An epic drama came to an end late Wednesday night when the last of the 33 trapped Chilean miners emerged from their captivity. They had spent more than two months underground and came out to a hero's welcome. For many of the men, it has been a life-changing experience.
The rescue exceeded expectations every step of the way. All 33 men were freed in just 23 hours.
"We 33 miners are walking hand in hand with God," said miner Mario Sepulveda.
Early on, the men said they set aside time to pray daily.
Christian groups converged on the site, ministering to families and sending mini-Bibles and magnifying glasses down to the miners.
An audio adaptation of the Jesus film was sent down on 33 MP3 players. Local ministers said two of the men gave their lives to Christ.
Others said they grew closer to God.
"There are actually 34 of us, because God has never left us down here," 19-year-old miner Jimmy Sanchez wrote in a letter.
They went into the mine as workers. Now they are not only national heroes, they are changed men. They are beginning to tell the stories of their difficult times -- and how they never lost hope.
The rescued men were all wearing similar t-shirts when they came out of the mine. They were sent down by a brother of one of the miners.
The shirt says on the front "Thank you Lord" and on the back it says "To Him be the glory and honor."
It's taken from the Book of Psalm 95 verse 4: "...in his hands are the depths of the earth."