A pastor experienced a true miracle last Friday when he survived a gruesome accident while spearfishing off the coast of South Africa.
Connie Hallowell, a pastor at a church in Umkomaas, South Africa, has been spearfishing for years. An experienced fisherman, he was familiar with the potential dangers of the sport when he decided to go on an excursion in the waters adjacent to the coastal town of Scottburgh.
While Hallowell was diving on Aug. 30, he was hit by a large wave that sent his loaded speargun crashing against a nearby reef. The impact from the rocks triggered the gun, and one of the arrows launched, shooting through the fisherman’s face.
The spear, nearly 5 feet in length, pierced Hallowell’s left cheek and went all the way through his head, poking out of the opposite side of his face.
The pastor didn’t panic, however.
“I never thought I was going to die. I just knew that I wanted to live,” he told KVVU-TV. He knew God had plans for him, and that help would come.
People on a passing fishing boat heard Hallowell’s cries and hurried to assist him, bringing the injured diver to the nearby beach.
There, lifeguards rushed to help, keeping him stable until paramedics arrived, the South Coast Herald reported. A local brought an angle grinder to the scene, cutting the long half of the spear in an effort to ease Hallowell’s discomfort.
As soon as he had access to his phone, the pastor started reading the Bible, according to KVVU.
WARNING: The following video contains images that might be disturbing to some readers.
From there, he was airlifted to a hospital nearby, where doctors were stunned to find that the colossal spear had left him with almost no serious damage. He had an orbital fracture in his face, but otherwise, the fisherman was as healthy as could be. Doctors removed what remained of the arrow.
Most shocking was that Hallowell never lost consciousness and his eyesight remained unaffected, even though the spear had come dangerously close to penetrating his eye sockets.
“I was discharged 48 hours after arriving at the hospital as the surgeon saw no further reason to keep me,” he said.
His physicians “confirmed this is a miracle that it missed every vital organ and left me with slight numbness, which they expect will return back to normal within the next few weeks,” Hallowell added.
Hallowell is now in recovery at St. Anne’s Hospital in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, and is giving all glory to God after the narrow escape.
“Thanks for all the prayers,” he said. “God certainly did a miraculous thing.”
The Western Journal reached out to Connie Hallowell for comment but has not yet received a reply. We will update this article if and when we do.
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