The Power of Prayer God answers prayer in Colombia

Russ Stendal, of Colombia Para Cristo, has been serving in mission most of his life. We asked Russ to share an example of when he had seen a remarkable answer to prayer.

On September 4, 2017 a judge in Colombia precluded the legal case against me and twenty others (some of whom are of Indian background). 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 prayed and 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 had helped me in some way to pass out large numbers of Bibles and Galcom solar radios 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 habeus 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 charges against us included our radio stations and other aspects of ministry. I was also charged with running a drug trafficking ring 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 US took a huge hit, but our support from Canada (and from Europe), increased. Many international ministries, including Missions 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).

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.



Share this page

About the author

Profile photo for Russell Stendal

Russell Stendal, a former hostage of Colombian rebels, is a lifelong missionary to that same group in the jungles of Colombia. He is an influential friend to military and government leaders in Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, Venezuela, and the United States. Russell's ministry shares the gospel via twelve radio stations, hundreds of thousands of Bibles, books, and movies distributed through airplane parachute drops, and numerous speaking engagements for groups of leaders, prisoners, and individuals. Russell goes wherever the Lord leads, whether it's to speak with a president or to go deep into the jungle to help an individual in trouble. He has witnessed thousands commit their lives to Christ.


More on Mission Central

Random Posts

Event Recap

Intersection Online Recap: Lessons Learned During COVID-19

Lessons Learned from COVID-19Read more

Event Recap

Vancouverites Sing with One Voice

Vancouver praising Jesus together on Canada's 150th anniversaryRead more Read more...


“Church Attendance”

Church attendance is as vital to a disciple as a transfusion of rich, healthy blood to a sick man.Read more Read more...


Pray, Give, and Go

A look at how mission has changed (or hasn't) since the 1960s. What is needed for mission to thrive today?Read more Read more...

Random Posts


Power and Discipleship

Jesus chose complete obedience to his Father’s authority and displayed an upside-down way of understanding power.Read more Read more...


“The Kingdom of God”

Jesus’ good news, then, was that the Kingdom of God had come...Read more Read more...



Don't stop proclaiming Jesus' love in word and action, even in the face of uncertainty and the unknown.Read more Read more...


Easter: Breaking the Vicious Cycle of Social Isolation

How do we break the cycle of social isolation?Read more Read more...