SIOUX CITY (KTIV) -- In 2018, three children from Tanzania came to Siouxland in need of medical help after they were severely injured in a bus crash.
With the help of Siouxland Tanzania Educational Medical Ministries (STEMM) and other Siouxland organizations, Wilson, Sadia, and Doreen got the care they needed and are now a part of the Siouxland family.
"I think that they will be a part of the Siouxland story forever," said Dr. Steve Meyer.
They are words from STEMM president Dr. Steve Meyer, whose life, like many others in Siouxland, was changed after bringing those children to Sioux City for medical treatment.
Now Dr. Meyer said, in spite of all the odds being against them, the kids are thriving.
"We call Wilson, Sadia, and Doreen the miracle kids of Tanzania because of all the amazing things that happened. From their rescue to their coming to Sioux City, to their restoration medically, and then their return to Tanzania. So, it's an amazing story. I just saw them last month when I was in Tanzania and they're doing amazing. They're academically phenomenal and they're leaders in their class and they're just amazing kids," said Dr. Meyer.
Dr. Meyer said it's humbling to have been a part of the kids' story.
"Everybody in Siouxland was a small cog in a wheel of an absolute miracle. It always feels amazing when you see the power of God doing incredible things and think oh my gosh, I was chosen to be a part of this," said Dr. Meyer.
And it's amazing for him to see how working together for the greater good can change an entire community.
"I think it's a much bigger story than just Siouxland. I think it's a great testimony to how we can accomplish great things when we decide that we'll put our differences aside and we'll look at the common good and the commonality inside each and every one of us as human beings," said Dr. Meyer.
The kids are excited to come back to Siouxland soon and grab their favorite chicken wings and fries from the Townhouse.
Dr. Meyer said a STEMM sponsor has offered to pay for the college education of all three kids in Sioux City, either at Morningside College or Briar Cliff University.
He said the kids are working hard to qualify academically.
"Little Sadia was absolutely terrified. She had really never spoken to a white person before. So, when she first came here she didn't speak to anyone for like the first several weeks, and now you can't shut her up. She's actually like the student body president," he said. "So, she's very articulate. She wants to be an airline pilot. Wilson is really really bright. It's just amazing. He had a massive gash on his head and I thought he might have some possible brain damage. But instead, he's academically the most accomplished of all of them and he wants to be a doctor someday. And Doreen, I'm not sure what Doreen wants to be yet."
"But the fact that a girl who was completely paralyzed from the chest down with medically zero chance of walking. It's never been documented that someone with her injury would walk and were able to put screws and rods in her back and 85 days later walked off an airplane and now is walking normally and going to school and playing soccer. Just miracle after miracle. It's just amazing," said Dr. Meyer.
And while the Miracle Kids are doing well, Dr. Meyer says STEMM has been hit hard by COVID.
He says they've had to cancel many mission trips, talks, and fundraisers.
The organization's big fundraiser, 'A Night of Hope' is still set to take place this year on October 29.
The event will be in person, or virtual, and will feature silent and live auctions.
"There's a lot more work to be done. That's where we need the people of Siouxland to come together and support us both financially and to volunteer so that 2021 can be even a better year than 2020," said Dr. Meyer.
Dr. Meyer adds, the hope is to continue the virtual aspect of the fundraiser, even after COVID, so other people have the chance to participate.
You can read more about the miracle kids' story and about 'A Night of Hope' by clicking here.