Hope Underground - The 34 Chilean Miners: A Story of Faith and Miracles
by Carlos Parra Diaz
For several suspenseful hours on October 13, 2010, the attention of the entire world lay centered on a solitary spot in the Chilean desert. It was there that 33 trapped miners emerged to fresh air and freedom and the eager embrace of jubilant family and friends, after having spent ten weeks entombed one-half mile underground. Their emergence brought an end to the greatest mine rescue of all time.
As told to writers Mario Veloso and Jeanette Windle, Hope Underground: The 34 Chilean Miners—A Story of Faith and Miracles (Imago Dei Books) records the personal journey and spiritual involvement of a local, unassuming minister with the miners and their families. In a series of circumstances that would change his life forever, Pastor Carlos Parra Diaz rose to prominence as he became the influential chaplain of Camp Hope—a makeshift tent community established not far from the site of the mine collapse.
Yet Hope Underground is clearly more than just Pastor Parra’s story. Rather, it is the story of all who came together at Camp Hope focused on asking God to do a mighty work on behalf of the miners and the overwhelming evidence of His response that followed. Told simply and from the heart, Pastor Parra describes not only his own involvement with the families at Camp Hope but also introduces the reader to those miners, family members and officials who extracted nuggets of hope from the situation and then used them to instill faith in others.
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. Readers are introduced to women like Maria Segovia, the “mayor” of Camp Hope, whose quiet strength and steadfast faith daily encouraged others. We meet the miner whose wife gave birth to their first child during the ten-week ordeal—a daughter they named Esperanza (which means Hope). And no reader will soon forget the youngest miner who boldly insisted there were 34 in the mine instead of 33 because, as he explained, “God never abandoned us.”
Though on its own, the story of his involvement would provide fascinating reading, what Pastor Parra gives us in Hope Underground is so much more. With humility and reverence, he leads us through the story of Camp Hope to a new realization that God remains a never failing presence to everyone willing to call upon His name.
Who does not remember the Chilean mining disaster from the year 2010? It was all over the news and who doesn't remember the joy and celebration of when those miner's ascended and came out of the Phoenix capsule, every one of them having their lives spared and everyone of them proclaiming the goodness of God? It was an amazing story. This is the story written from the unique perspective of the chaplain of "Camp Hope", one of 15 who ministered to the families and loved ones camped around the mine entrance for 10 weeks while the rescue operation was in progress. He shares the hopes and prayers of the those waiting in the desert, the efforts of the government and rescue team and how they never gave up and the joy of communications with the miners. As news came that all the miners were alive and the news of their faith that was holding them together 700 metres below the earth started to trickle upwards through notes being sent back and forth, the world waited with bated breath to see if the miners would actually make it out alive. And make it out they did, with testimonies of the "34th" miner, of a God who preserved them and who manifested Himself to them in their entrapment. Chaplain Carlos recounts an amazing story of how people stood together in faith and then watched God work a miracle through those who wouldn't give up. An excellent read and one that will help you view trials and hardship through a perspective of hope.
Thanks to B&B Media Group for a free copy for my review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
To purchase "Hope Underground" you can go here and here.