Miner #34 from Copiapo-San Jose, Chile

Thirty-three miners were trapped 700 meters underground when the shaft they were working in collapsed on August 5. They were completely isolated for 17 days until they were located.  For two more agonizing days the miners feared certain death, until they were supplied with food, water and oxygen from the surface.  By the time they were finally rescued the miners were enjoying television, telephone lines and video conferencing.

October 13, seventy days after their tragic entrapment, all of the miners were safely rescued in a 22-hour operation that was broadcast live across the world.  Images of the joy of the miners, their family members, the strangers present, and viewers across the world, are forever etched in the memories of all.

However, the image etched in my mind is not of the miners being rescued, but of what I heard the miners say and repeat over and over again, “…God was with us there all the time…” One miner, Mario Sepulveda, described it this way, “I think I had extraordinary luck. I was with God and with the devil. And I reached out for God.”

The ninth miner rescued, Mario Gomez, 63, is the oldest miner and the spiritual leader of the miners, dropped to his knees after he emerged, bowed his head in prayer and clutched the Chilean flag. Raven Clabough in an article entitled “God and Faith Sustained the Chilean Miners,” published on October 15, 2010 in the New American, writes the following, “When 33 men remain trapped in a Chilean mine for more than two months, but appear to be unharmed and healthy upon their rescue, one has to ask if such a feat confirms the existence of God. For the rescued miners, it certainly does.”

Comment after comment, from the miners, their family members and the political leaders present, unashamedly stated the obvious, miner #34 was GOD! Psalm 66 says…

“Come and see what God has done, how awesome His works in man’s behalf!

He rules forever by His power, His eyes watch the nations…

Praise our God, O peoples, let the sound of Hhis praise be heard; He has preserved our lives and kept our feet from slipping. For You, O God, tested us; You refined us like silver. You brought us into prison and laid burdens on our backs… we went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance.

“I lift up my eyes to the hills— where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth…the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.” Psalm 121:1-2, 8

There are days when I feel trapped, as if I was in a mine 700 meters underground, in complete darkness, suffocating, and all alone.  On days like that I must remember that Miner #34 is there. In difficult times are you experiencing Miner #34 as I have, as always available, present, and ready to sustain me with strength and determination?

~ Pastor Angel

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