Israel’s Ministry of Tourism on Monday formally invited the 33 Chilean miners whose dramatic rescue was the focus of international attention to visit the Holy Land this coming Christmas season.
The miners were trapped more than 2,000 feet underground for 68 days as rescuers and experts from many nations worked tirelessly to return them to the surface.
When the miners did finally reemerge, news media noted that they were all wearing t-shirts bearing the logo of the “Jesus Film Project,” a ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ International (CCCI).
During the early days of the ordeal, CCCI officials were able to send audio versions of the Jesus Film Project and the Bible to the miners, who later said they listened to both repeatedly. Several of the miners also said they held daily prayer meetings, and that their faith, rather it was preexisting or newly found due to the situation, was a strengthening and unifying factor during their long months in the depths of the earth.
Israeli Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov suggested there was no better way for them to continue their spiritual journey than to visit and experience the land of Jesus’ ministry.
“It would be a great honor for us to welcome you as our guests in the Holy Land,” said Misezhnikov.
The ministry’s offer will cover airfare, hotels, meals and all related touring expenses for the miners and their spouses.