Diaspora

Haiti missionary from Zeeland to appear on Biography channel show 'I Survived' talking about kidnapping – MLive.com

ZEELAND — Since he was shot and kidnapped while doing missionary work in Haiti four years ago, Phil Snyder has been back to the impoverished country many times trying to expand the work he and wife, Amber, hope will save thousands of children.
Yet to this day, memories of the 2005 ambush still haunt him.
"It was the most intense 36 hours of my life," said Snyder, 52. "The ambush … how do you describe it? It was absolutely the most intense thing that every happened to me." he said.
"One minute your driving along and, all of a sudden, people are shooting at you. You're running on the edge of death. I'm thinking I'm going dead."
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At 9 p.m. Sunday, the Biography Channel will air Snyder's story in an episode of "
I Survived
," a show that allows survivors of hair-raising events to tell in their own words how they cheated death. The episode was taped a year ago.
Snyder leads GLOW Ministries International, an organization that provides education and food programs for more than 2,500 children in Haiti.
On Dec. 1 2005, he was in Haiti driving a 6-year-old Haitian boy who needed eye surgery to the U.S. Consulate so the child could obtain a visa when their truck was ambushed by a gang.
Snyder was shot in the shoulder during the attack, which was thwarted when a United Nation tank scattered the attackers. But U.N. soldiers failed to rescue Snyder, who was recaptured as he walked into Cite Soleil, a sprawling slum used as a base by gangs.
FBI negotiators and family members were able to free him and the child 36 hours later.
While Snyder has returned to Haiti to continue their work there, the past years haven't been easy for him. Amber Snyder said her husband suffers from post traumatic stress disorder.
"It's been a tough four years. It's been difficult for him," she said.
Despite those struggles, what the couple has endured has been worth it, she added.
"We're helping 2,500 children and their families and community. Our work is so very vital."
E-mail Nardy Bickel: nbickel@grpress.com
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