Saturday, December 1, 2007
I just wanted to share how I got my testimony of prayer. I was born and raised in Salt Lake, the youngest of four boys. Now I refer to myself as an "adrenalin junkie" now but the original adrenalin junkie in my family was my next to oldest brother Kurt. He skydived, hang glided, and even had a short stint with a racing go-cart. ( imagine 140 mph with your backside 1/2 inch off of the ground.) During his skydiving days, my brother and a buddy of his decided to attempt a world high altitude record jump. Their intention was to jump from 300,000 ft. This meant a freefall of close to five minutes prior to chute opening. The high altitude also made it necessary to carry oxygen tanks. The day of the jump came. Now I had seen my brother climb into the jump plane many times before, but this time he looked more like an astronaut than a skydiver. We all said goodbye and wished him and his friend luck, then they climbed into the plane and took off. We waited as the plane made its climb to jump altitude. The airplane was a barely visible speck when word came to the crowd at the airport they were on jump run. It was then that we all noticed a horrifying sight. A badly damaged parachute falling from the plane. As my brother was climbing out of the plane, his emergency chute ripcord handle caught the door handle of the plane, causing the chute to pre maturely open. The chute tangled around the wing of the airplane heavily damaging the chute causing it to only very partially open. This damaged chute was also causing my brother to fall at a much slower rate than intended so his oxygen was going to run out much sooner than planned. My brothers wife and two young boys, as well as myself and my family poured our hearts out to God just hoping he would protect him from a very deadly situation. As well as my brother prayed for the Lord's protection as he fell. This lasted until his oxygen ran out and he blacked out. He went down in Big Cottonwood Canyon, which is very big, rugged, tree covered, and just full of ways that this story could have ended in tragedy. He went down in a clearing, in a big, soft, snowbank, with a cross country skier passing by at that moment. The skier helped my brother out of his gear and helped him spread his chute canopy out on the ground. He was spotted by a search plane and rescued within an hour by the sheriff's department jeep posse. I will always remember his first word on his return to the airport upon seeing the military helicopter ready to go after him, " Gee if I had known that thing was coming for me I would have stayed up there." My attitude toward prayer was never the same after this. and oh yes the most dangerous thing my brother has done since then is raise daughters.