God answered Felipe David's prayer the morning of Sept. 11. The member of Transfiguration Lutheran Church, Bronx, N.Y., suffered severe burns to most of his body in the World Trade Center explosion.
When the first plane crashed, David was taking inventory of the vending machines in the center's basement. "I asked God to give me strength. And I was able to get up and run six blocks to find an exit," he says.
Despite his injuries, David is grateful for his life. "Things have always happened, and they will continue to happen," he says. "I have to learn to continue to survive because there was a reason God saved my life. Although it will never be the same."
Lutheran Disaster Response-New York initially provided rent money, says David's pastor, Heidi Neumark. "[His family] had no income because he was the only one working," she says. "After his wife found a job, he had to go alone to therapy, which created other problems. He got jostled on the subway and his burns opened up. So LDRNY gave him cab money."
Transfiguration and Lutheran congregations in Ohio, Nebraska and New Jersey sent cards, money and Christmas gifts for David's family. "Many came to my house and the hospital to visit me," he says. "There were a lot of people praying for me and still are. This I will never forget."
David, who besides his vending job also played bass in a popular local band, doesn't know if he will be able to support his family in New York and Honduras again. He underwent several skin grafts on his hands and will need two years of therapy. He doesn't know if he will be able play the bass again professionally. "I am always trying to play my instrument, but it's painful," he says.
But the pain doesn't stop him from trying — or from living.
© 2014 Augsburg Fortress, Publishers