Sunday, May 2, 2010

Home again with lots of challenges and opportunities

Dear Friends of Radio Kahuzi,

We're safe and sound back home in Bukavu. It was raining cats and dogs when we got to the border, but Renee, a friend, was there to pick us up, which was so wonderful!

There's a place in Rwanda in the forest, when we get near Bukavu, where we can get out on the cell phone, so we stopped there to let Renee know that we were near to arriving at the border.

We arrived home almost at dark, and guess what, no lights! I always hate that when it's so dark in the house, and one never knows, after a long absence, what's crawled in under the doors! The kitchen is always depressing, but thankfully we had some bottled water and a can of cheese and spam, so we were OK.

Always quite an adjustment after living the "hi-life" of the States! But, it's always good to be home, and to be welcomed by everyone, including the kitties and doggies and Kasuku, our African gray parrot, who really speaks!

A couple days ago, I was heading out to the backyard and just before walking my path, I noticed the mama kitty sitting in the sunshine, looking so contented and peaceful. All of a sudden, she jumped up, fur all puffed out, and just behind her, a black snake rose up and sat there, swaying back and forth with the mama cat on guard right in front if it.

I ran and called Lambert to come and kill it, but by the time he got there, the thing was slithering off into the little woods.

Another Cobra hanging out in the backyard!

So, it's out there somewhere! Yucky. This is the land of "being on guard." We appreciate your prayers!

(Editor's note: This is the seventh encounter for Kathy in the past couple years. Please pray for safety--even in their home--as one was curled up behind the kitchen door. They cannot be outrun and it is almost instant death. There is no antivenin available in Bukavu.)

A Visit from the Mai Mai!

Please pray for the Lord's leading as we follow up on an offer from General Dunia's assistant for us to "drop in for a visit" at his new home in Bukavu, next door to the Governor's mansion!

We praise the Lord for the assistant's contact, as he came for more Galcom SW radios and "Mopila" journals to take to the Fizi territory for the troops about 175 miles to the south. He responded to my questions as to how Radio Kahuzi was instrumental in helping them make the transition from Mai Mai "Enemy #1" to integrated leaders in the government army.
Photo: Mai Mai troops receive red short wave radio for General Dunia from Gregoire, our journalist when he visited the Fizi territory in April 2005.

He shared that they did not know what to think when they received the little red radio from us with General Dunia's name written on the back. They thought it could be a bomb, and put it through careful testing and secure investigation before giving it the OK, all clear signal and turned it on!

The radio became a fantastic favorite to all concerned when they began hearing the Gospel with a clear signal in their language, and General Dunia received it as his very own. No wonder his assistant was so happy to later take several loads of radios back with him after bringing us General Dunia's "Thank You" letter.

The Fizi territory is one of the areas we would like to install one of ten Cornerstone FM transmitters / repeaters for better coverage.

FM travels by line-of-sight with mountains interfering with the signal traveling down the other side of the mountain. To reach down in the valley between mountains we must install a transmitter/repeater.

Short wave travels up an down the mountains with no impediment, but more people own FMs than shortwave radios.

For each unit we must purchase a solar panel, a 45-watt booster, antenna, coax, mic and truck battery, plus cover shipping from Canada for a total of approximately $3,333 each. By faith we have ordered three units to begin installation in three new areas.

We already installed #1 at Walungu, 15 miles from Bukavu, which is functioning well.
As God provides, we will expand to include key mountain points: #2 at Wamaza in Maniema Province (250 miles); #3 at Shabunda (150); #4 at Fizi (175), or Kabambare (350). Others: Kalima (215); Kampene (325); Kipaka (275); Kamituga (100); Mwenga (60); and Baraka (160).
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." Matt. 14:23

While visiting the Fizi Territory, Gregoire distributed radios to the mama's in the fields. All are eager to hear the Gospel in their own "heart" language.

A Note from BESI / Radio Kahuzi President

Help us celebrate Richard's birthday, May 2, with a special gift of encouragement!

Won't you please, prayerfully, consider a gift, large or small, toward our goal of $10,000 to purchase three FM Cornerstone units.

Consider Becoming a monthly partner
to help us keep Rich and Kathy on the field and to expand our ability to reach those who have ears to hear with His message of Grace and forgiveness.

Please earmark your special gift: "Cornerstone Project,"
and / or "McDonald's Monthly Support." Both are so greatly needed!

"How shall they believe on Him of whom they have not heard..." You can help make a way for them to hear Jesus' words, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."

Thank you for sharing our vision!
Keep Looking Up!
Harold Smith
BESI / Radio Kahuzi