CMS – More than 16,000 people packed into churches, town halls and conference centres across the UK to hear Chilean miner Jose Henriquez and mission partner Alf Cooper share a powerful story of rescue and redemption through Jesus.
Widespread media coverage, from the BBC, the Times, Sky News and several other outlets brought the message of God’s love to thousands more.
“We were encouraged that the BBC, by putting Jose’s testimony up prominently on their site, actually shared the gospel with thousands,” said John Martin, who coordinated press and media for the two-week UK tour, which was called “The 34th Man” as the 33 rescued miners had previously testified to the presence of a “34th man” – Jesus – being with them through their 69-day ordeal.
Whilst Jose andhis wife Blanca moved audiences to tears with their account, mission partner Alf Cooper, who also serves as Protestant chaplain to President Pinera of Chile, issued a powerful call to prayer to UK Christians. “In Chile, I was tasked with calling the nation to prayer, and the whole world saw the power of prayer. Imagine what could happen here if everyone in the UK rededicated themselves to prayer!” As a result, hundreds of people have agreed to commit to regular prayer for mission through CMS.
Other outcomes from the “34th Man” tour included hundreds of people declaring that they wanted to follow Jesus. Alf told the story of a taxi driver who drove him and Jose to Heathrow and ended up praying that Jesus would enter his life.
Alf and Jose also visited mining areas in north-east England, which are still struggling following strikes and closures. When they shared their story at Kirkby Miners’ Welfare,
it was standing room only with hardly a dry eye in the place.
“The local minister has since rededicated his life to mission in that community,” said CMSstaff member Gaenor Hall, who arranged the meeting. “He will be giving a DVD of the event to every church in the area.”
Summing up the tour, Alf said, “Jose would only tour under the condition that our speaking would permit calling people to Jesus. We felt that this was a realistic approach to missiontoday, mission sponsored by CMS from Chile to Europe, the other way around to traditional mission enterprise. We could see that the UK is hungering for spiritual reality.”
The tour was briefly interrupted by a request from US President Barack Obama for
Jose and Alf to attend the annual US National Prayer Breakfast. “He was visibly moved by Jose’s story and later commented to us how he admired Jose’s leadership skills,” said Alf.