Pastor Luke Barnett’s 20-year-old daughter Annalee believes it’s “an absolute miracle that he’s alive.” Just over two weeks ago, Barnett was crushed by a more than 1,500-pound boulder while hiking along the 800-mile Arizona Trail and his daughter is convinced he is only alive by the “grace of God.”
“I’m telling you right now, I don’t know how he’s alive. It’s just the grace of God. It’s an absolute miracle that he’s alive,” Annalee told members of the nearly 100-year-old multi-campus, Dream City Church in Phoenix, Arizona, where her father is senior pastor.Barnett explained in a statement on his church’s Facebook page that he and Annalee were about a month into the 800-mile hike they started on Sept. 27 to raise $1 million for the Short Creek Dream Center when disaster struck.
“We had passed the halfway point, completing almost 500 miles. Seven miles into a treacherous stretch of the trail, the adventure of our life became the miracle of our life,” Barnett, 50, said.
“Hiking down a canyon at the Superstition Mountains, we stepped on and off a large boulder that was on the trail. Somehow this 1500+ pound boulder dislodged and rolled towards Annalee. I shouted a warning and pushed her out of the way. Despite my best attempts to stop the boulder, it rolled on top of me,” he continued.
Annalee said she was able to pull her father from underneath the boulder and then call for help.
“We kind of positioned him so he was able to lay down. I was able to get to the top of the canyon to call out for a chopper with a SAT phone. They came in. He was really beat up, they pulled him out,” she said.
The pastor suffered three broken ribs, a broken forearm, a broken hip a broken femur and many stitches to his right hand.
“As I was lifted out of the ravine in the rescue basket, I didn’t know all my injuries. The next day, we discovered that I had three broken ribs, a broken forearm, a broken hip, a broken femur, and 40 stitches in my right hand. It’s a miracle I’m alive,” he wrote. “God is really up to something big and the enemy hates it. Thank you for all your prayers and for standing with me on this new journey of healing as I continue to stand for the abandoned mothers and children at the Short Creek Dream Center.”
Barnett is now recovering at home after he was released from the hospital on Sunday.
Annalee also returned to the trail with a new hiking partner, and is scheduled to finish the hike Saturday, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for women in need NBC29 reported.
The Short Creek Dream Center was created from the compound once owned by Warren Jeffs, the former leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints who was sentenced to life in prison in 2011 for abusing underage girls. His cult had been located on the Arizona-Utah border in an area known as Short Creek, made up of towns including Colorado City and Hildale.
Brielle Decker, Jeffs’ 65th wife, who was awarded Jeffs’ former house in a settlement by a judge who oversaw the former leader’s properties, sold the 29,000-square foot home to the Phoenix Dream Center which is a Christ-centered outreach ministry aimed at ending human trafficking.