Trapped Chilean miner delivers inspirational message of hope

Jose and Blanca with other guests and staff.
Jose and Blanca with other guests and staff.

HUNDREDS of people in Sheffield heard the extraordinary story of the rescue of the Chilean miners - from a man who experienced the ordeal.

Jose Henriquez, aged 56 - who with wife Blanca enjoyed a reception as guests of honour at La Mama restaurant on Abbeydale Road - spoke to a 500-capacity crowd at the Victoria Hall Methodist Church in the city centre about the fear, deprivation and eventual joy of being rescued after 69 days trapped underground.

So many people attended his talk that a further 150 watched on a live video link in the Central United Reformed Church next door.

Organiser Rev Canon Patrick Coghlan, of St Polycarp’s Church in Malin Bridge, said the talk was very moving.

He added: “Mr Henriquez suggested God was saying they would never run out of food. It was quite emotional. I think a lot of people will have taken away the message that prayer does help.”

Mr Henriquez is travelling in UK with Alf Cooper, protestant chaplain to Chilean president Sebastian Pinera. Alf and Jose are visiting mining communities as well as other cities.