Jesus is Lord - Romans 10: 9
The miner, Jose Henriquez was so touched by his time testifying at a Luis Palu outreach event - and so badly wants to use his story to reach more people with the Gospel - that he gave Luis the shirt that he was wearing when he came up from the mine.
The testimony was a strong one. Jose’s brother was part of the rescue effort. He was on top of the mine communicating with media, etc. He is also an evangelical preacher and took every opportunity to share Christ. So one brother was on top of the mine preaching, and one brother was below preaching. According to reports, Jose led 22 of the miners to Christ while down there. He was the spiritual leader while in the mine.
Another great part of the story - the miners requested Bible teachings and messages to be sent to them on mp3 players while down in the mine. One specific request - messages from Luis Palau.
Jose Henriquez says: “I believe that the key to all this was in the Word of God, in having believed God”. He added: “That’s why I say to the whole world that the Lord wants them to believe in Him to believe in His Word”.
Mr Henriquez led Bible studies down in the mine twice a day and he has been marked out for bringing “calm, God and unity to the most difficult moments”.
He has been praised by one of the team above the mine for the times of prayer and Bible readings which were, “the most special moment for the miners” and he has also been welcomed back to his home town as a hero.
Yet Mr Henriquez says the glory belongs to Jesus Christ. “He is the only hero that should be mentioned. Apart from whatever man may have done both inside and outside that mine, He is the one who deserves the honor and the glory”.
Mr Henriquez’s church pastor says the miner’s knowledge of the Bible was beneficial to him while trapped.
“That helped him because he did not have it to read and he had to draw it out from within his heart, to be able to share it with his companions”, Jose Gonzalez says.
Mr Henriquez, who is 54, says that a number of the miners made commitments to God while trapped underground.
“On the Sunday before we were rescued, I called for a pastor to come, because I am not a pastor,” he says. “So I told my brother in a letter, ‘Bring a pastor that you consider, and that God has confirmed, is a real pastor to come and lead the prayer of salvation.’ And he did that. And around 20 miners said, ‘Yes, they believed in the Lord.’”
Earlier in the month, Richard Villaroel, the 28th miner to be pulled to safety, spoke of how he came close to God down in the mine.
He explained: “I have never prayed before. I learnt to pray down there. I came close to God.”
The Protestant chaplain to
Reverend Alfredo Cooper said: “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.”