October 15, 2010

33RNS: 2 Chilean Miners Accept Christ While Trapped Underground

Two Chilean Miners Accept Christ
While Trapped Underground

BY TRISTAN TAYLOR                                                                                      ©2010 Baptist Press  

José Henríquez leads a small group of men in prayer every evening in northern Chile--2,300 feet below the surface of the earth.
For more than two months, 33 Chilean miners have been trapped beneath the desert floor in a chamber the size of a living room. A partial collapse blocked the mine exit August 5.
Chilean Mining Minister Laurence Golborne confirmed October 11 that a trial run of a rescue capsule was successful. The miners' rescue is scheduled to begin at midnight, October 12.
When the mine collapsed, three of the miners--including Henríquez--were Christians. Since then, two more of them have made professions of faith.
"It was José who made the request that an evangelical pastor come to minister to the miners and their families," said Bryan Wolf, an International Mission Board (IMB) missionary serving in Vallenar, Chile.
Rescue engineer Igor Bravo, a member of First Baptist Church of Santiago, was one of the first to hear of Henríquez's request for a pastor and contacted the Chilean Baptist Union.
Bernardino Morales, director of the Baptist union's Social Testimony Network, searched for a pastor who lived near the mine in Copiapó but no one was available. Two weeks ago he called Marcelo Leiva, pastor of Vallenar Baptist Church in Vallenar, Chile, located about two hours away.
"Pastor," Morales said to Leiva, "it's either you, or it's you."

Leiva's response: "Amen."
The miners had been on the pastor's heart before Bernardino called. He said Bravo contacting the Chilean Baptist Union was the "channel of blessing" that brought him to Camp Esperanza (Hope), where the miners' families are staying.        
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