Paralyzed Steve Saint Undergoing Painful Therapy

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Steve Saint, who suffered a paralyzing injury while testing new equipment for the mission field, is undergoing intense and painful therapy to restore the use of his hands and feet.

Two days after spinal surgery the missionary pilot and inventor began therapy at a rehab program at a hospital in Gainesville, Fla.

"I think God is teaching me that he writes his best stories from the hardest starts, hardest beginnings," Saint, who founded Itec-USA, said in a recent update posted on Facebook.

Saint said the pain he has endured has been intense, but seeing a story on the life of Christ in his hospital room gave him a new perspective.

"And it showed somebody holding a crown of thorns over his head and then jamming it down on his head," Saint recalled. "And it showed him weary and dehydrated."

"I'm telling you, I've lived in some pretty hard places but I never had any idea that pain could be so intense," he continued. 

  • Watch Saint's video update below.

After his surgery a video call from Ecuador provided a welcome distraction. The call was from his friend Mincaye, who decades ago joined other Waorani warriors in murdering Steve's father, Nate Saint, and four other missionaries trying to bring them the gospel.

"Mincaye said he had a dream that something happened to you," Mincaye's translator told Saint.

Since Mincaye and other tribe members converted to Christianity, Saint has looked to him as his adoptive father.

"I'm feeling really bad and I'm sad that I'm looking at you in the hospital," he told Saint during the call. "But God knows, too, that we can keep working and I would like to see you coming back to Ecuador and working with us together."

"In all the world, Mincaye, there are no people that I love more than I love you, and that goes for your family, too," Saint replied.

Doctors expect a slow recovery, although they're doubtful Saint will regain full use of his limbs. They plan to keep him hospitalized for another two to four weeks.

*Originally published July 2, 2012.

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Stan Jeter

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CBN News Senior Producer Stan Jeter specializes in Christian news and Latin American coverage.  He has lived and worked for many years in South and Central America, most recently developing the Spanish Christian news program, Mundo Cristiano.  Follow Stan on Twitter @StanJeterNews and "like" him at Facebook.com/StanJeterCBN.