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Monday, November 14, 2011

Hope Underground

* I am so happy to have my computer back and working again!  We had to have a new power source put in.  I've got so many pictures to show you from our trip to LegoLand, our fall festival and our ladies' Holiday House.  I'll try to get caught up on all that tomorrow, so come back to visit and see all the fun we've been having!

Audra Jennings with the B&B Media Group sent me a copy of Hope Underground:  The 34 Chilean Miners - A Story of Faith and Miracles by Carlos Parra Diaz for the purpose of review.  Pastor Parra and his wife Gloria live with their two children in Asuncion, Paraguay, where he serves as regional pastor and missionary.  He was known as the chaplain of Camp Hope during the 2010 mine collapse that trapped 33 miners a half mile underground for 69 days at the San Jose Mine in the middle of the Atacama Desert.

You can visit and find links to watch the book trailer and read an excerpt from the book.

An Interview with Carlos Parra Diaz:
Q.  In Hope Underground, you mention several instances that suggest God's intervention.  Did you personally experience God's presence while there and, if so, how did it affect you?
"This recognition of divine intervention throughout the entire process of the rescue has been the consistent perspective of the miners, their families, the rescue personnel and millions around the world.  For myself, I had always believed that God is real, a living God who chooses to be close to those who love Him.  But during my weeks at Camp Hope, I experienced for myself just how real God is and how deeply He loves the human beings He has created.  And how directly involved He is in the daily lives of His children."
Q.  You made the decision to present the miners with a special gift while they were trapped in the mine.  Could you tell us a little about that?
"Yes.  I had already presented Bibles to each of the families at Camp Hope, but I wanted to do more.  In my mind was the thought that a Bible would be one way I could help the miners in the prolonged wait facing them.  The comfort of God's Word and His promises could help the miners bear up under the various physical, emotional or spiritual difficulties that were bound to appear.  I received the necessary permission to send Bibles down tot he men but was told that each one had to be less than three inches wide because of the narrow size of the shaft used in sending items down tot he miners.  It took some time, but we ere finally able to find a supplier of such tiny Bibles and had them shipped to us.  When we received word that such small Bibles had been found, I sent up a prayer of heartfelt thanksgiving.  Along with each Bible, we sent down a small magnifying glass with which to read the small print."
Q.  What lessons in faith can be learned from the mine collapse?
"God was able to get our attention and call humanity back to Himself.  Through the miracle of the San Jose Mine rescue, witnessed by people all over the world through the media, God has issued a call to His creation, every human being, to make a decision while there is still time to do so.  Jesus Christ laid down His life on the cross as a substitute for sinful humanity, as a guarantee of salvation and eternal life, free of charge, to anyone who will receive this precious gift.  By reminding the world of His reality and His love, even in the depths of San Jose Mine, God is once again offering every human being the opportunity to make a very simple decision:  Will you follow God?  Or will you reject Him?  For most people, this spectacular rescue is already yesterday's news.  However, for the millions who prayed for a miracle, this event has become a spiritual heritage for the whole world, a stirring reminder that God listens to the pleas of His children."

I would encourage you to read this moving account by Pastor Parra.  You'll be introduced to the declared "mayor" of Camp Hope, the miner whose wife gave birth to their first child during the ten week ordeal and the youngest miner who to this day boldly insists there were 34 in the mine instead of 33, because, as he explained, "God never abandoned us."

The book is well written and full of reminders that our God is a God Who Sees and cares for His creation.  You can order your copy at by going HERE.