Friday, October 15, 2010

The Role That Campus Crusade Played in the Chilean Miners' Rescue

Photo Credit: thomaswanhoff
For some reason, I woke up around 2 a.m. the other night and had a hard time getting back to sleep. I ended up turning on the television and found that the rescue of the trapped Chilean miners was in full progress.

The miners, who had been stuck nearly a half-mile underground for over two months, were all brought safely to the surface and reunited with their loved ones.  It was truly an inspiring thing to see.

Afterward, I learned that the ministry that I work with, Campus Crusade for Christ, played a small role in the lives of the miners while they were underground and during the rescue. tells the story of how staff members with the Jesus Film Project were able to get the miners some spiritual resources while trapped and t-shirts that they all wore during the rescue. 

"Seventeen days into the mine accident, Campus Crusade for Christ International (CCCI) country director for Chile, Christian Maureira, started contacting public officials to see if they could send the miners a copy of the film. Fiess said Maureira was able to reach a daughter and a brother of miner Jose Henriquez.

Through that family contact, the group was able to send an MP3 audio version of the Jesus film and an MP3 audio version of the New Testament in Spanish to Henriquez down in the mine.

The Jesus film explains that the New Testament tells how Jesus is laid in a tomb-like cave after his crucifixion. Three days later, Jesus is said to have risen from the dead. In the Jesus film, women come to the tomb and find the stone that blocked the entrance has been rolled away, the cave empty.

It is unclear if the miners saw the resurrection story as a parallel for their hoped-for rescue, but Jose Henriquez passed along a letter to CCCI's Maureira from inside the mine. Fiess shared the English translation with CNN:
Thank you for this tremendous blessing for me and my coworkers. It will be good for our spiritual edification. I am fine because Christ lives in me.
We have prayer services at 12 noon and 6 pm.
"At the end of the letter," Fiess said, "(Henriquez) said goodbye with Psalm 95:4, which says, 'In His hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to Him.'"

A few days later, Henriquez asked Maureira to get them special T-shirts.

"The T-shirts were a gift from Campus Crusade for Christ Chile," Fiess said. "In the front you can read, 'Gracias Senor' – 'Thank you Lord.'"

And on the back, Psalm 95:4.

"Apparently, all the miners liked them," Fiess said. "It kind of solidified them."
The goal of the Jesus Film Project is to give every person in the world an opportunity to say "yes" to Jesus. It is nice to see that not only were these miners physical lives saved but they also got the opportunity to receive the gift of eternal life.

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