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Chilean miners face almost certain death

The plight of the miners in San Jose, Chile has moved many people around the world. Mining safety experts say that the effort to save the 33 men trapped deep in a Chilean mine is an unprecedented challenge. It will mean months of drilling, then a harrowing 3 hour trip in a cage up a narrow hole about 26” wide carved through solid rock. Drilling of the hole will take up to 4 months and it will take 4 days to haul all the men up to the surface.

The miners will have to move more than 3,000 tons of rock as it falls into the area where they are trapped. They will have to work in nonstop shifts to remove it with wheelbarrows and industrial sweepers. The temperature in the mine is 85 degrees all the time. There are great concerns for the men’s physical and mental well being. Communication has been established and relatives and friends are doing everything they can to encourage them. A survivor of a similar mining crisis in America said, “If they make it, they will feel like they’re being born again.”

Not many of us have to face the real possibility of death as these men are. They are trapped and unable to save themselves. They are dependent on the skills of the rescue team to get them out of their prison, 750 yards underground. It is one thing to know that one day we will die; it is another to face the reality and have to wait in the hope that the rescue will be successful. If all goes well, as we pray it does, they will, indeed, feel that their lives have been given back to them.

Because we were helpless, God sent his Son into the world to be the Saviour of all who trust in him. He came to do what we cannot do for ourselves. It is so important for us to realize our need and to look to Jesus Christ for salvation. As we experience the love and grace of God, Jesus said we are born again. We begin a new life. The past is forgotten and we have a future hope. In one of his hymns Charles Wesley wrote, “Long my imprisoned spirit lay fast bound in sin and nature’s night; thine eye diffused a quickening ray, I woke, the dungeon, flamed with light; my chains fell off, my heart was free, I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.”

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