This episode had at least three names before becoming “Divine Disruptions.” At one point, it was “Disruption Mountain.” Then it was called “When Pigs Fly.” Eventually, one of our team members suggested “Divine Disruptions,” and the name stuck. 

This title captures the main idea. God is in the disruptions, and what we see as disruptions can be His plan. Russ relayed this story to Ian over the phone, and we thought it would be a great addition to the series. 

The Stendal family continues to do great work in South America,  worthy of our support and prayers.

Russ told the pig story in his book Rescue the Captors. The first time I read it, I had tears running down my face. We had hoped to include it in Season 8, where we introduced Russ, yet there simply was no time in the two episodes “Rescue the Captors Parts 1 & 2.”

But “Divine Disruptions” had the space, so we were excited to include it here.

Our composer (Jared DePasquale) and sound designer (Josh Bultman) did wonderful work adding drama to Russ’s dry humor.  Read the book for the longer version; it’s wonderful. You can also watch Russ tell this story himself below:

Russell Stendal – The Gospel in the Face of Conflict from SOM International on Vimeo.

Watch below to hear Russ tell the story of his capture:

Russell Stendal Speaking at Missions Conference from SOM International on Vimeo.

Another interesting behind-the-scenes note on this episode happened when we recorded Russ (played by Nato Jacobson).  

Nato was visiting California and could not access his normal recording space. So he set up a mike in his van, and Ian directed over the phone from Wisconsin. We worked early in the morning before the Los Angeles heat developed.  

When it came time to put the episode together, we noticed Nato sounded like he was in a van… because he WAS! This wasn’t a problem when he was supposed to be in a plane or Russ’s  Land Cruiser. But when he was supposed to be outside, the recording just didn’t work. So a couple of months later, we redid all of Russ’s outside lines.

We mentioned how Russ is bringing boatloads of Bibles to Venezuela. Here are some pictures from this mission.

The Bibles going through Customs

Getting ready to deliver the bibles

The boat starting to sink due to all the Bibles!

In the story, Russ was showing his movie, LA MONTAÑA. His daughter produced the movie, which can be found on YouTube. While it is in Spanish, it does have subtitles. To watch it, click the link below.

Russ’ movie LA MONTAÑA