Peeps diorama winners announced

(WLS) — The winners for this year’s Peeps Diorama Contest have been announced. Yes, there is such a thing and it comes just in time for Easter.

The top prize goes to a depiction of the Chilean mine workers trapped underground and miraculously rescued.

One finalist was titled “TSA Agents Get a Peep Show.” It shows Peeps waiting in line at airport security for patdowns and body scans.

Then there’s the “Angry Peeps,” a take-off on the game Angry Birds.

The Washington Post sponsors the contest.

Drilling president to be at Framinfham dinner with Chilean miners

The MetroWest Daily News – FRAMINGHAM — The founder of an American drilling company who was recognized by President Obama at his State of the Union address for helping rescue 33 Chilean miners trapped underground will reunite with two of the men at the MetroWest ESL Fund’s annual fundraising dinner May 19.

Brandon Fisher, Center Rock Inc. founder and president, and his wife, Julie, sales director for the company, were among 26 Americans who attended Obama’s 2011 State of the Union address as guests of first lady Michelle Obama.

“The honor of being included in the group of guests for the State of Union Address was humbling, and something I never would have expected,” said Fisher in a press release.

At the ESL fundraiser, Fisher will reunite with Florencio Avalos Silva and Omar Orlando Reygada Rojas, two of the miners who accepted an invitation from the ESL Fund to attend the dinner and spend several days in MetroWest.

The upcoming reunion goes well with the mission of the Metrowest ESL Fund, Chairman Martin I. Estner said.

“Our hope is to bring awareness to the plight of those who need community support to attain English language skills, to bring them from their darkness to the light – much as how the miners, with community help, overcame insurmountable obstacles on their journey to the light,” Estner said.

The Metrowest ESL Fund is a fundraising organization that provides private financial support for English as a second language education at the Framingham Adult ESL Plus Program.

The fundraising dinner, which will be held at the Sheraton Framingham, will be hosted by WCVB-TV midday news anchor Susan Wornick. John R. Heerwagen, president and CEO of Middlesex Savings Bank, is the honorary event chairman.

Tickets and sponsorship packages for the gala are available at Individual tickets are $100 per person, with various sponsorship options available.

Zondervan to Publish Book by ‘The Pastor’ of the Chilean Miners

“Miracle in the Mine” Documents the Spiritual Journey Leading Up to the Chilean Mine Collapse and its Aftermath

Grand Rapids, MI (Vocus/PRWEB) – For 69 days, 33 miners from Mina San José, Chile were trapped 2,300 feet below the earth’s surface, surrounded by more than 700,000 tons of unstable rock. They were trapped underground longer than anyone in recorded history, and the world had no insight into their survival for 17 days following the August 5 cave-in. As the last rescued Chilean miner came above ground, the world watched in awe. Editorial Vida, the Spanish-language division of Zondervan, a world leader in Christian communications, has signed a publishing agreement with José Henríquez, one of the miners rescued last year and regarded as “the pastor” of the group, for a book titled “Miracle in the Mine,” in which he will tell his spiritual journey leading up to the mine collapse and following the heroic rescue—a faith which kept the miners alive.

“I’m eager to share how our faith in God helped me and my friends to survive this experience,” said Henríquez. “Although, I have not fully embraced our so-called ‘celebrity’ status, if writing this book will serve to bring others to know the truth of God’s Word, then my experience will have been for good.”

The book will highlight aspects of Henríquez’s spiritual background and speak to the events which followed the 69 days he was trapped underground. This includes Henriquez’s collaboration with Marcelo Leiva, a Baptist pastor above ground, who helped him create custom Bible studies for the miners to share in together during their ordeal. The book will also highlight aspects of the spiritual leadership Henríquez provided, which helped them to make use of their faith in God as a means to survive.

Editorial Vida, will publish “Miracle in the Mine” in all Spanish-speaking countries, while Zondervan will publish the book in English in the United States and Canada. The contract with Henríquez was signed in Talca, Chile, his hometown, approximately 257 km (160 miles) south of Santiago.

“The experience of the Chilean miners captivated the attention of the entire world for more than two months and we are absolutely thrilled to help tell this awe-inspiring true story of faith and recovery,” said Lucas Leys, Publisher at Vida. “Jose’s steadfast faith in God played a key role in helping these men survive this remarkable ordeal and we hope the experience of these men will touch the hearts and inspire everyone who reads their story,” added Verne Kenney, EVP at Zondervan.

The book will release worldwide on October 12, 2011, the anniversary of the rescue, for $11.99 (Spanish), $19.99 (English) with announced first printing of 250,000 copies.

Thousands hear gospel from Chilean miner and mission partner during UK tour

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.

A Miner’s Miracle Inspires Charity

Chilean miner Mario Sepulveda, rescued after 69 days under the earth, has begun a charity to help rebuild Chile. On Thursday, his efforts brought him to Seton Hall University, where he met with students, clad in his signature poncho and carrying his miner’s helmet.

Appearing with the Consul General of Chile, the Honorable Julio Fiol, and via Skype, Dr. Jean-Christophe Romagnoli, Sepulveda accepted a donation from the university on behalf of Miner’s Miracle, an organization that aids those who were affected by last year’s Chilean earthquake.

Founded by Sepulveda, the organization will soon turn attention to aiding survivors of the recent earthquake in Japan.

Dubbed “Super Mario,” for his effusive personality and comfort in front of the camera, Sepulveda said Miner’s Miracle has completed some 16 homes in the area of San Fernando. The homes are now inhabited by Chileans who were affected by the earthquake.

Sepulveda joked and took questions from the audience, speaking through a translator. After being rescued from the mine, said Sepulveda, he was “reborn,” which gave him the impetus and energy to do good for others.

Seton Hall University is developing a program to send students to Chile to help with building homes, said university officials. Sepulveda’s appearance at the university was sponsored by The Center for Catholic Studies, the G. K. Chesteron Institutute for Faith & Culture and The Chesterton Review, The Joseph A. Unanue Latino Institute, and The Department of Public Relations and Marketing.

The university presented a donation to Miner’s Miracle, which will help the organization reach its goal of building 200 homes by the middle of this year, when Chile’s cold season begins. The homes are built, explained Sepulveda, by professional construction crews from Monday through Friday. On the weekends, volunteers join the professional builders.

33 Men: Inside The Miraculous Survival And Dramatic Rescue Of The Chilean Miners – If you avoid quickie books about major news events, consider an exception for Franklin’s hour-by-hour account of the Chilean mine disaster, which may go down as both the rough draft and final word on this slice of history. 33 Men is the product of solid research and privileged access, as Franklin, who covered the story for the Guardian and Washington Post, was among a handful of reporters granted an up-close look at the international rescue effort at the San José mine. All of the trapped workers gave him interviews. A few told their stories in magnificent detail.

So the prurient questions are addressed: yes, the miners had thoughts of cannibalism during their 17 days without food; some tried joking about it, but as a group, they never discussed it. And no, the miners did not engage in homosexual activity (though rescue teams supplied them with porn). More fascinating is the eventual deterioration of relations between the above-ground teams and those stuck below in the fetid, 40° C death trap. Enraged by officials who censored their mail and inspected their care packages, the miners effectively overthrew the psychologist charged with maintaining their mental health. A less fastidious subordinate took over and a stream of amphetamines and pot began finding its way down supply shafts.

Franklin also has a few chestnuts for the annals of media manipulation. In the midst of the rescue, with only 16 miners above ground, another rock collapse severed a video link to the depths of the mine, which was broadcasting live on Chilean TV. Fearful of public panic, communications specialists subbed the feed with a previously taped loop until crews could re-establish contact with the miners. No harm, no foul, one supposes. But worth remembering next time history unfolds via satellite.