News Round-up: August 7
Chilean Miners movie may focus on faith
Major international stars Antonio Banderas (Shrek 2), Juliette Binoche (Godzilla) and Gabriel Bryne (The Usual Suspect) have assembled for The 33, based on the world-stopping true story of Chilean miners trapped during 2010. Click here to check out the trailer, which offers a few hints that The 33 might well include the important place that Christian faith played in the extensive rescue operation. The 33 will be released in the USA in November; its Australian release date has not yet been confirmed.
Chile’s San Jose mine collapsed on August 5, 2010. The disaster trapped 33 miners 2,300 feet below the earth’s surface, for 69 days. As CNN reported this week in a commemorative feature on the mining disaster: “In the aftermath of the rescue, those involved have recounted seemingly inexplicable miracles during their time underground and credited God with protecting them. God, many of them say, was the 34th miner.”
The CNN report goes on to explain how shift foreman Luis Urzua believes that even when it seems there is no hope, Christian faith remains. “The devil couldn’t do anything because God was present,” said Urzua about the underground ordeal. Urzua remembered how he and his colleagues prayed for a sick miner and he was healed the next day. They also prayed not to be rescued, but “we prayed for the people outside not to abandon us.”
That prayer also was answered. As the leader of the team of drillers who helped to free the miners: “These tools should not have been able to bend and go around some of these curves. I mean, there’s no question in my mind that the faith of God, and the faith of the world praying for these guys to get rescued was a huge factor. Science, know-how, and will were applied, but at the end of the day, the big guy had everything to do with this rescue being successful. I believe that wholeheartedly.”
Indigenous activist wants Bible translated
At a recent conference for Wycliffe Bible Translators Australia, Aboriginal Australian lawyer, academic and land rights activist Noel Pearson spoke of his longing to read the New Testament fully translated into the Guugu Yimithirr language. Pearson comes from Cape York Peninsula in northern Queensland, where Guugu Yimithirr people were witnessed to by German missionary Georg Schwarz in the late 1880s and early 1900s.
The Wycliffe conference was celebrating 60-years of Bible translation work in Australia. Pearson spoke of the positive, long-impacting impact Schwarz had on his community, as well as his desire for God’s Word to be made available in his heart language.
“The advent of a Guugu Yimithirr Bible is something that’s still a matter of great anxiety to me and the people of my community,” said Pearson. “I really think that I will feel reassured about the future of Guugu Yimithirr when we have a full translation of the New Testament.”
Goliath’s City has been unearthed
Archaeologists in Israel believe they have dug up the city gates of Gath, the Philistine city made famous in the Bible’s Old Testament section. The Philistines were one of ancient Israel’s biggest enemies, and Gath is the hometown of Goliath, the giant warrior who was killed with a slingshot by future king David. The size of the gates appear to indicate Gath was a major metropolis, back in the day.
For the first time, Burmese teens attend Christian rally
Often reported as one of the hardest countries on earth for Christians to live and worship in, Burma recently held its first “Teen Mania” Christian conference. Held in the capital city of Myanmar, the two-day “Acquire the Fire” rally was attended by more than 13,000 Burmese young people. According to Christianity Today, the Myanmar Evangelical Christian Fellowship invited Teen Mania to bring Acquire the Fire to Burma, in a bid to help stem secular values among youth who have quickly embraced cell phones and Internet access. During the past few years, Burma has begun transforming from a military dictatorship to a more democratic society. About nine per cent of Burma