officebroker.com’s Jo Davey meets Rescued Chilean Miner
On Wednesday evening, officebroker.com’s Jo Davey squeezed into Solihull’s packed Renewal Christian Centre along with 1,500 members of the public, to listen to Jos├⌐ Henr├¡quez – one of the 33 rescued Chilean miners – and hear how his faith helped him and his colleagues survive their horrific ordeal.
In August last year, Mr Henr├¡quez and 32 other miners were trapped 700 metres underground when part of the San Jose mine in Chile’s Atacama Desert, used to mine for copper and gold, collapsed.
The group survived on rations for 17 days before supplies could be sent down to them, and were led in prayer by Mr Henr├¡quez – dubbed ‘The Pastor’ – using miniature bibles which were sent down via the supply tubes. Rescue teams eventually succeeded in creating a shaft wide enough to winch the men back up to safety, after 69 days underground.
As part of a UK tour in which he is travelling around the country to share his ordeal with others, along with his wife of 33 years and the help of a translator, Mr Henr├¡quez paid a visit to Solihull’s Renewal Christian Centre. His attendance attracted thousands of people, and overflow venues were set up with video screens.
“He was such an inspirational speaker,” said Jo Davey, New Business Manager at officebroker.com, who attended the event and managed to get seats in the main auditorium – “We had the last two seats! It was packed, so many people wanted to see Jos├⌐ and hear his story.
“He spoke of how his beliefs kept him and the group going while they were trapped underground. He became their leader, he kept them strong and most of the group turned to Christianity. He told us that there wasn’t 33 miners trapped, there was one more – because Jesus was the 34th.”
Speaking at the event, Mr Henr├¡quez – who spent time with people and also visited each of the overflow venues before giving his testimony – said that the group developed a “survival community” during their ordeal.
A miner of 33 years, he said that he believes there should be more help for miners, with “good legislation” and “more security inspectors”, and explained that he has survived three previous mining-related explosions in his life.
“I’ve been saved from landslides when half of my shift were killed,” he said, “when mudslides swept away the machinery. It’s not in my hands to judge why I survived, but you get a sense that God has liberated me. I relate everything to him in gratefulness.”
Listen to BBC WM 95.6 FM this Sunday 30th January from 7pm, to hear Ed Dawes’ interview with Jos├⌐ Henr├¡quez on the Andrew Peach Show.
Photo by Jo Davey, of Jos├⌐ Henr├¡quez visiting the Renewal Christian Centre with his wife Blanca.
Further information about the visit can be found on BirminghamMail.net.