Radio Kahuzi Video

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Is Missionary Life Dangerous?

Wed., July 26...Another Happy Birthday in Congo, Kathy!
What an amazing life for one little girl!

Kathy's early years in the Belgian Congo

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to ride on a lions back, to hang on to that fur and fly across the fields with the wind flying in ones face! That would be really so much fun! Can't say that I ever got close to that experience, but...

As elephant go, we had plenty in the land where I spent some of my childhood days, Kayembe was the place, in the Democratic Republic of Congo--just the Belgian Congo when I was growing up. (Also known as Zaire)

My father, Fred Bahler, not stopped by polio at age two, was our pilot. Fred flew his Cessna across the jungles and mountains wearing a brace and using crutches throughout his lifetime.

We still need more brave men and women like my dad and mom to help us extend the outreach!
There were many evenings when Daddy would take us for a ride out on the plains just so we could watch the elephants peacefully standing off in the near distance, waving those huge ears back and forth, listening and watching us as we watched them with awe and amazement! I always wondered what it would be like to get near them!

Then, one day, some of the men from the village came running up to our house, with the dreaded news that one of the older elephants had gone crazy, and was in their village attacking their houses and anyone that came in his path. The men wanted my Dad to bring his elephant gun, and shoot that elephant before he wrecked the whole village. But, how does one go about shooting a crazed elephant.

I'll never forget that day, as my daddy climbed into the pickup truck along with the village men, and headed out to stop the elephant stampede. As they arrived at the village, the elephant saw them and started charging, so as the elephant got closer and closer, my Dad said he just had to take aim and shoot and fortunately brought the bull elephant down and stopped the stampede. One had to be calm and steady with that shot, and the Lord gave Daddy that gift!
Fred Bahler at age 29
Fred Bahler at age 29 fresh on the field.

That day I got to see an elephant first hand, even climbed up on top of the huge mountain in my bare feet and to feel those needles on my feet, not fun, but that's what their fur is like. Ouch!! Won't ever forget that!

So, instead of riding on a lion's back with all that fuzzy fur, I got to stand on an elephant and feel an elephant's bristly needle fur. Someday, in heaven maybe we'll see and touch all the creatures that God has made for us to enjoy, only without all the "ouches" that come with them here on earth, won't that be something.

That was another day to Praise our Lord for bringing us through safely!!

"What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me." Psalms 56: 3, 4.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017


On July 4, 1991 our license was signed into law by 
President Mobutu! 

As we revisit July 4,1991 each year, Kathy and I are very thankful to have lived several zenith events where we have experienced the Holy Spirit's intervention. Despite our frequent incapacity and simplicity as we live through this Age of Grace, we realize we are nearing the end times and the end of the Holy Spirit's working alongside believers in the Body of Christ. 

In our legal application to the government, we named our station "Cherith Radio" memorializing our difficult experience, which seemed to parallel the Prophet Elijah's tutoring by the Holy Spirit at Cherith Brook near the Jordan River. Later, Fred Bahler, Kathy's father named it Radio Kahuzi after Mount Kahuzi--Parc National de Kahuzi-Biega, the highest peak and home of the silverback gorilla near Bukavu. 

Kathy and I, along with Fred, had begun our "Tent Making Ministry" (self support) with the Lord's direction which took us through the Cherith Brook experience bringing into our lives a professional couple, Wim and Lita, of Coka Cola Company, with facilities in Bukavu. We were personally invited to minister to them. They were of two different world religions, and considered us as "Holy People." However, the Lord used them to minister to us physically with food and fellowship as we shared the Gospel and Christ's presence and testimony. They also listened and were ministered to by our radio broadcasts, which had just begun. 

We chose our logo for BESI, representing the "Widow of Zarephath" and her son written about in I Kings 17: 1- 12. She is represented in our logo carrying a bundle of sticks and the embers of fire on her head with which to prepare their last meal. Having only enough flour for one cake and a little oil she shared and ministered to Elijah the Tishbite during his time of discouragement and famine. The story teaches us is to keep our eyes, our heart, and, our mind on Jesus Christ, so that the Holy Spirit can walk and work effectively beside us!

Though we had requested and developed the dossier for a broadcast license over five years of working through each layer of the government's administration, Kathy and I had no earthly reason to hope and no real idea what the Holy Spirit was preparing for the DRC, (formerly, Zaire) until the 4th of July, 1991, when we saw the American Ambassador and the Cultural Affairs Officer on National Television, presenting a golden American Eagle to President Mobutu as they said good-bye and left the country. 

Our Permit, signed that day, ended the state monopoly on television and radio! We believe the Lord led President Mobutu to end the Party State and change the Constitution, opening the Nation to the first multi-party elections and to Freedom of the Press, with BESI's permission as a private national broadcaster in Shortwave and FM. Over the twenty-six years since we received the first license, more than a thousand radios and TV stations have flourished in the DRC, and the Lord has created wonderful stories of conversion and reconciliation of warring groups through our broadcasts and listener responses. Many times militant, and warring factions took the time to listen to the News and programming of Radio Kahuzi. 

 Mai-Mai Commanders who came 
to faith in Christ while resting in the 
hills above Bukavu preparing to 
overrun the City and Radio Kahuzi.
One such testimony is of the conversion of two commandos on Christmas Day in 2000, after a third of Bukavu had fallen into their control. After hearing the Word of God (in their own heart language) over Radio Kahuzi they repented, laid down their weapons of war, and returned home to Fizi Territory five hundred miles to the South. There they constructed a church to the Praise of the Lord Jesus Christ. "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God." Romans 10: 17. 

Through these years of war and conflict, it has always been a moment-by-moment test between the flesh and the spirit-–to be absorbed by the problems weighing heavily all around–carnal, or, by walking in, or by, the Spirit. Keep Looking Up to the Lord, living above it, so to speak, as the Holy Spirit continues doing what He will always do, if we let Him and have confidence in Him--and not to be distracted in ourselves, or our circumstances.  

This labor of love is possible only because of you, our Partners and Prayer Warriors and BESI Representatives of Radio Kahuzi helping to keep our feeble hands raised in prayer for Him to accomplish His directive will in our lives and ministry.

We always appreciate and need your prayer, as today, again, the reports are that several military groups have control of different cities, or territories in opposition to one, or another armed group, or political power.  

The huge Banros Canadian Gold Mines closed two days ago, and will be evacuated to Bukavu tomorrow, as the national army has fled before the feared Mai-Mai at Saramabila, near Kayembe, in the Plains of Maniema Province where Kathy grew up. To read more...

A special friend of our ministry would surely be dead if he and his family had not fled and been evacuated a few days ago! The Lord cares and encourages us to always place our confidence in Him–despite the poor circumstances around us!   

Keep Walking by the Spirit! And, Keep Looking Up!

In His Love and Care,
Richard and Kathy McDonald