Radio Kahuzi Video

Monday, November 10, 2014

In Loving Memory

Saying goodbye to Jill until we meet again in Glory...As Christians and believers in the resurrection this is our Blessed Hope...that we shall see Him face to face.

Still smiling and surrounded by family and friends, Jill made her exit from this life Friday, November 7th into the presence of Almighty God, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

"We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord." II Corinthians 5: 8.

Always seeking the Lord's will for her life Jill surrendered her soul and spirit into His care and keeping and is now resting in His arms of love.

She is also renewing her mother / daughter relationship as earlier this year on May 28, 2014, dear Phyllis entered into His Presence. Their labor in this world is completed and they can now hear His well done!

On behalf of our BESI / Radio Kahuzi Board of Directors, we extend our love, prayers and condolences to Jill's husband, Wayne, three sons and their wives, Cory and Kim,  Joel and Amy,  Brian and Hannah. She is also survived by nine grandchildren, two bothers, Mark and Wayne, and father, Wayne Schoonover our devoted friend and BESI Board member.

BESI / Radio Kahuzi Board:

Bill Bunch
Traynor (Frosty) Hansen
Pastor Calvin Lowder
Denny Prough
Harold and Barbara Smith
Darlene and Duane Wriglesworth

Friday, November 7, 2014

Once I was blind...



"For His name's sake they went forth." John 3:7

Our Lord has told us how love to Him is to manifest itself. "Lovest thou Me?" "Feed My sheep"--identify yourself with My interests in other people, not, identify Me with your interests in other people. First Corinthians 13: 4-8 gives the character of this love, it is the love of God expressing itself. The test of my love for Jesus is the pratical one, all the rest is sentimental jargon.
---from "My Utmost for His Highest" by Oswald Chambers 

Dear Friends of BESI / Radio Kahuzi,

Greetings to our Fellow Workers and Joint-heirs with Christ Jesus in His Ministry!

We arrived in the States with a dead computer and phone, but the Lord helped us get to the operating room before the now mandatory "21 day quarantine" for all travelers coming from certain countries where Ebola exists.

Later, we went to a dentist in Florida where they said they could not serve us for 21 days. Two men saw our passports and heard the word "EBOLA" and immediately got up and RAN out of the clinic!

After a long journey, we can share that the Lord used our eye problem to advance the future planning of BESI in Central Africa, and that the laser surgery was successful! Praise Him!
We arrived in Washington on the 8th; on the 9th we arrived at Dr. Nancy Thomas' office, and right away, she saw the secondary cataract had grown behind the lens. She explained it as trying to look through wax paper. It is called a "false cataract."

Rich went into surgery where she cut a cross and about ten minutes later, his vision was crystal clear in the right eye.  What a miracle!!  Dr. Thomas found that Richard's left eye was beginning to have the same problem. So, the next day, our dear friend, Wayne Van Andel drove us back for the second laser surgery. She found his retinas are perfectly well, which was of concern. The doctor in Bukavu said the reason for the blindness was that Richard's "rods and cones were dying"! 

After two nights at Best Western, Dulles Int. Airport and  three trips to Dr. Thomas, Pastor Cal, a BESI board member from Virginia, came to pick us up and took us back to their home in Stephens City where we shared our long-range vision for BESI's outreach in the African Great Lakes. 

We returned to Dr. Thomas for the last evaluation, then on to an  Evangelism Conference in Cumberland, MD, where we met  Pastor Jordan for the first time. We shared our short presentation during the conference and the next day they took everyone on a train ride through the beautiful fall, colored Cumberland mountains and did street evangelism distributing Gospel tracts.

Next, we went by car from Maryland to Grand Rapids with Pastor Cal and Judy Lowder to visit our dear friend, Jill, Wayne Schoonover's daughter.

Then we went on down to Elkhart with board members, Bill and Mary Bunch and Wayne Schoonover. The recently renamed HCJB
Engineering Center, now known as "Son Set Solutions"  agreed to work directly with us. HCJB Global has also been renamed "Reach Beyond." They have given "Son Set Solutions" autonomy, which allows for more flexibility in our technical relationship. We had dinner with senior technician, Mike Axman, our good friend, supporter, and tech support since 1992.

The next day Mary Bunch and Debbie Meier drove us to Chicago and Moody Church at the invitation of Dr. Erwin Lutzer for a meeting over lunch with Yvonne
Carlson, Directress of Moody Church Media; and Michael Pitts, Head of Operations and Media at Moody Broadcasting. They also indicated their interest in our future plans for the Great Lakes Region. We have been broadcasting Dr. Erwin Lutzer's "Running to Win" on Radio Kahuzi for the past six months.

Later, Mary Bunch and Debbie took us to Chicago to catch a plane to Florida. Before we left, we stopped off at Moody Bible Institute for a visit as Richard and I have never been there. What a surprise we had when Richard asked the secretary if there was a way to check the archives for a graduate alumni, Fred and Milley BAHLER. She found it right away and showed us a Moody Yearbook for 1945 and found my
Daddy's picture and my Mom's name, as they are both Moody alumni  of 1945! In the hall we found their names on a memorial list along with hundreds of other students!! What great  memories that brought back!

We flew into Tampa on Oct 15 and have been enjoying our own little house for R and R and preparing for our BESI board meeting, and a visit to Grace Bible Fellowship in Nokomis, FL; however, the non-stop activity has finally taken its toll and we are taking the "cure" for malaria and trying to remain still and quiet. This is hard to do when there is so much to do before our Lord's soon return.

We spent Sunday the 19th at Palma Sola Community Church in Bradenton, FL, which included a beautiful tribute to Pastor Richard Erickson for his years of dedicated ministry to the Lord.

We appreciate your prayers for renewed strength to complete our journey back to D R Congo and Rwanda, our new home by December 1. Amazing!

Keep Looking Up!
Richard and Kathy McDonald

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Richard's Second Eye Surgery!

Dear Friends of BESI / Radio Kahuzi,

Pastor Calvin Lowder picked Rich and Kathy up at their motel at 11:30 am on October 9. The surgeon examined both Richard's eyes at 1 pm and determined that they both had "false cataracts".

She was successful in removing the problem in the right eye and when we finally found them back at the motel around 6:30 pm they were excited to give us their good report. They needed to return the next morning to repeat the procedure on his left eye as the same problem was starting to cloud his vision.

They were hoping their luggage would be there when they returned to their room; however, it did not arrive until very late that evening, so they are still in their travel clothes from Oct 5, but we both agreed that was the least of their worries. At least Kathy will not be taking a blind man back to Congo. God is so good...

Kathy visited with Dr. Thomas and was relieved to find out it would be all OK after a long week of travel and just now knowing how it would turn out.

On Friday Pastor Cal drove them back to Stephens City, a two hour drive, and Cal and the McDonalds prepared to speak Friday night at the Cumberland Conference, and stay overnight at the Downtown Cumberland Ramada then back to Pastor Cal's house for some recovery time over the weekend.

On Monday, Oct 13 they drove back to DC for follow-up...

We praise the Lord we had a great last interview with Dr Thomas!

She said my retinas are perfect! We are sure that is a relative comparison, but we are so thankful we won't need to have them checked, or worked on for a LOONNGGGGG time now that she has checked the two surgeries she has done. She gave me a new prescription for glasses for the change in one eye.

Basically, she laser-cut a cross in each lens sheath so the light could pass through the eye to the retina at the back. It opened in each eye automatically because of the surface tension on this curved sac that holds the lens in place. No problems...

We are back at Cal's, planning to go with them to Grand Rapids tomorrow (Oct 14) to visit with Bill and Mary Bunch family and Wayne Schoonover and his daughter Jill before leaving for Africa. They are all like family having also worked in Africa with Kathy's parents, Fred and Millie Bahler.

Lord willing, Bill, Mary and Wayne will travel with us to Elkart Thursday to see the HCJB team and discuss future plans and equipment needs. Wayne and Bill are members of our BESI Board.

I'll cut and send as I need to write to our team in Bukavu, where the main problem continues to be power outages in the afternoons.

We covet your prayers and good wishes for them.

Praise our LORD as His blessings are new every morning.

Keep Looking Up!
Richard and Kathy McDonald

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Richard is Preparing for Eye Surgery

A Message from
Dr. Adrian Rogers, "Love Worth Finding"
Runners train themselves to be focused on one thing--the finish line. They have one desire and they are not going to let what is going on in the stands or who is lagging behind to distract them. Paul had the same sense. He, too, believed that you could not win a race by looking over your shoulder or glancing to the right or the left. You can't see what is ahead when you've got your headlight on the rear bumper. Paul forgot his past glory, past mistakes, past grief, past everything. Paul refused to let his past keep him from reaching his goal. What are you doing in your race to claim the prize of a closer walk with God?  
"I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." Phil. 3:14.

Dear Friends of BESI / Radio Kahuzi, What a wonderful surprise you all gave us when we read Barbara's updates telling us of your help in such a big way! We are so blessed and we know that this all is showing us the Love that comes from our Lord Jesus through your working together with us to spread the Gospel, even in these difficult situations. Thank you, thank you, thank you for helping us at this time! The lights are off, again, so we're running the radios on batteries and the light plant.  Sunday afternoons are slow, the one who flips the switch to put our electricity on is probably sleeping or something, so we'll have a while yet to wait for it to come on. We always have hot water in the thermoses so, I got my cup-a coffee while we hold on with flashlights. It's dark in the house in the back rooms so trying to pack and get things in order for the trip by flashlights. 
Yes, we're getting things ready for the big trip. It's always such a busy time, as you know, trying to leave the food and fellows that guard and the journalists programs all in order ahead a month, and the lists and lists to make out for everyone to follow so that each one has their own job to do. We're packing up the living room and dining room so that one of the fellows can come in and mop and dust while we're gone and keeping an eye on the parrot to make sure he gets outside and cleaned and brought in before it rains, and making sure the windows are closed at night and the lights turned on and making sure that no one leaves the water faucet outside on, all makes lots of business.  And, that's just a little bit of what has to be done before we leave. Oh, and don't forget the kitties and the doggie food portioned out, and the salaries and water and electricity and taxes all paid ahead a month. You see why we don't go away too often.
Thank you again for all you've done to help make this possible! 

Rich, here with the...Rest of the Story!

First, thank you for your intercessory prayer. God does hear and answer our pleas for help. Nailing down the plane tickets, hotels, and transport is always tricky but with the help of our niece, Kim Beck, all is secure. Bukavu - Kigali - Entebbe - Amsterdam - London - Wash DC beginning Oct 6 and landing in DC Oct 8 with surgery Oct 9. The Oct 9 surgery all depends on what our surgeon finds. If it is more than she can treat with laser in her office, we would most likely add a day at a nearby surgical center.

In the meantime, we have been working hard to secure a rental / purchase agreement on Phase II: "The Little White House" across the border in Cyangugu, Rwanda. This move must take place before December 31st to avoid the double rent promised by our current landlady. This also means that Phase I must be completed and ready to go "ON AIR" at the same time. So where are we?

On September 18th and 19th Kathy and I were at a real Low, even to the point of turning down the offer to rent "The Little White House" as the terms had changed and his wife was not in agreement to sell after days of negotiations, etc. Then Bosco (the owner) came to our gate with the rent contract for ten years--with no option to buy!  

We began discussing the contract, when my phone rang, and Danny our journalist signaled a problem in the radio room. I excused myself to take care of the technical problem and asked Kathy to continue the discussions in Swahili. The generator had begun accelerating for a few bursts and settled down before I got there. I turned the SW transmitter on again and checked out the generator. It all seemed normal, so I told Danny to shut it down if it happened again, while I returned to the negotiations. As it turned out, Kathy was able to put everything in perspective and Bosco, our new landlord, agreed to a number of modifications to the contract. It suddenly was very helpful and Ideal for our needs.  

He said he paid a lawyer $150 to prepare the document, but he was willing to work with us to make this work the way we want and need, rather than keeping to the lawyer's scenario. Rather than having to come up with 8 years of rent in one payment after a year, we could pay another two years or three next year, to make it a 5-year contract to rent, with the promise that he would be willing (and his wife who was not willing till now) to sell the house to us if that was what we desire after five years. We said we don't need a modern kitchen and bath room, (to keep it simple) but he said he wants to use the two year's rent we paid to make the changes, and showed us a website picture of the kitchen with 5 choices of color. Kathy agreed to the wood colored, built-in cabinets. He said that anywhere along the process the Lord provides the funds to purchase, he would return the outstanding rent toward the payment. He said he would have it all ready for our return in November for 1st of December occupancy. He would help with the trucks for passing the border with our "déménagement."

He offered to meet us in Kigali and take us to the airport, after meeting and letting his wife get to know us--an important factor in all this. He said he would take us to the US Embassy Monday before our evening flight and help us make contact with some Rwandan authorities, to introduce our plans for BESI / Rwanda. He said the government works hand in hand with America, and that Non-profit organizations can easily buy large tracts of land from the government to develop their projects.

Praise the LORD! In His Love and Care, Richard and Kathy 

(Photo: Barbara and I celebrated our 55th Wedding Anniversary in June.)

The Lord has lifted a heavy burden...making a way where there seemed to be no way. We know your intercessory prayer made the difference. We have been struggling to find a way to reduce the cost of excessive rent for the past three or four years with many dead ends and closed doors. All along the Lord had plans to use this dilemma to direct our eyes across the border to open a new field of service! If we would have stayed at the current location the rent would have been raised to $3,000 a month, compared to less that $500 in a new field of ministry. 

Sometimes the Lord has to make our situation so unbearable we have no choice but to follow his lead. We always think "Bigger is Better" when most of the time "Less is More." 

Second, Praise the Lord! We were seeking Delta SkyMiles to cover the trip but found Rich and Kathy's Sky Miles had accumulated over the years and was nearly the 80,000 each required. With your help we were able to purchase additional miles and Frequent Flyer tickets for just under $1,500. The airlines said this trip would have cost over $9,000!

Third, we talked to Dr. Thomas and were ready to pay cash in advance and asked her how much to send. She said she would do it for $500. She said, "This is strange, but I was just thinking about Kathy and Richard as I was dusting off and photographing the little woven huts they gave me in 2010." If she can do all the laser surgery in her office the $5,000 will be reduced to $500! 

Please join us in a prayer of rejoicing for all that the Lord has and will do in their lives. May Rich and Kathy continue to be a blessing as they travel the world for His Glory. 

"Little is much, if God is in it, Labor not for wealth or fame.
 There's a crown and you can win it, if you go in Jesus Name!"

Keep Looking Up,
Harold Smith, President

Friday, September 12, 2014

In Loving Memory of our mother

Faith McDonald
February 1912 - 
September 2000
Barbara, Richard and Mother

I will not see you here again,
But you will see me there,
On that glorious morning when
We will meet Him in the air.

When we will hear the 
trumpet sound
And then a mighty shout,
As Jesus comes from 
heaven down
To call His people out.

For then the living and 
the dead
Asleep in Christ will be,
In a moment changed instead
To immortality.

Then all the saints of 
ages past
Will rise in one accord,
And we will follow them,
at last
Together in the Lord.

Remembering you today, mother, 
and knowing you are face to face
with our Lord Jesus Christ.
Your loving Family

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Richard McDonald

Life in Bukavu

Richard's Banking Experience

From time to time when emergencies arise on the field and there is not enough time to make a funds transfer, we rely upon a special friend to provide a quick loan. On June 2 Richard found himself in such a situation. Unpleasant as it is to ask for help, this occasion seems ordained by the Lord as it resulted in an unexpected encounter.

Richard writes, Today I saw Richard Lugano who opened the Internet Cafe  in town to see if he could loan us some funds to cover our emergency.

(Photo to right: Richard sharing the Good News with acquaintance he met at Cafe. We cannot share his name or show his face as it would be too dangerous for him so Richard Lugano is substitute.)

While I waited for Richard to return the Lord gave me something to do. A man came into Richard's Centre Informatic and shook hands saying he remembered me from the American Consulate / Cultural Center back in the 1980s. He shared that in those days he had been a photographer and operated a small film development studio. As we talked about  Bukavu history, I asked him if he was a Christian believer. He said, "No, I keep falling into sin."

So we discussed how the Lord opened the way for the "Idea" of Radio Kahuzi, when the Lord used my torn retina problems and a helicopter flight to the mountain hospital, where the President of Far East Broadcasting Association was staying overnight. This CEO shared that he had decided not to open a radio station in Congo, but shared the possibilities of international broadcasting.

I shared with my photographer friend how I met with the Provincial Governor the very next day before leaving for the States because of severe medical complications with my earlier eye surgery, and how I asked him for permission to use an abandoned radio studio to begin a Christian radio network. He remembered the Governor.

I also shared that the Governor had received Christ as his Savior only weeks before coming to Bukavu to become our Governor, and his Administrative Assistant, Mr Yumba, had been saved only three months before. He could understand how the Lord was working behind the scenes to use each of them and us to prepare the "Way" for the radio network to be born.

Richard meets with Prime Minister
Then I shared that several years later we met with President Mobutu and the Director of his Office, who pointed out in two meetings that it was impossible, as the Constitution of Zaire did not provide for other radios, as the OZRT or RTNC had a monopoly on public broadcasting.

Being a photo journalist, he was keenly interested that President Mobutu asked for our statutes and promised to see what could be done to help Believers Express Service Inc, with this project.

Richard worked 3 yrs on BESI statutes

He listened with understanding when we showed how all of this was "so impossible to hope for," but a year later the President decided to end the "One-Party-State" and to allow multi-party elections. And, two days later President Mobutu signed a Presidential Decree recognizing the American BESI as a Congolese Association so it could pursue its projects to development, thus birthing Radio Kahuzi as a National Network of Radio Broacasting and opening the nation to other radios and TV stations and freedom of the press.

As I shared that we could not take anything with us when we die, not a shirt, telephone, house, car, etc., but as Christian Believers, Richard Lugano and I were laying up treasures in Heaven, and when we died, the Lord would give special responsibilities to those who served him here below, he seemed to reflect and lowered his head.

At that point he asked me to pray for him; and as we continued, he repeated it. So, when I saw his head was bowed, I asked if he wanted me to lead him in prayer to receive Christ Jesus as his Savior. He said, "Yes." So I prayed and he repeated each sentence exactly. We included phrases to help explain exactly what this meant.

Afterward we shared II Cor. 5:21 with him and wrote down a diagram of what the verse describes and asked him to prayerfully study this tonight and see if he understands his Position In Christ after a few days.

We Praise the Lord there was a reason for me to wait for Richard. It was "A Different Kind of Banking."

Two More Precious Souls

Again, on June 10 I had the joy of leading another man in prayer of salvation in front of the shop. He came across the street and asked for a Galcom radio when he saw me getting ready to drive away. I shared II Cor 5: 21 with him in a diagram on the hood of the car after he shared that he thought God would take him when he died because God gave him life in the first place and that made him a child of God.

I shared that it is necessary to receive Jesus Christ as Savior because God sent Him to become a man to receive our sins on the cross and make it possible for any man to receive His Righteousness by Faith through the cross.

A man asked us to move my car so he could get out onto the road, so he quickly prayed the sinners prayer with me and I gave him the diagram of II Cor 5:21 to study. He said he will cherish it and study the verse in his Bible.

At home later the same day, a Radio Club President came to ask for a Bible, and I had the privileged of sharing the same verse in diagram in the cover of his new Bible and read together in Swahili, II Cor 5: 21, and after he prayed the sinners prayer and read the verse in Swahili, he said he would share all this with his children and his wife at home.

"For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him." II Cor. 5:21.

I had him write his name in the diagram in the cover of his Bible to confirm and keep for future reference with "June 11, 2014" by his name.

In His Service, Rich and Kathy 

                                    "My table is full, but my fields are empty,
                                      who will go and work for Him Today!"

Sunday, June 8, 2014

In Loving Memory 

of Phyllis Schoonover

Home With the Lord 
May 28, 2014

Kathy Remembers Auntie Phyllis

Auntie Phyllis, sometimes folks ask why we have so many Uncles and Aunties, and the reason is, that “us missionary kids” usually lived on the Mission Field, far away from family, and the Missionaries became our family. Auntie Phyllis was one of my loving “Aunties.”

She is so dear to all of us and made such an influence in all our lives! 

I remember meeting her for the first time. She and her husband, Uncle Wayne and children, Mark, Wayne, and Jill had several of us missionary families over for lunch, I was seven, and I remember the beautiful glasses on the table. I thought they were too special to touch!   

Then, my Daddy, Fred Bahler, and his usual mischievousness, took one of the glasses, and started rubbing the top, and such beautiful sounds started coming from that glass. Pretty soon, everyone was rubbing the glasses, and having such a great time. Sure broke the ice. Thus, started a long journey of friendship and ministry through the years!

Through the years, we had many laughs, cries, discouragements, blessings and grand experiences that only one has in missionary life. Wouldn’t trade it for anything. Our lives are rich beyond imagination.

Many, many memories of Auntie Phyllis: She always encouraged us and gave advice when needed! I learned how to not take too much on my plate, remembering that there were others in the line behind me! She gave me lessons in fractions, when my Mom got frustrated with me! That was at Kumbya, at Independence time and our Mom’s were trying to keep the schooling going, even if we were refugees in an evacuation--vacation land of swimming, hiking and boating. 

When we all came back 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.

Then, Grace Bible College came, and Richard and I were married by Uncle Wayne and a whole new life started with Richard and me going to the mission field, because of Uncle Wayne and Auntie Phyllis’s testimony and their personal challenge to become missionaries to the Congo, formerly Zaire.

Richard Remembers

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. Later his son Wayne, Jr., played a prank on me and Kathy–attacking us as we returned from a symphony concert / orchestra, and washing Kathy’s face in the snow. When I told him to get his own date with her instead of ruining my only date with Kathy, young Wayne let it be known that I had a crush on Kathy.   
Later, Uncle Wayne was the Pastor who married Kathy and me, and helped us join them in the Congo in 1975. 

In 1985 as head of GMI, Wayne encouraged us to establish BESI and later he and Phyllis encouraged us with Radio Kahuzi and helped us find Board members for BESI at the GGF Convention in 1988. Later, Phyllis encouraged Uncle Wayne to also become an active BESI Board member.

All through the years Auntie Phyllis and Uncle Wayne have Fortified our Work in the Lord by Praying, Giving, Counseling, Giving, and Intervening, to Help us Keep On Keeping ON!! 

Praise the Lord for their Lives and Ministry to us and through us.

Harold and Barbara Smith met Phyllis and Wayne 
at a GGF Convention in the 90s