Russell and Marina Stendal
As battles rage all around us excellent opportunities for the Gospel continue to abound in the midst of the conflict. This has been the case throughout history. From this point of view, what is currently happening in places like Colombia and Syria might even be considered “normal.” It is during times of relative peace and prosperity that the church has entered into decay and decline.
Bibles and Christian Resource Distribution
The Colombian government has decided to zero in on the worst hot spots in this country. Our long time friend, Retired General Barrero, has been named to head up a special task force to deal with this. I met with him and he asked us to participate and to help him come up with a plan of action starting with Corinto, Cauca in the west and with the infamous A, B, C triangle (where the departments of Arauca, Boyaca, and Casanare come together in the east). This was where I was kidnapped (for the fifth time) with my friend, Frank on Feb. 7, 2005 (see Rescue the Captors II).
Corinto has a murderous mix of hostile ethnic Indians, several groups of guerrillas, mafia drug lords, and other right wing elements. In the past week we have received heart wrenching phone calls describing the plight of about seven thousand evangelical Christians in the municipality of Corinto who are being persecuted without mercy; many are being forced to flee and therefore lose their farms and homes.
We have radio coverage into these areas, but it needs to be upgraded and sustained. Over the years, we have received major donations for things like Bibles and Galcom radios and even for the installation of radio stations, but it is always a financial struggle to keep the equipment manned, running, power bills paid, etc. Also, a key difference between us and other Christian stations is that we produce 90% of our programming in house. This, of course, adds to the expense, but on the other hand it is one of the main reasons that our stations are so successful in the midst of so much hostility to the Gospel and to Americans in general.
Our English language radio station is broadcasting a trial signal on the Internet and we hope to be able to open it up to everyone very soon. You will soon be able to hear this station on any electronic device connected to the Internet anywhere in the world.
Right now we have four crucial transmitters off the air and a difficult situation at Loma Linda where the cost of our electric bill has skyrocketed. There are also a couple of new diseases (spread by mosquitoes) that have come to Colombia from Africa and are causing a lot of problems (some say these new outbreaks may prove to be more dangerous than AIDS). In fact, so many guerrillas and soldiers are sick that these diseases may end up being a limiting factor on the war!
Kelly and Fernando distributing Bibles in the
We know that we are in the “end times” prophesied in the Bible. Jesus told us that we are to “hold fast” until he comes (Rev. 2:25-27). I certainly desire to be at my post, fulfilling the responsibilities that the Lord has given me when He returns.