Radio Kahuzi Video

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Boat full of people doomed on Lake Kivu

Dear Friends of Radio Kahuzi,

We have so much to be thankful for as we enter into 2016! Thank you and the Holy Spirit for coming along side our radio ministry throughout 2015. What a wonderful working together in the Body of Christ! The reality check of what It's all about!

We had a real surprise of the same order on Dec. 28, 2015 for that afternoon's broadcast relay as Pastor Gregoire came back from his trip to IDJWI Island with ten pastors and leaders during four days of Pastors' Conference and decision making. Truly, the prayers of the Saints and the power of the Holy Spirit came to the rescue of our staff member, Pastor Gregoire, and a boat load of 80 people doomed in a terrible storm on Lake Kivu!

It almost paralleled the story of the Apostle Paul and his shipwreck in Acts 27: "...But not long after there arose against it a tempestuous wind, called Euroclydon. And when the ship was caught and could not bear up into the wind, we let her drive. ...and we being exceedingly tossed with a tempest, the next day they lightened the ship; and the third day we cast out with our own hands the tackling of the ship...all hope that we should be saved was then taken away."

Gregoire asked the pilot of the ship with 80 passengers to pull in and stop to let the storm pass, but the pilot refused and kept on sailing into an impossible stormy gale with a tornado and clouds dropping right down to the water. The waves became like mountains, and the boat was thrown in every direction, so it was impossible to steer, or know where they were going, and the water hit their bodies with such force and freezing cold that it was very painful!

After forty-five terrible minutes of terror when the clouds dropped onto the water and the tornado hit, several pastors came up from their cabin below deck stating the boat was filling with water. The Captain ordered everyone to remove as much clothing as possible and prepare to swim for their lives! This was an impossible situation in frigid water and no one knowing which way it was to the land; plus, the Captain and the Pilot were the only ones who had life preservers to wear, and no one knew which way to swim in the direction of IDJWI Island!

Just as Pastor Gregoire prepared to jump over board to swim for his life, a woman grabbed him by the leg and screamed for him to pray for Jesus "to Save us from the storm." So he obeyed the Holy Spirit and gave a salvation message and prayed for each soul aboard to submit to the power of the Gospel and be Reconciled to God through Jesus Christ. Soon after that, the storm subsided and they arrived safely in IDJWI Harbour.

Scripture indicates that God intervenes, personally, when someone is saved from certain death. We are to be used of Him to Glorify His Name, not our own. We are to tell others what He has and is doing around us.

We Praise the LORD for returning Pastor Gregoire to us to continue with the Radio Kahuzi Broadcasting and his church leadership role, along with the other ten pastors and lay leaders aboard that boat!

Likewise, with your prayer and provision throughout 2015, our little (BESI) Believer’s Express Service boat has also been saved to continue afloat in this turbulent region, daily broadcasting the Good News of Jesus Christ's Birth, Sinless Life, Death and Resurrection for our Justification and Adoption into His Family!

Praise the Lord for those who tossed us another inner-tube to buoy us up to make it to our next destination...our “appointed times.”
In His Love and Care,
Richard and Kathy McDonald

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   

Wednesday, November 18, 2015


Dear Friends of Radio Kahuzi,

FIRST, we want to THANK YOU SOOOO VERY, VERY, VERY much for your continued encouragement and the gifts you have sent to help us and Radio Kahuzi to keep on keeping on!!!!

Today, we woke up to a cold, dark and rainy day, but the lights are still on, which is wonderful, since we had about five days without SNEL electric. So, today it's a “blessing day,” with the rain, and lights on, too. (Out here in Africa, rain means the Lord is blessing us!)

Then, comes the sunshine, when unexpectedly, one of our helpers told me of a young man that just came here from down-country and the story that this young man told him was just so encouraging to our broadcast team. He said that when he was in the forest walking from village to village, he couldn't find any churches for many, many kilometers, but he had his little blue Shortwave Galcom fixed-tuned radio, and he listened to Radio Kahuzi, which became his little church all along the way! Because of the many troubles that continue down-country some villages and churches are being abandoned; and whole villages are being burned out. The Word of God can't be silenced even though Satan would like to have that happen.

We're still in the thick of packing boxes and moving things out to the new studio and the little
apartment there. It's a hard job, as when the lights are out, then it's flashlight time; or when it rains like today, then there's no transporting boxes, except getting them ready to load again when the sun comes out. And then, there are the times the electricity is off for five days and the doubts that come! But, thankfully, the electricity is on today!

Long awaited Move to Rwanda
This week we took our first load of household goods over to Rwanda, thanks to our neighbor who lent us their special driver and vehicle, with all the
permission papers, to carry the load across the two borders. The man who drove us is a business man here in town, and everyone seems to know him at the borders, so there were no problems. Well, actually, he and Richard were stopped at a barricade just before the border by soldiers and police who were refusing to let them pass. They were going to block the shipment of household effects because Richard was in the vehicle. They mistook him for a Canadian working for the gold mines. Then the traffic policeman’s phone rang and it was the head of traffic patrol! The head of the traffic patrol somehow knew the driver, and his instructions got the soldiers to release Richard and his baggage, so they could be on their way! God is so good! Thank you again, LORD for Your rapid intervention!!!

Richard adds, We Praise the Lord Jesus Christ for His Intervention and Sustaining Grace! It's always amazing how, out of the blue, the Lord brings to us folks to help us! We had never met this man, (special driver) but our neighbor works with him in several businesses, and sent him to help us as they knew we certainly would need help, and they love the radio work and Kathy for her nurture and the messages that have helped their kids for over 23 years now, as they have listened and responded positively since they were little kids. The Lord is Truly Working in their hearts!

Radio Kahuzi's New Home
The new studio is coming together very nicely! We will be able to purchase four large 200 AH batteries soon with a “special” gift and another four batteries later, as the Lord provides, to bring our electrical backup “on line” and begin broadcasting in our new studio! The second set of four will cost $1,500. Pray with us for that need.

Please pray also for the other backup system promised locally, a large enough generator to support the Studio and the Shortwave transmitter. The electrical outages are sometimes many days as the government is trying to revamp their ancient hydroelectric turbines to serve several million more homes than before.

Pray for wisdom as we try to configure our new Shortwave antenna to fit into a very small yard without developing interference to others as it is against the law!

Until we make the transition, we are thankful our present Studio and SW antenna continue to communicate the Gospel throughout Central Africa as it has for these many years. We cannot predict the exact date all conditions will come together to shut down the present studio and move the transmitters to the new studio, but we are praying this will occur before the end of the year and the beginning of our 24th year of broadcasting from D. R. Congo!

Thank you for your prayers and help with our radio ministry through all these years! We never could have imagined that we would be so privileged to reach souls through radio along with so many others that have come alongside, like you, to make such a difference in people's lives through the hearing of the Word of God!

With love and thanksgiving in our hearts to you,

"So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Romans 10: 17.

A Message from the Smiths
"Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all we can ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us....." Ephesians 3: 20.

This promise from the Lord has certainly been proven true as we have watched the Lord increase Rich and Kathy's faith over these past thirty years since Believer's Express Service was incorporated on March 11, 1986.

Barbara and I have been along for the amazing ride and have witnessed all that God is able to do in the lives of those willing to give Him free reign over the good and the bad, the joys and the sorrows. It all works to His Glory!

Once all the dust is settled on Phase I and Phase II, we are trusting the Lord to allow us to bring Rich and Kathy home to celebrate our 30th Anniversary with the Board of Directors and as many friends and churches as the Lord provides opportunity.

With Thanksgiving in our hearts to all who have participated in prayer and in financial assistance to complete Phase I: The New Studio in Bukavu, D. R. Congo and Phase II: The Purchase of a new home and property in Rwanda, we say a great big "Thank You"! This is all amazing since Radio Kahuzi is a commercial free station and fully funded by friends in the States. We broadcast in D. R. Congo simply to share the love of Christ and have never ask for funding from our listening audience.   

So, your prayers, along with any gifts, large or small, are appreciated to help Rich and Kathy continue their life and ministry in D. R. Congo and a new ministry in Rwanda.

May the Lord bless you and your family as you celebrate another year of Thanksgiving in Christ's unconditional Love and

Harold and Barbara Smith

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Beginning the Big Move!

We praise our Lord for friends like you who help us keep keeping on!! The radio ministry isn't easy; and we're soooo thankful when we have the encouragement from folks like you!
We're in the thick of dry season; it rained a little yesterday, but not enough to do anything, just makes the leaves dry up more. The roads are being graded as usual during dry season, so the dust is just horrendous and all the walkers just suffer so much! Everyone will be happy when the rains start again; although, then everyone will be crying about all the mud!! They added piles of top soil / not clay or argyle soil / to spread on top of the graded road. That means we will have clouds of dust if they don't put black top over it!!!!
We're in the thick of moving the radio station and the household goods from 40 years living out here; can you imagine what that's like. We just have to take it little by little, otherwise one gets overwhelmed when looking at the whole picture!
Rich is putting up the antenna for the FM at the new two room / two story radio studio. We've been moving heavy, heavy furniture from the radio room that stores all the cassettes and CD's and Mini-discs with a flat bed truck that our neighbor lent to us for a few days. So much work ahead! But, it'll be worth it -- when we finally move into the house that our board has worked sooooo hard to buy. If the Lord wills, no more renting and landlords, raising rent every time one turns around.

Across the Border
We were wondering how in the world we would ever get enough funds to buy the little house on the hill in Rwanda, and because of you all investing so much to make this happen, we just marvel how the Lord has worked this all out little by little. It's a big lesson in going by faith, and we still can't quite believe it yet. I guess when we give our friend (the owner) the last payment and we finally get all our belongings across the border, into the house, then, it'll all seem more real!!!
If the Lord wills, as soon as we get moved over, and we get the furniture placed in their places, I'll put the little Christmas dolly and the glass ornaments in the glass door cupboard that Rich had made for me one year. That will sit in the kitchen so we can put our good dishes and little special gifts that remind us to pray for you all! And, then we can put the electric candle in one of the windows at Christmas time (over there they say that the electricity hardly ever goes out) can you imagine that!!!

The water is supposed to be on most of the time, too!!  And, it's really clean! We already buy bottled water for drinking from over there (Rwanda), we boil the lake water from here in Bukavu for coffee and brushing teeth and sometimes drinking too, when the other water runs out.
Thank you to each one who helped to make our dream of property and a home in Rwanda come true!  We pray that the Lord will use it for His Honor and Glory!

Thank you soooo very much for your gifts and for your prayers, so much needed!

Keep Looking Up!
Rich and Kathy McDonald

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Face to Face With Jesus

Harold Smith, BESI / Radio Kahuzi President, Barbara Smith, Secretary, Phyllis and Wayne Schoonover

Three Members of the Schoonover Family are Enjoying their Face to Face with Jesus!

A man full of wisdom, encouragement and discretion are among the attributes of Wayne Keith Schoonover, Sr. 

Wayne joined our BESI Board of Directors in May of 2006 serving until his home going to Glory on October 14, 2015.

Wayne will be greatly missed by our BESI / Radio Kahuzi Board of Directors and many Pastors and Christian Families in the D R Congo.

Harold D. Smith, President

A Little Family History from Kathy

We remember this precious family with our shared experiences and memories of missionary life in D R Congo (formerly Zaire) and the War of Independence, during Mobutu's seizure of power in a military coup in 1965, followed by five years of political upheaval following independence known as the Congo Crisis. We all fled across the border into Rwanda to wait out the war with the Lindquists, the Schoonovers, and the Bahlers (Kathy’s family). 

When we all came back to the States from the Congo in 1960, because of the troubles, we had the privilege of having Uncle Wayne as our pastor in Derbe, Colorado. Wonderful times of growing in the Word and making lots of American friends.

Jill's Face to Face with Jesus

Jill (Schoonover) Hodgson, Home to Glory November 7, 2014  / Kathy on left, and Kim Hodgson on right 
In November of 2014 we made an emergency trip home for Richard’s eye surgeries, followed by a visit with the Schoonover families to say our goodbyes to Jill, daughter of Wayne and Phyllis Schoonover. Jill was ready and looking forward to making her entrance into Heaven after years of battling cancer, knowing II Corinthians 5:6 ”We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” Jill entered Heaven’s Gate on November 7, 2014. Jill’s mother, Phyllis, had already taken her journey on May 28, 2014.
Mike Axman, Richard and Kathy McDonald, Bill and Mary Bunch, and Wayne Schoonover

During our visit in November 2014, we went on down to Elkhart with board members, Bill and Mary Bunch and Wayne Schoonover to connect with our partners for technical assistance in Elkhart, IN at the HCJB Engineering Center now known as “Son Set Solutions.”

We enjoyed dinner with senior technician, Mike Axman, our good friend, and tech support since 1992. We are so thankful that we had this time with Wayne as it became our last visit and fellowship together until we meet again in Glory.
Wayne and Phyllis Schoonover reunited in Heaven with daughter, Jill

 Richard shares, I met Wayne before I met Phyllis in 1970, when he spoke at GBC of how it was when he was a college student and some of the pranks they played; then he challenged me that teaching in Kenya in English would be great, but had I considered being a teacher of Grace pastors in the Congo where he and Phyllis were missionaries.

Wayne Schoonover, Jr. was used of the Lord to help bring Kathy and me together as a serious couple in Blessed Courtship. Later, Uncle Wayne was the Pastor who married Kathy and me, and helped us join them as Grace Missionaries in the Congo in 1975.

Again, in 1985 Wayne’s wisdom was needed as Kathy and I were seeking the Lord’s direction–regarding whether to begin an independent missionary organization. Knowing us so personally, Wayne encouraged us to step out by faith and organize a new mission, which became Believer’s Express Service, Inc. on March 11, 1986. We will celebrate 30 years of ministry in Congo next year, 2016. BESI developed into missionary radio in 1992. This opened the Congo to it's present-day Freedom of Broadcasting; celebrating 23 years of broadcasting the Gospel on December 24, 2015.

Our journey with Wayne and the Schoonover family has been a long and fruitful one.

Uncle Wayne, Auntie Phyllis and Jill are all greatly missed, but our Reunion is not far behind. So, come quickly, Lord Jesus.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Earthquake Kills at Least Five People in Bukavu

Richard and Kathy McDonald report:

We had two earth quakes last night about 3:30 AM — about 6 on the Richter scale or more.

The SW & FM tower / rack moved about a foot, against the heavy desk and UPS batteries!

The walls cracked in the bedroom and radio room, and the cement walk began to buckled up outside the studio room door. All those places are along a line, probably a fault line under the house. The hot water heater broke loose on one side — its bolt pulled out of the wall. It  swung on the chain and holder on the other side and burst free from the input water line. It is dangling by one finger hold of the support brace and the chain I attached, just in case… We will have no hot water tonight. Hopefully, I’ll be able to fix it tomorrow / Saturday.  I took pictures for use later with the LL, as she may be able to get help fixing the problems related to the quake; especially if it was the mines blasting to see where the gold is. They take radar type x-rays from planes and satellite to see what is under the ground. Most of our neighbors have re-built their houses after the last huge quake.

We are praying that after shocks will not damage our new, two story studio.

Lake Kivu is a volcanic lake sitting on a fault line connected to several volcanoes about 100 miles north in Goma which feed methane gas into Lake Kivu.  The gas escapes from the lake causing skin and eye problems.

There is much new construction due to finding gold and now uranium. The explosion of the population has put a huge drain on the very old water and electricity system causing extreme service outages.

                                          Center of the city of Bukavu