THE FOURTH FISHERMAN: How Three Mexican Fishermen Who Came Back From the Dead Changed My Life and Saved My Marriage
Interview by Haley Snyder
When you felt the desire to go meet the fishermen, did you know that God was sparking the interest, or did you think it was your own curiosity?
From the very beginning of this journey there was something inside of me that drew me to this story. Here is what I mean: When I first heard of it, and the details were revealed to me, it sparked “my” curiosity, as you mentioned. But, when the parts about the men surviving because of faith, and that they had a bible they read, my curiosity was run over by this mysterious pull towards it. You have to understand that I didn’t really choose this; it chose me!
What addictions did you have before you found Christ?
I had become dependent on prescription medications used to relieve anxiety. I had also abused alcohol from a very young age up until 2001.
Before you found Christ, did anyone suspect your struggles?
Yes. Lot’s of people, including myself. Even before I was overcome by the addiction, I knew that I drank too much and over medicated all the time.
Did you grow up with both of your parents in the same home as you?
I was the youngest of four and by the time I came along everyone was already in “survival mode.” I grew up hearing the screaming matches and seeing the drunken fits of rage that is typical in many dysfunctional and alcoholic households. My parents stayed together in a very unhappy marriage for my sake until I was off in college.
What exactly is your job?
Right now I am a full time speaker, author, screenwriter, and producer.
Do you have kids?
I have two of the most wonderful daughters a father could hope for. In spite of being flawed as a parent, they have turned out to be amazing women. My oldest is 20 and my youngest is 17. Most of the credit goes to their mom, my wife, Carmen. She did an amazing job.
If so, did you have them before you found Christ?
They were nine and 12 when I went through my conversion experience.
If so, how have they responded to the change in you?
They thought aliens has landed and taken over my body. I looked the same; even sounded the same, but I was a different person on the inside and there were sweeping changes in our house around every topic. We stopped doing a lot of the things we had been and we started doing things very differently.
What from your childhood did you learn that affects you as an adult?
I grew up in a house where performance was king. We were expected to perform in everything we did at the best levels. We were to make the highest scores, make the fewest mistakes, and win.
How did meeting the fishermen impact your life?
They have taught me so much about faith; that you don’t have to be perfect to have great faith and recieve amazing grace and mercy. These are men that are regular guys. They are by no means perfect. But, when faced with almost certain fatality and the prospect of the pacific ocean swallowing them up forever in a few seconds, they soon realized that the only way they would survive this ordeal was to have faith that if God wanted them to survive, they would survive. And if He didn’t want them to survive, they were not going survive. In essence, they surrendered the outcome. But they didn’t just lay down and surrender. They got to work. They knew that they had a job to do. To eat, to stay as healthy a possible, and pray for the best possible outcome. The two men that died, did none of that.
How do you think your life would be different if you had been raised in a Christian home?
I think everything in my life would be different. I think there is a good chance that the pain I have suffered and I have caused others could have been greatly reduced, if not completely avoided. I’m not saying that I would necessarily change anything, because I think that I had to go through what I had to go through to get where I am, and for me, it was unavoidable. But I am positive it would be completely different.
How do you think your life would be different if your friend hadn’t told you about Christ?
I think I would be dead. God heard his pleas for my life and answered him.
In your blog you wrote “The wounds we suffer as children, cause us to make vows.” What vows did you make as a child?
I took several. One was that I would never strike, hit, or spank my children. If you ask them today, they just smile. But the biggest vow I took was in response to so many messages that I wasn’t good enough. I associated being good with success, so I took a vow that I was going to be successful at any cost.
What happened to make you make those vows?
It came from many directions. Words that pierce the heart: Don’t be a dummy; You throw like a girl; You’ll never amount to anything. When I was being beat with a fraternity paddle, I used to cry, “I’ll be good. I’ll be good”
How did that affect you growing up?
I was filled with fear, with shame, with guilt, and with anger.
How did your wife respond to you accepting Christ into your heart?
She was thrilled, but cautious at first, thinking it might just be a phase. Soon she realized it was for real.
How did your wife respond to your adventure with the fishermen?
She thought I had lost my mind, and still kind of does think that.
How did your unsaved friends react to you accepting Christ?
This is kind of sad, but most don’t really want to have much to do with me any longer. We had less and less to talk about. I don’t really care about the latest sports scores or stock market rally. So we have drifted apart, and I have gravitated to men and women who share the same love for Christ that I do.
Did any of them find Christ in return?
Yes, a few have. But what is more amazing are the ones who found Christ before me, had drifted away, and were thrilled when I finally did!
Has how you do your job changed since you accepted Christ?
Yes, everything has changed. The center of my universe changed. I look, or try to look, at everything I do through the lens of Christ; as if He is with me 24/7. And not just beside me observing, but dwelling deep inside me at the cellular level with all of my very being.
Paperback: 194 pages
Publisher: Ezekiel 22 Productions; 1ST edition (2010)
I’m Haley Faye Snyder. I’ve lived in the same Christian home in Kentucky since I was born. I have one little brother and two loving parents. I go to Westport Baptist church and have my whole life. I accepted Christ into my heart when I was six and then re-committed my life to Him when I was 11 at Boones Creek Baptist Camp. (read more…)