“Why me God? I still don’t understand?”.
That’s how Mike Jensen normally begins telling the story of his survival from a plane crash on March 16, 2011 that took the lives of 5 other men, including his business partner and closest friend, Mark Bixby. They had set off together on a trip to Salt Lake City that was supposed to be a mixture of business and some skiing on the white powder of the Wasatch Mountains. Little did they know their plane would crash shortly after takeoff!
The left engine of the twin-engine Beech Super King Air 200 stopped working almost immediately after the plane lifted off. The pilot immediately tried to circle around back to the airport, but could not make it. The plane crashed short of the runway and exploded upon impact. But for some incredible miracles of “coincidence”, Mike would have died at the scene along with the others.
The injuries he sustained were horrific. Following 30 hours of surgery, Mike spent the next two months in a coma. 28 surgeries would follow over the course of the next year, along with physical therapy 7 days a week.
On April 3rd this year Mike broke his 4 year silence about the incident and recalled his story of survival at the 46th Annual YMCA Good Friday Breakfast in Long Beach, CA. A sold out crowd of 930 folks fell silent as Mike shared his passionate story. He talked of his faith and his understanding that God had extended his life for a purpose. One of those purposes was to help fulfill the vision of his friend, Mark Bixby, to rebuild YMCA Camp Oakes. Bixby had often said, “the outdoors allows kids to get closer to God”.
Jensen decided to finally break his silence about the accident because of the 52,000 people who had left his messages and prayers on the Caring Bridge website, many of them from the Long Beach YMCA.
He closed his message with the words, “Death was not originally part of God’s plan – but now it is the resurrection of Jesus that is our salvation. God gave me more time. I’m here to serve Him. Thank you, and Happy Easter.”.
Alfredo Velasco, President and CEO of the Long Beach YMCA, strongly supports the Christian mission of the YMCA and sees this Annual Good Friday Breakfast as an incredible tool to bring the Y’s mission to the larger community. He and his team are already making plans for the big event next year!
2015 Highlight Video Clip: Long Beach Good Friday Breakfast