Claustrophobia

If you’re claustrophobic, don’t read on. I’ll be the first to admit that the very thought of being trapped with 32 other men in a tiny 600 square foot chamber a half a mile underground . . . in pitch darkness inside the bowels of a collapsed mine . . . for seventeen days and nights . . . without any con- tact with the outside (above) world . . . is the stuff of nightmares! And yet when that small rescue drill bit bore 2200 feet down through the Chilean rock to where the 33 miners were trapped and opened up a six inch wide shaft to the men, the ecstatic cries of loved ones above and below ground could be heard around the world!

Piece by piece the trapped miners’ story has emerged up that life-giving shaft. When the gold and silver mine tunnel wall collapsed above them on august 5, the 33 miners scrambled to a rescue chamber carved long ago into the mine shaft. There under the leadership of 54 year old shift foreman, Luis Urzua, the men organized themselves around the desperate hope that rescue would one day come. Available food was quickly rationed: two spoonfuls of tuna, a bite of crackers, a morsel of peaches and a sip of milk for each miner—every other day (thus stretching their two-day emergency supply to 17 days)! usage of their helmet lamps, their only source of portable light, was conserved. A nearby backhoe enabled them to break through to a small water reservoir. And they waited. Seventeen long days and nights (continuous nights, really) until they were found. Oxygen is now being pumped into the mine, an intercom system has been established, letters and love notes have been exchanged with family members—but the miners have not yet been told that a rescue shaft wide enough to hoist them the half mile to the surface may take until Christmas to drill. NASA experts are offering advice as to how to preserve emotional and mental health in such cramped quarters for so long a wait (as in the International Space Station).

Thirty-three trapped survivors, whose hopes are pinned on a rescue from above—sounds like a reprise of the human story, doesn’t it? Trapped down the mine shaft of this planet, an entire race of survivors waiting out earth’s long dark night for deliverance. And yet, truth be known, most of the entrapped are either only vaguely aware of being trapped at all or have long ago given up any hope of any rescue at all.

It is for them—and for all of us, really—that on September 1 this campus begins a very special 40 days of Prayer rescue initiative. Our tools are simple: a Bible, a printed forty-day collection of Scripture promises, and a prayer card with the names of five lost (entrapped) people that we know. the only oth- er necessity is yours and my commitment every day for forty days to join with a prayer partner in reading a page from the 40 Days: Prayers and Devotions to Prepare for the Second Coming collection of promises and interceding before god on behalf of five people (each of us knows) who need Jesus. Every day. For forty days. Beginning September 1. And when the forty days are over, revival preacher Lee Venden will begin a nine evening revival series here at Pioneer for the campus and community. Forty days of prayer, nine nights of preaching— we believe the Spirit can transform it and us into a mighty rescue effort for Christ. And given the times, can you think of a more critical time for us to join heaven in attempting the rescue of those who are trapped in the dark? What if nobody had gone looking for the 33 Chilean miners?

Comments

this is a time like no other that we need to pray for lost souls. the devil is increasing his deceptive power and we all need a hedge of devine protection around us. thankyou for this and we will be joining you as we pray earnestly that God will intervene in the lives of those who have left the church for whatever reason and rationalised their decision making by saying that God was not there when they needed Him. thank you for your ministry. we are travelling around australia and have a satilite dish with us so we can keep in touch by the ministry of Hope and 2ABN. God bless you and your ministry as we need it.

I would like to participate in the forty days of prayer, that you mentioned above. Where could I get the printed forty-day collection of scripture promises. I live in Greeneville, Tennessee, but right now I'm in Loma Linda, CA. visiting my daughter, and there is a SDA Christian Book Store here. Would they have this booklet there, that I might buy it? I think this is a wonderful idea, as the more prayers ascending to God in heaven, the more powerful our prayers will be. Thank you. Annette Warden 1100 Light Street Apt. D7, Greeneville, TN 37743

Dear Pastor, After your sermon Gods Party our family has decided to start attending church again, we are in South Africa and have been SDA for a long time but have not been attending church. Thanks and God Bless Kind Regards Russell

Most people only feel this in their darkest hour, i think many God loving people are not gathering enough courage to go and finish the work of the Lord, most times the me money is not used wisely but instead used to pay and take care of the pastors, or leaders welware than to actually use to do Gods work. I have seen these happening in the churches today. I am trying to reach out to muslims and fellow christians whom i come into contact, its sometimes frustrating but i feel they need to know the information that i have for them. The rest God will do, and He is Allmighty and His will be done.. We are dealing with GOD here.

Dear Dr. Nelson, I am so grateful to see that our Brothers and Sisters in Christ are using the Chilean miners experience as an opportunity to win souls for God's kingdom.I encourage the members of the World Church to do this program. I also am happy to see that our Chilean brethren have sent bibles to the trapped miners along with notes of encouragement based ob scripture. I am joining with you in this ministry. Thank you for raising it.

Looks like they will be getting out during the next day or so. I'm glad they got out earlier than predicted. I guess it's a miner incident after all. The guys definitely received the shaft from the mining company. That company is gonna have to dig deep and search for some compensation. Then again, the management has already started drilling them about getting back to work. This could rock the foundations of the Chilean labor world. The union extraction has been happening for a while, and the fault lies within management. I hear they're just gonna try and bury the entire incident.

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