Tuesday, November 5, 2019

She died of a Broken Heart...


Greetings from D R Congo,

Here we are with Thanksgiving just around the corner and does that ever bring back memories.

First, we want to thank you for all your help  and  prayer support for us. I should have written  sooner, but with our lights and batteries the way they are, we  just have to work around all of that "fujo" (craziness)! Right now at 1 PM, the lights  are off again, but in a few hours we might  have them on again. 

Gala, Kathy, Richard
Gala and her husband invented the Go Ye Radio.
Gala will most likely win a Nobel Peace Prize for her
work on Reconciliation and Peace between tribes.

Before the 1996 wars, we used to have Thanksgiving with all the Missionaries in town, and there were quite a few. We used to all bring a dish of some favorite food, and many times we even had turkey! One of the Missionaries would fatten up a local, skinny turkey, and cook it for the rest of us. One year, one of our Missionaries brought out a turkey from the States in their luggage! Of course, the bag or trunk got mislaid or delayed and it  thawed out on the trip, but we held our breath and cooked it anyway! We all made it! If we don't have turkey, we buy some  chickens and  pretend they're turkeys!!   

At Thanksgiving time, we're always asked what we're thankful for. We could take forever to make a very long list to answer that  question, but since we don't have that much time (in heaven we'll  have that privilege), here are a few things we're very thankful for: 

First, we who are saved because of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who  died and was buried and rose again the third day, have eternal life! We will Praise Him forever and ever!

We're thankful for family and friends, especially Harold and Barbara Smith, who have dedicated their lives to serving our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ along with our special BESI Board of  Directors, Representatives, Churches, Prayer Warriors, and  Partners who also have come-along-side, with the Holy Spirit's  Enabling, to keep us in the D. R. Congo and Central Africa with  the Radio and other outreach Ministries going with their love, prayers, and hard work!! 

Just this week, we were reminded, of how thankful we should be, each day and moment, of how the Lord brings us through so many good times and even the hard times. He is always Faithful! This little story is to remind us of how thankful we should be...

 ...A man and his wife and five children recently moved to Bukavu from the jungle to escape the dangers of living down-country. As time went on, the kids settled into school and the oldest girl of 14  years became the #1 best student in all the schools, always  achieving the highest grades. She was so happy. Then, the  family started running out of money, and the father went back  down-country to go find work, but all during the past six months, the mother and children didn't hear from him!       

One day, the mother didn't have anymore flour or oil to prepare food to sell at the market and went back home at the end of the day only to find her 14 year old girl all curled up, not wanting to  look at her little brother and sisters because she knew that there was no more food in the house, and their mother hadn't come home with any food either! She was losing hope.

The next day, yesterday, the mother found her daughter had died, and the Doctors say that in shock, she just had given up hope. Doctors couldn't find anything wrong with her. Her heart just gave out from the worries of life!

Sunday, October 20, 2019

The McDonald's Cherith Brook Experience

Kathy and Richard prepare to return to Bukavu, DRCongo in 1983
after Richard's emergency eye surgery in Washington, DC
to repair torn retinas. Kathy was his "eyes" during the 
long year of recovery...another Cherith Brook Experience.

Richard and Kathy McDonald stepped out in faith in 1973 as missionaries to the people of Zaire, formerly the Belgian Congo, and, now known as the Democratic Republic of Congo.

They began their ministry without a fully funded base of support. Richard provided funding by accepting a secular position and using those funds to begin missionary service as "Tentmakers" following the expample of the Apostle Paul.

Years later, in 1986 Believer's Express Service, inc. was established to create a donor base of friends and family to underwrite the ministry with prayer and financial support. The McDonalds stepped out in faith, once again, to launch a new ministry in Christian radio. A license for RADIO KAHUZI, the first free, non-government radio station was granted to the McDonalds in 1991 by President Mobutu. By December 24, 1992 RADIO KAHUZI was on the air broadcasting the Gospel.

Sadly, in 1994 trouble across the border in Rwanda spilled into Bukau, DRC with the Rwandan Genocide. In 1996 Richard and Kathy were, literally, pinned to the floor while rockets flew over their heads, financial support dried up and there were days with little to eat. There would be two more invasions in 1998 and 2000 with more hardships.

During these troubling times in 1996 the Lord sent a most unlikely business couple living in Bukavu to minister to their physical needs, providing food and protection during at the invasion of the city. This husband and wife practiced two different world religions unlike a simple faith in the Lord Jesus Christ that Richard and Kathy wanted to share with their heaven-sent friends.

Richard and Kathy were led by the Lord to begin a personal study of the life of Elijah and his Cherith Brook experience as it seemed so similar to what they were going through. It has remained one of their most precious Scriptures throughout their life-changing experiences in missionary service.

I Kings 17: 3 - 6

Get thee hence, and turn eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there. So he went and did according unto the word of the Lord: for he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook.

Richard's first life-changing experience happened on July 23, 1963 when he came to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ during a personal conversation with Pastor Henry F. Kulp. (Richard was raised in Christian Science and this was a very big step of faith.)

Richard's spiritual growth began while sitting under the ministry of this great man of God and Bible teacher. Sharing these wonderful teachings has been a life-long pursuit.

These messages from Pastor Kulp date back to the 1960s and have been translated from English into French and Swahili. This is a work in progress and additional messages are added as they are translated, edited and added to their blogs.

May your life be blessed as you read and absorb these wonderful Words of Life that will prepare you for your own Cherith Brook Experience. May the Lord bless you as you "...grow in Grace and in the knowledge of Christ."

(The links to these precious messages are to your right of this article.)

Thursday, July 25, 2019


Today, July 26, is Sweet Kathleen's birthday. In this photo you were 15, we believe. While you were having your photo taken in Africa (1963), your future husband, Richard was coming to know the Lord Jesus Christ in July 1963 in Altoona, Pennsylvania. He was also sharing his newly found faith in a note to his mother, Faith. Having been raised in Christian Science this was a big step, but the first step in his journey to find you, Kathy, the love of his life and partner in ministry for 47 years. Your life has been a blessing and testimony to us all. 


Our birthday wish for you would be many more years to serve Him.

Monday, July 15, 2019


Radio Kahuzi reports first case of Ebola in Goma about 100 miles north of Bukavu home of Radio Kahuzi Station, Staff and families. Believed to have been spread via person traveling by bus from a city north of Goma.

Map from Goma, Democratic Republic of the Congo to Bukavu, Democratic Republic of the Congo

To read more...https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-48985689

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Happy Birthday, Radio Kahuzi as the First Licensed Station in DRC 28 Years Ago Today!

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. 

(Amazingly, the granting of free radio / TV for D. R. Congo was 200 years after America added the Amendment to the Constitution establishing and guaranteeing Freedom of Press and Speech in America.)

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-eight 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 us in this carnal world, or, by walking in, or by, the Spirit. Pray with us to 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.

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

In His Love and Care,
Richard and Kathy McDonald

Sunday, June 16, 2019


Today is Father’s Day and I’m sure that every daughter and son never has the words to deeply express their love and appreciation for our FATHERS as we should!!

One way of doing that is to say THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts for all they’ve done for us!

Rich and I loved my Dad soooo much and he was such a mentor to us all!  Everytime we look at his Vauxhall car parked in our yard, we think of my wonderful Dad and how he worked so hard to rejuvenate that car so that he could have wheels, and, yes, it worked and with all four exhaust pipes working at once, everyone in town knew that Freddy Bahler was going somewhere !!

Just this week we had a team of mechanics, two came from Kigali – thanks to Mark Neil! They worked so hard to pull down the transmission (what a monster) and heavy !I always think of my Dad and how he too helped sooo many people when they had car problems, or “piki” problems: or just anything that needed fixing, he could do it.

We also say THANK YOU for all the Spiritual insight my Dad had for me during my growing up years. Always, the Word of God had first place in his life and in our family life. Even to this day, he and my Mom influence my thinking and my Spiritual outlook on life; and I’m sooo thankful that I have that wonderful gift from them!

You see, they, Fred and Milly Bahler, came to the Belgium Congo mission field when they were young people, and since they dedicated their lives to the Lord, and the Lord’s work, they never looked back; and in spite of all the hardships, spiritual and physical, they never doubted that that’s what the Lord wanted them to do! They kept on keeping on!

Another special thank you to our Dads from all us daughters, who always feel so special, because our Dads surely treated us always with that extra special bond that only a Dad gives to his girl and we all know it! Thank You, Daddy, from the bottom of my heart, and for all the special memories that never go away. We know we’ll be in Heaven – together once again, and what a rejoicing that will be !!!!!

With loads of Love. 
Rich and Kathy  XXXX00000

Thursday, May 2, 2019




"...Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead..." Matthew 28: 5 - 7.

Greetings from Bukavu and Radio Kahuzi!

This past week we had the privilege of helping one of our Radio Kahuzi friend's father who was really in a bad situation. This father has been one of our Radio Kahuzi listeners from the beginning, when we started the radio ministry, and loves the Lord so very much. He loves listening to Radio Kahuzi where he lives far out in the hills and his son who works with us grew up listening along with his dad and now with his own kids!

Just a few weeks ago Pastor became very ill, so his two friends took him to a hospital by motor-bike, which was pretty scary, because they had to strap him to the driver and the other friend sat behind to make sure he didn't fall off! The ride took about an hour on very rough trails.

When they finally arrived at the hospital, Pastor said he couldn't remember a thing, because he was so out of it! And, wouldn't you know, as the Lord works beyond our imagination, a European doctor who just happened to be there on one of his every-three-months visits to that hospital, just happened to know what was wrong with Pastor, and began treatments right away. Other doctors had been treating him for the wrong illness--for three or more years, and that's why he became so ill.

As our Lord was at work, Pastor recovered, but then had a $380 bill. Where would the find that? And, besides that, the hospital has a policy that when one gets better, one has to pay up and give up the bed and go outside. The patient cannot go home until making the total payment. That means, sleeping on the cement outside in the severe cold night mountain air. And these past few weeks have been so much colder. While waiting to get help from SOMEWHERE, his church came up with $100 and one of his family members gave another $100. With your help, we were able to give $100! Praise the Lord! But, we found out that he still had to pay the final $80 before being released! PAY OR STAY!

A few days later, the patients noticed a stranger was visiting the hospital, and as our Pastor was leading a Bible and prayer time with the other patients who weren't able to pay their bills either, this stranger started visiting each patient, asking how much they still owed! He gave each one a gift, and guess who much he gave Pastor...$50. So he had to wait several more days until we were able to find the last amount he needed, $30; plus, $20 to get home. We are so finite compared to our Lord! Our Pastor and his wife finally got home and were able to Praise the Lord together for all that the Lord has done for them.

Sadly, this past year, while they were at church, their house burned down destroying all their belongings including their clothes. He said he would never complain about the little two-room house his son built for them out of sticks and mud. He is just thankful to be alive and back home with his family.

You may wonder what happens to your donations to our ministry. Please be assured that every penny is put to good purposes. Thank you for all you do for us, and for allowing us to do for others. You are such an encouragement when our hearts are pulled in many directions wanting to help those who come to us daily seeking relief from their sufferings.

Keep Looking Up...
for His Soon Appearing in the Heavenlies,
Rich and Kathy McDonald

Monday, March 11, 2019






(At the time of this photo in 1983, Richard was recovering 
from surgery on torn retinas in both eyes, and was basically, blind.)


Believer's Express Service, Inc., (BESI) was founded on March 11, 1986 on the campus of Toccoa Falls College (TFC) in Toccoa Falls, Georgia by Harold and Barbara Smith. The Smiths were attending TFC in preparation for missionary service with HCJB World Radio in Quito, Ecuador when Richard McDonald, brother to Barbara Smith requested that she and Harold consider helping them to begin an independent missionary ministry in the Democratic Republic of Congo then known as Zaire, Africa. The McDonalds arrived in Congo in 1974 to join Kathy's parents, Fred and Millie Bahler who had been serving since the 1940s. 

The Smiths prayed and the Lord redirected their plans for service to assist the McDonalds in their desire to remain in Africa but to step out in faith in a new direction.

And the rest is history. You can read more about their lives (www.besi.org) and how God directed them in 1983 after Richard was blinded by torn retinas to open the country of Zaire, now DRCongo to free radio and media. At that time is was against the law to even HAM radio out of the country. This was a big undertaking as they would need the permission of President MOBUTO. BUT GOD....