On October 26, Renee Murdoch of Brusly, a missionary in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was brutally attacked and nearly beaten to death by a homeless man while she was exercising along the city’s Barra beach, according to her husband, Philip Murdoch.
But the latest reports show that Renee is in the process of recovering after being in a coma for days due to severe swelling of the brain.
The couple are pastors in the city and run a Christian church-planting organization called Light to the Nations.
Philip Murdoch has been posting updates in writings on the organization’s website as well as videos on YouTube since October 27, the day after what he called a “wild, random act of violence” occurred.
On October 27, Philip Murdoch reported that his wife was attacked on the beach by a “man who was obviously disturbed mentally.”
He said that the man, who was homeless, hit her repeatedly with a large piece of wood.
Other reports claim that the man was beating one of the beach’s food kiosks with a fence post when he saw Renee, walked toward her and began to beat her.
“He kept hitting her until people rescued her,” Philip Murdoch said.
Renee was immediately brought to the municipal hospital and was operated on twice. A piece of bone was removed on the left side of her head, and much of her skull was removed on her right side in order to relieve swelling of the brain.
On October 27 he said that the prognosis was not good, but he was hopeful that his wife would recover.
“We believe that for those who love the Lord and are called according to his purpose, all reports are always good because we serve a good God,” he said.
Philip asked that people pray for his wife to make a full recovery.
On November 1, after six days in the hospital, Renee opened her eyes, sat up with the help of a physical therapist and even stood up.
“God is answering our prayers!” Philip wrote. “The situation that Renee is in is beginning to elevate and conform to the supernatural reality that we know she’s going to be totally recovered and 100 percent well.”
He encouraged those watching his daily reports on YouTube.com and reading from his website to continue to pray
“Now’s not the time to stop praying. Now’s the time to continue or even intensify our prayer,” he wrote. “We see the battle and we see that we’re winning the battle.”
On November 2, Philip wrote that Renee had begun speaking.
“Every step of the way we’re able to get another miracle and so let’s keep praying,” he said.
In Philip’s last update before the Journal’s deadline, on November 5, he said that Renee has continued to get better each day with prayer.
“Everyday we’ve had a specific request, and everyday God has answered it,” he said. “We prayed that Renee would open her eyes and the next day she opened her eyes. We prayed that she would speak and the next day she spoke, and even gave me a kiss”
He said that they prayed that she would remove her feeding tube, of which doctors were disapproving.
“But in the middle of the night, she removed her own feeding tube,” he said, adding that after some tests, doctors decided that Renee could swallow on her own.
According to Philip, with the feeding tube no longer attached, Renee is no longer confined to the bed and was able to take a shower for the first time since the beating.
“There’s still a long way to go. But prayer isn’t just to make us feel better. Prayer really changes things,” Philip said.
Local police in Rio de Janeiro did take the homeless man into custody after the attack.