Steve Saint begins rehab after accident

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (BP) -- Author, missionary and inventor Steve Saint showed slight progress during his first day of rehabilitation Monday (June 25) after an accident nearly two weeks earlier left him partially paralyzed.

Saint, whose missionary pilot father Nate Saint was killed in Ecuador by tribesmen in 1956, was conducting a test June 13 when a safety strap broke and an aluminum wing hit him in the head. The day of the accident, he had only limited movement in his arms and legs. He had successful surgery a week after the accident.

"He continues to have very limited mobility, though he gets more movement in various parts of his body on a regular basis," his son, Jaime Saint, posted on Facebook after his father's first day of rehab. "[On June 25], he had slight movement in all of the fingers of his right hand."

Steve Saint founded a company, I-TEC (itecusa.org), that develops and invents products to help indigenous churches become self-supporting and self-propagating. Successes include a portable dental lab. One of the company's most-discussed inventions is the Maverick flying car. Saint's injury did not involve working on the Maverick.

Saint recorded a six-minute video prior to his surgery where he said he was learning "how to walk again, how to move my fingers."

"In these last six days I have been though more pain than I ever imagined possible," he said at the time. "... The amazing thing and encouraging thing to me is that honestly, not one time have I wondered or wanted to ask God why this happened."

Saint even encouraged viewers, "If God is prompting you to get out there and get involved in the fray, then please do it."

Saint's father and four other missionaries were speared to death in 1956, leaving behind fives wives and several children. But the tribe eventually embraced Christ, and, amazingly, the very tribesmen who had killed the missionaries became friends with the missionaries' family members. The story was the focus of several books, as well as a documentary ("Beyond the Gates of Splendor") and a movie ("End of the Spear").


Compiled by Michael Foust, associate editor of Baptist Press.