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Rev. Graham's Near-Death: Saved by the Grace of God

Image: Rev. Graham's Near-Death: Saved by the Grace of God
(Davis Turner/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 21 February 2018 11:24 AM

It's a little-known fact that the Rev. Billy Graham's extraordinary ministry of global crusades nearly ended in tragedy before it really began.

Disaster came close one day when Graham was a young pastor returning home after giving a sermon in western Canada. He recounted the brush with death in his book "The Reason for My Hope: Salvation."

Graham's plane took off from Vancouver, British Columbia. Other than pouring rain, everything seemed normal enough. Graham was gazing out at a vista of the Canadian Rockies when the stewardess suddenly whispered there was a serious problem.

An air-traffic controller had informed the pilot that terrible weather was moving in quickly and he would have to immediately land the Lockheed Lodestar he was flying immediately. The rain already pelting the WWII-era aircraft was soon expected to turn to ice and snow.

"The quandary," Graham wrote, "was that all the airports in the area had been forced to shut down due to the heavy snowfall."

The plane, in other words, had no place to land.

Graham's prayers apparently were heard that night, however. At the last moment as the bad weather roared in, the pilot saw a hole in the clouds and dove. He leveled out over an amazing sight: An open, snow-covered field.

As he made his approach, the pilot made a fateful decision. He announced that he would not lower the landing gear in the hope it would enable the aircraft to slide through the snow like a sled. Otherwise, the plane would probably cartwheel which would be disastrous. The pilot told the Graham and the other passengers to prepare for a rough landing.

Graham later wrote there were cries of terror as the plane thumped down and careened through the snow — but he would never forget how those screams gave way to tears of joy when the plane finally skidded to a stop. Amazingly, no one was injured.

Graham and his companions spent the night in the plane in the middle of nowhere, sheltered from the worst of the wind. In the morning, a team of horses drawing a wagon arrived to haul the weary travelers off to safety.

"Not all air travel mishaps end this well, with all passengers saved from disaster," Graham wrote.

Delivered from that early mishap, Graham would go on to see millions of souls saved in the years to come.

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It's a little-known fact that the Rev. Billy Graham's extraordinary ministry of global crusades nearly ended in tragedy before it really began.
billy graham, life, death
394
2018-24-21
Wednesday, 21 February 2018 11:24 AM
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