The Power of Prayer Begins at Age 4
At age four, I began to pray that God would send my parents and our entire family to South America as missionaries after seeing a picture book of the horrible conditions facing the Indians living in the Andes mountains without the Gospel. Today, at age 61, I continue to pray for the same Indians as God has brought many efforts together into a massive revival of excellent quality.
The Power of Prayer on Trial in Court
We had been arrested in mid February 2015 and falsely charged with rebellion and terrorism as our enemies made an all out attempt to keep me out of the eventually successful Colombian Peace Process. Their evil scheme should have worked because Colombia has no bail and it takes two or three years for serious charges like this to come to trial. They thought that even though their false witnesses might not stand up in court that it would take years to find this out and in the meantime, I and the others would be held in prison.
The legal battle was fierce and many people continued to faithfully pray. At risk were dozens of Christian radio stations backed by high-ranking Generals who saw that the only way to pacify rural Colombia is with the Gospel. The twenty men helped me in some way to pass out large numbers of Bibles and Galcom solar radios fix-tuned to our frequencies in areas controlled by the guerrillas. All of them were offered leniency from the government prosecutor if they would admit to being guerrillas and testify that I was their leader. None of them flinched. All of them spent a year in prison without any proper charges being filed and our lawyers got them out with a writ of habeas corpus, yet the case against us continued.
I was only held for 24 hours and the lower court judge dismissed the charges, but the prosecutor appealed to a higher court and the legal process continued against us for the past two and a half years even after it was proven that all the witnesses were false.
The Power of Prayer Produces Victories in 2017
On September 4, 2017 a judge in Colombia precluded the legal case against me and twenty others (some of whom are of Indian background).
The charges against us included our radio stations and other aspects of ministry. I was also charged with running drug traffic and coordinating the drug routes and drug monies not only for the guerrillas, but also for the right wing paramilitary. During the past two and a half years our support in the United States took a huge hit, but our support from Canada and Europe actually increased.
Many international ministries, including Mission´s Fest sent documents and signed letters on our behalf to be presented in court. The Human Rights Commission of the Colombian Senate also got involved and I was given international recognition. This eventually forced the September 4th hearing and the preclusion means that all of us have been completely exonerated and that most likely the Colombian government will have to compensate us financially (starting with the quarter million dollars or so that we had to spend on legal expenses).
Over the past couple of weeks significant answers to prayer have encouraged all of us. Hurricane Irma went directly over our boat in Cuba and the boat and crew came out of the hurricane safe while virtually everything else was damaged or destroyed. The hurricane then continued into Florida and all of our family, friends, supporters and ministry associates came through the hurricane unscathed. We are asking for continued prayer as more hurricanes are on the horizon (this turned out to be an extremely active hurricane year and the hurricane season continues until December 1st).
This story continues in that successful missionary endeavors in Colombia have not only resulted in a growing vibrant, thriving church, but native missionaries are now going out of Colombia to surrounding areas such as needy Venezuela and around the world.
We are blessed to have friends who have
continued to stand and pray with us.
Thank you for your continued support and prayers.
- Russell and Marina Stendal
Never miss a prayer alert, click on the button below to join our email list.