BETWEEN TWO FIRES: THE STORY OF EVANGELIST FROM COLOMBIA

May soon end one of the most protracted conflicts in the world. The Colombian President announced a major breakthrough in peace negotiations between the government and the main rebel group in the country. In the fighting killed more than two hundred and twenty thousand people and millions became refugees. But even in the midst of military conflict, some brave Christians went to its epicenter, to meet representatives of the warring parties with the Prince of Peace.

According to the authorities and representatives of the leftist organization of the FARC, they have six months to conclude a peace Treaty. Both sides have agreed on a plan of investigation of human rights violations committed during decades of conflict. The FARC promised to disband within sixty days after final agreement.

And although fights breaking out suddenly scattered across the country hot spots, it does not stop an intrepid messenger of peace missionary Russell Stendal. For many years he delivers Christian literature for the guerrillas, the militias and the government soldiers. He is friends with all parties, aided by its radio station and the receivers on the solar. This he gave away over a hundred twenty thousand.

“We make our way into places where it is impossible to build Church buildings or regular worship services, says Sam Russell Stendal. – You can’t make the usual missionary or Evangelical work. We reset the radios by parachute in a guerrilla camp. We distribute them among the soldiers, and paramilitaries”.

Dario Silva — a former journalist and now a pastor of one of the largest churches of Bogota — the “House on the rock”. For many years he followed the conflict and sends aid to suffering families in rural Colombia. But, according to Silva, megatorque between Colombia and the isolated and often persecuted believers outside the city there is a Gulf: “the Church, especially the mega-Church, often reminded the Church at Laodicea: “I Have everything, I’m rich”. They don’t know about the problems of our brothers”.

Silva also said that the difficulties and persecutions did not prevent the gospel to penetrate to the remotest corners of Colombia. He even remembers as one of the leaders of the guerrillas complained: “These Christians are our main problem. Here we come to a remote part of the country where there is no electricity, no running water, no roads, no transport, no Church, no political figures. But there are certainly some nut with a black book under his arm preaching about Jesus.”

In the mountains and jungle in southwest Colombia, guerrillas are still destroying churches, cast out believers, and killing pastors. According to the organization “Open doors”, in Colombia, killing more pastors than any other democratic country in the world.

About his military past recalls Helmer, a former commander of the guerrillas of the FARC. It was then called “Comandante jerónimo”.

“Becoming the commander of the Department of Cauca, I came to the people of God from the standpoint of atheism, drove out the pastors, closed churches, killed evangelists, because they did not share our goals, namely to achieve a complete denial of Jesus Christ and God. But the more I drove them, the more they got, the stronger they became. Then I said, “How is it? I’m trying to destroy them, and they multiply, bear fruit and grow!” So I crept a doubt.

These doubts led Helmer to a personal meeting with Jesus whom he persecuted. Today, the weapons of the former commander — the Bible, and he calls people to follow Christ, not Karl Marx. In the opinion of Scandal, more than a hundred thousand combatants were followers of Jesus, and the conflict may soon come a tipping point.

“Wishing to continue the violence have a hard time now because there are already enough Christians who are truly salt and light, says the missionary. — Previously, there was a black hole in the spiritual sense, but now in most regions there are at least ten percent of Christians.”

Spreading the gospel in South America the Christians are indigenous. Alvaro Dagua from guambiano tribe, manages two Christian radio stations. At a recent conference of Christian media in Cali, Dagua talked about how they go beyond their own tribe: “If you go to virgin jungle and will have three days to go by foot, you come upon the tribe Agua, which is still untouched by civilization. We want to get there with our radio station, with the Word of God to the Agua tribe could dwell in the Kingdom of heaven.”

Meanwhile, government negotiators meet with the leaders of the guerrillas of the FARC in the Cuban capital is Havana, and the growing hope that in the near future a peace Treaty will be reached that will put an end to fifty years of violence in Colombia. But regardless of the outcome of the negotiations, evangelists, radio broadcasts and literature are the world in conflict areas of the country, changing the lives of many people.

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