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'He never stops working' Former Harrisburg pastors turned missionaries see God's hand during health scare in Africa

  • In Bukavu, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Brad (second from right) and Daneille Snowden (fifth from right) stand with a group of people outside a church where they ministered.

    In Bukavu, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Brad (second from right) and Daneille Snowden (fifth from right) stand with a group of people outside a church where they ministered.
    Courtesy of Brad and Daneille Snowdon

  • Brad Snowden preaches behind the pulpit, with a translator to his left.

    Brad Snowden preaches behind the pulpit, with a translator to his left.
    Courtesy of Brad and Daneille Snowdon

  • Brad and Daneille Snowden (second and third from left) sit at a celebration held for them in Goma, the capital of North Kivu province in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.

    Brad and Daneille Snowden (second and third from left) sit at a celebration held for them in Goma, the capital of North Kivu province in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.
    Courtesy of Brad and Daneille Snowdon

 
Submitted by Brad and Daneille Snowden
updated: 4/10/2022 12:23 PM

Editor's note: Brad and Daneille Snowden are itinerate missionaries who go back and forth between the U.S. and Africa. They lived in Harrisburg for nearly nine years, during which time they both pastored at the Assembly of God church and Brad was a chaplain at Harrisburg Medical Center. Two of their three children were born while they lived in Harrisburg. "We have many friends there," Daneille writes.
This is an essay they submitted to the Harrisburg Register, describing a recent harrowing trip.

We are Brad and Daneille Snowden, missionaries with One Mission Society to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Burundi and Angola. We did live in Mozambique for a short time after we had pastored in the States for 26 years.

In February and March (2022) we went on a mission trip (like we do two to three times a year) to the east side of the Congo.

We have three jobs in our service to Africa: To facilitate church planters in these four countries; to be liaisons with the denomination in the Congo with our mission's organization; and to produce a podcast called Multiply that reaches across Africa (and is also heard in Asia and America).

This past month we were doing training when unexpectedly Brad became gravely ill. We were in a remote area, and all we could do was cope. He could not hold anything down whatsoever.

The next day we had to take a six-hour boat ride back up Lake Kivu to where we would fly out of the country. Our original plans were to stay in the Congo for another week, but Brad became sicker with a terrible pain in his gut. We could not just fly out immediately because of the law requiring a COVID-19 test one day prior to leaving. We went to a Congo hospital where the doctor said he had Typhoid.

Brad's fever would spike, and we would do all we could to keep it down. We were examining ways to do an emergency flight out, but we had no idea of the severity of his situation.

We left on a Friday, and 33 hours later we were home. It was a long, long difficult journey but God brought us home to the States.

When Brad went to the hospital back home, they found his appendix had ruptured in Africa. Typhoid can cause this to happen. A miracle is he was on blood thinners from having a pulmonary embolism a month prior, and he didn't bleed internally. His gut is full of hundreds of small balls of abscesses and one large one.

They hung several I.V. antibiotics for almost a week until they could exactly identify all the infection within his body. Now, it is wait-and-see, as we wait for the infection to be controlled before he is operated on.

What God did: We were able to train in areas of Biblical study. But a big one was on the day Brad became ill, we were to start a pilot program for which we gave several micro SD cards (that we had downloaded) to all our leaders. These had Bible stories, lessons and the Jesus Film all in their languages.

The card can be downloaded onto hundreds of different phones and computers and even used with some projectors. We were also able to give away smartphones with this software for them to give to their church planters.

God has proved Himself faithful repeatedly in our lives. As a song says, "He never stops working, even when we don't see that He is working!"

If you would like to know more, you can find our information on onemissionsociety.org; type in the Snowdens under missionaries. If you believe in missions, and for the story of the Gospel of Jesus to be reached across the globe, please consider joining our team with monthly support. It will help us to do even more for Africa.