Saturday, November 10, 2012

'I lost everything, but God sent His angels'

Leslie Haskin was one of 15 children. Her father was a Baptist minister, her mother a choir director. Despite being brought up in a godly home, she decided when she moved to New York to work that she wanted nothing to do with God.

She was an insurance company executive, nicknamed "the Ice Princess" because of her attitude to her underlings.

At 8.46 am on September 11, 2001, she was in her company's offices on the 37th floor of the World Trade Centre when an airplane hit the building.

Through the window she saw bodies falling as people threw themselves from windows to escape the flames. Ceilings were collapsing and you could see flames through the seams. Someone shouted "The building is coming down! The building is coming down!"

Elevators were not able to be used. Leslie joined others on the stairs. The stairway was narrow and progress was slow. The force of a second airplane hitting an adjoining building jammed the door below her so it couldn't be opened.  She was trapped near the ninth floor, and sure she was going to die.

She closed her eyes and said "God help us." She suddenly remembered a hymn her mother used to sing to her to waken her in a morning. "Pass me not, O gentle Saviour, Hear my humble cry; While on others Thou art calling, Do not pass me by."

After 10 minutes, the door opened and Leslie reached the street. She saw the body of a man who had been decapitated. Bodies of those who had leaped from windows lay around. The body of a man exploded near her and splattered her with blood.

She couldn't speak properly. Doctors found she had had a nervous breakdown. She was in a psychiatric hospital for several weeks, then under continuing care by doctors and therapists, still heavily medicated. She boarded up the windows of her home because she believed the Taliban were in her shed and wanted to kill her. Doctors said she would never work again.

One day her 12-year-old son came into her room and jumped up on the bed. "Mom, are you ready?" he said. "Ready for what?" "To receive Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour. The Bible says if you are lukewarm in your faith God will spit you right out of His mouth."

She prayed with her son to accept Christ.

Slowly she improved as she stopped taking the medication. Doctors were amazed when she started to fly on planes again.

Leslie has written several books, appeared on television and become the subject of a film. Now she travels the world telling people Jesus Christ is the answer.

"I lost everything," she says, "but God sent His angels to help me."

You can read the full story here.