Saturday, December 26, 2015

Creator Has Come

The smell of hay,
a baby's breath on mother's cheek.
She wraps her child in swaddling clothes,
for strangers come to meet Him,
She smiles . . .

And gazing into Creator's eyes,
she cares for Him and gives a sigh.

Her task so great.
What did the angel say?
"He shall be called the Son of the most High,
the Holy one of God."

What can she do but love Him.
She serves Him with her mother's milk,
He sighs . . .

What wonder! This Creator's child . . .
So small, and yet so high!

And angels come and gather round,
To look on Him who wore a crown,
How tiny!

Oh, Christmas Morn has come at last!
The tiny child in mother's grasp,
The mystery of the ages has begun!

For God reached down to touch the ground,
and wrapped Himself in a baby's gown . . .
And a Savior's love makes baby sounds.

A star shows the way to wise men,
He's found, He's found!

The child lays still as all do kneel
around His manger throne.
He lives, He lives!
Messiah's come to save His people,
to make them all His own.

Mother and father marvel thus
on Creator's scene made just for us,
His own!

Author, William C. Smith
used by permission

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Goal Accomplished! - Christmas 2015

Dear Friends of BESI / Radio Kahuzi,


Phase I construction of the new radio studio is complete! 

This Christmas Eve we will celebrate our 23rd year of broadcasting from D. R. Congo in our new studio! All praise goes to our Lord Jesus Christ and you who have made this possible.

The Christmas message that the Christ-child was born at the appointed time to save us all from Satan’s power...this message is the only reason for establishing Radio Kahuzi in 1992.

This life-changing message is the only reason the McDonalds have risk their lives living in and through all the horrendous events of the past twenty years. Most of us would have given up and fled in fear, but God has given them a vision of the millions of lost souls who need to hear God’s words of love and grace until it penetrates their hearts. They have committed their lives to finish their course until their appointed time.

We are trusting the Lord they will be “ON AIR” by December 25 in their new studio.



As Kathy and I celebrate our 43rd Wedding Anniversary on Dec 16, we are praising the Lord
for your “Coming Along Side” our efforts to move into the Country of Rwanda while we still can, Lord willing, to open a new and expanded ministry into the Great Lakes Region of Africa.

We are nothing in ourselves, yet the Lord has given us this open door and credibility with the Rwandan authorities. You would not believe how things are going downhill in many of these countries, and how almost impossible it is to even move around freely. But, Kathy and I are trying to use the insight and wisdom the Lord has given us over these past 40 years to establish a Grace church outreach in Rwanda that will truly minister to future generations, as the Lord continues to extend His Day of Salvation.

Today, people shun some of these places as the “pits,” but the Lord has allowed us to continue with enough success to not give up, and the Holy Spirit, coming along side, keeps us going, despite our emotions and occasional depression. Your prayer support is so very much needed as we complete the purchase contract for the house in Rwanda. 

Last night, we received a call from Wamaza where Kathy grew up, on the other side of the Congo jungle basin. Wamaza is in the plains beyond the jungle and they finally have cell phone service. However, I could not understand which one of our Kahuzi Radio listeners was calling, or understand his Swahili. So I woke Kathy and, although she wanted to say call back tomorrow, she understood the distant voice and responded despite the lateness of the hour.

As it turned out, it was one of several sons of a Muslim Chief who used to carry Kathy on his shoulders in the late 1950's when she was a small child, just before the War of Independence. In the 40's, their father was the Mwami / Chief, or King at Kayembe; and he never failed to come to stand outside the church and listen when Kathy's parents, Fred and Millie Bahler, and other missionaries like Delmar Anderson (recently home with the Lord) and local pastors had church service, or teaching seminars. When the Bahlers and others had to flee the Congo during the War of Independence, this Muslim Mwami shared with Fred Bahler that he had received Jesus Christ as his Savior and he would see them in Heaven later, if not here below!

Kathy and I had the honor of working with one of his sons, Chief Kayembe and the one who called, the more recent Chief Kayembe Constantine. We exchanged info of the recent Home Going of their friends Wayne and Phyllis Schoonover, and Delmar Anderson.

The main reason he called was to share the news of Chief Kayembe's passing, as he knew 
we loved him, and were uninformed of the details during these last twenty years of wars. He shared that he had looked forward with Joy in the Lord to being released from this world, as he had suffered for years with elephantiasis, which gradually destroyed his legs and body, and led to several amputations before he died in Lubumbashi. In recent years he has been working with us to establish a radio relay outreach from his home in Wamaza where Kathy
grew up. He wanted to reestablish contact with us by providing us with his new cell phone number so that we can follow-up with him and the Radio Kahuzi listeners, some 500 kilometers (approx. 311 miles) from Bukavu. The photo was taken in the 1990‘s with Chief Kayembe, Fred Bahler and missionary evangelist, Ernie Green, known as “Sakatumbi or Blacksmith.” They were planning work on, and use of the upgraded air strip at Wamaza for Fred Bahler, pilot, and Rich and Kathy. 
(Kathy's father, Fred Bahler, had polio as a child and used crutches yet he flew the jungle for over 30 years as a bush pilot.)  

Another contact among our listeners is a Mai-Mai rebel leader, who trusts Radio Kahuzi alone, to the point that local authorities contacted us before Thanksgiving to follow through via Radio Kahuzi and cell phone to encourage him in his desire to be reconciled with the National Government, and to join the all inclusive National Dialogue the President has opened to begin in ten days.

Earlier in 2000, during the siege of Bukavu the Mai Mai Commander above, heard the message of God's great love to all men through the Lord Jesus Christ. He, along with another commander were listening to Radio Kahuzi on a Galcom pre-tuned, solar powered radio stolen from our radio club members during the fighting. They both heard the Word, believed on Christ as their Savior, laid down their weapons ceasing to plunder the rest of the city and returned home to Fizi where the Commander in the photo established a church, which is still sharing the Gospel today!

Over the years the Lord has given Radio Kahuzi this unique outreach to the Mai-Mai, Interhamwe, and other waring factions to bring political reconciliation, and sometimes it results in personal salvation and spiritual reconciliation.

In Heaven we will have the joy of meeting and rejoicing with the many precious souls our joint efforts have rescued from an eternity without the Savior. We will then see the “Rest of the Story” as He alone sees it now. In reality, He is accomplishing it all, and we are merely His Coworkers, thus, we have the assurance that what He has begun in us will be completed. Even the best and worst in human kind are being touched by the Gospel by your partnering with us.

Keep Looking Up!  

Rich and Kathy