The evangelical preacher who was rescued along with 32 other miners in Chile last week has spoken in more detail about the Bible studies and the singing that took place while buried deep underground.
Jose Henriquez gave all the glory to God in an interview with The Times describing the 69 days trapped in the collapsed mine.
A number of miners have thanked Mr Henriquez for the support he gave while trapped. One said he had brought “calm, God and unity to the most difficult moments”.
One of the team above ground said Mr Henriquez was the “unifying element”, adding: “The moment of prayer, of his readings of the Bible, was the most special moment for the miners because it was the only moment that they all came together, at twelve in the day and at six in the evening they came together in this moment of unity.”
It has also emerged that men who had never prayed starting to do so during the crisis.
Speaking to Channel 4 News, Richard Villaroel, the 28th miner to be pulled to safety, said he came close to God down in the mine.
He explained: “I have never prayed before. I learnt to pray down there. I came close to God.”
Mr Henriquez said: “We were singing to the Lord, we were doing what pleases the Lord. So everyone accepted Him, many of them reconciled themselves with the Lord, some of them made promises to Him”.
During their time underground Mr Henriquez asked for 33 Bibles to be sent down to the miners in a small capsule and he told The Times they did Bible studies twice daily.
Speaking about the moment when the miners were discovered by a probe, Mr Henriquez said: “Any man is only a mere instrument in the hands of God. The resources of faith, this is what moves mountains.”
“Only the Lord could guide that drill to us”, he said.
Mr Henriquez, who is married with twin daughters and has a grandchild, said it was “joy to be free”.
Last week the Protestant chaplain to the President of Chile also gave thanks to God for the rescue of the miners.
In a remarkably candid interview with BBC Radio Five Live Reverend Alfredo Cooper described how all the miners testified that Jesus was there with them at all times.
And he said that it was clear to “scientists, politicians, presidents” that God answers prayer.