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   Tuesday, September 11, 2001, began like any other day for Bethel
   Assembly of God deacon and Sunday school superintendent Stanley
   Praimnath of Elmont, Long Island. He got up early, took a shower,
   prayed, got ready and headed for work. The drive was uneventful.
   The train ride was the same. Yet, this day he would see the hand
   of God spare his life.
   "For some particular reason, I gave the Lord a little extra of
   myself that morning [during prayer]," Stanley said. "I said,
   'Lord, cover me and all my loved ones under your precious blood.'
   And even though I said that and believed it, I said it over and
   over and over."

   When Stanley arrived at World Trade Center Tower Two, he took the
   elevator up to his office on the 81st floor. "I work for the Fuji
   Bank Limited," he said. "I'm an assistant vice president in the
   Loans Operations Department. The company is located on the 79th
   through 82nd floors."

   Stanley greeted Delise, a young lady who had arrived before him.
   After talking briefly, he headed over to his desk and picked up
   his phone to retrieve his messages.

   "As I'm standing there retrieving my messages, I'm looking out at
   the next building, One World Trade, and I saw fire falling through
   from the roof," Stanley said. "Now, this entire building is
   surrounded by glass, and you can stand up and from there you can
   see all the buildings, planes and everything flying at the same

   As Stanley saw "fire balls" coming down, his first reaction was to
   think of his boss who works in that building. He decided to try to
   call him to see if he was okay. "I'm dialing his number, and
   getting no response. So, I say to Delise, the temp, 'Go, go,
   go--let's get out."

   Delise and Stanley got on the elevator and went down to the 78th
   floor. Some other people were there. The company's president, the
   CEO, the human resources director and two other gentlemen joined
   the group and headed down to the concourse level of Two World
   Trade Center.

   If they had continued on and exited the building, all of their
   lives would have been spared. As it was, that's not the way it

   "As soon as we reached the concourse level, the security guard
   stopped us and said, 'Where are you going?'

   Stanley explained about seeing the fire in Tower One. According to
   Stanley, the guard said, "Oh, that was just an accident. Two World
   Trade is secured. Go back to your office."

   That turned out to be fatal advice--aside from Stanley, Delise was
   the only one of that group to survive.

   "We were joking, and I told [Human Resources Director] Brian
   Thompson, 'This is a good time to think of relocating this
   building--it's not safe anymore.' " Stanley headed back to his
   office, but before he got there, he told Delise, that with the
   events of the day, she should go home and relax.

   Thompson went to the 82nd floor, the president and CEO went to the
   79th floor and Stanley got out on the 81st floor. When Stanley got
   to his office, his phone was ringing. "It was someone from Chicago
   calling to find out if I'm watching the news," he said. He told
   the caller everything "was fine."

   But everything wasn't fine--far from it. As Stanley was talking,
   he looked up and saw American Airlines Flight 11 heading straight
   for him.

   "All I can see is this big gray plane, with red letters on the
   wing and on the tail, bearing down on me," said Stanley. "But this
   thing is happening in slow motion. The plane appeared to be like
   100 yards away, I said 'Lord, you take control, I can't help
   myself here.' "

   Stanley then dove under his desk. "My Testament [Bible] was on top
   of my desk," explained Stanley. "I knew, beyond a shadow of a
   doubt, that the Lord was going to take care of me once I got
   there." As he curled into a fetal position under his desk, the
   plane tore into the side of the building and exploded.

   Miraculously, Stanley was unhurt. However, he could see a flaming
   wing of the plane in the doorway of his department. He knew he
   needed to get out of his office and the building fast. But, he was
   trapped under debris up to his shoulders. "Lord, you take control,
   this is your problem now," he recalled praying. "I don't know
   where I got this power from, but the good Lord, He gave me so much
   power and strength in my body that I was able to shake everything
   off. I felt like I was the strongest man alive."

   All the while, Stanley was asking to the Lord to spare his life.
   "I'm crying and I'm praying, 'Lord, I have things to do..., I want
   to see my family, Lord, help me through.' "

   Stanley's office resembled a battle zone--walls flattened into
   dusty heaps, office equipment strewn violently, flames flickering
   about and rubble everywhere. "Everything I'm trying to climb on
   [to get out] is collapsing and I'm going down," he said. "I'm
   getting cuts and bruises, but I'm saying, 'Lord, I have to go home
   to my loved ones, I have to make it, You have to help me.' "

   Suddenly Stanley saw the light of a flashlight. For a moment, it
   stunned him. "What were the chances of someone bringing a
   flashlight to this floor?," he thought. "My first gut reaction
   was, 'This is my guardian angel--my Lord sent somebody to
   save me!' "

   Stanley began screaming, "I see the light, I see the light." But
   after clawing his way through the debris, he realized that he
   couldn't get out--all the exits were blocked and his "guardian
   angel" couldn't get to him--a wall was between him and the
   staircase. "He can't get to me and I can't get to him, and by this
   time I can't breathe," Stanley said. "I don't know if it was
   sulfur or what [burning jet fuel, perhaps], but I can smell this
   thing. I got down on my knees and said, "Lord, you've got to help
   me. You've brought me this far, help me to get to the staircase."

   But then Stanley did something surprising. While praying on his
   knees, Stanley called out to the man behind the wall, "There's one
   thing I got to know, do you know Jesus?" The man replied he went
   to church every Sunday. Then they prayed together to enable them
   to break through the wall.

   "I got up, and I felt as if a power came over me," said Stanley.
   "I felt goose bumps all over my body and I'm trembling, and I said
   to the wall, 'You're going to be no match for me and my Lord.' "
   Moments later, he punched his way through the wall and, with the
   help of the man on the other side, was able to squirm his way
   through the hole in the wall. "The guy held me and embraced me and
   he gave me a kiss and he said, 'From today, you're my brother
   for life.' "

   But the danger wasn't over. The man on the other side of the wall,
   who introduced himself as Brian, was an older gentleman and they
   still had 81 floors to walk down, with the building on fire and,
   unknown to them, in danger of collapse. "We hobbled our way down,
   and at every floor we stopped to see if anybody was there, but
   nobody was..., but a man was on the floor, and his back was gone,
   and he was covered in blood."

   Stanley asked to be allowed to carry the man out, but a security
   guard told him it would be better to send somebody up. When they
   finally made it down to the concourse, only firefighters were
   there. "They were saying, 'Run! Run! Run!', they were telling us
   to run out, but they were not concerned about themselves,"
   he said.

   Stanley and Brian would have ran from the building, but now the
   concourse was surrounded with fire. Wetting themselves under the
   building's sprinkler system, they held hands and ran through the
   flames to safety to Trinity Church about two blocks away. "I
   wanted to go to the church to thank God," Stanley explained, "As
   soon as I held onto the gate of that church, the building [World
   Trade Center Tower Two] collapsed."

   Stanley and Brian made there way safely out of the danger area.
   Before they parted, Stanley gave his business card to Brian in
   hopes of contact at a later time, and said, "If I don't see you,
   I'll see you in heaven."

   Cut and bloodied, with clothes tattered and wearing a borrowed
   shirt, Stanley finally made it home hours later to his wife
   Jennifer and his two girls, Stephanie (age 8) and Caitlin (age 4).
   "I held my wife and my two children and we cried," said Stanley.
   After thanking God for sparing his life, Stanley told God whatever
   he did, it will always be for His glory. "I'm so sore, but every
   waking moment, I say 'Lord, had you not been in control, I would
   not have made it.'

   "For some divine reason, I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that
   the good Lord's mighty hand turned the plane a fraction from where
   I was standing," said Stanley. "Because when it crash-landed, it
   was just 20 feet from me. I don't care who would rationalize--what
   people would say now or years from now, but I know it was the
   handiwork of the Lord that turned that plane. My Lord Jesus is
   bigger than the Trade Center and His finger can push a plane

   --Dan Van Veen

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