Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas 2008

“Therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee
shall be called the Son of God.” Luke 1:35 b

“His life is the Highest and the Holiest entering in at the Lowliest door.
Our Lord’s birth was an advent.” Oswald Chambers

Dear Friends of Radio Kahuzi,

Christmas! It is a day to remember His Gift to us. It is a day to celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. There is no other news worth broadcasting. It is the only Good News that is worth investing our time, energy and resources to proclaim and we thank you for choosing to partner with us to make it possible.

On November 26th with all the frustrations of the day, we were given an opportunity to share the Good News with two ladies who traveled a long distance from the mountains. They were seeking help with the ongoing problem of violence against women and children in their territory.

We introduced them to one of our journalists who told them about several agencies in Bukavu working toward the same goal of helping these women shunned by husbands and family because they have been violated.

They also asked for radios and Gospels of John, which bring the “Balm in Gilead,” healing for the troubled mind and broken spirit with an eternal blessing, the Prince of Peace.

We had a good day Nov. 12th as we had just received the very appreciated (beautiful red) 1,000 Galcom, short wave, solar charging radios, and I stopped by the Monuc headquarters to look for my missing umbrella. Their Security Officer was happy to see me, and asked for more radios. He had tested his out in many places in his travels to visit their troops.

Last year the Security Officer, personally, introduced me to the head of the Chinese medical forces at their hospital, where I presented a nice red radio and tracts in Mandarin, English, Swahili, and French.
The Chinese Doctor / Commander then requested more radios so his medical staff could listen and learn English via Radio Kahuzi programming. Mission accomplished!

Today the Security officer said there would be more Chinese needing radios, and when I got home I found the rest of the story in my Yahoo mail box, as detailed in China’s Peoples’ Daily Online article dated November 13, 2008…

“A contingent of Chinese peacekeepers arrived in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) Wednesday for an eight-month UN peacekeeping mission. The 218-strong group, comprised of both engineers and medical staff, constitutes the ninth peacekeeping team from China to be sent to the African country. The soldiers, to be stationed in Bukavu, a city in eastern DRC, underwent intensive training before their departure. The engineering troops will be engaged in constructing water and power facilities, building roads and maintaining airports.” Source: Xinhua

We recently found a link to a web site offering the New Testament in Mandarin on cassette recording! We also found with the NT in digital format. Pray for His direction and provision, as we may be able to develop a Bible reading outreach parallel to the radio in several other foreign languages by cassette/digital – if we are not allowed to broadcast them from Bukavu. But, with your prayer, we might get permission to even broadcast sections of the Scriptures to our Chinese visitors to the DRC.

Journalist Shot Dead in DRC: November 22, 2008
This headline confirms to us why I was broadcasting that night, and each Monday & Friday nights instead of our journalists – so they don’t have to go home after dark!

I talked to Didace Namujimbo in his Radio Okapi office at MONUC headquarters that week; that is about one block from Radio Kahuzi. He left work about the time I went off the air at 10 PM. He was assassinated as he approached his home, leaving his wife and two children. On 13 June 2007 the same fate befell Serge Mahwshe, also an Okapi broadcast editor.

The week before, our administrative aide (who also takes care of our local taxes) left his pharmacy at 10 PM to return home 1 ½ blocks off the main street. As he neared his home, he heard a gun bolt engage, and a neighbor lady yelled his name. He dashed into her gate to safety. He was accompanied by his watchman, who was unfortunately, killed. A young man coming down the next street heard the shot and began to run, but was also killed by another gunman on the corner. We are thankful we can continue our evening broadcasts without leaving our home.

Please pray for God’s protection over our Radio Kahuzi journalists, Feza, Gregoir, and Danny along with all the journalists and the population in South and North Kivu Province, as some describe Eastern D R Congo as the worst situation in the world these days.

We continue to train young people as communicators of the Gospel. (Photo: Many young people like Eddy Bahati, living in DaresSalaam, Tanzania help us deliver radios. Danny, our newest journalist in training, interviews Eddy about his recent trip.)

As we celebrate our 36th Wedding Anniversary on Dec 17th, Kathy and I are thankful to be here along with our faithful staff where the Lord is working and allowing us to keep on keeping on.

With Grace and Blessing to each one for a Thankful Season!
Keep Looking Up!
Richard and Kathy McDonald
And our BESI / Radio Kahuzi Team

From the President
Our prayer for you and your loved ones as we labor together is that you will be a BLESSING TO EACH OTHER AND TO THE WORLD!

Until He Appears in the Heavens for us…
…Keep Looking Up!
Harold Smith

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving 2008

“Remembering without ceasing, your work of faith and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father.” I Thess. 1:3

Dear Friends of Radio Kahuzi,

As we meditated on these words this afternoon in our missionary Bible Fellowship after hearing the evening headlines: “Thousands Flee Heavy Congo Fighting” about 100 miles north of us, we praised the Lord together that He is forever FAITHFUL!

The Lord has given us so many “special tools” for His ministry so that we can communicate the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ that were never available in other ages.

One such tool was the gift of 5,000 wonderful Galcom solar, recharging shortwave radios packed and shipped to Bukavu in 1994--over 14 years ago. It was hard to understand back then why they were sitting in storage in Lubumbashi so far away. But God’s timing is always perfect.

Kathy giving out the last of the 5,000 radios received from Galcomm.

Praise the Lord, we’re giving out the last of the little blue Go-Ye radios! All of the original 5,000 have been given out! It’s been a step-by-step journey as each little radio was cleaned, new batteries recharged and put inside; checking for the signal to be sure each radio worked well, and then making sure each solar panel worked to recharge the batteries for the years ahead. Then, one by one; ten by tens, they are given out at the gate, and hand-carried into the jungle to small villages, and to be distributed throughout the country. It’s been quite the blessing!

This week we were blessed to receive “Thank You” messages from villages near Goma where the confrontations are taking place; from Kinshasa, the Capitol City 1650 kilometers to the west; Lubumbashi 1050 km to the south and Kisangani 500 km to the north to only mention a few!

Military and civilians are responding to the messages and programs designed to encourage peace in the land, and especially to bring the Prince of Peace into their hearts. “…That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith" Eph. 3:17

Gregoire, our journalist, interviewing Lt. Col. Apolosa regarding his joy at receiving the radios for his troops.

For us, Thanksgiving 2008 is a time to remember all God has brought us through! It has been more than we could ever have dreamed in our wildest imaginations! It started off in February with a major earthquake, that most of us will never forget. All the after-shocks were really nerve rattling. “What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee.” We did trust in Him and He brought us through safely with no losses among our radio staff or equipment. Thank you Father!

Another major event of 2008, for which we continue to lift up grateful hearts was Richard’s eye surgeries! Just knowing that the retinas were OK from the 1983 accident, and having the rapid forming cataracts removed was a HUGE RELIEF! The fact that Richard now has 20/20 vision is an unbelievable gift. Thank you Father! And, thank you to all of you for making the trip possible.

In between the two eye surgeries we flew to Elkhart to meet with Mike Axman and other engineering planners. We are always treated as family and were invited to speak to their staff and to share how their partnership with BESI / Radio Kahuzi continues to impacted Africa.

Rich and Kathy speak at HCJB during their visit home this past summer.

We also were refreshed and blessed as we attended the GGF Family Bible Conference in Boston July 4-6. We had opportunity to visit and share at seven churches in VA, PA, NJ, NY, and OH renewing old friendships and making many new ones. Thank you Father!

Since returning home to Bukavu there have been many up and downs, but we are ever mindful of God’s love and protection through the turbulence and we press on.

Sadly, on Monday, Oct 20, 2008, we suffered a double loss of our FM 250 and FM 200T, with a hard and sudden hit to 3,000 volt electric lines a block away either by sabotage or an act of God.

In the morning Danny experienced the first. Replacing fuses did not hold for more than a second or two. So it was hard to determine anything. The strong odor of smoke assured us something was burned inside. The Short Wave was seemingly untouched. Thank you Father! And we even got an SMS listener's report with good reception at about 11:30 AM from the far distant Lubumbashi after going back on the air with only Short Wave.

In the afternoon I installed the FM 200T and took readings and looked for physical signs inside the FM 250. All I could see was the burned piece that was loose inside the transmitter.

When I went on for my four hour broadcast that evening, I had no indication anything had happened, but suddenly saw four red leds, except the one in the middle for Input. Before I could cut the power, the smoke had begun from the bottom of the transmitter!

Mike Axman was contacted and repair parts were hand-carried by our missionary friend, Tom, who just happened to be making a trip this week. Thank you Father! Pray for Richard to be able to make the repairs.

Last, but not least, Galcom shipped a gift of another 1,000 Short Wave radios just as we have exhausted our supply. Thank you Father! However, they are sitting in Kigali, Rwanda with our importer, as it is not safe to transport through Goma where the fighting continues. God is in control…Thank you Father!

Keep Looking Up!
Rich and Kathy McDonald
Harold Smith, President

Phone: 760.598.1190

Monday, November 3, 2008

FM Repaired!!

Richard called at 4 am Bukavu time (about 9 pm our time) to let us know he was successful in using the parts hand-carried from HCJB's engineer, Mike Axman, by our dear friend, Tom. Rich worked about 3 hours, turned it on and voila! He is on this evening with his own four-hour shift of programming. We are praying that he will also have good success in repairing the second burned out FM, which was his backup.

All efforts are being made to reach those in the combat zones to the north with a message from the Prince of Peace, our Lord Jesus Christ. We are praying for the Peace of God and Peace with God to rule in the hearts of all men.

Please join us in fervent prayer for all concerned.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Burnout of FM Transmitter and Backup

Greetings from Bukavu!

Kathy & I thank you for your prayer and help with the difficult problems facing us these past few months.  
Your continued prayer is much appreciated for the reason we describe in our technical report to HCJB Global Technical Center—the burnout of our FM transmitter and our backup FM.  

Also, we are praying and speaking via Radio Kahuzi to the leaders in the front line to seek peace, in hope that they will also find Real Peace in Christ Jesus.  
This week we sent three sacs of SW radios to military groups in transition in several directions from Bukau.   Last night and today our broadcasts bring them the official "last chance" messages, inviting all military fighters to receive the several alternatives, and choose one before it is too late for them!

Our Lord knows if we are subject to sabutage via the electrical lines; it has happened before during these wars. But we trust it was only the consequence of SNEL allowing all the trafic to roll over the downed cables in front of MONUC just a block from here--all day Sunday. On Monday they threw the four cables up over the metal arc-light pole so trafic could pass under the lines. Three of the lines carry 3000 Volts each!    Any short circuit to the fourth cable would bring serious problems to the transformer between there and here!
We have decided we need to use an inverter and storage system in our studio like we were preparing for our relay FM sites. We have a commitment from HCJB to develop a storage system to use instead of four large batteries. I think they suggest using banks of capacitors or something similar. Though it is a little more expensive than the batteries, it will last ten or twenty years instead of three or four with batteries.    
This would function with at least a 48 V charger / Inverter to run and protect our transmitters and studio, as we were planning for the other sites. Possibly in your work there are systems that could be sugested in our smaller scale.   If your contacts have any ideas, we would be intrested.    
We will cut and send before we are cut off by SNEL!  Kathy says there is a Big Storm coming, too!
As always, Keep Looking UP!  And Keep On Keeping ON!!
In His Love,  Richrd & Kathy

Technical Report to HCJB Engineer

Hi Mike & Faith and all,

Greetings from Bukavu!

We appreciate your prayer for the work and concerning the ongoing war-situation in North & South Kivu Provinces, as we continue our good outreach there and into other provinces in short wave.

Monday, 20 Oct 08, we suffered a double loss of our FM 250 and FM 200T, with a hard and sudden hit to the diodes (and possibly the 35 A 400 V Bridge Rectifier) through the neutral SNEL electric input.   

In the morning Danny experienced the first. Replacing fuses did not hold for more than a second or two. So it was hard to determine anything.    Though the strong smoke odor assured something was burned inside. The Short Wave was seemingly untouched, and we even got an SMS listener's report with good reception report at about 11:30 AM from the far distant Lubumbashi after going back on with only Short Wave.

In the afternoon I installed the FM 200T and took readings and looked for physical signs inside the FM 250. All I could see was the burned piece in the photo, that was loose inside the transmitter.    

When I went on for my four hour broadcast that evening, I had no indication anything had happened, but suddenly saw four red leds, except the one in the middle for Input. Before I could cut the power, the smoke had begun from the bottom of the transmitter!    

After the smoke cleared, I completed a similar physical survey inside the FM 200T, and compared the two to try to find clues. The second photo shows where the first loose component belongs and one or more burned pieces.   

Later I completed the last hour and half broadcasts in Short Wave; and we continue broadcasts hoping to restore the FM broadcast transmitters. We continue to prepare for repairs here, but will need you to send repair parts kit (GFMSPARES  for the FM200T) and advise us as to best proceedures. Meanwhile, Bercky will come in from Walungu to help me locally.

After many tries to send this, I hope it goes before we have another coupure.
Thank you again for helping us to stay above the depression level as the systems here are rather low, with rumors of war.
Lord willing, we will receive this week a satellite decoder for our digital relay from VOA via Kinshasa and 1,000 Solar Rechargeable Short Wave Radios from GALCOM. So there is also some encouragement.

Keep Looking UP!  And Keep On Keeping ON!!

In His service,

Richard & Kathy McDonald
BESI / Radi Kahuzi , Bukavu

Friday, October 10, 2008

Radio Kahuzi Heard in Finland by Shortwave Listener

From time to time we receive reports from shortwave listeners around the world. It is amazing to think that the Gospel is not only be transmitted throughout Africa, but as far away as Northern Europe, Australia and beyond. You can check out our website under SHORTWAVE to see the list of individuals who have reported from around the globe having heard Radio Kahuzi on shortwave!

We just recently received this report from an individual in is his report!

Dear Sirs,

Thank you very much for your programme. It was most interesting to listen to Radio Kahuzi here in Finland!

I am 40 years old, married, a father of two lovely & lively kids and working with a marke­ting research compa­ny as a managing director. My favourite hobbies are sports and listening to foreign radio stations (DX-listening).

I work with leading media companies in Northern Europe, including online media, print, tv and radio. Thus I find it extremely interesting to tune into foreign radio stations. Actually radio is both professionally and personally my most favourite media, the one I spend most of my time with. Radio simply reaches you everywhere, is very useful and is so much fun to listen to.

I spent my fall holiday in Lemmenjoki, Lapland, Northern Finland with a friend by hiking and listening to foreign radio stations. We rented a cottage where we had 8 antennas (each 1000 meter long)! Because of the long antennas and good atmospheric condi­tions I was able to receive your station. The receiver I used was a com­munica­tions receiver NRD 535.

I received your station as follows:
Date of reception: Monday, the 29th September 2008
Time: 19.30 - 20.04 hours UTC
Frequency: 6210 kHz
Reception quality: Moderate reception quality, even though I guess Finland lies a bit out of your normal coverage area ;)

Programme details:
19.30 Programming in French. Talk by a male and a female announcer.
19.59 The talk programme ended, followed by closing announcements and information.
20.03 Closing music
20.04 The end of the transmission

On the enclosed CD/audiofile I have recorded your programme at 19.59 and 20.00 UTC. It was fantastic to hear your signal so far away. I hope the recording is of interest!

Here in Espoo we have a local radio listeners club, Espoon DX-Kuunteli­jat. We are some 20 active members, meeting once a month and having listening trips around Finland. With other DX-clubs in Finland we publish 'Radio World' -magazine. If you will visit Finland and Espoo one day, please visit our club, too. You are most welcome!

I would appreciate very much if you verified that I heard your station. It would be very nice to receive a verification letter, card or e-mail from you, simply saying that I really heard your station. That would be a very important 'treasure' in my collection!

Thank you very much for your programme. I hope to hear your station in the future, too.

With best wishes,

Jim Solatie

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

August 2008 Update from the Field

Dear Friends of Radio Kahuzi,
Greetings from Bukavu!

Picture this, Rich and I arriving at our front gate, after our month in the States. We see Josephu flying towards us in his stumbling manner, unsteady because of polio in one leg, with the biggest smile on his face -- from ear to ear, actually; and he’s yelling out, “They’re back, they’re back!” It’s so good to see our friends again!

Josephu running to greet us when we returned home!

This past year has been the most awesome year of our lives! 2007-2008 will always stand out as experiences of a lifetime! After 15 years in the Congo without a break, and suddenly, three trips to the States (two in 2007 & one in 2008) is no small matter!

We thank each and everyone who helped make this all possible. From the East to the West, we were able to attend the Grace Family Bible Conference, and see our friends, some from thirty plus years ago, and visit family that we hadn’t seen for 15 years! We were able to visit so many churches and say, ‘Thank you’ to all the friends that coordinated all the travels!

We send a special thank you to all the pastors that drove us from their church on to the next church, sometimes meeting halfway in order to arrive for the Sunday or Wednesday services! We’ll be writing to each one, a special thank you letter!

For the rest of our lives, we Praise the Lord for Rich’s eye surgeries, that Dr. Thomas performed so successfully. Dr. Nancy Thomas was rejoicing that everything went so well, and so were we!! Praise the Lord for perfect corrected vision!!!

When all is said and done, we just want to THANK YOU, each one that had a part in making this all happen. We couldn’t have done it without you! You all are soooo special to us!!

Thank you each one, for all the trips you made to get us from one place to another, for taking us into your lovely homes and making us feel so welcome, like family, for all the wonderful times of fellowship, for all the wonderful food, and taking us out to those restaurants with the mountains of food!! What fun! And, we thank you for it all!!!!!!

“…That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith" Eph. 3:17 BESI / Radio Kahuzi, P.O. Box 115, San Marcos, CA 92079

We covet your prayers, as usual, as you know this isn’t a normal, easy life out here. As soon as we got back, lots of things hit us, but the Lord has been our stay, and lots of things have been worked out. One of the problems was that the electric company had a brown out and our E-mail system was knocked out, so that took all this time – weeks for it to get fixed, yesterday. That’s why we didn’t write sooner. We’re so thankful to have it back!

Dry season is here, and that means less water in the lake and that means less electricity, which means the transmitters are running on the light plant much more. So it goes...for now.

Love to all,
Rich and Kathy

Feza, Gregoir and Danny kept Radio Kahuzi on the air while the McDonalds were in the States.

P.S. There are two new projects we are working on:

1. A rare offer of the complete French Bible! Rich called and ask if he could go ahead and purchase one Bible for each of our 300+ radio clubs. He is working out the logistics to get them across Lake Tanganyika, up from Uvira to Bukavu. He is working with a missionary contact in Tanzania who helped get other Bibles up and with the importer who helps bring in our radios.

The Bibles cost $1.50 each. If we only got 300 - one for each radio club - that would be $450; plus importation costs of $600—Total $1,250. Rich is very hopeful as there have not been any complete French Bibles available for years.

2. Another 1,000 Galcom shortwave radios are ready to ship from Canada, but we need to pay Galcom $1709.73 for the shipping to Kigali, Rwanda and another $600 from Kigali to Bukavu—Total $2,309.73.“…How shall they hear without a preacher…”

There are well over 10,000 precious souls in our 300+ radio clubs and over a million souls in Bukavu and surrounding area with no copy of the Word of God while we here in America have many Bibles in our homes that go unread. Let’s do our part as we see the day approaching and the “Appearing” of our Great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Keep Looking Up!

Harold Smith, President
Website: and/or
Phone: 760.598.1190

(If you would like a copy of our DVD showing an overview of our ministry, just drop us a note.)

Monday, August 4, 2008

Rwandan Combatants Surrender to Government Forces

This is the beginning of good news! Wanted to share it with our readers!

Richard and Kathy>

Mon, 04 Aug 2008 9:23 AM PDT
67 Rwandan combatants of a dissenting faction of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), surrendered their weapons, on 31 July 2008 in Kasiki, approximately 200 kms north of Goma, capital of North Kivu province in eastern DRC. They surrendered in the presence of a Congolese government delegation led by the DRC Minister of Foreign Affairs. (Please click on link above for the rest of the story.)

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Report on Richard and Kathy's Visit to States

Above: From left to right: Harold, Kathy and Richard; Barbara and former employee of HCJB Global - Margaret Cook. Margaret arranged her trip to visit her family here in California to coincide with Rich and Kathy's trip in order to meet them personally.

Dear friends of Radio Kahuzi,
Greetings in His Precious Name!

Richard had both eyes operated on two weeks ago and now has 20/20 vision with glasses! What a wonderful answer to our prayers! He suffered with double vision for many years, and last year developed cataracts. So, you can imagine how elated we all are that he will return to Bukavu like a new man!

God is so faithful...He has and will continue to complete what He has begun. As we know, "All things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to HIS purpose."

The Apostle Paul prayed three times that God remove his "thorn in the flesh", but God chose to leave it there. We are so thankful that after 25 years of blurred and double vision, our merciful Heavenly Father has intervened in Richard's situation so that he can continue to serve unhindered.

We were fortunate to have Rich and Kathy with us for a few days here in California at the BESI home office (July 24-29) before they headed home to Bukavu. We had a blessed time together as a family and were able to celebrate Kathy's birthday and our son-in-law, Jared's birthday together. Here is a picture of Rich and Kathy enjoying a much-loved hot fudge sundae together on the pier in Oceanside during their visit:

As they return to Bukavu, they will be greeted warmly by our dedicated radio staff who have been "standing in the gap" broadcasting the Gospel of His Grace to our faithful listening audience!

With Love and Thanksgiving in our hearts for you,
Keep Looking UP!

Harold & Barbara Smith

Greetings from Kigali!
Kathy and I arrived in Kigali, Rwanda okay, but lost one suitcase - probably still on the plane as it went on to Entebe, Uganda with Brussels Airlines. We trust it will arrive Saturday evening.

We made a stop at the US Embassy to visit the Cultural Center - sorry, they erased my pictures for security reasons. It is a NEW and modern facility, so we are using the internet via the American Library/Cultural Center here.

It was so great to see each one and ALL this last trip home!! We were ready for the layover here in Kigali, as our plane got in after dark Thursday and we had the last bag to come down the chute about an hour or so later! Then a friend said our name was on the bulletin board for lost bags! The kind of new experiences one does not search to have!

In Elkhart, Indiana we had really good meetings with the technical staff of HCJB Global, who are going to prepare two more FM transmitters antennas for our relay network for several provinces.

The eyes are holding up fine, and Kathy is babying me with the eye drops twice a day for another 10 days.

We hope to make contact with the Cultural Attache - Directrice of the Cultural Center before going on to Bukavu. Maybe we will visit other offices downtown, where they broadcast the daily programs as we do.

Well, we'd better cut and send until another day.

Keep looking UP!

All our love,
Yours in Christ,
Richard and Kathy

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Update on Richard's SECOND Eye Surgery

We just received news that the second eye surgery has gone really well and the follow up checkup revealed that he now has 20/20 vision in one of his eyes - which is a welcomed blessing, as you can all imagine! Thank you for your thoughts and prayers! Please pray for continued healing and that the remainder of their trip will go smoothly!

Again, we will keep you updated!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Update on Richard's Eye Surgery

Richard just called to ask for prayer. He had the first eye surgery on his cataracts this morning and was ill after surgery with upset stomach.

He apparently caught a cold while touring Boston in a trolley on the 4th of July, and is suffering today with congestion and a severe headache. As long as he does not have pain in the eye for the next few days that will be a good sign that all is well and there is no infection.

He undergoes the second eye surgery on Friday the 11th.

Please pray with us for these special needs. We will keep you updated!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Richard & Kathy - on their way home for a visit!

The following is an email we received from Kathy right before their departure from D.R. Congo to the U.S. yesterday:

"Just enough time to send this picture you might enjoy: Richard giving English materials to a group of students coming at the last minute from the ISP, the Teachers' College. Good thing he gave them four tapes and CDs with about 100 different messages, Radio Bible Class, A. Rodgers, Dr Dobson, and Dr Gangle. an English NT, GALCOM radios, and tracts in various languages, to share with any at the University who had need. As it ended, there were about twenty students who straggled by asking for materials for their English assignment. They were quickly satisfied that the resources were already on campus for their research into good pronunciation. Their professor really likes Radio Kahuzi."

And a note from Richard:

Here we are, the night before we leave Bukavu for the States !

Never know if we’re coming or going, with all there is to do to get the radio station and journalists and household, workers (three men who will guard while we’re gone) and animals all taken care of – and for the month of July -- before we leave. I don’t think we’ll go to bed tonight as usual with these long trips!

We just want to thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, for your wonderful gifts which have made it possible for us to get it all squared away, so we could make the trip! We were truly trusting the Lord – against hope with many details -- to help us; and He has helped us through you!! We know it’s all in our Lord’s Planning for each of our lives! How awesome are His Works!

You are in our prayers, too, and we ask for yours as we make this trip, a very important trip, and we Praise our Lord for your faithfulness to us and the work through the years!

Love and with Thanksgiving in our hearts,

Rich and Kathy

Saturday, May 31, 2008

A New Milestone

Bercky, our Radio Kahuzi journalist during the wars (1996 to 2007 ) rejoices to receive and prepares to deliver the "FM transmitter in a suitcase" to Walungu, where he now directs his own FM station for the Mwami and will maintain and operate our relay station high in the mountains overlooking Bukavu and Lake Kivu. Re-establishing this Translator Site is the beginning of our goal to form an FM relay network throughout the region.

Bercky and the Mwami operated this same translator for us for about a year -- until the war in 1996, when that village and the FM translator were pillaged by the invading military. Today Bercky is installing a longer coax cable to place the antenna even higer for better outreach. He is also changing our relay from FM-to-FM to SW-to-FM to avoid interferance from other FM stations in Rwanda crowding our FM frequency.

Because there is electricity only part of the time, we are preparing a 4-battery bank with charger to run the system on 48 volts DC. Lord willing, in other sites in the different provinces, we will use solar panels to recharge the batteries.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Radio Kahuzi Journalist Traveling with Senators and Ministers

(Gregoire - left - preparing for journey with Senators and Ministers)

Gregoire, our journalist, will go with Senators and Ministers today and distribute 52 Shortwave to cover all the localities of the Fizi Territory and blankets for the vulnerable ones / retournees from Refugee camps. Gregoire will be recording the meetings for our archives and for broadcast to the population upon his return. One aspect of these meetings is to announce and plan the installation of our network, as well as to obtain commitments from representatives of each of the tribes / language groups to work with us to establish listener groups / radio clubs to record and send feedback to our broadcasts, to maintain and guard our equipment and to develop a site that is secure for each of our transmitters.

These government officials are willing to work with us to install 4 or 5 Relay Sites in that part of South Kivu. We will have pictures and video of this meeting and of all the leaders from Fizi Territory at Fizi Center, 11 -12 April.

Our plan is to purchase the first of five 250 Watt FM translators, which will pick up and reach further into the valleys of the Fizi Territory.

Please pray for the LORD's Wisdom and Direction.
Keep Looking UP! And Keep On Keeping ON!!

Love, Richard & Kathy

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Another Request for Radios from Militia Forces!

Hi again !

What fast follow-up ! Praise the Lord for Samuel Katambwe, Coordinateur of the Kahuzi Radio Clubs developing at Kigalube and Kiluma.

He is back with the Pastor President of the radio club and another letter, this time from the Interhamwe Commander over Thomas. And another Activity Report from the club. They are opening radio clubs in several more villages with one requested by the Hutu refugees.

The Comandant Oscar at Kigulube thanks us for having the courage to greet them each time and to have sent radios to them. They have need of our programming and information and are committed to make it a must to follow our transmissions. He encouraged me to send another five Galcom short wave radios and he will give them to civilians and military under his supervision.

It is very positive to see that the civilians have the ok to form a listeners' club. With that there is the responsibility to have at least one community activity to help others near them that are in need. Now we will be more sure they are listening to a chapter a day from the Bible in their Kinya-Rwandan language. We are going through Romans again this week.

Lord willing, we will send radios, blankets, tracts, Gospels of John, a soccer ball, a ram of paper, some bics, etc. to help them organize the community radio clubs..

It's late. Shaking continues this morning, so Kathy is sleeping in the car...
I'm headed for the couch til morning.

Keep Looking UP !

In His Love, Richard & Kathy

Monday, February 25, 2008

Earthquake Update from Rich and Kathy

These last two weeks have been really stressful to say the least. Two Sundays ago, as we were getting ready to go to church; suddenly, the house started rocking back and forth with such force, I thought it was going to come down. The whole thing took 30 seconds, but it was so forceful, that the “experts say” that if that had gone on for any more time, Bukavu would have come falling down. I have never felt so helpless and scared in my life. It was just out of this world. Since Feb. 3, when it hit, we’ve had another big one and then, the after shock waves keep coming and coming. We’ve been kept busy, trying to get back to normal life, but always mindful, that anytime the tremors come and we have to run out the door. It’s really no fun and really sooo stressful. Yesterday and now today, the 20th, I haven’t really felt any, except once yesterday, I felt the house budge a little.

Quite a few new cracks in the walls, one that really expanded. Many houses that weren’t built properly came down, and even some of the old timer houses have big cracks and separations in the walls. After that first quake, when we went out into the street to see how the neighbors were doing, all shaken, we were surprised to see walls around the neighbors yards had fallen down, something we have never seen around here. Usually the earth quakes are just little so this all has been just devastating for so many folks.

This all reminds us of how when the rapture takes place. In a twinkle of an eye, just like this earthquake, without warning, it comes. Sure reminds us of how frail we are and how powerful God is and God’s forces are!!!

Anyway, today is much better, not so nerve wracking, still sleeping by the front door at night, just in case it comes again. A few nights, when the quakes were so bad, I slept in the car, that way when they came, the car just rocked back and forth, not the whole house. Got more sleep that way.

Thank you for your prayers, we truly have needed them these past two weeks, as always, but more so in this situation. They say the rocks in the rift shifted, and just have to get back in line again. This area is part of the great rift valley.

Better close and get some lunch ready. We’re o.k. and thanking our Lord that much more didn’t happen.

Love and praying for you each day.

Rich and Kathy

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Galcom Radios Delivered to Militia Forces Upon Their Request!

Greetings from Bukavu, and Sammy, a brave young man in the heart of the jungle !

This is the third time Samuel Katambwe Imbundo Dadien has come to get Galcom radios to take back to his village of Kiluma, one kilometer from Kigalube, a stronghold of the Interhamwe armed forces. He has developed groups of listeners among the Interhamwe and in his community where he is the President or Coordinateur of the Kahuzi Radio Club.

Please pray for this strategic ministry, as we try to reach the hearts and minds of this warring army of refugees from 1994 Rwanda, because some of them are accused of violating thousands of the women and girls in that area and even Walungu near Bukavu. Since July 2008, our objective has been to reach these warring factions and also those of Lauren Nkunda in North Kivu -- by adding Kinyarwandan broadcasts and sending Galcom short wave receivers by various carriers to the leaders, themselves, asking to supply more for their troops if they are willing. This outreach has been a happy success, and very popular there and in the Fizi territory among the former Mai Mai.

Today Sammy brought a letter from an Interhamwe Commander, Thomas NKURUNZIZA, who listens to Radio Kahuzi and wants very much to receive the Galcom rechargable radios so he can listen regularly to our full variety of programming and information.

We hope you will be as delighted and interested as we are in this affirmation in the right direction ! They are listening to hear how they will be able to leave the Congo Jungle Basin ! Recently we broadcast an interesting VOA interview, where they indicated one group of Interhamwe are now beginning each day with prayer and gospel singing, before they disperse for their days work in the jungle.

We hope and pray that solutions will be found and that hearts will be changed -- for the sake of our women and children, too long victims of refused alternatives !

Keep Looking UP ! And Keep On Keeping ON !!

Sincerely, Richard & Kathy McDonald

Friday, February 15, 2008

Another Earthquake Strikes Bukavu on February 14, 2008

Richard and Kathy are doing fine and dealing with the aftershocks as they come. They are suffering from lack of sleep and the emotional stress of it all, but other than that, they are physically fine. Keep praying for their safety and the safety of the staff and radio station.

Click here for an article on the most recent earthquake.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Christian Today: February 8, 2008 News Article re: Radio Kahuzi

HCJB partner radio station in Congo encourages residents after earthquakes
Posted: Friday, February 8, 2008, 11:33 (GMT)

Read the full article here:

Monday, February 4, 2008

Earthquake Update: Distressed and Homeless Families in Bukavu

UPDATE ON EARTHQUAKE DAMAGE: The two hydro dams have cracks that are being evaluated now with the earthquakes and aftershocks, and power goes off occasionally for a few minutes; but we are on the air as normal thus far. Mondays (today) and Fridays we are on four hours in the evening from 6 to 10 PM in FM and short wave, getting write-ins as far as Johannesburg, South Africa, and Belgium even though our signal there is only a low 2 over 5. But we are able to cover the Eastern half of DR Congo, Rwanda, etc., with a good strong signal.

We continue to share Good News with the listeners and what we know about the state of affairs, and relay the news live concerning the day to day situation. The Governor and seismographic experts help to give good counsel to the population via Radio Kahuzi. During the broadcasts we have made and received calls to find out what is happening with the volcanoes.

And during the night, when the second earthquake hit (with a 5 on the Richter), we had calls from Radio Club Coordinators sharing how distressed families were coming to them for guidance and help.

This morning the Radio Clubs met, organized, and put their funds together to construct some shelters where the homeless could find protection for the night. We gave them sheeting for the roof and baby blankets for the cold air, and radios to follow our broadcasts.

We continue to do “Enquete and Reportage” to inform the listeners where the hospitals and NGOs are receiving lists of vulnerables and preparing to help with food, sheeting, and meds. The authorities are requesting everyone to stay outside until this passes. We will continue to work with the authorities and our Radio Clubs to inform the population of any dangers and how they can get help. We will continue to distribute Galcom fix-tuned, solar, recharging radios and baby blankets and what gospel tracts we have to different groups in different directions to also get the Word out for their Spiritual needs and dangers.

We, also, are not sleeping in our beds, but trying to be on alert if another quake hits in the next few days. Kathy slept in the van last night, but came down with malaria, and is sharing the living room with me near the door, ready to escape if the house begins to fall.

We have various daily reports from other sources such as VOA (Voice of America), RTNC National radio and TV, MONUC (United Nations Mission in DR Congo), and partner radios in the province, as well as call-ins; and we will be providing our own reports as this progresses. We have also used the cell phone to counsel expats and local friends in need. We, with our Radio Clubs, will be working with various relief efforts and counseling victims, as will our journalists, on site, day by day, and in planning and security meetings.

It is early to say, but we have seen, in conversations with people of various backgrounds, a willingness to bring the Lord into this subject as they have difficulty coping with the day to day of this. Pray for our outreach as we have the opportunity to share “the Reason of the Hope that we have within us.” Certainly everyone is tuning in to hear details of their security and the quakes. We have their attention !

The Lord graciously allowed us new contact and working with the Chinese Doctors and medics of MONUC Saturday, the day before the Quake, as a visiting missionary required emergency medical treatment. We are following up with tracts we have in their language and giving them Galcom radios. He allowed us a similar opportunity during the wars, when several Chinese MONUC soldiers befriended us.

The Lord knows, this is why we are here; He is always Faithful ! Thank you -- for being faithful to hold us up before His Throne of Grace !

Keep Looking UP ! And Keep On Keeping ON !!

In His Love, Richard & Kathy McDonald

Update on Situation in Bukavu:

Sunday, February 3, 2008

6.0 Earthquake in Bukavu

Greetings from Bukavu !

Praise the LORD !
I was next to the transmitter rack at 9:30 AM when the earth Quake suddenly hit with force as no one in town has ever seen before, I would estimate closer to 7 on the Richter scale. The thousand pound rack with the two transmitters and 1000 Watt power supply began rocking back and forth violently ! I grabbed it with all my weight and force, steady it and to get to the off power switches and shut everything down. Danny our new journalist was stunned, but followed my suit and cut power to the rest of the equipment. We held on till it quit -- and after about 55 seconds it stopped and we were out the door in a flash.

Again, Praise the Lord for the hurricane that passed through last month knocking down trees ! It persuaded us to cut the top and heavy branches full of huge avocados, hanging dangerously over the studio and house on several sides. If not we would have been bombarded today and sleeping in the branches !

Which leads to a prayer request, Kathy and the Governor and every one else says "you'd better sleep outside," because they expect it to come back with a more powerful quake soon !!! I don't plan to sleep out in the mosquitoes, but Kathy and I probably will be on the couch with one eye and the doors open all night, as we have had to run for it every twenty to thirty minutes, all day long ! I stopped counting at 20 smaller tremors, some sudden and powerful.

The morning was spent picking up lamps and broken items in every part of the house, but ours was minor compared to an NGO compound a block away, where it tore down their whole brick wall. At the markets, and across city of Bukavu, and the South Kivu Province walls fell, sometimes injuring quite a few people. At this point there are at least 50 dead and many injured with churches and mosques crashing down during their 9 o'clock services.

At least one ship load of passengers were violently thrown around in the middle of Lake Kivu. The Epicenter is said to be at Mount Kahuzi that may becoming active again ! Another report indicated the fault under Lake Kivu may be slipping again, raising more fears of lava / magma seeping up through the huge methane gas reserves at the bottom of the lake ! Bukavu is right next to both, and straddling the seismically active fault that passes from the well known active volcanoes at Goma and down through the Ruzizzi Valley toward Burundi and Tanzania as part of the Great Rift Valley.

It is unfortunate that the seismographic equipment on Mt Kahuzi is in need of repair for the moment, but hopefully more specific scientific work is ongoing. Part of the city is in extreme danger of rock and mud slides if this continues, putting many of the 200,000 to one million population at risk.

We do covet your prayers and interest for a relatively unknown tropical paradise that has seemingly suffering on the edge of the abyss for so many years of war and violence against women and children by foreigners present. This they find equally terrifying and frustrating.

Keep Looking UP ! And Keep On Keeping ON !!

Love, Richard & Kathy

PS: The photo is taking too long so I'll try to follow with several photos.

Oh Kathy is at the door with her blanket and pillow. She wants to sleep in the car!

REUTERS NEWS: "African Quake Kills At Least 38, Hundreds Injured"

Friday, January 18, 2008

Letter from Richard McDonald to BESI Team

To All of You and Each of You who are our Wonderful BESI Team,

Kathy and I want to express our great appreciation for your Faithfulness in 2007 and for the recent 16 years of Radio Kahuzi…and for the 35 years of our marriage and beginning of our new life together as young missionaries to the Congo, (formerly Zaire) in 1972.

This year of 2007 has been a wonderful affirmation for us of His Great Love and Sustaining Grace and a tremendous confirmation for us, as HCJB Global and the BESI Team continued to help us, working so hard to keep us in the black and on the field.

They both met with us regularly to systematically follow up, “so that nothing was lacking for us” (Titus 3:) -- especially for our working visit to the States in February and our medical tour in July.

We are so thankful to be part of a ministry that helps others preach the Word, and even reprove, rebuke, and exhort the fellow members of the Body of Christ in such an exciting, but desperate age of Salvation.

We see more and more of our beloved partners called to receive their Crown of Righteousness, because they lovingly looked forward to His Appearing! What a blessing to us who continue on with their remembrance!

Pray for us as we continue to trust the Lord Jesus Christ for the future of this work, as we seek His Grace and Wisdom and Guidance, as surely He has to be raising up the dedicated servants who will come along side, and ultimately continue on after us in this vital ministry. They will have to be able to endure hardship and do the work of an evangelist in power, love and good discipline.

We praise the Lord for doubling our radius of outreach across the heart of Africa, with listeners now calling in by cell phone from as far away as Kinshasa (1,000 miles) from Bukavu, and much further away after sunset from our short-wave listeners.

Pray that the Holy Spirit will empower the pastors and programmers to entrust His Wonderful Truths to others far and wide who can and will teach others, bringing Life and Immortality to light through the Gospel.

Though our radio staff had been reduced to three, the work of Radio Kahuzi has continued to blossom, and 2008 is bringing better and better tools to get the job done.

Lord willing, we will soon receive another thousand GALCOM solar fix-tuned short wave receivers to fortify the outreach further and further into the jungles and mountains of Central Africa and the D R Congo. Over 10,000 have been distributed.

Kim and Jared’s new BLOG is a tremendous treat for us. You can find it at

Our team in Bukavu is beginning to receive new equipment to make the transition completely into digital recording, editing, and broadcasting. Please remember to pray for the teachers and training needed.

Remember us in prayer as we have been frustrated with technical details in placing new repeater sites with solar panels and battery storage to power FM Translators / transmitters in distant territories some 500 miles from Bukavu.

Meanwhile, the Lord has encouraged us with many FM radio stations volunteering to rebroadcast our different programs in the four provinces where they are! This has been a real shot in the arm for us, as many of these stations are in the center of present day military confrontations. This gives us the means of giving radios to the combatants and getting the gospel to them in FM as well as short-wave.

Pray for the battered and violated women and children in our provinces that fall victim by the thousands every month because of the lack of control and lack of discipline everywhere. Sadly, today the 12 year old daughter of the coordinator of the seven Kahuzi Radio Clubs and their Health Center at Kazaroho / Panzi is in the Panzi Hospital because she also became a victim two days ago. Please remember her and so many others like her.

Radio Kahuzi has had a unique ministry role in this period of years, for which we trust the Sovereign Direction of the Lord that He will complete what He has begun.

Kathy and I trust the Lord to graciously guide us in this new year as we come home for my eye surgery and hopefully the opportunity to fellowship with some of you that we have not been able to see during these last 16 years or so.

Grace, Mercy, & Peace to you and yours and to us each one in 2008.

Keep Looking UP! And Keep On Keeping ON!!

In His Love, Richard & Kathy McDonald


We are beginning now to prepare for Richard’s eye surgery in June or July of this year. The medical costs are not covered by Christian Care Medi-Share, which is possibly the only organization that will cover missionaries living abroad, or with any pre-existing conditions.

Richard’s vision has been increasingly poor as the result of a car accident in 1981, which caused torn retinas -- both eyes were repaired in 1983. Last year his doctor found he has rapid forming cataracts, which are rapidly decreasing his vision.

The cost of surgery is $4,000 for both eyes. The approximate cost of airfare for Richard & Kathy is $6,000. We have started a “Medical Flight Project,” and would ask that you prayerfully consider helping as God directs your heart.

Total need: $10,000.

Thank you for your steadfast love and sharing in 2007!

“God is able to do exceeding abundantly above all we can ask or think.”

Keep Looking Up!

Harold Smith, President

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Kahuzi Radio Club Partners with Kazaroho Health Center

The Panzi Hospital (presented on CNN and BBC several times this year for their work with Victims of War and Violence) agreed to a unique relationship with the Kahuzi Radio Club near it. The Hospital receives and treats the Very Malnourished after they are screened by the Radio Club Kahuzi for the seven communities near by. During a special series of dinners, the vulnerable adults and children are diagnosed and treated for their illnesses, and the malnourished and moderately malnourished are included in the feeding program conducted by the Kahuzi Radio Club near their Kazaroho Health Center.

For this feeding program, the Food & Agriculture Organization gave seed several years ago that is planted and grown during two or three seasons each year. This grass roots cooperative effort has functioned on its own for at least ten years with Spiritual impact to the families in the Zone.