane and flew it directly into the Pentagon in Washington D.C. Pastor Tom Joyce was a captain in the US Navy and stationed in the Pentagon when it was attacked:
As we take time this weekend to remember the tragic events that took place on September 11th, may these stories of hope serve as a reminder that Christ is there for us in the good times as well as the bad. For we worship the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. — 2 Corinthians 1:3-6
Charles Morris serves as speaker on the radio program HAVEN Today. Most of the thoughts above are taken from related broadcasts of the program. Corum Hughes serves as editor of this blog and helps coordinate digital media for Haven Ministries. A graduate of Moody Bible Institute, Corum lives in Boise, ID with his wife Molly.