Monday, September 11, 2006


Hello All,

I am sure that you remember where you were that morning 5 years ago today. I had just gotten out of the shower and was about to iron my clothes. I turned on the TV and saw the "Breaking News" on the morning show. The volume was low and it just looked like a bad fire in one of the buildings. I turned the channel, but it was on every station. Soon, the "breaking news" banner had given way to the "America Under Attack" banner. My mouth just hit the floor and I went back into the bedroom to wake my wife up. At the time, Lela was pregnant at full term with our oldest daughter Renae, who would be born just 13 days later. Lela stirred and I told her what was happening. Of course, the usual way of waking up, where one gets to imagine their day and plan accordingly was ripped away, and Lela awoke to a new reality that would certainly shape not just the way our day would go, but eventually even the mission we would attempt. We prayed, we watched, we cried, we sensed a violation that we had never experienced before.

An event so tragic and horrific, one would be amazed to think of anything good that could come from it. And yet, over those next few days, the NYPD and the FDNY overwhelmed our hearts with their heroic activities. I'll never forget the pictures of people escaping the blackness and the smoke filled air, and the authorities running full steam back into it. How about those politicians, from both sides of the aisle, singing on the steps of the Capital Building, or the several people praying out loud on National Television!! Where was the ACLU then? For me personally, I was leading worship the next night for our Wednesday Night service. It was our first chance to see what would happen. The worship that night was amazing. Our church was full and the worship was absolutely powerful. There was an urgency in the air, and a passionate cry out to the Lord that I had never experienced before, and really since.

But what was under the surface of it all was the emergence of a battle that was not rooted in politics or in geography. It was a battle that has become increasingly more clear as the time has gone by. It is the battle for the soul of the world. Interestingly, many people who are watching the trends of Spain have commented that in the next 10 years, the major conflict will not be political, but the choice between Islam and Christianity. Perhaps it started way before 9/11, but it was that day that brought the battle to the forefront and defined it like no other event could do.

May we have courage to stay in the battle, and remind ourselves of the ultimate costs that are involved. No wonder the enemy fights so strongly. Let us not lose heart or perspective. I pray that I would have the courage of those heroes of 9/11, the kind of courage that would run, not walk, back into the darkness, with the hopes of clinging on to as many as possible. I do not think it's a stretch in the metaphor. That is what we as Christians are called to do. Look at Jude 23. "Pull them out of the fire..."

And yet, the metaphor and the actual mission could possibly never be as overwhelming as what the NYPD or the FDNY went through those 5 years ago. May the Lord bless them and their families. Thank you for your service and the inspiration that you have exemplified through your bravery.

Blessings To The Friends Of Spain,
Frank Sanchez

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