A South Asian Missionary’s Long Road Home – An Accident, A Miracle, and Life 

In our previous article, we shared Raymond’s* story of his friend Sann*, whom he met after moving to South Asia to use Zúme’s ten-lesson training as a stepping stone to equip local leaders. Through years of patient service, Sann was able to slowly win over the villagers who had formerly kicked him out of his home. His secret Bible lessons brought a number of families to Christ. 

Twice a year, Sann would return from his village to the city. This past year, he was riding his motorcycle over a narrow, bumpy bridge when he lost control, falling into a ravine. Another motorcycle fell after Sann, hitting him in the helmet and breaking his vertebrae. “He was paralyzed from the waist down,” Ray recounted. “Luckily, one of our missionaries was right there, close to the scene.” 

A medical helicopter arrived to fly the injured man from the scene of the accident to a hospital in the city, but the emergency ride would cost 5,000 US dollars—a debilitating price. “Believe it or not,” Ray shares, Sann’s “Buddhist monk friends paid for that ride. 5000 US dollars they paid.” The same people who had driven Sann out of his village now paid for his emergency care. 

In the city, the doctor told Sann’s wife that he didn’t expect Sann to live. The doctor advised her to not spend a lot on medical costs, trying to save the family from the deep lifetime debt brought on by predatory interest rates. Sann’s wife was distraught, but they went ahead with the surgery anyway. 

Two weeks later, “when his wife and a nurse were picking up my missionary friend from the bed to put him in a wheelchair,” Ray says, “his wife felt his body go limp. She quick looked at his eyes, her husband’s eyes, and they rolled back, and she yelled, ‘He died.’” The nurse checked his pulse and found none. She called the doctor into the room to check. The doctor “looked at his wife and said, ‘I’m sorry.’”

“Right at that time,” Ray continues, “a relative who’s a pastor in the same country knew something was wrong.” He ran from the lobby, and when he came into the room where Sann was “laying on the hospital bed, dead, he raised his hands and yelled, ‘Help us, Jesus.’” Sann’s eyes opened.

“The doctor was still there—there were about three or four nurses. The doctor had already told the head nurse to write down the estimated time of death. . . . one of the nurses said, ‘You were dead.’ He responded, ‘No, I wasn’t, I was just sleeping.’”

Sann not only lived, he also began walking after the surgeon had given him a less than 5% chance of ever walking again. 

“He’s very disciplined, as you can imagine,” Ray says. “ He’s still limited in his physical ability, but that’s okay. God provided an alternative way for him to get to his village: the country that I’m in approved building a road. God is having this closed country build a road so that my missionary friend can go home. It’s a very beautiful story.”

This young man is one of many with whom Ray works, and one of many more using Zúme across the world to train leaders and lead questioning communities to Christ’s kingdom. After his successful career in electrical engineering, Ray’s current work allows him to train local leaders like Sann and see disciples multiply. Find more stories at the Zúme Multiplying Disciples Podcast and see how you can get involved at Zume.training

*Names changed for security.

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexls