SANTA FE — Members of the Santa Fe Family Worship Center are trying to raise $75,000 to bring home two church missionaries who were badly injured in a car accident while on a mission trip in Niamey, Niger.

Santa Fe resident Ruby Sprayberry and Stephanie Clawson, who works at the University of Texas Medical Branch, were about a week into a mission trip in West Africa when the accident occurred early Tuesday, Santa Fe Worship Center pastor Julie Gregory said. The six church members on the mission trip were originally scheduled to return home Saturday.

Sprayberry, Clawson and another young missionary were riding in a car Tuesday when the driver lost control and the vehicle tipped over into a ravine.

The 17-year-old missionary, who was not a member of the worship center’s group, was killed in the crash, Gregory said.

Sprayberry suffered a deep cut to her leg and significant damage to her back, injuring the muscles and chipping her vertebral column. Clawson suffered a bruised spleen, a cracked rotator cuff and a dislocated shoulder, Gregory said.

Both Sprayberry and Clawson have been treated at a medical clinic in Niamey. They are not in any immediate danger, but the facility lacks stable electricity, pain medicine and other critical equipment needed to properly diagnose and treat the injuries, Gregory said.

The women urgently need to be taken by air ambulance to the United States for treatment, Gregory said. 

The worship center has raised about $7,000 but is facing a tight deadline to meet its $75,000 goal. 

On Call International, an organization that handles emergency medical evacuations, is working with the Santa Fe Worship Center to bring the women home but has a limited schedule for flights. To keep the price from skyrocketing to $200,000, the church needed to raise $75,000 by 7 a.m. today, Gregory said.


 To help

To contribute to the fund to bring Sprayberry and Clawson to the U.S. for medical treatment, visit Write “mission team Africa” in the memo line.

Any money raised past the $75,000 goal will go toward the missionaries’ medical bills.

Contact reporter Alex Macon at 409-683-5244 or


(3) comments


This is a very worthy cause and I feel for the pain of the family of the young girl killed and those sent to do good work, yet are suffering in Niger. My question is, why does it take injuries of Americans for this story to be written? There are millions of Africans who must live this every day without the luxury of a story in the Galveston Daily News to help bring them to the US. Perhaps a more long-term answer to the problem is the creation of a fund to build-up the services this hospital is capable of providing - so that Nigeriens and future aid workers who will be in the same situation can benefit.

robert kemp

I don't think you read the story correct dceagle. The injured that needed to be transported back to the US were American citizens from the church in Santa Fe.I'm sorry too that there is not adequate medical services in that country or any other one, but my belief is we have enough people right here in the states suffering from poverty and children who possibly go for days without a meal.I am a firm believer of taking care of your own first. If you believe we should aid other countries first, then ask yourself why isn't their OWN Govt. doing anything about it......and then you can step up to the plate and donate for the cause .....

Dallas Smithe

Why didn't they have travelers insurance? It would have been less than 40 bucks and would have covered up to 1 million dollars for evacuation and medical care. I never go on a mission trip without it.

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