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Camp Hope

Now that 33 miners have been lifted from 2000 feet below the surface of Chile’s Atacama desert, Camp Hope will soon be a memory.

At one point the temporary tent city in the middle of a barren nowhere hosted between 2,500 and 3,000 family members, journalists, volunteers and rescue workers.

Now 70 days after the August 5 cave-in, a nation’s hope has been replaced by memories of the miners’ ordeal and the emotional images of reunion with family members, rescue workers, and a watching world.

And on this morning after the last miner has been rescued, my guess is that many of us sense that the story we’ve witnessed together is like a shadow of a far greater drama that is still unfolding.

The Apostle Paul writes of those who have already have been “saved” but who are still living in hope of another rescue that has still left us with deep groans. In his letter to the Romans he writes, “For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance. The Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered” (Romans 8:24-26).

Like the 33 miners who have already been “saved,” we, who have been saved by the rescue of Christ, each have our own stories. The difference is that our rescue, while secured by the immeasurable love and sacrifice of God (vv 31-39), has only just begun… while leaving us in our own Camp Hope, where there is still a lot of work to be done… and groans to be endured…

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37 Responses to “Camp Hope”

  1. SFDBWV says:

    Without doubt, watching the rescue of these 33 men has been a wonderful experiance for me. I cried each time one was returned to the surface and especialy when their loved ones stood waiting anxiously.

    Who could have been so cold as not to be moved by such an adventure.

    The story for them does continue, for some it may be a good continuence for others maybe not. Celebrity has a way of ruining things.

    But yesterday and this morning I can celebrate with them and bask in the glow of a good happy ending.

    As far as relating the matter over to my Christianity, well like most things there are often two sides to a story and levels of responsibility.

    I came accross a writing from a George Douglas Watson (1845-1924)that I found interesting. Obviously I can not repeat all of it here, but I will take a few line out if I may.

    “If God has called you to be really like Jesus, he will draw you to a life of crucifixion and humility, and put upon you such demands of obedience, that you will not be able to follow other other people, or measure yourself by other Christians, and in many ways He will seem to let other good people do things which He will not let you do.”

    He continues to say that while others may use gimmicks to succeed, you may not.

    That others may boast of their successes, but if you do, the Holy Spirit will bring you into deep remourse.

    That others may become rich, but you are not allowed to, because He will take care of your daily needs, while having something far better in mind for you.

    My point is that once we have settled into what Mart has called our own “Camp Hope” That our expectations and God’s may be on different levels.

    We may be awaiting rescue from sickness or poverty or any number of needs, we may have at the present; But our rescuer has a much larger rescue in store for us. And He wants us to *see* it with the eyes of faith and of hope. Not really knowing only trusting.

    Trusting in Jesus Christ and believing He who sent Him as well as He Himself.


  2. BruceC says:


    As I watched the events unfold I gave praise to God that all the men were rescued and safe and back with their families. I couldn’t help but think of how those closest to them felt; their families and co-workers, over the last few months. What a heart wrenching time all of them have been through.
    Then I began to think of what a picture of salvation it was. The miners are like humanity; separated from God in deep darkness and sin. But out of love the Father sent Someone down to us(like the rescuer was sent down to the miners). He brought the “message” that they could be saved. All they had to do was to make the decision to get “into the capsule” and they would be free from their death. The workers on topside reminded me of Christians working to get the gospel to those in darkness and those around the world praying for the miners were like the angels sent to minister unto us. The jubilation when the first miner appeared on top was like the angels rejoicing in the salvation of each sinner coming to Christ in faith. What a picture of God’s love and grace!
    Many folks around the world were touched. The downside is that many in the world who were touched by this event let it slip away without any pondering in their hearts and still remain in that darkness; going back into the world, raking theier fellow man over the coals and living only for self. There are many still trapped and we need to keep sending the capsule down to them. God grant us the strength and will to do so! I have family still stuck in the mine and pray they will come to the surface.


  3. SFDBWV says:

    Bruce, I think your analogy of the mine rescue was beautiful, thank you for your thoughts.

    I wanted to again say how I was especialy moved and pleased to see these men, both the rescued, as well as the rescuers and families of the miners give thanks to God…while the world watched…The sign of the cross is well known world wide.


  4. pegramsdell says:

    Yesssss! The men were rescued. I am so happy about that. I am rejoicing with the rest of the world over this. Just like they do in heaven about rejoicing over one lost soul finally found.
    I know what you mean BruceC about family being stuck. We need to reach out to them and grab them up from the mire clay like Jesus did for us. By their burning clothes if need be.
    What a great analogy Mart. (I think that’s the right word???)
    Praying for unbelievers everywhere to come to the saving grace and knowledge of Our Lord Jesus Christ!

  5. pegramsdell says:

    Steve, I was typing at the same time your were. lol

  6. marma says:

    I turned out of my driveway this morning to see a policeman and a fire engine blocking the road. Behind them was a woman in a car, and in front, a large dead doe.

    We get used to these does coming down our lane and they are part of our neighborhood. I was immediately saddened. (I was glad the woman was unhurt, though.)

    I thought of Christ’s coming and the death of animals beginning with God clothing Adam and Eve. Then I thought about how God has to clean up our messes caused by sin and how that one day He will do a final clean up and there will be a new heaven and earth.

    In the meantime, as you say Mart, we are living in the camp; learning from our trials, pointing others to Christ, and waiting for our blessed hope.

  7. SFDBWV says:

    Yes peg, it looks like we get our little computer breaks at the same time.

    I love Romans 8:26-27, when all else fails God will speak through us in order to have His wishes expressed by human lips.

    I have heard such groanings many times, almost every day.

    Nothing can stop the will of God, maybe only delay our recieving that which God has in order for us.

    Interesting is the explanation of the tabernacle and the encampment of the Israeli’s while in the wilderness.

    Each time camp was set up, the alignment of the tribes of Israel created a shape of a cross.

    So all the while the people lived out in the wilderness, being sustained by God, the were even then expressing the Cross. Even if they were unaware.

    Just as sometimes we are unaware, so God will speak through us, and sustain us. While we are camped in our own *Camp Hope*

    Cold wet day in West Virginia…


  8. poohpity says:

    I know I have to rest in the groaning of the Holy Spirit even though I can not see it I have hope that it is being done. At times I do not find comfort in being weak but I know that God is using my weakness to show how strong He is. The more I trust in my abilities the less I trust in God. I envy those miners because they had to put their lives in the hands of those above the ground to provide and care for them, they were a very good example of dependence of those they could not see but had to trust. I struggle with putting my life in the care of the One whom I can not see but I know that is what it takes to live a life of hope which will produce the things in me that God wants to develop.

  9. poohpity says:

    I pray that God is the first One I go to rather than trying on my own first.

  10. SFDBWV says:

    Just wanted to add a comment to Bruce’s analogy, if I may…1Peter 3:18 ” For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:”

    :19 “By which also He went and preached unto the spirits in prison;”

    :20 ” Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is eight souls were saved by water.”

    The hour Jesus gave up the ghost on the cross, His spirit went down into the place of torment, and preached salvation to all those souls lost from the beginning….

    He went down into the pit, and pulled them up from the dark abyss.


  11. foreverblessed says:

    Steve, thanks for writing that.

    How awesome, and how full of grace too, for those who are lost.
    Psalm 100:5 For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.
    Psalm 118:1 O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: because his mercy endureth for ever.

  12. davids says:

    Bruce, that was a moving word-picture.

    I was listening to a talk show on the radio while driving this evening. The host said that many people died in mining accidents in Chile last year; why do people credit God with this rescue, but not with those deaths.

    It brought home to me how others see the world and its troubles. I was hoping that someone would call in to say that by far most of the pain and misery that we see in the news is the result of human greed, ambition, and selfishness. That is the normal condition in this fallen world and what most people cynically accept.

    What has inspired people about this event, and turned many back toward God, is how he worked through others, through their willingness to give selflessly and tirelessly, in order to solve a hopeless situation. Halleluja and amen.

  13. poohpity says:

    Steve, where did you get “The hour Jesus gave up the ghost on the cross, His spirit went down into the place of torment, and preached salvation to all those souls lost from the beginning….” I have never read that before not to say it may not be in the bible but where did you find that. I am very interested in that one.

  14. rxman says:


    Thank you for this topic. I have been feeling very much like an alien in this world lately. With all the things happening globally and in my own little world, it feels like I really don’t belong here.

    The “groans” of the Spirit have seemed expecially loud lately. I really can’t explain it except to say that I feel like a round peg in a square hole.Even “Christian” stuff, i.e., church,some music, christian celebrities,etc. seem very shallow and unfufilling. The more I search, the more frustrated I am.

    I’ve tried the whole “service” thing in church, tried reaading my Bible and christian literature, fellowshipping with other christians. All I can say is vanity, vanity, all is vanity.

    Why does it seem like other christians have it together and are able to be settled in their relationship with God?

  15. poohpity says:

    rxman, it is only because others do not seem to talk openly about it but I understand how you feel, I feel the same way sometimes. God finds His way in there somehow, someway and speaks to our hearts in an understanding manor because He truly sees our struggles especially with our faith. You are not alone.

  16. rxman says:

    thanks for the encouragement, poohpity. sometimes this blog is more church than churches i atted. thanks.

  17. Regina says:

    Good Evening All

    Off topic here…
    But maybe not too much.
    Bob, thank you for your encouraging words. I can tell that you can definitely empathize with my situation. I know that God is walking with us, right in the midst of our *valley* situations. He’s a FAITHFUL friend, and He won’t put more on us than we can bear.

    Steve, You’re right about the rescued miners, I watched in awe as many were brought up from the mine. ..was very moved by their thankfulness to be alive and their gratitude to God for sparing their lives. Twenty-first century technology is amazing to me! Actually, I’m still in awe of the telephone! ..can scarcely wrap my mind around a mechanical capsule that can be sent deep underground to the area where the men were trapped and and lift them above ground to safety. ..mind-boggling to say the least! Those men are truly blessed to have made it out of that mine alive. To God be all the GLORY for the great things that He has done in all of our lives!

    Low 80’s in Texas today.


  18. Regina says:

    Off topic again…
    Want to address my situation again. Yes, I’m enduring s challenging situation in my life right now, but there are other Christians who are called to endure far more. My situation could possibly be a molehill when compared to others (who maybe enduring *mountain* trials and tribulations). So, I’m grateful for the *blessings* that God gives me on a daily basis. I’m determined to keep my focus on Jesus. Like someone (foreverblessed or marma?) said in a previous post, the devil tries to get us to look everywhere except up.

    I will look to the hills from whence cometh my help, my help comes from the LORD.


  19. Loretta Beavis says:

    Poohpity, Steve
    On Steve’s comment “the hour Jesus gave…”
    I recognize as 1 Peter 3:18-and on…

    My keyword study bible has a lot to say about this passage…I don’t really understand it myself. I just know it says He preached but I don’t know what he preached.

    But, when I had trained, young religious men come to my house, calling themselves Christians, they used this passage to justify their religion’s baptism of the dead….yikes…their ‘second chance’ at redemption, where a live person stands in place of a dead person by name, or something.

    If that’s not the correct passage, Steve, I accept correction. I use the KJ and NKJ

  20. Loretta Beavis says:

    …well actually I do know what it means…Christ proclaimed (preached) to those who had done the animal sacrifices (atonement) for their sins, that The sacrifice, the Lamb of God had been accomplished and they did now go to heaven-Christ led them. Until then, those under the old covenant had to stay in the waiting place, Abraham’s bosom, a place of comfort, til Jesus came.

  21. foreverblessed says:

    With the rescue of the miners we see just a little of the saving hope we have! We need to remember the Chili people in our prayer though, like the people of the east block in Europe, it was such a thrilling day when they crossed over the wall in Berlin in 1989, november 9! But look at them now, how depressed many are!
    Lets remember to pray for them, and ask God for ways to preach the gospel.

  22. foreverblessed says:

    Pooh, Steve can write for himself, but he gives the scripture 1 Peter 3:18-22.
    When Jesus died, his body was dead, but His spirit was alive, and according to that scripture He went down to the
    thrrpugh whom He also went and preached to the spirit in prison who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah.
    So Jesus preached to those who had disobeyed.
    I gather from this that the ones who did obey were not there. But that is my personal thought.
    That after Jesus had been down in the pit, He went up with them, I picture these people in His robe that comes behind Him, see
    Psalm 68v18 When you ascended on high, you led captives in your train; you received gifts from men, even from the rebellious— that you, O LORD God, might dwell there.

    There is another verse in the bible about this event
    Romans 10v5 to 11
    6But the righteousness that is by faith says: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?'[b]” (that is, to bring Christ down) 7″or ‘Who will descend into the deep?'[c Psalm 107v26]” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,”[d] that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: 9That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

  23. foreverblessed says:

    Jesus went down to the pit, thrrpugh must be through and then 1 Peter 2v19 is cited.

    Regina, you cite 1 Korinthians 15
    where indeed it is said in verse 29 that people baptise for the dead. I was tought that it was for those who believed in Jesus as their Saviour, but had been martyred before they had been baptised under water. So there is some scriptural basis for what they do.

    What going down to a deep pit to rescue people will tell us.
    These things will happen, and do happen everytime a soul is turned to Jesus.

  24. foreverblessed says:

    Sorry for goin on, but I would like to encourage Regina, and Rxman
    When I was down, I remember singing in church, and then it slowly dawned upon me what I was singing
    that Jesus is my all
    Jesus is our Rock
    Jesus is our Hope…

    These are some lines we sing, and I was asking myself, do I really believe that.
    If He is, then all is well, even if things do not look so good at the moment.
    I´ll pray for you, that you hold on to Jesus.

  25. SFDBWV says:

    In the spirit of open discussion and the desire to learn more about scripture, from each other.

    Our topic is about the rescue of the miners and how their families awaited in “Camp Hope” for their safe return.

    About how we all await the recue from our own personal struggles, while awaitng the rescue of our loved ones from the chains of sin.

    Sometime back I mentioned that I pray for those already dead. I also stated it was a subject I was not certain of but had decided to err on the side of love. For if I pray amiss concerning the matter, what harm can it do?

    But if I do not, and am in error there, then I do Christ and those for whom are in prison in that place of torment, a terrible diservice.

    The Catholic church prays for the dead and so it was because of their practice that I searched out a scriptual basis for it.

    Inso doing I found that Paul states that the early church prayed for the dead 1 Cor 15:29. I also found 1 Peter 3:18-19, whereby as mentioned earlier, Christ preached to those spirits who were in prison from before the flood.

    If you search you will find, that God is everywhere His creation is…everywhere.

    You will also discover that there is nothing impossible for God.

    That what may sometimes seem as contradiction of scripture is actualy only our lack of understanding.

    Psalm 40:2 “He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock..”

    1Peter 18-19 says what it says, As I have stated before, I am not advocating anyone to accept my own personal beliefs, except the belief that Jesus Christ is Lord.

    I believe Jesus went to that place of torment for lost souls after His death on the cross and preached the gospel to all those whom had died before His death on the cross. Giving all the opportunity to decide between Him and eternal seperation from Him.

    The time between His death on the cross and His resurection measured only by the standard of time we understand here in this existance.

    When Mary talked with Jesus in the garden after the resurection, He told her not to touch Him as he had not yet ascended to the Father.

    Just for you intellectual intrest, what do you think happened to all the people who died from Adam to the moment on the cross? Before the coming of Christ and forgiveness toward mankind?

    What then about all those who never heard about Christ from that time until Christian disciples brought the good news to the whole of the world?

    Where are their spirits? If they didn’t know about Christ would it be fair to say that they would be in heaven in spite of sins they were guilty of? Or in torment because they did not have Christ?

    I think there is much to understand about forgiveness and much to understand about Christ, I for one will not limit Him, because of the limits of my Christian education.


  26. Bob in Cornwall England says:

    Several things here!

    Steve, I have always understood that Jesus went to “another place” and descended to hades during that “time” between the cross and resurrection, as you said we don’t know how much “heavenly” time that was.
    Also to pick up on a point that Bruce made.
    The 33 Miners in Chile were above ground before they were trapped, we have never been above ground (Heaven) as we were born in sin (below ground) and have been trapped since birth. Jesus came from above (Heaven) and became our rescue pod, only by living in Him (placing our body and soul in Him) can we survive and travel from this cave of darkness to the light above. Jesus was 33 years old when He gave up His life that is one year for each of those Miners and they were underground for 70 days, that is one day for each year of a man’s life (3 score and ten).
    There is more in this simple story of a tragic accident and miraculous rescue than we may be able to see at first glance.
    We, as God’s people, can see Him in everything because “all things work together for good to them that love God” but the world just sees a marvellous achievement by man and will forget it as soon as the “next big thing” happens.
    We were told to “remember His death until He comes” never to forget the miracle of our rescue from the pit of death.


  27. Bob in Cornwall England says:

    Just to continue….

    As we have never been above ground and therefore have no understanding of sunlight and fresh air etc.
    We have to take a great leap of faith when asked by our rescuer to get into the pod that will carry us from this dark world to the light above.
    Those Miners in Chile knew what was above and longed to get back there. How much more do we long to get back to our Father who is above and bask in His light when we have only glimpsed Him through the smallest of drill holes that only enables limited communication and food parcels of love to reach us.


  28. SFDBWV says:

    It is all about trust and faith, isn’t it Bob.

    When we reach those moments where we don’t know, we just have to trust that God does, and He has our eternal best interests in mind…And most difficult of all, leave it there.


  29. ppostma says:

    Good message Steve!

  30. poohpity says:

    I would just caution not to take scripture out of context to prove a point. It is a whole for example 1 Cor 15:29 speaks of baptizing for the dead it would be good to read down through verse 33. Also in the 1Peter 4:18-22 verse 20 states “Yet only eight were saved”. Jesus preached to those who had refused to listen yet He waited for them while Noah was building the ark. You are so right to say we do not understand all things because we are not God and have only been given a glimpse about Him. Many have tried to figure out those verses and we can read what their hypothesis is but in trying to figure it out we may miss a chance to minister to those who are living so that they experience the baptism which is a public profession of their faith in Jesus Christ so that they may be in the resurrection of the dead.

  31. bubbles says:

    This will be the last time I post.

    Mart, thank you so very much for your work that you do here. Your words are an encouragement to so many.
    Thank you for letting me be a part of your discussion group.

    It has been pleasant talking with many of you. Thank you for your friendship. Your kindness and comments have been appreciated.

    May the Lord bless each one of you. I look forward to the day when we can meet face to face in Heaven!

    Thank you.

  32. Bob in Cornwall England says:

    Bubbles, sorry to here you are leaving this place and you will be missed. Is there a reason for your leaving?

    Mart, I have noticed the comments have “dried up” on this topic, maybe due to the fact that the normal home page link is not working and many will not find the other ways to comment.
    I am sure there is lots of joy and awe about the miners rescue, that already seems to be becoming yesterdays news.


  33. saled says:

    Bubbles, I will miss your posts. I’ve been wondering how that challenging situation at work was working out.

    I’ve been hoping for a chance to sit down and comment on this topic. My last few days have been filled with making grape jelly, getting in wood for the winter, and burying my canine friend of over eight years, Rockette. But here I am, my husband is tied up with the Patriots in overtime, and I have a chance to comment.

    Mart’s analogy between our wait for the fulfillment of
    our hope of redemption and the rescue of the Chilean miners strikes home with me. I’m always asking why, if Jesus completed the work of the cross, are we stuck in time with all its pain and problems. I guess I will stop asking this question and think of my experience as being in a Camp Hope. Like Steve mentioned in his first comment, I believe that God’s expectations for us in our own Camp Hope may be different from our own expectations. Like rxman, I’m often disillusioned with my own Christian experience and wonder why other people seem to have it together.
    Steve’s quote from George Douglas Watson may help to explain this.

  34. poohpity says:

    Sad to hear about your loss of Rockette. :-(

  35. BruceC says:


    Is something wrong with the site? I had a unique experience trying to log on.


    Sorry to hear about your dog Rockette. We have our fourth German Shorthaired Pointer and I know the heartbreak of losing a wonderful canine friend and a blessing from the lord. Just think about how the Lord used pets in your life to brighten your day and thin about His wonderful creative power and caring.
    Don’t get dissillusioned about your walk. Sometimes we are taught some things in error and our expectations grow out of proportion’ Been there done that. And don’t be concerned about others having “it together”. I used to look at some that way and found out they were just as flawed as myself. Some of those even “thought” that they had it together and found out differently the hard way. We’ll have it all together on that Glorious Day; until then we struggle but we have faith in Him for strength and guidance.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  36. poohpity says:

    As Paul expressed in Romans 8:31-39 just because we are saved that does prevent trouble or calamity, hunger, being broke, threatened with death, loss, pain, sadness, fears or worries. No matter what circumstance we find ourselves in the overwhelming victory is ours through Christ Jesus who loved us enough to go through terrible troubles and sufferings because of that love. Nothing in ALL the world or under the world or above the world can separate us from that Love. Like the love shown to those miners by not giving up until all were saved.

  37. Regina says:

    Good Evening All
    Had to stop by to say hello before I did any *catch up* reading!
    I TOTALLY missed you all! I couldn’t log in for TWO days! I was SO sad! It’s so good to be able to blog with yall again! Now, I have to do the catch up reading, and hopefully I’ll be able to make a comment today.

    Blessings, :-)

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