Guatemala City, Guatemala — Divine intervention is being credited for saving the life of Paul Oakey, a 20-year-old Mormon Missionary stationed in Guatemale.  This after he was attacked by evil zoo lions.  Let’s hope that someone is now praying he doesn’t repeat the galactically stupid behavior that got him into that mess.

While making the rounds at a Guatemalan Zoo, Oakey reportedly thought that a photo of him standing on top of the 6-foot tall wall surrounding the lion exhibit would make a pretty cool picture.  So he made what his father, Alan Oakey, described as a “judgement call” and climbed on up.  Awww heck [God forgive me], there was an inner cage.  What was the point of even having the cement wall?

“When Elder Oakey turned his back to the lions, they crept up on him,” Alan Oakey said.  A Mormon on a mission is an “elder” – even to his dad.

One lion reportedly reached through the cage and grabbed the missionary’s right leg, causing him to fall back against the cage. A second lion then grabbed Oakey’s left arm with its mouth.  One of the lions then reportedly bit a chunk out of Elder Oakey’s right calf.  A news account said the other lion bit down on the missionary’s left bicep, and during the attack, had most of the man’s left arm in its mouth.

Oakly’s father said that other missionaries who were at the zoo with Elder Oakey had trouble scaling the wall.  You see, prayer can do a lot… but getting a missionary up a wall is not guaranteed.

So Elder Oakley was left to battle the lions alone for about two minutes.  “He was punching one of the lions with his right arm,” Alan Oakey said. “If he would have given up, the two-minute battle would have ended up very differently. I wouldn’t have my son right now.”

Then, finally, one of his compadres presumably mustered enough prayerfulness to hump his out-of-shape ass up the wall.

Jonathan Allen, Oakey’s stepdad, had this to say:  “His companion Elder Lopez jumped up on the wall and jammed a large pole into the lion’s mouth to pry its jaws off of his arm. While Paul continued to beat the other lion that had his leg with his fist and gouging the lion’s eyes trying to get him to release him.”

But, as is often the case,  the true fight wasn’t between the blessed missionaries and the possessed lions.  It was between all that is good and all that is evil…

“Two sister missionaries with the group at the zoo said a quick prayer,” Alan Oakey said.  “As soon as they said, ‘amen,’ the lion’s mouth opened, and (Elder Oakey) fell back down in a safe area.”  Hallelujah!

According to his father, Oakey lost about three pints of blood.  His father added that, remarkably, other missionaries at the zoo that day shared Elder Oakey’s O+ blood type and provided him with the transfusions he needed.  When you consider that only 40% of humans have this bloodtype, the true scope of this miracle can be appreciated.

Elder Oakey was rushed to a nearby hospital in Esquipulas, where a vascular surgeon happened to be working that day.  “Typically, that hospital doesn’t have a vascular surgeon on duty,” Alan Oakey said.  Oh dear Lord… do you ever rest?!

After surgery to his extremeties, the missionary then was transported by ambulance to a larger hospital six hours away in Guatemala City, where doctors are working to determine if he will regain full use of his fingers.

There has been no word yet on his brain.

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