Two Minutes to Live
by John E. Collier
CAOM Press

"I realize that I never know what God is planning next. I just need to be ready to take the next step with Him, wherever it leads."

At the core of Collier’s autobiography is a singular incident in August 1975 of a near-death experience. When Collier’s Convair 240 plane traveling to Memphis from Belize malfunctions from an oil leak, the plane nearly crashes, but the passengers and crew are saved miraculously. This event thrusts Collier’s life into perspective as he grapples at the age of thirty-six with his life purpose, turning to his faith in God for answers and direction. Facing financial troubles, he must sell everything to pay debts on the plane (an already expensive purchase as part of a charter business). Heeding the growing call toward mission work, his path leads him to the “little-known country” of Belize.

Broken into five parts, Collier’s narrative is a before-and-after story, examining his early Texas roots, struggles through school, and religious upbringing. The Bible becomes a transformative, saving grace in the early years of his spiritual growth. He touches on his advocacy with the Youth for Christ movement, learning to provide comfort and friendship to lost souls. After the plane accident, his religious devotion and connection to the “good seed planted” in his youth strongly motivates Collier through adulthood, through his marriage, ties to the community, and eventually in his role as a missionary in Belize. But worries over his heart and health put him at grave risk of losing all that he holds dear, even as he determines to push on.

One does not have to be religious or devout to appreciate this tender, endearing read. Collier imparts simple wisdom and truths culled from his life experiences, regaling readers with the many challenges he faced and how his deep faith allowed him to see through these struggles. It is an honest story of the beneficial powers of spirituality and human kindness.

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