I had fallen asleep on the second leg of our journey.
Tired from the previous 9 hour flight and layover in Frankfurt, I was delirious. I opened my tray table, crossed my arms and fell headlong into a deep slumber. 24 hours of no sleep was taking its toll. I don’t usually sleep on flights, but I hit the wall and sleep overtook me like a bandit in the night.
Suddenly, I was jolted awake. I felt the sensation of my stomach and its contents lurch into my throat. I woke up on a giant plane and totally confused. The engines were roaring. I had no idea where I was. You know when you sleep in a strange place and you wake up and forget where you are? This was like that except I had the added confusion of being on a plane spiraling toward the ground. I’m good with turbulence and rollercoasters but waking up on a rollercoaster is a different story.
What the heck was going on?
Our Lufthansa Airbus was in a nose-dive and spiraling to the right. I looked out the window and saw the earth rapidly approaching. Due to the force, I was glued to my seat. I glanced at my buddy on my right. His face was blank. I asked myself, “are we experiencing engine failure? Had a surface-to-air missile hit us?”
I looked across the isle at another friend (retired military) who was traveling with us. He was completely relaxed like he was sitting on a beach sipping a pina colada. Heck, I think he was half asleep. I’m thinking to myself, “Dude, you may want to wake up because we’re all about to die!” He glanced over and must have noticed the bewildered look on my face and calmly said, “the pilot is performing a tactical approach.” Then he turned back around and I swear he went back to sleep.
Meanwhile, the giant ‘Airbus’ is sideways, falling fast and I’m thinking the wings are going to snap off under the force of the turn.
To avoid being knocked out of the sky by a surface-to-air missile, pilots employ a tactical landing approach in dangerous places.
Some refer to the maneuver as a “corkscrew landing”. The goal is to get on the ground as quickly as possible avoiding being shot down by some terrorist with a shoulder-fired-missile. The pilot will turn sharply and guide the nose down to lose altitude fast. The effect on the happily sleeping dude in 9C was a silent cuss word or two followed by prayer. [Yes, in certain high-stress situations, some pastors are known to cuss silently – don’t judge!]
Before I could get my head straight, we were on the ground. A soft female voice came over the intercom, “On behalf of Lufthansa, we welcome you to Erbil, Iraq…. we hope you enjoyed your flight.” Yeah, right. Next time warn me! None of the jokers I was traveling with mentioned anything about stunt flying.
This was just the beginning…
I found a video that gives you an idea of what the landing looks like (below). Someone filmed a corkscrew landing in Bagdad. You’ll get the idea.
When the storms come, we often ask “Where is God?”
“Save by the Storm” is a short documentary about one man’s redemption in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, a Category 4 storm that devastated the Texas Coast in August 2017.
I serve as the Local Outreach Pastor at Christ Chapel Bible Church in Fort Worth. When Hurricane Harvey hit the coast, I activated our Disaster Relief Ministry and we deployed within days of landfall. God connected us to a small church in Aransas Pass. Our philosophy of ministry was to serve and support local churches in the disaster zone. We landed at the doorstep of First Christian Church of Aransas Pass. Little did we know God was forging a bond between two church communities hundreds of miles apart. We got to take part in God’s work in Aransas Pass.
On September 9th 2017, we met Tony. This is his story …
Filmed and Directed by Lance Cashion
Creative Director – Lilly Cashion
Music: “You Hold All Things Together” courtesy of Christ Chapel Music
Special Thanks to:
Shawn and Sarah McCormick
Dr. Bill Runyon
Pastor David Dear
Ron and Julie Watson
First Christian Church Aransas Pass
Volunteers, donors and prayer warriors from Christ Chapel Bible Church – Fort Worth, TX
Global Missions Ministry for allowing us to include this film in M28 Film Festival
Local Outreach Team – Wes Toland and Kyle Yarborough
For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:13
Stories continue to unfold on the Texas Coast as our attention is pulled away from the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
The media attention is fleeting but our hearts should be steadfast in our commitment to people.
There are communities along the coast that never received any media attention nor did they receive significant relief help from FEMA or the Red Cross.
Communities were left to fend for themselves and make do with what they had. Here is a story of a church in the small community of Aransas Pass, Texas.
I created this short video to tell the story of how God has worked in a forgotten place, using a tiny church to serve a community. God opened the doors and guided the paths of two churches to serve and love on people.
“God does not care about the size of a church or the abundance of resources, he cares about the size of hearts, how we use what we do have and our obedience.”
The intent of this video is threefold:
1. Share the unfolding story in Aransas Pass
2. Set a ‘heart anchor’ for the people of my church (Christ Chapel Bible Church) with the people of First Christian Aransas Pass.
3. Encourage my church to remain committed and involved with serving well after the media attention fades.
This is a personal blog. The opinions expressed here do not necessarily represent those of my employer or my church. The opinions of expressed by guest authors and commenters do not necessarily represent my opinions.