Colombia is a country that is only slightly larger than the state of Texas, yet civil war has been raging there for 40 years and thousands have lost their lives in the conflict. It is the most intense fighting that Latin America has ever seen.
Russell Stendal, a missionary to Colombia, has partnered closely with Galcom International. His parents became Colombian missionaries when Russell was eight; he later branched out with his own ministry – often a dangerous undertaking. Stendal has been kidnapped five times by guerrillas and also has been jailed; but instead of letting this intimidate him, Stendal has come to believe that his captors are more imprisoned by fear and hopelessness than he ever was during his captivity. Now Stendal’s goal is to distribute radios to one in ten of the guerrillas and the para-military, in order to saturate this group with the Gospel and its message of hope. Even the president of Colombia has a little Galcom radio sitting on his desk.
The ministry of Colombia Para Christo, which is run by Stendal, has two radio stations. Russell also has his pilot’s license and drops packages by plane into areas of Colombia that cannot be reached by vehicle, as well as dangerous places where most would not dare to go. These packages contain a bible and a Galcom radio, along with other faith-based material. He turns on each radio before he tosses it out of his plane in order to make the radio audible to the people seeking the package as it lands. Some on the ground at first think it is a bomb that is being dropped, but then they hear the radio, speaking to them in their own language.
These radios deliver a clear message about God and His love.
Over the years that Galcom has been associated with Russell Stendal, he has given out more than 1,000 solar-powered radios to Colombians. The ones propagating the violence are facing increasing opposition because so many are becoming Christians through Galcom’s radios.
Russell has written several books. Among them is Rescue the Captors, which recounts his personal story. If you are interested in receiving a copy, contact our Galcom office at 905-574-4626.