Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Happy Anniversary Rich and Kathy

Dear Rich and Kathy,

Happy 37th Wedding Anniversary from all your family and friends in the U.S.A. and around the world!

You have provided us with a beautiful example of true love and devotion to each other and a living lesson on how to share the love of Christ to a lost and dying world.

There are not many marriages that could have survived all the stress and strain of years in a battlefield, but with the strength of the LORD you have SURVIVED and in some cases THRIVED.

"I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the LORD sustains me. I will not fear the tens of thousands drawn up against me on every side." Psalm 3: 5-6.

O MOST LOVING FATHER, you who will us to give thanks for all things, to dread nothing but the loss of yourself, and to cast all our care on you, who care for us, preserve us from faithless fears and worldly anxieties, and grant that no clouds of this mortal life may hide from us the light of that love which is immortal, and which you have manifested unto us in your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
William Bright

Prayer reaches out in love to a dying world and says, "I care."
Dick Eastman

You are a joy to behold.

With much love and prayer,
Barb and Smitty
& the BESI / Radio Kahuzi Team

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

BESI / Radio Kahuzi Awarded 2010 NRB Media Award for International Impact

Richard and Kathy McDonald preparing to return to Bukavu with the first FM "transmitter in a suitcase" in 1991.

The National Religious Broadcasters have awarded BESI / Radio Kahuzi and Richard and Kathy McDonald the 2010 NRB Media Award for International Impact for the cause of Christ through electronic media!

Presentation of the award will take place at NRB's 67th Annual Convention in Nashville, TN on Monday, March 1, 2010.

We are very proud of their accomplishment for furthering the Gospel!! Thanks for your hard work, Rich and Kathy! The rewards are eternal!

Rich and Kathy speaking to the staff of HCJB Global at their
headquarters in Colorado Springs, CO in 2007

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Pastor Mutangi Enoci Paul home with the Lord

This morning, September 9, the Lord Graciously called our Pastor Mutangi Enoci Paul to his Reward, after more than 50 years of faithful pastoral service; he was 79 years old.

There was no way to preserve the body, so we had a Triumphant funeral service this afternoon.

This has to be a big mile stone for Radio Kahuzi, as Pastor Mutangi faithfully and humbly served our Lord with wonderful Bible teaching and spiritual guidance to his family, to his church, Radio Kahuzi, and to the population. We are all recovering from a long day; he is greatly appreciated and sincerely missed by all.

DR Congo Journalist Stabbed to Death

Greetings from Bukavu!

Kathy and I are very thankful for your prayer and your generous gifts to keep Radio Kahuzi going.

Pray for protection for our journalists and their families: Feza, Gregoir and Danny.

We are sure the appointments of the Lord are ordained. He is doing His Sovereign Work consistently every day. We are thankful He has been Faithful to keep Radio Kahuzi on the air, and to even strengthen us, to augment our outreach by adding weekday broadcasts from 6:30 to 10:10 PM that reach out even farther into Central Africa, despite the continued dangers after dark in the DRC as the following news report shows.

DR Congo journalist stabbed to death in (Bukavu)
Bruno Koko Chirambiza, a journalist working with private radio station, Star, was stabbed to death on Saturday 22 August in the town of Bukavu, eastern DR Congo, Radio France Internationale reported on 24 August.

According to the owner of the radio station, Pierre Pay Pay, quoted by RFI, it was a premeditated assassination since nothing was taken from the journalist.

Tshivis Tshivuadi, the secretary-general of DR Congo press freedom body, Journalist in Danger (JED), called on provincial authorities to "immediately investigate the exact circumstances of the murder and find those behind it so they can be brought to justice," UN-sponsored Radio Okapi website.

(ED Note: Sadly, he was buried immediately, without an autopsy or forensics.)

Bruno Koko Chirambiza is the third journalist murdered in the town of Bukavu in two years. (Source: Radio France Internationale, Paris.)

Today at 1:30 PM we had a text message from Dr. Christine BUSHIRI praising the Lord for our programs, and greeting his family in distant villages in another province. The doctor said he was listening to Radio Kahuzi in Kinshasa on the West coast of the DR Congo, (well over 1,000 miles) with a 4 over 5, good signal.

We praise the Lord for His help and protection over our equipment as just now I went to the studio to see why our signal decreased in quality; the sound was fuzzy. The output power had dropped off to zero! So, with a prayer for wisdom, I shut off the shortwave transmitter, decreased the output power, and started up again.

Thankfully, the Lord protected the system, and the transmitter kicked in and powered up, OK. We increased the output broadcast power to 1,000 watts, and the signal was crystal clear and clean again, not fuzzy! Praise the Lord!

The electricity has surged several times today, and has been off several days this week. We were forced to use our generator several days when President Kabila was here and when Secretary of State, Clinton, was here to launch a new initiative. Much has begun.

We broadcast the opening ceremonies for a workshop with the Provincial government to show the new leaders how to write legislation, check the books of the Governor, look out for the women and children, etc.

Keep Looking Up!
Love in Christ,
Richard and Kathy McDonald

Saturday, July 25, 2009


You have been a role model of love and dedication to our Heavenly Father. It has been exciting to see God's hand upon your life as you continue to play such an important role in the success of Radio Kahuzi.

You are a rare and exceptional lady. You have much love to give and you have shared it with all those who have had the privilege of knowing you.
"Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.

...She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.

...Strength and honor are her clothing: and she shall rejoice in time to come.

...She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.

...She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.

...Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all."

Proverbs 31: 10 - 31.

With Much Love and Admiration from the BESI Board, Family and Friends


Some 35,000 flee renewed clashes in DRCongo: UNHCR

Fri Jul 24, 7:23 am ET

GENEVA (AFP) - At least 35,000 people have been forced to flee recent fighting between government forces and Rwanda Hutu rebels in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, the UN refugee agency said Friday.

"These people have reportedly fled in the wake of the latest government military campaign code-named Kimia II, which began on 12 July in the Uvira territory of South Kivu," said Ron Redmond, spokesman for the UNHCH.

The government launched the campaign in a bid to force the Domcratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) and their local militia allies to disarm.

Some of the displaced are hiding in forests and villages, others have sought shelter in schools, churches and other public buildings.

Redmond also highlighted the violence faced by the displaced.

"There are widespread reports of IDPs of atrocities including accusations of murder, rape, and torture, on the part of FDLR rebels," he said.

"Fleeing populations also report arbitrary arrests, kidnappings, extortion and forced taxation by FDLR and various armed groups backing the Rwandan Hutu rebels."

The latest displacement brings the total number of civilians displaced in South Kivu since January to 536,000, added Redmond.

In the whole of eastern DR Congo, the number of displaced has reached over 1.8 million, said the UNHCR.

A Meeting With The Honorable Ngoma

The Honorable NGOMA represents Fizi Territory in our Provincial General Assembley.

He and I met at the Mt. Kahuzi Hotel / Resturaunt because he wanted to encourage our project of installing 2 to 4 FM relays in Fizi Province.
The Dir. of a local FM at Kamituga came through the fighting at Mwenga to escape the problems of Kimya II last week. He and I visited several offices to get answers about the Kimya II program. He gets his daily news for broadcasting in his area in the jungle directly from Radio Kahuzi's many news broadcasts.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Technology Penetrates the Jungle

We received a text message from one of the Hutu refugees in the jungle with the FDLR, asking us to thank the young lady who reads a chapter from the Bible each day in Kinyarwandan for them. We thanked them for their message of gratitude but did not have the heart to tell them it was a Mega Voice reader not a live voice! We Praise the Lord for the opportunity to share God's Word each day!

Pastor Gregoir, reminded Kathy and me that we also have many Rwandan listeners who write in from Cyangugu and the University further East in Rwanda, who also enjoy hearing the Word in their own “heart language.”

Several Kahuzi Radio Clubs wrote in to thank us. They also call VOA in Washington, DC, to participate in live programs like “Washington Forum”, “America and You”, “Dialogue on Religion,” etc.

With our new satellite decoder we are able to stream live programming directly into our transmitter from VOA instead of spending hours each evening recording for the next day's broadcast. There are pros and cons in all programming but we are able to select those which are relevant to our African listening audience and in their languages, mostly French, Swahili.

As you can see technology has even penetrated the heart of Africa in many new ways!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Reaching Deep Into the Jungle

Luke 14:23 "And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled."

We had an interview today with one of the men who works with the Amani (Peace) Program. They work directly with Rwandans, giving them a Bible in Kinyarwandan and sometimes a Mega Voice Bible player in Swahili, and helping them to see their way clear to return to Rwanda.

Some of these workers have even established churches with the Rwandans in the jungle. He estimated that 70 % of them listen to
Radio Kahuzi. We are the only radio station bringing them the local RTNC news and world (VOA) news along with a clear presentation of God's love and redemption. He also said that many times Radio Kahuzi is the only radio penetrating the jungle to where these groups are living.

Most groups
have received our Galcom solar-charging, short wave radios, which are fix-tuned to 6210 KHz.
Several groups help us distribute the radios deep into the jungle. One group is called Life and Peace. They also confirmed that the signal
is strong and clear, 5 over 5, according to most reports.
Your partnership in this vital outreach is so necessary and so greatly appreciated! Please, prayerfully, consider what part you might have in keeping us moving ahead to reach those so desperately in need of hearing the Good News!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Anniversary BESI / Radio Kahuzi!

Primo and Feza sent a Text Message this evening saying,

"Bon Anniversaire to RADIO KAHUZI, COURAGE AND ENDURANCE because you are covering (the Word watering) all of the East of the Congo and the neighboring countries!
Bonne Fete!"

(Feza is one of our first journalists. She was trained by the McDonalds and has remained faithful to her calling since 1993 when she began her radio career as a single young lady. She is now a wife and working mother of four beautiful children.)

The historic licensing of Believer's Express Service, Inc. (Radio Kahuzi) represents the first non-government license ever granted in the country. It was signed into Zairian law on July 4, 1991 by former President Mobutu 18 years ago! All praise and honor go to our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ!


I have the advantage of informing you that the dossier that you have initiated for the implantation and development of a Rural Radio Station at BUKAVU has received favorable avia from the technical services of the Minister of State for Agriculture, Rural Popularization and Community Development as well as that of mine.

It is evident, in effect, that this project readily integrates itself in the policy of the Program of Priority Public Investments (P.I.P.) destined to develop all the regions of Zaire through the actions of vulgarization (popularization or extension) and introductory training in the rural world.

Also, I concede to you, in the limits of your mission, the right of exploitation required with the considerations of the right with regard to the O.Z.R.T. concerning the programs broadcast.

The President-Delegate General of the Office Zairois of Radio Broadcasting and Television (O.Z.R.T.), who reads a copy of this, will take care to delegate, for your Association, the Chief of the Rural Radio Section of his enterprise for expeditions to the terrain in order to keep us informed regularly of your activities.

Please accept, Monsieur, the assurance of my distinguished sentiments.

The Minister of State of
Information and Press,
Knight of National Order of the Leopard.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Bibles for D R Congo

We want to thank all those who participated in helping us to purchase a box of Swahili Scofield Bibles. Our German friend brought them from Lubumbashi while we were in the States in April. $460 was given toward the purchase price of $15 per Bible. We are thankful our friend saved this box, as her pastors were pressuring her for even these...
They will be a blessing along with the ten Mega Voice Swahili Talking Bibles we received from our friend, Gila, last year. Pray for the Spiritual impact the Bibles can bring to the radio broadcasts, as they will be able to follow along with the Gospel messages and read it in their own “heart language.”

As the Lord leads, please continue to partner with us to keep funds available for opportunities in the future to purchase more Bibles as they become available. They are a rare find in this war-torn area of the world.

Over 300 Radio Clubs Assist One Another
Recently, Samuel came by the studio and introduced us to a deaf child who has joined their Radio Club for the disabled and will receive help in learning brail. Samuel teaches brail, macramé, and other skills to those who are also blind.

In the picture one can find different work they are sharing: shoe repair, masonry work, sewing, etc.
We appreciate your prayer for them and the seven radio clubs at Kazaroho near the Panzi Hospital. Their President / Coordinator, Victor, had another addition to his family. His wife had a difficult delivery while we were gone requiring major surgery, including a hysterectomy. We are helping Victor and his family with their medical debts along with their regular program of ministry with the seven Radio Clubs.
A visitor to Radio Kahuzi,this beautiful young lady receives encouragement from the broadcasts and is still glorifying God in the midst of her tribulation.

The surgical ward in which Dr. Mukweke performed the surgery is famous these days. He has received several international awards for his surgical work with the raped and mutilated women from South Kivu.

God's Confirmation of Years of Service
Richard attends "Reunion of the Governors"
D.R. Congo, Rwanda, & Burundi meet in Bukavu
Another confirmation of input in past years into the national and Central African development programs came with a pleasant greeting from a Kinshasa Delegate to the “Reunion of the Governors” by the name of Humuri.

Hamuri, now one of the Congolese responsible for media relations among several countries of the CEPGL was my assistant from 1981-83.

Together, we taught English to a dozen engineers before they went to the States for their Masters Degree programs at various universities. This was part of the National Program to develop legumes -- high protein food.

While we created a local association of African and American teachers to teach English at five levels in Bukavu, Humuri organized the Congress of NGOs of which he became the first National President.

During the war from 1986-2004, Humuri became the head of HAM (High Authority for the Media) which regulates Congo's radio / TV and newspapers. It is exciting to see how the Lord allows us to have input into Humuri’s life and work since those early days together.

There were no international journalists other than Monuc. I was possibly the only one admitted without a badge. This was a meeting with the European finance, ECHO, represented by the Belgian head of MONUC-Bukavu.
Governor of South Kivu

Executive Secretary Permanent CEPGL

When I met the Governor of South Kivu, who introduced me to the Exec Sec Permanent CEPGL, he quickly called me aside to ask Radio Kahuzi to partner with them in broadcasting for the future of the CEPGL.
Danny interviewing Depute Deogratias for later broadcast

Earlier in the week I saw Depute Deogratias, who thanked me for keeping on with the radio. He listens every morning to our news program, "Africa Central" live from Washington, DC, with the latest news of the three countries: Rwanda, Burundi, and DR Congo, plus Sudan and others. He said, “Hearing the program always brings you to my mind” and now after all these years, he was able to say it personally.

You see, he was Governor of South Kivu 1989-90, when we were completing the last contacts to get the radio permit.
Richard in middle, shaking hands with former, President Mobutu
asking for help with radio permit in 1989

At that time we met President Mobutu, who was here in Bukavu to visit the new hydro, Ruzizzi II installed by GEPGL. The main outing of the Governors this week, was to visit that installation, which provides electricity for each of their countries.
Danny interviewed Depute Deogratias and he was appreciative that I had prepared 30 Galcom SW radios fix-tuned to our frequency for each of the visitors.

At the end of the two-day reunion, I saw him again in the office getting his radio, and he introduced me to the Director who was distributing the radios to each delegate. He confirmed that most of the radios would be presented at the special dinner during the evening voyage from Bukavu to Goma on the ship "Rifiki" (which means Friendship).

While at the meetings we interviewed several officials. That evening I went on the air from 6:30 to 10 PM to be sure they had good programming when they turned on their new radios. Some of the programs we aired dealt with aspects of what they were negotiating and signing.

Later, we learned that the Burundi, Rwandan and Congolese Governors were really happy and interested to receive the radios. Although they all needed interpreters to understand each other during these meetings, thankfully, they need no interpreter to understand the Good News of Salvation in their own “heart languages” over Radio Kahuzi—only the Holy Spirit. Pray for their spiritual eyes to be opened.

A Profitable Trip Home
Radio Kahuzi received a gift of a much-needed new, pre-programmed lap top computer this month for our daily broadcasts. Our trip home was profitable in so many ways, allowing us to receive valuable “in-service training” in broadcasting techniques!

Galcom Offers More Radios!

Receiving a second blessing...
a SW radio and a Swahili Scofield Bible

We received an e-mail from Galcom headquarters in Canada this week asking if we could use another 1,000 radios if we pay the shipping to Africa.

Since 1994, Galcom has graciously provided 14,000 radios. This shipment brings the total to 15,000. The production costs of $20 each amounts to over $300,000. They have also picked up the shipping many times over the years. We feel we must trust the Lord to help us raise the shipping for the next 1,000 radios at $2150.

As the Lord leads in your prayer time, please join us in asking our Heavenly Father to place these radios into the hands of those closest to death’s door that they may have an opportunity to hear a clear presentation of the plan of salvation in their own “heart language.” Bibles are so scarce, but God has given us a way to reach them through Radio Kahuzi’s voice ringing throughout the mountains and the valleys falling upon ears eager to hear.

Your partnership is precious to us and to the Lord. Thank you for all you do to help.

A Note From the President
Rejoice with us as we celebrated our 50th Wedding Anniversary on June 21st.

On May 13, 2009, we arrived at our new home and mission office in Bradenton, Florida.

This move will cut our housing expenses in half and provide us and BESI / Radio Kahuzi a little more financial security as we all see the days ahead may be rough for America and the world. Our BESI board also agree it is a good move.

During the last twenty-three years of volunteer service to BESI / Radio Kahuzi we have worked hard to maintain our own personal expenses and not become a liability to the ministry. We will continue to work as long as the Lord gives us strength. We are waiting for a response from the Florida Barber Board, which we trust will allow us to continuing working here. Working in a community also gives us many opportunities to share our faith. We understand why the Apostle Paul chose to continue his tent making.

Although we have moved, the daily operation of BESI / Radio Kahuzi continues on schedule and does not slow down.

Until He Appears in the Heavens for us…Keep Looking Up!
Harold and Barbara
Harold Smith, President

Sunday, May 3, 2009

New 'Terror And Upheaval'

Congo-Kinshasa: Top UN Humanitarian Official Condemns New 'Terror And Upheaval'
1 May 2009

The top United Nations humanitarian official today condemned a resurgence of violence against civilians in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), amid a serious of offensives against a Rwandan militia group.

"People who have repeatedly been victims of violence in this region are yet again experiencing terror and upheaval," John Holmes, Under Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, said.

Attacks and threats against civilians, in South Kivu province committed by the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), comes in response to a planned new phase of Congolese army operations against the militia, he said. Those committing violations of humanitarian law will have to answer for their crimes.

An estimated 100,000 people in South Kivu have been displaced by fear of armed groups since the beginning of the year, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

"In the event of intensified fighting between Government forces and armed groups in the weeks ahead, all armed actors in South Kivu must have as a top priority protection of civilians and their livelihoods," he stressed, adding that they must also guarantee safe access for humanitarian workers.

The FDLR and other Rwandan militias have also been a key factor in the resurgence of violence in North Kivu province, where another 100,000 civilians have been uprooted by fighting in the past two months, in addition to the many hundreds of thousands previously displaced.

The ethnic Hutu rebels, who recently carried out a wave of retaliatory attacks against civilians after being targeted by a joint Congolese and Rwandan military offensive, have been operating in eastern DRC since the 1994 genocide of Tutsis and moderate Hutus in Rwanda.

In FDLR-dominated areas of South Kivu, in recent weeks, more than a dozen villages have been pillaged and hundreds of houses set on fire, while in others, FDLR groups are forcing the population to provide them with food, OCHA said.

Rape has also been on the increase in recent weeks - in areas under the control both of the FDLR and of the Congolese army (FARDC). "Women and girls are at the mercy of groups with horrendous records of sexual violence," OCHA said in a news release.

"Those committing violations of humanitarian law will have to answer for their crimes," Mr. Holmes said, urging the Congolese Government to stop and punish abuses committed by its soldiers, and ensure the protection of civilians during these operations.

Meanwhile, Alan Doss, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's Special Representative for DRC, has welcomed last week's conviction and sentencing of 20 Congolese army officers by a military tribunal.

The tribunal found that the 20 soldiers committed offences ranging from rape and armed robbery to crimes against humanity, according to the UN peacekeeping mission in the DRC (MONUC), which is led by Mr. Doss.

Human rights experts from the mission monitored the trials, which took place in the north-eastern town of Walikale, to ensure they met international standards, and provided logistical and financial support, MONUC said.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Happy 65th Birthday Wishes!

Richard, we trust your are enjoying a relatively peaceful day as you and Kathy celebrate this milestone in your life.

It is hard to believe that all but the first 28 years have been spent in Bukavu under much stress and away from friends and family. We miss you and wish we could share that birthday cake and a cup of coffee with you and Kathy. I guess that will have to wait until the day we are united as one family again in His presence.

May He bless you in some special way today and keep you both safe and secure in Him.

Love and prayers,
Barbara and Smitty
Family and Friends

Operation Kimya II has

All morning the helicopters have been buzzing in and out of Bukavu, with lots of activity at the MONUC HQ up the street from us. Operation Kimya II has begun, to liberate the territories of North Kivu from the "negative Rwandan fugitives" control / presence.

The hope is that the majority of those under
their control will happily return to Rwanda after they are separated from the hard core.

Pray for Peace to be restored to the territories
of R D Congo that have been plagued by the pillaging mostly due to the presence of those Rwandan combatants.

In our South Kivu a similar operation is in preparation as those government forces are in place, awaiting orders and UN forces to unite with them. Meanwhile, large numbers are choosing to lay down their arms on a day to day basis.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

April 2009

"And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him." Mark 16:6

Dear Friends of Radio Kahuzi,

Greetings in His Matchless Name!

His Amazing, Saving Grace is Free to All!
The task of reaching the millions who have not yet heard of His Amazing, Saving Grace cannot be done by one person, or one group alone. The Lord needs each one of us to function in "the unity of His body" to accomplish His task.
This elderly gentleman came by Radio Kahuzi to receive his free Go-Ye radio. From his village in the mountains he now has access to the outside world and to the Gospel in his own "heart language."

Partnering with Galcom International
We were pleasantly surprised to receive an offer we couldn’t refuse from our partners in ministry, Galcom International. Gary Nelson, Director of their USA offices in Tampa, FL requested Rich and Kathy return to the States to speak at their annual donor banquet with their assistance for the travel/hotel expenses.

Rich and Kathy were reluctant to leave the station so soon after their trip last year in July for eye surgery; however, our BESI Board of Directors felt that after eighteen long years without any physical check ups it was a good opportunity do it now.

We also feel obligated to assist Galcom in any way possible since, beginning in 1994, they have provided us with over 14,000 Go-Ye radios with a price tag of over $280,000, which they have raised from their donors.

Each year they have a banquet and invite all those interested in their ministry to join them in Tampa, FL for a banquet and to hear first-hand reports of how their contributions are helping others in missionary radio to reach the lost. They wanted to invite Richard and Kathy to speak to the friends of their ministry so that they can continue funding and manufacturing the little radios. The manufacturing part of the ministry takes place in Canada.

The banquet took place on Tuesday, March 17th at the Doubletree Hotel in Tampa, FL with over 200 in attendance. They were, of course, excited to hear the stories of God’s faithfulness through many dangers and trials as the McDonalds continue to distribute the Galcom FM and Shortwave radios throughout the region.
Rich and Kathy met with their Board of Directors and the couples that founded the Galcom USA offices along with the couple that founded the MegaVoice Bible.

We were excited to learn that plans are being made to join the two units so that the listener can listen to the fixed-tuned radio or listen to the Bible in his or her own “heart language” with one unit.

This is amazing! Please join us in prayer for this project to be completed soon so that these units can be placed into waiting hands and hearts.

According to Gary Nelson, this years' Galcom banquet attendees gave very generously and it was decided that the "love offering" will be designated to fund more radios pre-tuned to Radio Kahuzi's frequencies.

This was a complete surprise to Rich and Kathy and the BESI / Board of Directors. The step of faith to allow the McDonalds to make the trip this year has proved to be a blessing from the Lord in so many ways.

A Time to Weep...
Life is full of surprises and this trip home had a big one!

Rich and Kathy received word through Wayne and Phyllis Schoonover that Grace Smalley passed away. Grace grew up with Kathy's parents in Milwaukee and stood by Kathy's father, Fred, during the difficult years after they brought Fred home from Africa so very ill, and later, his home going in December 1995.

Fred made Rich and Kathy promise in 1991 that they would go back and remain at their post no matter what happened to him, which they were obedient to do.
Rich and Kathy were unable to return for Fred's funeral. They were in direct line of fire in a surprise attack in 1995 across Lake Kivu from Rwanda pictured in the distance. The former, Zairian army set their guns up on the hill in the foreground responding to incoming mortars from Rwanda. They escaped in the dark of night on the fourth night of shelling. The house was hit on all four sides by mortars; however, the transmitter was not damaged and their lives were spared after three harrowing nights on the floor!

They remained "at their post" without a break until 2007 (12 years of war) when they returned to the States to seek help for Richard's infected tooth and blood poison.

So, their decision to change their plans this week to attend Grace's funeral has a double purpose--an opportunity to grieve and rejoice for both Fred and Grace's home going and to visit with some of Kathy's remaining family.

A Note From the McDonalds
Greetings from Milwaukee, WI!

We are here for Grace Smalley's funeral. She was like a second MOM for Kathy and me, as she really looked out for Fred Bahler, while Kathy and I went back to the field to start the Radio Kahuzi ministry. She is so special!

We plan to be here till Tuesday, March 31. Pastor Takkinen and Linda have graciously invited us to overnight with them. Pastor Takkinen will be officating Grace's funeral service at Grace Bible Church in West Allis, WI.

Lord willing, on April 1, we will fly Milwaukee / Atlanta / Newport News, VA to speak to a group of folks arranged by Doris Baynes, one of our very first supporters in 1986. Doris is not in her 80s and still very active and excited to help in any way possible. She met a Mr. Johnson who builds solar panels and recently installed electricity for a church in Brazil. He has become very interested in our FM relay project to see if his solar panels could be a source of electricity for our project.

We will be at the Altoona Bible Church in Altoona, PA for their Mission Conference April 4 - 8 and on April 9 we leave Pittsburgh / Atlanta and on to Brussels / Kigali and Bukavu!

Keep Looking Up! And Keep on Keeping On!

In His Love,
Richard and Kathy

It is so amazing to realize how our dear, heavenly Father uses each of us in our place to further the ministry of the "Body of Christ" around the world.

Thank you for helping us with this great task. You are important to our Heavenly Father’s plan and together we can accomplish so much.

Above is a photo of Richard distributing Go-Ye shortwave radios to soldiers from India and Russia at UN headquarters during the war.

"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.

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

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Bukavu Residents Breath A Sigh of Relief- But For How Long?
‘Butcher of Bukavu’
Laurent Nkunda held for war crimes after allies lose patience
Times Online Fri, 23 Jan 2009 1:48 PM PST
Laurent Nkunda, the feared Congolese warlord, was under arrest in Rwanda and awaiting extradition on war crimes charges yesterday after fleeing a joint offensive by the two nations against his rebel headquarters in the heart of the Congolese jungle.

We received an invitation to a special ceremony on January 19, 2009. The Minister of Defense came to Bukavu to install UMIR, the Rapid Intervention Medical Unit.
Richard presented to the Governor and his wife at their residence

An interesting side note: Almost twenty years ago, the Minister of Defense (no photo) personally carried one of our initial requests to Kinshasa to receive recognition by the African government for Believer's Express Service, Inc. (BESI). Presidential recognition was given on April 26, 1990. The permission to broadcast was given on July 4, 1991. The Lord has been very gracious!

While at the meeting I met General Dunia who requested more Galcom radios to take to the military in question there in Fizi territory.

Officer Ambushed
Radio Kahuzi Journalist and Family Pinned Down

That same evening one of the officers in the photo with Richard was going to his home near Gregoir's house, after the celebration.

The officer was ambushed by a group of soldiers as he reached his door about 1 AM. He grabbed hold of the assassin by his belt and shot him; however, he was also shot in the chest and died.

Meanwhile, Gregoir, his wife, Madelena and children spent the night on the floor listening to all the shooting. Later, when he thought it was safe, Gregoir was the first to arrive at the scene of the ambush. Four hours after the shooting the military and police arrived to check on the situation.

The officer was still holding the dead assassin by his belt. Since the other attackers did not disfigure their cohort before leaving, they were able to identify him and the group responsible. Hopefully, they will put them all out of business. Maybe they are responsible for some of the other similar episodes in Bukavu, especially on that street.

We appreciate your prayer for protection over Gregoir and our BESI / Radio Kahuzi team

Congolese Officials Taken Hostage
Congo-Kinshasa: South Kivu - Alan Doss Visits Bukavu Wed, 28 Jan 2009 10:09 AM PST
Alan Doss, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in the DRC, paid a work visit to South Kivu provincial capital Bukavu on Tuesday 27 January 2009, to evaluate the security situation in South Kivu province, in connection with two principal matters: the hostage taking of two Congolese officials by a militia group, and the need to protect civilians in the context of the Rwanda / DRC combined clean up effort of the armed groups in North & South Kivu Provinces.”...

While the meeting mentioned above preceded, I returned to the studio and asked Gregoir to make a special personal plea to the hostage takers, to free the two high authorities -- as we are rather sure they are listening to our broadcasts, and, hopefully, would be sympathetic to Gregoir’s persuasion.

Danny, our other journalist stayed and recorded the meeting / discussions and a press conference before and after the meeting for rebroadcast to all concerned.

Danny with wife, Magadju and son, Elvi

Please pray for the hostages' safe return, and a return to stability in the province and, of course, the more important messages of Peace with God and the Peace of God that Radio Kahuzi continues to broadcast each day!

Kathy's Note
"Richard and I appreciate your prayers so very much. These times aren't easy, but we have the Joy of the Lord through it all. We are so thankful for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ who came to this ugly world to save us all from our sin. And, He must be coming soon! Glorious Day!

"In the meantime, we keep on keeping on and keep faithful in Christ's Strength, not our own!

"With much love and thanksgiving for all your prayers and help to us and the radio ministry!!"

President's Note
Your gifts allow Rich and Kathy to reach out a helping hand in many ways as folks come by the station each day with a multitude of illnesses and tragic needs of every kind. The gentleman on his knees is kneeling by necessity--you see, he uses the flip-flops on his hands as he has no feet--he walks on all fours. We cannot heal his physical deformity, but we can pray for him and provide Wonderful Words of Life through Radio Kahuzi. (Photo above: Rich and Kathy with one of our many Radio Clubs for the Disabled.)

May God bless you and your family through these "perilous times" so that you can be a blessing to the world through every means possible.

"...I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some."
I Cor. 9:22.

Keep Looking Up!
Richard and Kathy McDonald
Harold and Barbara Smith
and our BESI / Radio Kahuzi Team