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The Families of 3 American Heroes in France Credit God and Their Christian Faith for Their Heroism

Leah Marieann Klett : Aug 25, 2015  The Gospel Herald

The three, who all attended a Christian school together are "all Christian [and] very religious." -Peter Skarlatos

(France)—The families of the three Americans whom French authorities credit with halting a potential terror attack on a Paris-bound high-speed train Friday have said the heroic act reflected the young men's Christian faith and was a part of God's "providential will." (Photo via Gospel Herald)

Last week, Airman First Class Spencer Stone, Oregon National Guard member Alek Skarlatos and college student Anthony Sadler were traveling on a high-speed train in Brussels bound for Paris as part of a three-week vacation when 25-year-old Ayoub El Khazzani boarded, armed with a Kalashnikov assault rifle, a Luger automatic pistol, ammunition and a box-cutter.

Airman Stone and Mr. Skarlatos, both 22, first rushed the gunman, followed closely by Mr. Sadler, 23. Mr. Skarlatos then took the automatic weapon from El Khazzani before he could fire it, as the gunman attacked Airman Stone with a box cutter.

He stabbed Airman Stone "multiple times" in the back and severed a tendon and nerve on one hand, the AP reported. He also pulled out a handgun and put it to Airman Stone's head during the scuffle, pulling the trigger twice. "But it clicked twice and didn't go off," Airman Stone's mother, Joyce Eskel, told the Wall Street Journal.

The young men, who were presented with France's highest honor by President Francois Hollande—the Legion d'Honneur—on Monday, are childhood friends who had all attended California's Freedom Christian School and often played military games together.

Peter Skarlatos, Alek's older brother, told the Sacramento Bee that all three men are strong Christians whose close bond and humility stems from their devotion to their faith. (Photo: Anthony Sadler/Sacramento Bee)

"They're all Christians," he said. "They're all very religious."

Anthony Sadler, a Baptist pastor in Sacramento's Oak Park neighborhood, told reporters that he believes his son and his friends were used by God to disrupt what could have been a devastating tragedy.

"We believe God's providential will worked its way out," he said. "I'm just thankful they were there and got things done."

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