Like other after-soccer practice times, the 12 kids of Wild Boars Thai soccer team entered the Tham Luang Cave together with the team’s assistant coach. The Tham Luang cave is deemed “one of the longest caves in Thailand. It cuts into a mountainside near the border with Myanmar.” An outside signage warns visitors not to enter between July to November (the monsoon or flooding season).
It was June 23, 2018, a full week away from the rains. The group planned to stay for just an hour. One of the team members was about to celebrate a birthday. Some thought they might have planned to keep up with local tradition in which boys etched their names on the cave wall as a rite of passage. The sudden rain caught them by surprise. It was unexpected. That the rainwaters rapidly filled and flooded the cave was even more surprising. The group had to go farther into the cave to find a safe, dry ground. They would stay there until the “D-Day” came upon them on July 9.
An international rescue effort achieved the impossible. The challenge was to extract a group located 4 kilometers deep into the cave through hours of deep diving in pitch black, muddy water. One spot had only reportedly about 15 inches of crawling space. The deep dive out will take hours and most of the team members didn’t know how to swim. Over an hour of walking over a steep slope would follow and it was highly doubtful the kids could accomplish that.
Local authorities invited skilled and professional British and Australian divers and one doctor for collaborative efforts. This was considered an impossible feat. The odds were highly against them. The danger and requirements were so great. Even with great expertise, a Thai Navy Seal lost his life in the early stages of the rescue. Everyone on the force looks back with utmost relief and surprise that all 12 children and the 25-year old assistant coach were rescued out of the cave.
The world kept close watch as the 18 days of ordeal unfolded into an extraordinary success. Some who didn’t believe in prayer tweeted about “adopting a God and prayed just to help better the odds for the team.” Some locals and authorities reportedly prayed to the Hindu God of Rain to withhold waters so that rescuers desperately pumping out water from the cave wouldn’t have to deal with further complications. On the third and final day of rescue, the official Facebook page of the Thai Navy SEALs said: “We are not sure if this is a miracle, a science, or what. All the 13 Wild Boars are now out of the cave. Everyone is safe”.
This extraordinary tale is an encouragement to Christians everywhere. A reading on an online synopsis of this miraculous account is recommended. Read and realize once more that God is still in the business of doing miracles. Anyone, anywhere can be an instrument of His miraculous, divine workings, whether they believe and perceive Him or not.
This extraordinary tale is also an eye opener to Christians everywhere. The world remains lost. Hopes are misplaced on people and false Gods. Somewhere out there, someone needs to have his eyes opened to the identity of the One True God.
Hopefully, those Christians who knew about this incident joined in prayer for the rescue of the Wild Boars team. It’s a sad indication of indifference if a believer’s heart was not touched enough to pause from their personal affairs and make intercession for them. Not praying could also be a sad indication of one’s unbelief in the miraculous workings of God. God is not dead. True faith in Him is not in vain. Only in Him is enduring hope that bears fruit in this life and in the next.