When I first asked Rick and Bebe to consider a missionary trip to Colombia, South America they hesitated. However, after intense prayer they came to such a firm commitment that they even took out a funeral plan that would cover them anywhere in the world before boarding the plane for Bogota!
Over the years they had an immense impact on our ministry not only in Colombia, but throughout the Latin World. Rick and Bebe have recorded countless hours in our radio studios…they have trained our personnel and increased the professional level in running the stations.
Their sound has influenced, inspired or created hundreds of songs now played on dozens of radio stations in both Spanish and English. Everything from songs that can be sung in small home fellowships of the underground church that are springing up all across communist controlled lands in the jungles and mountains of Colombia to major hits that have made the top 40 all over this country.
Rick and Bebe have invested their time, talent and money where their heart is: towards reaching those who are lost with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Instead of fixing up their old house in northern Minnesota; for many years now they have invested 50 percent of their income as Itinerant Gospel Singers in the ministry of Colombia Para Cristo. They have also invested 3 months out of the year of their time on the mission field.
Bebe has doubled as my English secretary while Rick makes sure that all our equipment is operating smoothly in our studios and radio stations. They have also trained and inspired many young worship leaders. Their testimony and ministry has a direct effect on untold tens of thousands of believers and many secular musicians have come to Christ.
Bebe will be greatly missed here in Colombia and hundreds send their sympathies to Rick and will be praying for him. Only the Lord knows what the eternal return on their sacrificial investment of time, talent and money here in Colombia will be. We are both honored and humbled to be their co-workers.
Colombia Para Cristo
Javier and Henry’s Testimony
Javier and Henry, two converted ex-guerrillas are taking great risks travelling to hostile areas with a truck loaded with Bibles and books for everyone. Just as the Church in Paul’s day was skeptical of receiving a former persecutor into their midst, these two men have also had their share of adventures. This is Henry’s account of their last trip:
“Before we got to Rio Sucio, (one of the poorest towns here), the paramilitary had killed 4 guerrillas responsible for launching a bomb. My friend, Javier, and I were part of a communist guerrilla group for decades and Javier’s family thought we were still communists. We told them, ‘ we had turned to God and were there to bring God’s Word.’ So we handed out Bibles in the town to prove that we were there to bring peace. The people were excited to receive these books. There was reconciliation between Javier and his family that had been angry at him for joining the guerrillas and for forcing some of their daughters to join too. His son asked him if he was truly converted and then started crying as he realized it was true. Then the whole family began to cry. They have almost killed me the last two trips, and I was beginning to get discouraged thinking I might get killed on the next one, but with this trip, the Lord made me understand: ‘I am still with you. Trust me.’ You may not believe me but people from all over the town have been calling us and saying that this town has changed. All sides of the war have received the Bibles and right now, the town of Rio Sucio is in peace. What used to be a place that was constantly in the midst of a dirty war is now an open door for us and the Gospel.”
All of Russell Stendal’s books are available on Amazon.com in both English and Spanish just by typing his name (Russell or Martin Stendal) in the search box.
We count it a privilege to serve the people of Colombia with you. Your prayers are invaluable to the Stendal family and our friends in Colombia.
Spirit of Martyrdom, CEO