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Russell Stendal

Last week, we requested prayer for Russell Stendal, a good friend of VOMC who was arrested on false charges in Colombia. Although Russell had only 10 minutes to speak his case, the judge believed our ministry partner and stated that the prosecutor had wasted her time. The case has since been thrown out and Russell is completely absolved.

As a result of his ministry efforts, Russell has faced many struggles, including being taken hostage several times by both members of guerrilla groups and paramilitary forces. He has also mourned the loss of numerous friends who have been killed as a result of their ministry work. One of these dear souls was Pabel, a missionary associate of the Stendal family. The 33-year-old evangelist was brutally murdered in November of 2014, leaving behind a grieving widow and two young children. (For more information on this tragic incident, visit our previous prayer alert.)

In regards to Russell's recent acquittal, we can praise God for this wonderful answer to prayer! May the Lord continue to guide and sustain Russell and his family as they minister amid much difficulty in Colombia. Ask Him to bless and multiply their evangelistic efforts so that many thousands more may come to salvation through hearing the Gospel message. Also continue to lift up Pabel's family as they grieve. May they deeply sense the Lord's abiding presence in their lives and experience His provision for their every need. Additionally, pray that the strife among the various political groups of this country will cease so that lasting peace and stability may reign.

For more information on the struggles Christians face in Colombia, read our Country Report.

Country Information

Designation
Persecuted

Population
50,355,650 (July 2021 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Mestizo and white (87.6), Afro-Colombian (including mulatto) (6.8), Amerindian (4.3)

Religion (%)
Christianity (92.3), other (1), unspecified (6.7)

Leader
President Ivan Duque Marquez (2018)

Government type
Presidential republic

Legal system
Civil law system influenced by the Spanish and French civil codes

Source: CIA World Factbook

Pray for Colombia

Please uphold all those in Colombia who’ve been victimized through acts of violence, asking the Lord to meet their needs, heal them of their brokenness, and bring about renewed hope and restoration. Also intercede for their persecutors so that they, too, will witness the love of Christ and experience His forgiveness and salvation.

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Colombia News

  • Law Proposed to Ban Evangelization
    Martyr's widow, Kelly Saenz
    Kelly Saenz, wife of martyred believer Pabel Tujillo, understands how costly it can be to follow Christ.
    Hear Kelly's testimony.
    Photo: 100 Huntley Street

    Sources in Colombia are calling for urgent prayer, as organizations endeavour to ban Christian evangelization among Indigenous communities. Withi

    ...
  • Church Traumatized by Fatal Shooting
    Small church in Colombia
    Photo: World Watch Monitor

    Pastor Leider Molina, 24, had just finished preaching at his church in Caucasia (northwest Colombia) on Friday, February 9th. As he stepped out of the building, he was shot with five bullets. The young man was known as a passionate preacher and active youth leader in his c

    ...
  • Standing Firm Amid Death Threats

    "Xavier" from Colombia
    Photo: The Voice of the Martyrs USA

    Death threats have been a typical part of ministry life for "Xavier," a partnering church planter who works in one of Colombia's most dangerous regions; a poor, rural area currently being ruled by paramilitaries. Before his involvement in ministry, Xavier had a su

    ...
  • Varied Reactions over FARC Deal


    Flag of the FARC-EP
    Photo: Wikimedia Commons / Boris Arenas

    June 23rd was an historic day in Colombia. After four years of peace talks, and more than 50 years of armed confrontation, a bilateral ceasefire was agreed upon between the Colombian government and representatives of the Revolutionary Armed

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