Santa Fe missionaries hurt in Africa recall car accident

The two Santa Fe women credit Jesus and dozens of local good Samaritans for saving their lives after the rollover wreck in Niger
December 30, 2013 8:19:26 PM PST
The Santa Fe missionaries severely injured in a vehicle accident while in Africa are back home, and sharing their ordeal with Eyewitness News.

Christians often refer to Jesus as "the great physician," and missionaries Stephanie Clawson and Ruby Sprayberry say they are thanking him and dozens of local good Samaritans for saving their lives.

"God moved on hundreds of people's lives to donate a week before Christmas," Clawson said.

The pair was involved in a rollover crash in Niger, in which their fellow missionary 27-year-old Rebekah Taylor was killed. Clawson had shoulder, rib and pelvic fractures, and both women had spinal fractures.

"I couldn't turn over, I couldn't move. I couldn't even hold my own head up," Sprayberry said.

Since they couldn't sit up, they two couldn't fly out. They were stuck in a poorly equipped rural African clinic for five days. Their only pain medicine was Tylenol.

"What you would equate to a veterinarian clinic, a very low-scale veterinary clinic that you would maybe take your dogs to maybe get their nails clipped at -- and you didn't want to put them on the bed," Clawson said.

When the Santa Fe Worship Center told Eyewitness News that it needed $75,000 to pay for a medical plane, viewers came forward and gave generously. These women of faith say it was an answer to prayer that arrived just in time.

"It's overwhelming. I mean, we feel so blessed and so loved," Sprayberry said.

The women say people are asking them if they will continue to go on missions outside of the U.S. Both said they will, and that this experience has strengthened their belief that they are doing important work.

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