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