Wednesday, February 25, 2015

A Surprise in Rwanda

Dear Friends of BESI / Radio Kahuzi,

Just when we thought we had no alternative after we move from our current house and studio in March, the Lord supplied our need out of His Abundance.

Kathy and I were planning to sleep in the new studio at times when we could not make it across the border into Rwanda before it closed at 5:30 pm. There may be other times when there are  personnel, or equipment emergencies that would require us to stay in Bukavu at the station. 

But, to our surprise, the family decided to let us rent the first floor apartment right beside the studio at a low fixed rent. This comes at a great sacrifice to their income, but we praise the Lord for their love of our ministry. The apartment even has a bathroom. Not only will it save money, not having to build on the new rooms to our studio construction for shower and restroom, but it will save us valuable time constructing additions on two floors!! That was my nightmare....This is a real burden lifted!  

"...He is able to do exceeding, abundantly above all we could ask or think." 

As you can see from the photo, the studio is coming toward completion. The walls are done inside and out, waiting to be painted, but we STILL need to add the sound-proofing divider wall between the microphone, machines, transmitters, battery charger, and UPS power supply, etc.! The grounds are being prepared for the laying of a 1,000 meter electric supply line cable, grounding cables, meter, fuse box, switches, outlets and connections inside.

This week the local SNEL electric company is reinstalling a transformer to convert the 3000 Volts to 220 Volts for our avenue. Hopefully, they will help us lay our new underground cable this week. There is still so very much to do--so that we can move everything out of our home / studio for the past 18 years, and prepare it for new residents!

A Note from Kathy
The water company just dropped off the six meter heavy metal pipe at the studio / apartment where we will open the brick wall to add an entrance for a short driveway and parking area to house our two large trailer containers full of equipment, and a collection of 43 years of living in Africa. This offer of storage space from the family will save us storage fees in town, plus all our equipment will be safe and close at hand.

It's hard to believe that we're moving out of this home that we've lived in for the past 18 years, but we are and it's a big, big mountain to move.

We found an old trunk we packed away in 1979! Inside were curtains and those curtains look the same as the day we packed them. What a blessing! New curtains for our little apartment just up the street right beside the new studio!

We are getting the radio equipment ready for the big move to it's new home, but the new studio still needs painting and electric lines installed and new poles for the antennas and glass put in the windows, so there's lots to do yet.

I keep remembering the last time we moved into this house, the day that the war started here, and while the guns were going off, we were bringing our last load down to this house and we slept the night on the floor! I always thought our next move would be to Heaven, but here we are, moving again! At least there's no war going on! Always something to be thankful for!

"The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and He delighteth in his way."  Ps. 37:23.

On the Rwandan Side
We have had good meetings with the Immigration authorities, to see what is the best procedure for getting our visas and opening our new outreach. The normal two year visa seems to be the best method.

Lord willing, this will allow us to quickly receive the authorization to begin our new ministry including pastoral training, church planting and distance education, leading to our "Great Lakes Grace Radio and Christian Polytechnic Institute" ministry in Rwanda.

Broadcasting in Rwandaʼs "heart language" of Kinyarwandan and English will require equipping young Rwandans in technical radio, i.e. digital programming, journalism, antenna, recording, editing, sound and management skills, etc..

Classes will also be taught in English, along with elementary through high school distance education, through the Internet. This will all be under our (BESI) Believerʼs Express Service, Inc. umbrella. This is the basis of our statutes for authorization that Richard will submit to the Rwandan government. Pray for Richard as he writes the new statutes which will require much wisdom from the Lord.

Of course, none of this will happen without intercession and fervent prayer; and it will come to pass only in the Lordʼs timing and plan. We have learned from our experience with the D. R. Congo (Zaire) government to ask for a broad vision of future ministry, making sure you cover all possibilities, so we donʼt need to go back again, and again for permissions. The above outline of our vision for Rwanda will not be implemented over night, but through the Lordʼs provision and timing.

As we work together with the Lord, let us trust Him for the future ministry of BESI / Radio Kahuzi / Great Lakes Grace Radio / Christian Polytechnic Institute.

May He find us good stewards of our time and talents and not find us empty handed at His Appearing in the Heavens for us. "Must I go and empty handed, must I meet my Saviour so..." 

Let Us Keep Looking Up!

Visitors From the Past
Kathy and I are thankful that the Lord has raised up and returned to us a good friend and a dedicated former Bukavu missionary kid, Mark Neil, now a senior executive officer and lawyer of a large multinational corporation in Kigali to help us get started in Rwanda, along with an American lawyer at the U.S. Embassy.

Mark invited Kathy and me to his wife Amyʼs special Birthday / Valentineʼs Day get together with 25 guests from the U.S., Rwanda and DRC. All were involved in Christian ministry in the three countries, and were a real blessing and encouragement to us. 

Mark and Amy brought us gifts, including a MacBook Pro for the ministry and a popcorn popper with a yearʼs supply of popcorn. What a surprise blessing!

We had a nice surprise when we went to Cyangugu to stay the night at the Peace Guest House! When the staff found out that we're the directors of Radio Kahuzi, they got big smiles, and said they listen to us all the time, and that we're their favorite radio station from their neighboring country, which is Bukavu, DRC. That made us feel so good!

A Message From the President
We have heard the call to go into Rwanda while the door is still open. Won't you, prayerfully, go with us as the Holy Spirit leads. Please consider a gift, large or small, to help us reach our goal of $93,000 for Phase II: "The Little Brown House".

Or, possibly God has placed you in a position to provide a loan with interest to secure the ministry into the future. If God is calling you to make this possible, please give us a call to discuss such a commitment. (941) 746-1974.

May God bless you as you serve Him in His place of choosing.

Keep Looking Up!
Harold D. Smith, President