No. 794



On Oct. 12, 2010, “a shining moment for America” happened, but most of the world, including millions in our own country, never heard about it. This was the day the first of 33 Chilean miners trapped for 69 days, 2,100 feet below the earth’s surface, were pulled to the surface in a capsule as the world watched on live TV.
Over the course of the following day, all 33 miners were pulled to safety, one at a time, as this horrible ordeal came to a successful conclusion. However, during all of the non-stop coverage of the preparation and execution of the rescue, one critical fact was largely overlooked by the mainstream media. If it were not for the courageous Americans who came forward to offer their sweat and ingenuity, the world would not have witnessed a happy ending so many had prayed for.
Among the unsung heroes were two American drillers, Jeff Hart and Matt Staffel, who had been drilling water wells in Afghanistan to support U.S. troops stationed there. They joined other experienced drillers dispatched by the Layne Christensen Co. of Mission Woods, Kan., which had answered the call from Chile looking for drillers after it was confirmed the trapped miners were still alive. For his part, Jeff Hart from Colorado drilled for 33 straight days and was the first to reach the trapped miners. Hart said: “This is the most important thing I have ever done in my work, and probably the most important thing I will ever do.”
American ingenuity also provided the technology that made the rescue possible, again under-reported or not reported by the mainstream media. Clinton Cragg, a NASA engineer, was part of a four-man team NASA dispatched to Chile in late August after the Chilean government asked the space agency for assistance. They needed help in designing a device capable of bringing the trapped miners safely to the surface. Cragg provided the list of design elements to Chile. Most of them were incorporated into the final rescue capsule design. The rest is history. Had you heard about this? I sure hadn’t, until I read an article written by Joseph Klein.
Here is something else that was certainly not reported. When the miners were rescued – when they came up one-at-a-time in that rescue capsule – many were wearing a special yellow T-shirt. These had been created by the Chilean branch of the Campus Crusade for Christ. Emblazoned boldly across the front of the T-shirts were the words, in Spanish, “Thank you, Lord.” The miners themselves had requested these words. The shirts were made and sent down to them while they waited for rescue. But that is not all. A quotation on the back of the shirts was actually a scripture and began “porque en su mano estan.” It was Psalm 95:4 -- “In His hands are the depths of the earth, the heights of the mountains are His also.” Now, that is pretty neat when you consider the circumstances.
Campus Crusade had also provided MP3 players with the audio version of the “Jesus” film to the trapped miners while they were still deep underground. They also received the Bible in audio format. Rev. Aldredo Cooper, the chaplain to the President of Chile, said of the rescued miners, “They’re all wanting to testify to the Lord Jesus Christ. All 33 of them are saying they found God in the mine.”
When you consider the probability of getting those 33 miners out alive, and the role our great nation played, it was certainly a shining moment for America.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a public speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034. To begin a bookcase literacy project visit You won’t go wrong helping a needy child.)