Lets tell you about the extra-ordinary experience of the Chilean miner's, who spent 69 days 800 yards beneath the earth's surface, visit to the Holy Land.
Of course these men have visited the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the Wailing Wall, and the Garden Tomb – all covered by mobbing press.
Let's talk about their lesser covered trips to Nazareth and the Jordan River.
There is a special guest on this pilgrimage, four month old Richard Villarroel Godoy, who was born just a few days after his father, also Richard, was rescued from the mine.
Precious Richard was baptized in the Jordan River! The ceremony was jointly led by a minister and with Jose Henriquez – one of the miners who now acts as the group's religious leader.
Richard senior said of the experience; “Now that my baby has been baptized in the name of God in the River Jordan, I feel content” as he emerged from the waters, holding the baby in his arms.
It was an emotional scene as you can imagine, as the infant was immersed in the Jordan's waters… The little one was joined by many of the miners and their spouses.
All these folks are guests of the Israeli Tourism Ministry, on an eight day tour of the Land of the Bible – which wraps up tomorrow.
In Nazareth, the miners visited several significant sites including the Church of the Annunciation. The group was welcomed by the Latin (Catholic) Bishop of Nazareth who led them in prayer.
He said “God saved you, and I welcome you to this holy place. You are an example to others, and a symbol of strength and courage, to all those of faith everywhere”.
He encouraged them to “contemplate silently the place in which you find yourselves, open your hearts to the love of God, and be sure to take the experience home with you.”
Friends – that blessing is for all who visit here in the footsteps of our Savior. LeSEa Tours has another trip coming up in June… contact www.leseatours.com to find out more on what a trip to the place Jesus knew can do for you!
Looking forward to seeing you here,
Middle East Correspondent