Radio Kahuzi Video

Friday, March 17, 2017

The President's Birthday!

Happy Birthday, Harold (Smitty)! Who would have guessed as a senior in high school you would serve at BESI's President for 31 years! Or, that you would be married a year later to Mickey (1959) and remain married for the next 58 years (June 21st)! — Curwensville Area Junior/Senior High School.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

My High Speed Bike Crash!

Dear Friends of BESI / Radio Kahuzi,

February is a refreshing month of Friendship and reflection on our travels and plans.
Faith and Ward McDonald
Faith and Ward McDonald
February brought the birth of my mother, Faith, my father, John Ward, Kathy's
Kathy_ Millie_ Fred Bahler
Kathy, Millie,Fred Bahler
faithful father, Fred Bahler, and my true childhood friend, Bob Robeson. We recently found out our Great Grand Niece, Lanie Faith (9) shares a birthday on Feb 22, with her Great Grandfather, John Ward. 

As Kathy, my wonderful wife and Best Friend, and I reflect on the years, it was comforting when the Lord gave us Fred and Millie Bahler to get us started as junior missionaries in 1975. 
Fred with trumpet
Here in Africa, Fred would play beautiful Christian music to end the day, and watch the sun go down -- Looking for the SON to Appear...One Day SOON!

(Editor's note: Kathy's father, Fred, served in Congo for over 35 years. He went home to be with his Lord and Savior in Dec. 1995 in the States. Kathy and Rich received notification months later in 1996. They were pinned down to the floor during the first invasion from Rwanda in 1996.) 

The Lord has been "growing us up" in the Congo, where He has blessed our missionary ministries these past 42 years, with many of you coming along side to make it happen! Thank you, and Praise the Lord for His Faithfulness day by day!  

When I was in ninth grade, Bob challenged me to a 64 mile bike hike from our home town, Grampian, (named after the Grampian Hills of Scotland) and DuBois, Pennsylvania. Just before a long vertical descent and climb on the concrete highway, the Lord got my attention with two huge road signs put up by the Assembly of God Church. One asked, "Where will you Spend Eternity?" and "Are you ready to meet your Maker?" He is asking you those same questions today. Won't you answer Him with, "Yes, Lord, I hear you." "For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." Ephesians 2: 8-9."
When I lived through the high speed accident at the bottom of the descent and completed the 64 miles with only slight bruises, those questions haunted me for years, until my second year at Penn State University, when Pastor Henry Kulp at the Altoona Bible Church led me in prayer to receive Jesus Christ as  my Savior and Lord of my life. I was a former Christian Scientist. 

The Lord will reward many, many of our friends who He used to confront us with the Gospel like the Ken Krater family and Mrs. Sally Leach, our "Good News Club," Child Evangelism teacher. 

They taught us some of the ways the Lord is asking us to "lay up real lasting Treasures in Heaven" invest time, energy, and finances in Eternity!

Welcome Visitors

Amy and Mark Neil and daughter Lindsey came to visit and celebrate Amy's Valentine's Birthday with us! 

We praise the Lord for this timely intervention on their part as Faithful Representatives of BESI and Radio Kahuzi. As an international lawyer and former missionary kid who grew up in Bukavu serving with his parents, Mark is committed to helping us with our outreach in Rwanda and the Great Lakes region of Africa, helping us get our governmental recognition, etc..! 

They have also offered us their home in Kigali, Rwanda any time we need to visit the capital. 

Two of our friends and partners and their Technical Team at SonSet Solutions have masterfully designed two shortwave antennas for two new sites for our long distance broadcasting from the city of Bukavu. The Lord is good, in that our outreach coverage area actually doubled into Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and Tanzania. Pray for our new shortwave antenna installation and even greater outreach into many countries nearby. 

Kathy and I are encouraged by those who are sharing our CC newsletter to invite friends to become aware of BESI's growing Christian Broadcast outreach and to pray and give to help us increase our 24 years of outreach in the D R Congo and beyond. Our 25th anniversary is coming up on December 24th. Today, March 11, we celebrate 31 years of ministry under (BESI) Believer's Express Service, Inc. Where have the years gone?

Your love and partnership in the Gospel parallels that of Jonathan and David, and for the Body of Christ, your love and Sharing today parallels that of the Holy Spirit, who is the secret of the Lord's success. 

He is doing a great work, despite our weaknesses, and He invites each one of us to be Co-Partners with Him in His ministry around the world - truly a desktop satellite ministry from your own home, there where you are, you could be the key person the Lord is inviting to participate in what He is doing during this Day of Salvation. 

Some people Go, others, Pray, and others Give, some do all three; He will reward every aspect of your part of His ministry. We need volunteers to help us continue to respond to the Lord's leading. We want His directive will for our lives and ministry, not just His permissive will; and most of that difference depends on those who come along side our outreach ministries here in Central Africa.  

Kathy and I Thank You for remembering us, just as the Lord remembered Noah in the Ark. That is what made the difference for Noah, as it does for us.

Keep Looking Up!
Richard and Kathy McDonald

Wednesday, January 25, 2017


January can sometimes be a difficult month full of Sadness because Christmas is over, but also full of Hope for the months ahead.  
Yesterday Rich was coming home in a taxi (both vehicles down for repairs) and the driver wanted to take a different route, and he ended up in our old neighborhood at "Les Branches," where Radio Kahuzi first started in 1992!  
First home and studio
First home and radio studio
It's hardly recognizable, with all the walls and many houses built right on what used to be our front lawn that went all the way down to Lake Kivu!! It's so sad. 

(Note from editor: You can read about Rich and Kathy's harrowing escape on the night of Sunday, 1996 after three nights on the floor while mortars hit the house on all 
four sides. It was the first invasion from Rwanda which you can see in the distance. Click HERE and HERE for the story.)
I'm thankful that we have the Word of God that never changes, and that we still have the freedom to broadcast the Word on Radio Kahuzi these 24 years! What a blessing to be able to do this ministry!! 
This past year has been full of ups and downs and we're sooo thankful the way the Lord has brought us through each situation! 
In spite of the hard trials that Satan throws at us, we are always encouraged by the stories that folks tell us of how the Word of God through Radio Kahuzi has impacted their lives and their pagan life-style. 
Today one of our friends is meeting his father and his whole extended family. It is the father's request to have a family reunion with his nine former wives, and 40 plus children!  The father wants to tell his family that he did many things before he believed on the Lord Jesus Christ that weren't right, but now he wants to make sure that each one in his family comes to know Him--that all come to accept Christ as Savior before he dies!   Each of his wives has been released from their servitude and trusted Christ for Salvation years ago, but the kids and grand kids weigh heavy on his heart!
It is stories like these that keep us going! We are sooooo very thankful for All You Have Done to allow us, through Radio Kahuzi, to reach thousands of lives with the simple, yet life-changing Word of God that purifies the heart and sets the captives free! 
You make this all happen with your prayers and gifts to the Lord's Work, as we could never do it alone. 

We're All in it together!! 
Have a wonderful New Year 2017!
"For we are laborers together with God:...For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ." II Cor. 3: 9-11.

Update from Richard
This week our friends and partners at SonSet Solutions have masterfully designed two special shortwave antennas for two new sites for our long distance broadcasting from the City of Bukavu.  
New Shortwave Antenna
New Shortwave Antenna

New Antenna Assembly
New Antenna Assembly
State of the Art new technology from SonSet Solutions is on its way with our friend, Tom Lindquist to Bukavu!

HCJB Installed SW in 2001

In 2001 HCJB installed our 1,000 watt shortwave. Using a crane we erected 4-40ft antenna poles on this empty lot beside our house and studio. In 2015, the house below was illegally built under our antenna. 

SPOILER House Between our SW 40ft Poles
SPOILER House Between our SW 40 ft poles
Lord willing, we will have exciting news this month as the antennas arrive and are installed at new broadcast sites.   This will allow us to complete a complicated, tiring move that began three years ago! But the Lord is good, in that our outreach coverage area actually doubled into Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania after we were forced off our original antenna site by an unlawful builder, and we had to Improvise.

Please Pray for solutions with the mechanics working on our van with fuel pump problems, as we continue to get lots of exercise walking and / or chasing taxis, lately. 

Possibly, patience is a virtue we need to master. The Holy Spirit and you are helping us in that area also as you "come Along-Side with your encouragement."

Keep Looking Up! 
We are looking for His Soon Appearing in Heavenlies!

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Christmas in the Congo! Elephant for dinner, anyone?

 Dear Friends of BESI / Radio Kahuzi,

It's almost Christmas, once again! When we all love to remember... and I remember Mama and Papa, Millie and Fred Bahler and those precious times of family and friends, and the good food and all the church celebrations: Celebrating the Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ as a Baby--to be the Savior of mankind!

As a missionary kid, being born and raised in the Belgian Congo (Zaire), Democratic Republic of the Congo, the precious memories flood back--of life with the lions, monkeys, elephants, water buffalo, and antelope, especially at Christmas time!  Another precious thing about it all is that I have memories of Christmas times in America (in Denver & North Glenn) where we lived for seven years, during the War of Independence. I also remember the years of language training in Belgian with my parents and again in Brussels and Vevey, Switzerland, where Richard and I re-learned French; so I have three wonderful worlds to remember!  

In America, there's always the 'problem' of what kind of meat to eat at that special Christmas Day celebration.  Should we have turkey, or ham or duck or pigeon--and so many choices! Most of the time, here in Congo we had two choices, chicken or beef and sometimes goat.  

Another exciting part was that, if an enraged elephant came on a rampage into the village, one's Daddy shot the rogue and voila, we had elephant meat for dinner! My mommy tried to cook the supposedly most tender part, (the trunk) but it was as tough as shoe leather. So I think our dad's quickly went hunting and brought back an antelope, which we normally ate for protein, most of the time anyway! It was always a great afternoon, watching the men carve up the meat and get it ready for the 'spit'  barbecue, a big hole in the ground with charcoal, to roast the meat. 

My memories of Christmas Eve are so precious, too. Usually, it would rain and what fun it was, getting the fireplace going, and sitting around the fire, roasting palm nuts, and eating home-made sweet rolls and bacon and eggs and lots of coffee!  Also, we had Christmas music playing. Around midnight, the church folks would come and sing Christmas Carols and that was always very special!

For our Christmas tree, my daddy had a wire frame ready, and we'd go out and cut the branches from a sucker vine that grows on the palm trees and stick them into the wire frame; and it really did look like a Christmas tree.  Then, just before dark, the (generator) light plant would be started up and the coffee pot would be ready, and just like magic, the tree lights would light up and the celebration of Christmas Eve would start.  After supper, we'd read the Christmas Story from Luke, and Praise the Lord for another year of His Blessings and Grace!

Our most Memorable Christmas Season was December 16, 1972, when we were married by Pastor and Missionary Wayne Schoonover in Pastor Vern Schutz's Berean Church in Grand Rapids, Mi., and we began our deputation to come to the Congo. Richard and I THANK  the LORD for ALL of YOU who became members of our extended family at that time–“Working Together with Christ.” Later, you shared in our Rejoicing when we arrived in Bukavu for Christmas Dinner with our parents, the Bahlers, on December 25,1975 to begin our ministry with them! 

Years later on December 24,1992, the Lord began the first Christian Radio Network in the DRC with beautiful Christmas music and Christian programming on FM Stereo on Radio Kahuzi! There was no Short Wave transmitter until 2001.

Many of you were praying Christmas Day 2000, when Richard and Pastor Gregoire negotiated the Peace Treaty with the Mai Mai rebels after they had taken a third of the city of Bukavu. Two commandos and many of their nine hundred Mai Mai warriors exchanged their magic fetishes and superstition for Trust and Faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, returning to Fizi to build a Christian Church and share the Gospel as fellow-workers with Jesus Christ and Radio Kahuzi.

Thank you for your faithful prayers and support especially, this month. Our answer to prayer came as the Provincial Director of the National Radio and TV (RTNC) and many of their distant relay FM stations asked for permission to share Radio Kahuzi's Christmas programming and Christmas music in their broadcasts. Many of them contacted us when our Short Wave transmitter would not work. But three days later the red light cleared without any repairs, and we are back on the air as usual, and other FM stations relaying our programs and the RTNC news has called in to report 5/5 reception and rebroadcast of our signal through their FM stations!

Praise the Lord that He used the electric company's problem (less than 50 Hertz frequency) to reveal the existence of this relay network as we were unaware they were rebroadcasting our programs! This should lead to helpful future tax exonerations for Radio Kahuzi!    

Have a Wonderful Christmas Season and a Blessed New Year in 2017! 

Keep Looking Up! 
We are looking for His Soon Appearing in the Heavenlies!! 
Richard and Kathy McDonald

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Belated Happy Thanksgiving!

Dear Friends of BESI / Radio Kahuzi,

Kathy and I appreciate your Prayer and Giving over these many years. We want you to know you have given much encouragement to us and the BESI / Radio Kahuzi Ministries.

Yesterday Kathy shared across the fence with the youngest member of a friendly family we have helped raise — across the fence. They are Muslim / Catholic; however, one daughter took our Galcom Fix-tuned, SW radio with her to her East Africa school. There she said she learned English listening to our evening broadcasts of “Unshackled" and got saved while studying in DUBAI (E. Africa)! 

Kathy shared with her brother that his sister’s stateside address is very close to the studio where “Unshackled” is recorded. He was excited, as he has always been a keen listener to our programs, too, and will write to her where she and her new husband live.

We're hopeful she will make contact and volunteer to help "Unshackled" with our project of translating and recording the program in French for broadcast here. It is a popular program, which we air at 12:40 in the afternoon, even in English; and it has great clarity. "Unshackled" sent us a first program manuscript translated into French, and we are trying to get it dramatized and recorded for broadcast with the young people in Bukavu. Maybe, Kathy will ask her brother if he would like to play one of the roles in the manuscript, or help us get it printed for each actor.

Harold Smith, President of BESI / Radio Kahuzi with Jim Lawhon at NRB 2010

Also, our dear friend, Jim Lawhon, former engineer with HCJB called and offered to cover the costs for HCJB Engineering, now known as Sonset Solutions, to build us a SW antenna that will fit in our smaller space in front of our new studio. This will eliminate a conflict with the NGO group renting the house beside our studio. Pray for the completion of this new antenna and safe shipping.

(Kathy sends her greetings and a big “Thank You” to the home office for items sent with our friends Mark and Tom in recent trips to Bukavu.)

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU ALL, for all the goodies you brought us!! We sure are spoiled, but we are enjoying the tacos and the soft Fajitas, and all the spices; and one of these days, I’ll make some chocolate chip cookies, (if the lights behave)!  The tuna fish, and the Hidden Valley dressing, and the cake mixes, etc., really make our days!

The popcorn reminds us of the Guest House days with my folks Fred and Millie BAHLER in the 70s and 80s. What special days those were! The world here now is just so up-side-down. You wouldn’t believe it! Gets a little discouraging sometimes, but in the Lord we are Victorious, and with special gifts like you all sent us; we are making it!

We just heard rata-ta-tat-tat across the bay toward the Governor's Mansion, trust there are no problems... This election time is going to be quite the ride...Pray lots! Seems crowds have been putting pressure on the Governor...

Yesterday, Feza and I worked hours getting more shelves and tapes and radio supplies moved into the room above the studio. It's nice and dry and warm up there with such a beautiful view of the lake, so we are using that room for storing the radio supplies. 

We'll be sooo happy when we can get all the moving done! It's such a long process, sorting and making sure the right things go to the right places. There's the radio studio, and the room upstairs to store things, and then, the Rwandan house across the way, but no shelves and cupboards because we're still using them here in Bukavu in this transition time. The ideal would be to have all the cupboards and shelves, washer, etc., over at the new place, but, alas, that takes a truck with proper docs, etc., so we keep going with what we have, and gradually we’ll make it all come together! Such a job!

Thank you for all your prayers and for all the goodies—treats for us to enjoy during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays!

Lots of love and prayers,

With Love and Thanksgiving in our hearts to you all, 
Richard and Kathy McDonald

Monday, October 24, 2016

"Turning Point" with Dr. David Jeremiah Airing Daily on Radio Kahuzi

Recently, we began the process of adding to our excellent list of programs by contacting the offices of Dr. David Jeremiah to see if they would have an interest to partner with Radio Kahuzi. This led us to Mike Murray, Executive VP of GSF Media, distributors of "Turning Point" programming. He communicated with Dr. Jeremiah about our offer to broadcast on Radio Kahuzi. He was delighted to accept our offer. "Turning Point" is now airing daily at NOON, Sunday through Saturday.

To hear  "Turning Point" go to:

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Pastor Gregory’s Sept 2016 Missionary Journey

Pastor Gregoire on Safari in 2014
Pastor Gregorie, our Radio Kahuzi journalist, and Richard Lugano who is part of our team and owns the local Internet Coffee Cafe, just  returned from a trip to areas of Congo where Kathy grew up at Mwanga, Kayembe, Wamaza, and Kasongo.

Richard Lugano did the driving
In some areas they had to cut their way through.

Kathy in the cotton patch at Wamaza with her special friend.

Kathy on left in first row; father, Fred Bahler 2nd in back row

Lenny & Hope Anderson, Eldora Kinkead, Betty Frier, 
Baba & Mama Vi, 
Vern & Bonnie Terpstra with all the children

Fred and Millie Bahler, Kathy's parents began their missionary
service shortly after graduating from Moody Bible Institute.
Fred flew his small plane over the jungle for 35 years.
Near the end of the trip they reached the homes Kathy's father, Fred Bahler, and other pioneering missionaries Jerry Henshaw, Pearl Pickett, Lee Green, Wayne Schoonover, Delmar Anderson, Lenny Anderson, and other Grace Missionaries built in the 1940’s. 
Among those early pioneers, faithful servants of the Lord,
Wayne and Phyllis Schoonover are home in Glory.
Later they built the Guest House where Norma Jean Wood and  Betty Frier lived, with "round" windows that Fred Bahler installed. Amazingly, the glass is still in tact! The large Grace Church there is still maintaining and reserving these houses "Ready for Missionary use!" May the Lord in His timing and providence grant their desire…”Who will go for us?” Thankfully, Radio Kahuzi can reach areas were missionaries can no longer go.

The road leading up the hill to the houses and church is still lined on both sides by huge productive Mango and Guava trees, that provide a good economy for their regular harvest and sale in distant markets.
Hearing of God's love for the first time
Traveling saleswoman
Jesus said, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for
I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest unto your souls.
For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Matt. 11: 28, 29, 30.

Pastor Gregoire 2nd from right sharing how to be
reconciled to each other and to God.
Gregoire and Lugano interviewed pastors and others all along the journey coming and going during the week long safari from Bukavu to Avira near Bujumbura, up to Baraka, and through the Territory of FIZI and into the Province of Manama--well over 800 kilometers (497 + miles). All Radio Kahuzi listeners reported enjoying our Shortwave programming and a signal quality of "5 over 5"...EXCELLENT!
The villages look much the same as in Kathy's days growing up.
At one point Gregoire was arrested by security officers for taking  pictures, but when they saw his Radio Kahuzi ID, they thanked him for sharing the Gospel with them and keeping them well informed with the local and National news several times each day; some shared that Radio Kahuzi was their only source of radio programming, others said it was their favorite.
Pastor Mutangi (Enoki Paul) the happy warrior for the Lord...
now in Glory but his fruit remains.
One highlight was to arrive at the place where Pastor Mutangi founded his first Grace Bible Institute. Gregoire interviewed pastors and Christians near there at Kalongosola where the Muslim Chief Kalongosola of that territory attended meetings at the Bible Institute and received Jesus Christ as his Savior. 

Later, when some did not believe he had converted, he prepared some bacon and ate it to end their debating the issue. He had a long life of fruitful administration there and helped build the very large Grace Church that continues to be very productive after some 60 years or more.
With new friends from the village
Richard Lugano rings the old church bell.
The ultimate victory and motive to service: "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord." I Cor. 15: 58.  

"So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it." Isaiah 55: 11.