“There are actually 34 of us,” Jimmy Sanchez a nineteen-year-old trapped Chilean miner said in his letter forwarded up a tube last Tuesday just before the dramatic rescue a day later, “because God has never left us down here.”

Trapped for two months in a collapsed copper mine awaiting rescue, several news reports have indicated that what kept the 33 miners hopeful was their faith.  There were regular prayers throughout their ordeal.

Mini Bibles, crucifixes, little statues of saints, and MP3 players with an audio version of “the Jesus Film” were sent down by various churches and spiritual groups, according to a report in Christianity Today.

They made a special area for prayers, in addition to separating tiny living spaces deep in the earth.  Two of the miners made confessions and commitments to faith, while trapped.

Like Sanchez, others felt the presence of God.  Mario Sepulveda, another miner said, “I was with God, and I was with the devil,” Sepulveda, the second man freed from the mine, said upon reaching freedom. “They both fought for me. God won” as reported in the Washington Post.

“We always knew that we would be rescued,” he said. “We never lost faith.” 

I hope those miners know that the whole world was thinking about them, praying for them, and that hope never died. 

More from Beliefnet and our partners