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 contribute to the fund to bring Sprayberry and Clawson to the U.S. for medical treatment, visit sfworshipcenter.org/giving. Write “mission team Africa” in the memo line.
Any money raised past the $75,000 goal will go toward the missionaries’ medical bills.