While browsing one of my bookshelves, I picked up my signed copy of, Triumph over Terror, a Brief life story and the account of 17 days of terror on the tarmac of the Beirut, Lebanon airport. Captain John Testrake, the Pilot in Command of TWA Flight 847, talked to the world, often with the gun of a Hizbollah Islamic Terrorist member pointed at his head. The captains “cool” under pressure was astounding.
As I read passages from the book, I fondly recalled the two times Captain Testrake spoke to the church I formerly pastored. He was a gentle giant, a Christian and pilot of the “Sully” stripe.
John walked on in 1996 of cancer. At his funeral, Pastor Ross Devers said; “He knew to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.”
Another pastor remarked; “Tragedy and loss was the iron upon which this man was formed.” John was well acquainted with grief. His first wife walked on via cancer. An infant son and an adult son preceded his passing.
Max Myers of Aviation Fellowship commended John with this: “A thirst for life, experience, and adventure must have drawn Testrake into the Pilot’s cockpit. Compassion and a desire to serve his fellow man kept him flying after retirement. He helped ship food and medical supplies to the isolated and remote places of the earth, where the poor and needy are.”
Bill Brown reporting in the Kansas City Star said;
“Many of the qualities that made John Testrake successful are available to anyone. That he had the fortitude and faith to apply them in everyday life was his greatest triumph, before and after the spotlight passed.”
The flyleaf of Triumph over Terror states:
Testrake drew hope and strength from a rock-solid assurance of God’s care and protection.”
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Great IT work by Oral Deckard