Inspiration From Chile’s Miners

By Jim Whelchel

Once in a while the world is riveted by good news…like others around the world, we in the Philippines have watched with nervous anticipation as the amazing rescue effort for the 33 miners has unfolded, ever so slowly, and has finally come to an amazingly smooth conclusion.

But one of the stories behind the story has been the work of the Chilean Campus Crusade for Christ ministry to reach out to and encourage the miners even while they were still trapped hundreds of meters below the surface.

Some weeks ago, our national director in Chile, Christian Maureira, initiated contact with the rescuers to offer moral and spiritual encouragement to the miners. Although the rescuers initially were hesitant to allow contact, eventually they realized that they needed all the help they could get to keep the miners’ spirits lifted and to create an environment of hope.

The Campus Crusade for Christ ministry provided MP3 players with the Jesus Film audio, and large portions of scripture, for the miners to listen to. It turns out that there were believers among the miners, and they had daily prayer meetings together twice a day. One of the miners, Jose Samuel, wrote to Christian Maureira from inside the mine to thank him for the MP3 materials. Some of his comments were:

“I want to express my appreciation for this great blessing for me and my co-workers, it will be very good [for] our edification” (referring the MP3’s)
• “I am well because Christ lives in me”
• “We have prayer services at 12 a.m. and 6 p.m.”
• “I ask all of you for pray not only for us here, but for all the lost people in the world”
• At the end of the letter he signed off with Psalm 95:4 “In his hand are the depths of the earth, and mountain peaks belong to him”.

Upon reaching the surface, many of the miners were wearing the tee shirts given to them by the ministry, with the Jesus film logo on the sleeve (see attached picture), and with Ps. 95:4 written on the back. Many also made their first words upon reaching safety praise and thanksgiving to God for His sustaining grace.

We know they still a long road of readjustment to overcome. Please pray for them. And pray that the story of their faith in God and the role He played in their rescue would be used for God’s glory around the world.

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