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A LIGHT NAMED AL


On the morning of September 11, Jeannie Braca switched on the television to check the weather report, only to hear that a plane had just hit the World Trade Center.

Jeannie’s husband, Al, worked as a corporate bond trader for Cantor Fitzgerald. His office was on the 105th floor of Tower One.

Al had survived the World Trade Center bombing in 1993 and had even helped a woman with asthma escape from the building.

Jeannie knew that Al would do the same thing this time, “I knew he would stop to help and minister to people,” she said, “but I never thought for a minute that he wouldn’t be coming home!”


A week later, like so many others who were in that building, Al’s body was found in the rubble. Al’s wife, Jeannie, and his son Christopher were devastated!

Then the reports began to trickle in from friends and acquaintances. Some people on the 105th floor had made a last call or sent a final e-mail to loved ones saying that a man was leading people in prayer.

A few referred to Al by name.

Al’s family learned that Al had indeed been ministering to people during the attack! When Al realized that they were all trapped in the building and would not be able to escape, Al shared the gospel with a group of 50 co-workers and led them in prayer.

This news came as no surprise to Al’s wife, Jeannie.

For years, she and Al had been praying for the salvation of these men and women. According to Jeannie, Al hated his job and couldn’t stand the environment. It was a world so out of touch with his Christian values, but he wouldn’t quit.

Al was convinced that God wanted him to stay there, to be a light in the darkness, and although Al would not have put it this way, to be a hero!

Al was not ashamed of Christ and Christ’s words…and he paid the price of taking up his cross daily. Al shared his faith with his co-workers….many of whom sarcastically nicknamed him “The Rev.”

And on that fateful day…on September 11, in the midst of the chaos, Al’s co-workers looked to him—-and Al delivered!

At the same time, Al too tried to get a phone call through to his family. He asked an MCI operator to contact his family.

“Tell them that I love them,” he said.

It took the operator more than a month to reach the Bracas, but the message brought them much-needed comfort.

“The last thing my dad did involved the two things most important to him—God and his family,” his son Christopher told a writer for Focus on The Family.

“He loved to lead people to Christ. That takes away a lot of the hurt and the pain.”


SOURCE: compiled by Kenneth Sauer from "A Light in the Darkness" by Christin Ditchfield. Focus on the Family Magazine, September 2002.

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