Russell is one of our contacts in Colombia who exemplifies a life of Fearless Faith. The Scripture tells us that faith is the conviction of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1) One characteristic that is clearly seen after meeting with Russell is that his conviction comes from his intimacy with Christ. He is a man who has been with Jesus. (Acts 4:13) The six days that we “hung out” (see front cover) with Russell and other Colombian Christians were faith building.
The first picture is our team crossing a river at a place only a couple of miles from a guerilla camp. Most every day we were near hostile areas of conflict. One day we flew a small Cesena 180 over guerilla territory while carrying Bibles and Christian literature for the rebels. Along the way, he pointed out areas where he had been held hostage for five months. We were flying into the war front to attempt negotiations for the freedom of three hostages.
When we landed the government soldiers told us that they had shot and killed a guerilla sniper 100 yards off the runway 15 minutes before we arrived. We recognized God’s providence in the timing of our landing. That morning our plane had nearly crashed from a blown out rear tire. The delay from the flat tire protected us by arriving after the threat of being in the scope of a sniper!
Other activities during this time included visiting with top paramilitary officers, top government officials, and many believers who risk their lives daily for the witness of Jesus Christ. One day we drove half way up a high mountain to retrieve a broken computer that was running a radio repeater tower. The Christian brother who ran the repeater had to walk miles down the mountain carrying a large desk top computer to meet us. As we drove up the mountain, Russell pointed out places along the road where he knew of people that had been shot and killed.
We also traveled through the jungle to see different parts of their ministry outreach. While activities like this are unusual for Americans, we found that this was a normal day of ministry for these Christians in Colombia. The most attractive part of their lives was their love and passion for Jesus Christ and to bring a bold witness of Christ to the violent rebel groups. Their conviction is that peace can come to Colombia only through faith in Jesus Christ. These courageous living martyrs had the mark of those who had been with Jesus.
The highlight for the Spirit of Martyrdom team was having dinner with a FARC soldier named Jose. Jose had been severely injured while fighting government troops in the jungle. Russell heard of Jose’s medical need. Russell then made the treacherous journey driving hours into the jungle to deliver him safely to the hospital. Russell oversaw Jose’s recuperation. In the previous year some FARC soldiers had tried to ambush and kill Russell three times. The Fearless Faith of Jesus continues to give Russell peace and courage to love his enemies.
Spirit of Martyrdom ministries has partnered with The Voice of the Martyrs to serve the living martyrs of Colombia. During this past year Spirit of Martyrdom ministries has helped purchase and install three radio stations, upgrade two trucks to deliver Christian materials in jungle areas, distribute radios and Christian materials, funded repairs for the Cesena 180 and gave funds to the living martyrs risking their lives for the witness of Jesus Christ. Thank you for your vital partnership in Colombia through the ministry of Spirit of Martyrdom.
Read how the Holy Spirit is transforming the
people of Colombia through acts of faith from
the courageous witnesses of Christ.