NEW YORK (BP)--At 8:45 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001, Tom Fortner sat down for a quick breakfast. Only five miles from where Fortner blessed his meal, a Boeing 767 commercial airliner navigated by terrorists slammed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center.
Photo by Joe Garrad
Too far from the twin towers to hear the crash, a co-worker told Fortner and others about the mysterious crash. They then looked out the windows and turned their eyes to the largest building in the skyline to watch as the tragic events of the next few minutes unfolded.
In those minutes Fortner got his first opportunity to tell a New Yorker about Jesus. Though she had no interest in making a decision at that moment, Fortner was undeterred.
"I plant the seeds and it's God's job to make them grow," said the bivocational pastor and computer network engineer.
That day -- and in the days following -- a variety of New Yorkers listened as Fortner told them about Jesus. Still no Gospel seeds germinated that day.
As Fortner walked back that night from a sparsely attended prayer meeting, he prayed as he walked. New Yorkers showed unprecedented openness as they began to recognize their vulnerability. Yet Fortner, who would soon be returning to his home in Dallas, felt small and helpless to meet the city's staggering spiritual needs.
"Send someone else to pick up where I left off," Fortner prayed. Read More