Prayer Alert from Russell and Marina Stendal
We have seen many answers to prayer over the past several weeks. Our Lomalinda radio stations are back on line as our power situation has been resolved. This means that over one hundred thousand Galcom radios that have been distributed over the years to the people on all sides of the armed conflict will continue to function.
I was able to meet with top level government officials who are doing everything possible to resolve the false charges against me. It is very similar to the Book of Esther. The first decree against the Jews could not be revoked but a second decree was issued allowing them to successfully defend themselves. We are now being given very powerful help in our defense as this case involving me and many other innocent people makes its way through the court system. We wish to thank all of those from around the world (organizations and individuals) who have documented their support for us and who have offered to come and testify on my behalf if necessary.
On Friday, April 17th the prosecutor failed to meet a key deadline and this will give our lawyers an opening to request a court hearing to obtain the release from prison of all the other co-defendants in this case. These are poor campesinos from the paramo or high country who either collaborated with me in my evangelistic endeavors or else were among those who responded. This all happened in a very large area where no church buildings or Christian meetings of any sort (not even Roman Catholic) have been allowed for over sixty years. We began to evangelize this area in 2007 with special backpacks donated by VOM for children containing toys, school supplies, a Galcom radio, a Bible and Christian literature. Then, after distributing over 10,000 of these action packs (often on horseback and by mule train) I and thirty others were accused of giving aid to the rebels and charged with rebellion (the equivalent of treason). Even the UN is looking into these false allegations.
Our friends in very high places have encouraged us to continue our missionary endeavors and to not be even the slightest bit intimidated in the midst of all the opposition. They have officially asked me to make sure that all our radio broadcasts continue and that they will guarantee our liberty to continue doing air drops. I have been reassured that it is not illegal to share the Gospel with the insurgents and that I am free to interact with and witness to anyone anywhere in this country or elsewhere.
Colombia has an opportunity for peace and time is slipping away. There is a great sense of urgency. Key people are coming to the Lord on all sides of this conflict. Someone recently asked me if I was sure that these difficult characters had really accepted Jesus. I answered, “not only have they accepted Jesus but Jesus has accepted them!” The supernatural love and joy that flow from their hearts are unmistakable signs of the presence of the Holy Spirit and almost impossible to put into words.
Please continue to keep us in your prayers that we will have the wisdom, grace, and financial resources to respond to all of the wonderful opportunities for the Gospel that the Lord has opened up even in the midst of trials and tribulations. What we had been doing discreetly is now being trumpeted even through secular media. We have been moved from the shade into the intense scrutiny of the spotlight and by the grace of God we are able to stand our ground and even overcome.