Injured women stranded in Africa return to the United States

By Jennifer Bauer - Reporter

HOUSTON - Thanks to the generosity of Local 2 viewers and others in the community, enough money was raised to bring two women home on an air ambulance that had been injured on a missionary trip in Africa.

They made the flight from Niger and landed in Houston at 3 a.m. on Tuesday.

"By the grace of God, a little over 24 hours later we've got the money to do it.  It was amazing," said Tim Gregory, pastor of the Sante Fe Family Worship Center.

Gregory was in Niger with the women but was not injured in the car crash. 

He said the car they were traveling in lost traction on a gravel road, spun out and went over a 50 feet ravine.

"The first idea in my mind was to call 911," he said.  "But there's no such thing."

Gregory said the women, Stephanie Clawson and Ruby Sprayberry, were badly injured and they were about two hours away from town.  They had to get them into a car and drive them to the nearest clinic.

"They were scared, they were.  Not knowing what was going to happen from day to day to day," said Gregory.

The women were relieved when enough money was raised for them to make the trip back to the United States.

Both of them are badly hurt and still hospitalized.  Sprayberry should be released sometime this week but Clawson is more injured than originally thought. 

"She also has a possible ruptured bladder, broken tailbone, cracks in her pelvis and pubic bone as well," said Julie Gregory. "Stephanie and Ruby are both strong ladies and we knew that they could pull through this."

Both of the families and the church community are extremely grateful to all the generous donors who stepped up in their time of need.  They received money from all over the United States and as far away as Australia and Guatemala. 

"The support from the community and other churches - that was pretty cool," said Gregory. 

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