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Miracle rescue of trapped Chilean Miners

The story behind the story of the rescued Chilean miners tells of God at work above and below ground as secular engineering experts refer to the operation as a 'miracle'. Christians on the surface prayed while an entombed evangelical preacher kept his colleagues spirits up with prayer.

Chile mine rescueIn an operation which has been termed ‘miraculous’ by the engineering experts involved, even the secular media reports of the rescue of 33 Chilean miners touched on the tremendous ‘story within the story’.

On hearing of the plight of the trapped miners the Reverend Alfredo Cooper who is chaplain in the presidential palace quickly put together an emergency prayer meeting. Speaking to an interviewer Cooper said ‘it was with all our hearts because to imagine these thirty three men a kilometre under the earth not knowing whether they were alive or what was going through their minds. Seventeen days we prayed and then the miracle came when the boring machine glanced off a rock and hit them – hit the cavern they were in – and of course we just erupted in praise.’

Rev. Alfredo Cooper
Alfredo CooperThe clergyman who is a chaplain in the Chilean president’s palace drew attention to a little-reported fact: ‘Many of the miners went down as atheists or unbelievers or semi-believers and they have come up to a man testifying that they were not 33 but that there were 34 down there – that Jesus was there with them and that they had a constant sense of his presence and guidance.”

Wearing t-shirts proclaiming “Thank you, Lord” in Spanish and English, the miners gradually surfaced one by one as their rescue from the collapsed mine was completed.

Listen to Revd Cooper on BBC Radio Five Live Drive, with interviewer Peter Allen


Evangelist preaches the Gospel 1Km under the surface

 Chilean miner and evangelist Jose Henriquez coming to surface 

During their time underground one of the entombed miners Jose Henriquez, an evangelical preacher, had asked for 33 Bibles to be sent down to the miners in a small capsule and the miners prayed at twelve noon and six o’ clock in the evening.

Chilean minerMr Henriquez also exchanged written messages to a Baptist minister, Marcelo Leiva. The latter’s final letter encouraged the miners to continue praying and to have confidence in God. He ended with “Be strong and go forward, Hosts of the Faith”, from the Spanish version of the hymn Onward Christian Soldiers.
Applause met Mr Henriquez’s arrival to the surface as he smiled broadly and hugged his wife while Omar Reygadas, a 56-year-old electrician, arrived at the surface and knelt down with a Bible in his hands.

On Mr Reygadas’ helmet were the words ‘God Lives’ and according to some reports the miners’ t-shirts had words from Psalm 95 on the back.

People from around the world commented on a BBC story of the rescue: Nicole in Manila, Philippines, said: “Our prayers for their safe return to their families are unceasing. We join all Chileans around the world in joy and happiness for every miner who comes out safely.
“Praise be to God who is keeping all the brave miners and heroic rescuers safe, and congratulations to the fantastic rescue operations.
S’bongile in Lilongwe, Malawi, said: “I am so happy for these men, I’m glued to my laptop and following whatever is happening. So much praise to God!”.

According to respected Christian organisation Operation World, in the year 2000 16 per cent of Chile’s population were evangelicals.
OW says: “A Pentecostal revival in 1909 within the Methodist Church gave birth to a dynamic, indigenous Pentecostal movement with great evangelistic zeal. The lower classes were evangelized and churches and denominations multiplied.”

Christians Together, 14/10/2010

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Martin Lisemore 21/10/2010 20:54
'Of course my really telling point was made earlier and for that you have no meaningful answer;'

Of course you may interpret matters in Chile and elsewhere how you wish. As Christians we are required only to tell forth what we know. Most will say it's not meaningful; that's OK, we will all give account one day.

'My telling point,' may I ask what you're telling?

I refer you to my penultimate paragraph. Human ingenuity, is, after all, God-given in the first place. We are nothing and have nothing without first God.

How we choose to use these gifts of knowledge, expertise etc., is up to us, as we have free will.

In this instance, man's ingenuity was employed to save thirty-three lives. To ignore their claims of a thirty fourth person present with them would be monumental folly if we know the Bible and have even a modicum of simple faith in a loving God.

The Scripture quoted above by Peter Carr says it all.

Man may have made a churchy slot machine god in our image, but the reality is we are in His image - He says so!

Your point above seems to demand as an answer a denial of even the possibility of divine intervention, which is how it reads to my logically trained mind. I will not deny the strong possibility God, in the Third Person, was present comforting those miners. There is no evidence to the contrary, except just rationalising away the strong possibility of another straight forward epiphania.

I've seen so much in my long Christian life. I'm well aware how easily we can be deceived. I've also been with so many people at the point of death - too late for rationalising the Scriptures then. Many easily come to the realisation, Jesus is .. and expire.

Isn't that wonderful?

How much better we can have that position before we come to the point of death. Allow God to be God, and man, just man.

Perhaps none of my reply is rational. Yet how do we, the finite, rationalise the infinite? What experience have we of the infinite? Can we know the infinite without first the infinite telling us what we can know of Himself? In rationalising the infinite, we are, surely placing Him in a box, the dimensions and siting of which we have predetermined to suit ourselves. We are but a speck in the eye of the infinite. A blade of grass to wither and die. The moment we think we have the infinite in a finite box, we're already deceived, and that by our own hand.

Your two choices severely limit both God and man.

Simple, uncomplicated knowledge of God; it is what He requires of us. And that is where we profit most, in that place of humility.

Maybe taking down the walls and letting our God surprise you would be healthy.

RF (Guest) 21/10/2010 22:22
Having read the Old Testament and even some of the new, I think I will leave the care of my health to a 21st century doctor.
Martin Lisemore 22/10/2010 00:18
To whom you trust your welfare is, of course, always your decision. In life, and in death, you are responsible for yourself, and you will answer for your stewardship.

May I sincerely urge you to read the New Testament fully, and prayerfully, and perhaps more than once, for therein is Life.

Having experienced two life threatening mistakes by NHS doctors this year, I am inclined to retrench to a long held former position of Proverbs 4:20 ff. I've held to this for years.

Highly qualified surgeons told me this year I had a brain tumour, and that I should brace myself for immediate brain surgery, with but a 50-50 chance of survival, only to retract the diagnosis as they'd viewed someone else's X rays and scans. There was another instance I won't trouble you with, but it was equally devastating.

We should be more careful of our eternal soul; that's the bit that survives death and eventually either enters Heaven or hell. Jesus promises us eternal life if we will follow Him. He doesn't anywhere engage in rationale, theological debate, or side issues. He is direct, straight to the point. He has the view from Heaven, as we can.

It's Him or nothing. It's your choice. It always was.

Give a thought; minds much greater than yours or mine have bowed to Jesus. No man has influenced two millenia more than the Man from Nazareth; everybody else is history, except Jesus. He's ever present. No book has ever out sold the Bible, and no book is more widely read than the Bible. No book has been preserved in tact for two thousand years, to be delivered to us, as it was written.
This Man Jesus is the rock over which you will either break or be broken. Choose Christ Jesus, today. Please!

I don't care for nothing at the end of life. I want LIFE eternal. And more, that eternal life, as promised by Jesus, is NOW, as well as future.

Roland, if you have the courage to trust fallible human doctors with such faith, why have you not the courage to trust Jesus with your welfare? You have nothing to lose, and simply everything to gain.

Roland, go gain everything. Tonight! Just admit in your heart, Jesus, I think I am wrong and You are right. He does it all from there.

So come back and post tomorrow evening, I'll be waiting to hear from you.

RF (Guest) 22/10/2010 09:30
I trust the medical profession whilst accepting that human error will inevitably occur. When I think of the progress made by science in the last few centuries and compare it with the godly silence, that is as regular as night and day, I can only draw one conclusion. Christians will jump at 'mining miracles' [as interpreted by them]and I wonder why they are quick to do it; I suspect it is because of deep down insecurity borne out of the flim flam wishful thinking that is Christianity.And it is not just that 'great' religion that is flim flam.

Martin you say I have nothing to lose, in going for the godly chip, but I have: wasting time on something that is manifestly false and putting time and energy into praying, conversation and pondering about something that amounts to nothing more than wishful thinking. Even if a god or gods existed we know the conclusion to be be made:it/they are bad. Very bad in thought and deed. Think about that last point from a perspective that is other than Christian; engage with alternative view points and see for yourself. You will, by virtue of your intelligence, move away from ancient dreaming into the the sunshine of free thinking. It might help you to join with others in trying to make this world a much better place.
Martin Lisemore 22/10/2010 12:11
Roland, I thank you for your honest opinions, honestly held and obviously well thought out; it's all too easy to have a 'pop' at anything we don't understand. That gets us nowhere, it's just so destructive.

I have over the years looked closely at other religions and philosophies; held long conversations with atheists and humanists and read their literature and their sacred writings. I don't have a closed mind. Almost all I've understood from them is man centred. Man worships the created being, sometimes animals, sometimes trees and sometimes even himself. He creates gods and fashions them in his own image, putting them in buildings he visits when necessary.

He employs priests to order his religion. And all this is also true of atheism, feminism, fashion in fact most any movement which comes to mind. These days in the West our cultural priests have high media profiles, they come across as opinionated gurus, but they are still leaders telling us what to think and how to live, what clothes to wear ... high priests of this and that leading us like sheep. Such people come and go.

I include some institutional churches in this, but only some, though many on this website would call me a heretic. But believe me, I have sound reasons for saying this.

The position you take is actually that of saying 'no' to God, and not saying there is no God.

The God of the Bible shows Himself in creation; in man his highest creation. Man is capable of God-like qualities - love, emotion, mercy, intelligence, compassion to name but a very few. Its these things which set us apart from the animal kingdom. One quality is supreme, a knowledge of God our creator.

Yes, with so much of God revealed to us, by so many means, your position is saying 'no,' to the obvious. I'm not sure that position is sustainable with integrity for all of a lifetime, particularly the end of life.

Maybe you like the Big Bang theory of creation. It has some merit as a mental exercise, yet it's far from complete and hasn't been established as a truth. As I understand it, Hawking has yet to declare how the original matter came to be, and who set in motion the laws of physics which brought about the Big Bang, and all that has evolved since. Not a sustainable argument unless we allow for a Supreme Being.

If, as the Bible says, God created the universe and all that is in it, then, ergo, he also created us, whether you believe the Genesis accounts or not. Such a creative force clearly has the power to intervene in the affairs of His creation; indeed, the entire Bible is an account of this Creator making Himself known to His highest creation; a God of justice, mercy, compassion, love, and yes, judgement. The very qualities were have.

To say the God who created us, and all that sustains us, is bad, is non sequitur. It doesn't follow. If He fulfilled our every whim, instantly, who would be God? I suggest we would be! The created would have authority over the Creator.

Could it be the created has stepped away from the Creator; said 'no' to the Creator? Could it be the created is asking for the wrong things, selfish things, and that when he is out of contact?

I have grand children with whom I have a very deep, almost unfathomable bond. Like most children, they get moody, sometimes I can enter into their mood, sometimes they lock me out. I still feed them, clothe them, provide for their needs so they shouldn't suffer in any way. I just don't give the goodies until they come to me and say, sorry, and mean it.

If you have children, Roland, I'm sure you are just the same.

I'm behaving in the image of my Creator.

Free thinking, Roland, doesn't make this world a better place. It's made it what it is today. History records, in the last four hundred years, all major reforms which have benefitted mankind have come, not from free thinkers, but from ordinary people who have said yes to God; had their conscience enlivened and been led to make something better for others. Often this has been at the cost of their own lives.

My experiences with free thinkers has not shown a systematic thread of conscience, purpose, or destiny. Rather, a muddled, self centred juxtaposition of interposed theories borrowed from all over the place which, together, display darkness and not light.

I've read much from the Enlightenment period of Newton et al, where we threw over the God of the Bible in favour of knowledge, science, introspection and creating amalgamations of false gods into Masonry. Enlightenment is the wrong title. It created darkness, from which some of us are just recovering.

I've also read Jung, Freud, Nietzsche and several others. Their positions are flawed; they elevate man above his station, trying to explain man to man. Oh what arrogance!

I've also read the Bible many times, and studied it. The Bible is not flawed, it elevates man far higher than he could of himself imagine. It takes him to the Eternal, and thing which our philosophers can never do.

There, it's a taken a while, but I've set out my stall; the foundations of my long held beliefs. Beliefs which, in many instances have translated to knowledge by personal proofs.

Calm your anger, retract that, 'no,' to God, and give Him the benefit of the doubt. That all it takes.

Keep posting Roland, I do so look forward to it.


RF (Guest) 22/10/2010 20:33
Martin I have time and obligations pressing down upon me so only a brief reply. Sorry for that.
Para 2 Atheists and Humanists do not have sacred writings.
Para 5 [sentence] My position is that Christianity is false. God is unlikely but possible.
Para 6 You are offering an opinion and at the same time being a bit hard on some animals. Elephants, monkeys and dolphins come to mind.
Para 8 I rate the big bang at 50/50; Christian creation 0%
Para 10 Sorry it does follow - child cancer -silence on Holocaust - going with slavery -silence on horrific poverty - natural disasters bringing death and anguish etc. etc.A response of 'human free will' will not do.
Para 12 does not work for me. I do not want to arrive on earth and find myself a child of god obliged to bow and scrape for decades - sucking the life out of me and in the process often labelling it as sin. Sin ridden dogma.
Para 16 Amusing but silly. There are good and bad free thinkers but I will back a good one against superstition and old dust.
Some paras have not been commented upon but please do not assume that I necessarily agree with your points within them.

Martin Lisemore 22/10/2010 21:12
Roland, lovely to hear from you.

Only one quick comment: the holocaust is not as straight forward as it seems. I had family in Poland who went down in that; I've interviewed many survivors for various reasons.

Roland, just get back when you can - don't let the thread die.

Donald Boyd 22/10/2010 22:49

You write 22/10/2010 09:30 “Even if a god or gods existed we know the conclusion to be be made:it/they are bad.” Your position seems to be that a good God should not allow evil or natural disaster to occur.

You stake an awful lot on this being right. So possibly you can explain - Why should this be?

At 22/10/2010 09:30 you speak about “the godly silence”. It is true that God chooses to be silent to some people. In Psalm 50:21 God says: “These things you have done, and I kept silence; you thought that I was altogether just like yourself: but I will reprove you, and display your sins before your eyes. Now consider this, you that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there is no-one to deliver you. Whoever offers praise glorifies Me, and to him that corrects his behaviour I will show the salvation of God.”

So God is rather selective - He chooses wisely. You should do the same.

Donald Boyd 22/10/2010 23:05
This silence is in a context, of course. There is another level at which He is always speaking Psalm 19:1, but many will not listen.

Jesus put it like this: "For this people's heart is thick, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them." Matthew 13:15.

There are none so blind as those who will not see.

Martin Lisemore 26/10/2010 17:56
Roland, just get back when you can - don't let the thread die.
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