...Help to Transform a NationLying in a hospital bed in 1988 blinded by torn retinas, missionary, Richard McDonald, began to envision radio as an instrument to reach tens of thousands in Bukavu, (Zaire) now the Democratic Republic of Congo. Little did Richard and Kathy know that thirteen years later in 2001 they would be reaching most of the D.R. Congo and beyond with the addition of shortwave and broadcast the results of the first free and democratic election in its long and embattled history.
Radio Kahuzi became the first FM partnership with HCJB Global in 1990 with a proposal typed on a borrowed typewriter in a motel room and faxed to their headquarters in Miami, Florida.
Richard's proposal was accepted and they soon found themselves training at HCJB Engineering Center in Elkhart, IN and heading back to Bukavu in November of 1991 with the Little FM Transmitter in a suitcase.
In April 1991 President Mobutu Sese Seko (now deceased) signed a Presidential Ordinance that opened the way for the signing of the very first private, non-governmental radio license July 4, 1991 giving The Little FM That Could permission to speak.
What can one little low-powered FM do with faithful staff and continued repairs and maintenance? Over the past 20 years, beginning Christmas Eve of 1992, The Little FM Transmitter in a suitcase COULD:
...reach out with the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ
who heals the broken hearted and sets the captives free!
But what terrible obstacles lay ahead...
The Little FM dodged bullets and mortars in 1996 with the surprise attack coming across Lake Kivu from Rwanda. The McDonalds were pinned down for three days and nights while mortars rained down exploding a few meters away.
|House in foreground with Rwanda across Lake Kivu|
Anti-aircraft slugs ricocheted above their heads and hit the station on all four sides. The Little FM held his breath, but was still standing tall as they made their escape past the military in the dead of night in a borrowed truck with no headlights. They arrived at a new home just down the road, but closer to the river in case his family needed to make a quick escape by swimming across the border. But no, they would not leave their Little FM for the enemy to use for evil purposes.
|Thin and exhausted but still standing tall with The Little FM!|