Friday, April 20, 2018

Flight 1380: Chaos, Terror And God's Grace

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The New York Times reports: "Dear Jesus, send angels." Passengers feared they would die as an engine exploded, plunging the plane thousands of feet in a minute."

The Times says, "Tens of thousands of feet above the earth, the passengers clasped hands with strangers, prayed together and got ready to die."

There's more that the Times did not report. But Mike Huckabee did.

Twenty minutes into a 4-hour flight, the New York Times reports that while passengers were enjoying themselves anticipating their destination---everything changed.

It all began as a normal ordinary day.

The Times says, "Then with a deafening roar, Flight 1380 from New York to Dallas became a midair scene of chaos and terror for the 144 passengers and 5 crew members on board."

With no apparent warning, the plane's left engine exploded, a gust of shrapnel blew out a window, partly sucking a passenger into the sky---The Times says "the plane plunged thousands of feet in a minute."

The pilot, Tammie Jo Shults, a veteran Navy pilot carried on, flying with one engine and no hydraulics, attempting to get to Philadelphia, the nearest airport, before the plane crashed.

It is said, everyone on board became "Christian"---asking God to save them.

Among the passengers were Pastor Timothy Bourman and his wife. They serve at Sure Foundations Lutheran Church in Woodside, Queens New York. They were taking a break and headed for a church retreat in San Antonio.

The pastor says, "I grabbed my wife's hand and I started praying; 'Dear Jesus, send some angels. Just save us from this'."

"I thought we were goners."

The pastor said he couldn't figure out how to get his oxygen mask on so he decided it would not save him anyway if they went down, so he just sat and prayed as his wife Amanda managed to connect her phone to the plane's Wi-Fi. They began texting the pastor's father to tell him what had happened and to convey a message to the couple's three daughters, 6, 4 and 2 years old.

The texts read: "Pray," "Plane blew an engine," "We are going to try to land," "Tell the girls we love them and that Jesus is with them always."

Pastor Bourman later wrote on Facebook, "Everyone on this plane came to believe in God. I prayed and God sent angels. Engine blew. Door came off. Flaps stopped working. Big hole in plane We lost one of our friends to cardiac arrest in the middle of it. I have never been so scared and at the same time trusting and prayerful. Who needs a mask when God is with you?"

He wrote, "Remember to tell your children of God's love in Christ while you still can. That's all I could think when we were going down."

And he wrote: "Life looks different after something like this."

Peggy Phillips was also a passenger. She said, "To get us down with no hydraulics and a blown engine and land us safely is nothing short of miraculous to me. She's a hero, for sure."

"She" is the pilot, Tammie Jo Schults.

Mike Huckabee wrote a short piece on this, noting something that others failed to report---or simply didn't know:

As for the pilot, we’re learning a bit about the woman who calmly notified air traffic control of their situation and completed her emergency landing with one engine dead. (“Southwest 1380, we’re single engine,” she matter-of-factly reported to the tower. “We have part of the aircraft missing, so we’re going to need to slow down a bit...they said there’s a hole and, uh, someone went out.”) Former Navy pilot Tammie Jo Schults, 56, was already known for breaking barriers for female fighter pilots, and her unshakable attitude would surprise no one who worked with her. But one reason for her incredible sense of calm that probably won’t be mentioned in many reports is that Schults is a devout Christian.
After the landing, witnesses to her compassion as well as her skill were posting to Facebook about her “nerves of steel” and talent for inspiring confidence. “There are not enough words to thank her,” wrote passenger Diana McBride Self. “Her grace and knowledge under pressure were remarkable. She came through the plane personally to check on us after she landed our crippled airplane. God bless her and her flight crew. We were truly all in amazing hands.”
As someone who knows to let God be her guide at the “controls,” Schults would no doubt say the same.

Some thoughts:

  • When in extreme difficulty our natural tendency is to turn to God, because we are created that way in His image and likeness. It's so much better to turn to Him before the crises. It must be very difficult to be an atheist all the time---in every situation.
  • Knowing God knew what would transpire before Flight 1380 ever departed, He placed a person fully capable to handle the crises in the cockpit. A highly qualified person who would depend on Him in the crises. God answered prayers even before they were offered.
  • God's ways are higher than our ways.
  • God is in control.

Be Blessed. Be At Peace.