The rescue of the Chilean miners has been an emotional experience… with so many opportunities to observe unbelievable human determination and God’s grace. One thing that had to be noticed was the unbelievable presence of God. Could it be possible that this event will serve as the catalyst for a worldwide revival to God?
When I heard that the miners had rationed themselves to 2 tablespoons of tuna, 1/2 biscuit and 1/2 cup of milk every 48 hours, I was stunned by the realization that they weren’t working from a formula like “we’ll be rescued in 30 days”. For 17 days, they had no idea if they would be rescued. Then the small bore hole that became a lifeline, but is it possible to even remotely imagine their frustration? Their fear?
I have cried numerous times over the last several days. When I hear about the youngest miner, Jimmy Sanchez, at 19 the father of a months-old baby. They named the baby Hope. Or I think about Mario Gomez, 63, who suffers from a lung disease common to miners and had been on antibiotics inside the mine. It was moving when he dropped to his knees after he emerged, bowed his head in prayer and clutched the Chilean flag.
Gomez’s wife, Liliane Ramirez, pulled him up from the ground and embraced him. The couple had talked over video chat once a week, and she said that he had repeated the promise he made to her in his initial letter from inside the mine: He would marry her properly in a church wedding, followed by the honeymoon they never had. I also heard a story that a woman from Texas has stepped up and said she would make the wedding dress.
The second of the miners to emerge, Sepulveda came bearing souvenirs which he enthusiastically delivered to onlookers after his ascent. And the 40-year-old electrician delivered what has already become the rescue effort’s signature quote, albeit one which has been translated differently depending on the source, at a news conference. “I was with God and with the devil, and God took me,” Sepulveda is quoted as saying in The Telegraph.
Sepulveda’s performance exiting from the shaft appeared to confirm what many Chileans thought when they saw his engaging performances in videos sent up from below — that he could have a future as a TV personality.
But he tried to quash the idea as he spoke to viewers of Chile’s state television channel while sitting with his wife and children shortly after his rescue.
“The only thing I’ll ask of you is that you don’t treat me as an artist or a journalist, but as a miner,” he said. “I was born a miner and I’ll die a miner.”
I can’t wait to hear all the stories. I pray that these brave men and the entire Chilean nation continue to praise the Almighty God for sparing these men.
1 Chronicles 16:8
Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done.