Sometimes Al Braca hated his job, but he loved God and he loved his family. An elder in his church, Calvary Chapel Four Winds, in New Jersey, Al was a vibrant witness to his co-workers. So much so that it earned him the nickname the "Rev." He was a vice president for Cantor Fitzgerald, a firm whose offices were above where the first plane hit the Twin Towers. Of the 700 employees on the floor that day none survived.
His wife Jean, in sharing his story at the Festival of Life meeting (more on that in a few days) told everyone gathered that many days Al hated going to work. That many people made fun of his faith, did cruel things like leave profane screen savers on his computer and often times generally disrespected him for his faith. Yet all knew that Al really cared for them, that he loved them and that he loved God. A survivor of the first Trade Center terrorist attack in 1993, Al then helped a woman with asthma get to safety. When employees would fall into hards times in their lives, their relationships, their marriages or when they ran into difficulty, they often came to Al who prayed for them and with them.
After the first plane hit, several Cantor Fitzgerald employees called their loved ones and said their goodbyes. Al's family did not get a call that day. But many of the employees told their families they were OK, they were praying with a man named Al. It turns out, and the story has been confirmed through multiple sources, that Al was leading a prayer meeting and sharing Christ with as many as fifty people in a circle. These were people that Al had prayed for regularly for years without much success. Now they were praying together in their last moments in the Name of Jesus.
It turns out that in the midst of the chaos Al did try and call home, but was unable to get through. He did get through to a MCI operator, who he asked to tell his family that he loved them. It took a month before his family ever got that message.
Al was a dedicated man with is priorities in order. His son Chris said of him, "The last thing my dad did involved the two things most important to him - God and his family. He loved to lead people to Christ. That takes away a lot of the hurt and the pain."
We feel for the Braca family and we learn from the example of a life well lived. Up until the moment of his death, Al was loving his family, serving his co-workers and trusting God!