Monday, February 4, 2008
Earthquake Update: Distressed and Homeless Families in Bukavu
UPDATE ON EARTHQUAKE DAMAGE: The two hydro dams have cracks that are being evaluated now with the earthquakes and aftershocks, and power goes off occasionally for a few minutes; but we are on the air as normal thus far. Mondays (today) and Fridays we are on four hours in the evening from 6 to 10 PM in FM and short wave, getting write-ins as far as Johannesburg, South Africa, and Belgium even though our signal there is only a low 2 over 5. But we are able to cover the Eastern half of DR Congo, Rwanda, etc., with a good strong signal.
We continue to share Good News with the listeners and what we know about the state of affairs, and relay the news live concerning the day to day situation. The Governor and seismographic experts help to give good counsel to the population via Radio Kahuzi. During the broadcasts we have made and received calls to find out what is happening with the volcanoes.
And during the night, when the second earthquake hit (with a 5 on the Richter), we had calls from Radio Club Coordinators sharing how distressed families were coming to them for guidance and help.
This morning the Radio Clubs met, organized, and put their funds together to construct some shelters where the homeless could find protection for the night. We gave them sheeting for the roof and baby blankets for the cold air, and radios to follow our broadcasts.
We continue to do “Enquete and Reportage” to inform the listeners where the hospitals and NGOs are receiving lists of vulnerables and preparing to help with food, sheeting, and meds. The authorities are requesting everyone to stay outside until this passes. We will continue to work with the authorities and our Radio Clubs to inform the population of any dangers and how they can get help. We will continue to distribute Galcom fix-tuned, solar, recharging radios and baby blankets and what gospel tracts we have to different groups in different directions to also get the Word out for their Spiritual needs and dangers.
We, also, are not sleeping in our beds, but trying to be on alert if another quake hits in the next few days. Kathy slept in the van last night, but came down with malaria, and is sharing the living room with me near the door, ready to escape if the house begins to fall.
We have various daily reports from other sources such as VOA (Voice of America), RTNC National radio and TV, MONUC (United Nations Mission in DR Congo), and partner radios in the province, as well as call-ins; and we will be providing our own reports as this progresses. We have also used the cell phone to counsel expats and local friends in need. We, with our Radio Clubs, will be working with various relief efforts and counseling victims, as will our journalists, on site, day by day, and in planning and security meetings.
It is early to say, but we have seen, in conversations with people of various backgrounds, a willingness to bring the Lord into this subject as they have difficulty coping with the day to day of this. Pray for our outreach as we have the opportunity to share “the Reason of the Hope that we have within us.” Certainly everyone is tuning in to hear details of their security and the quakes. We have their attention !
The Lord graciously allowed us new contact and working with the Chinese Doctors and medics of MONUC Saturday, the day before the Quake, as a visiting missionary required emergency medical treatment. We are following up with tracts we have in their language and giving them Galcom radios. He allowed us a similar opportunity during the wars, when several Chinese MONUC soldiers befriended us.
The Lord knows, this is why we are here; He is always Faithful ! Thank you -- for being faithful to hold us up before His Throne of Grace !
Keep Looking UP ! And Keep On Keeping ON !!
In His Love, Richard & Kathy McDonald
Update on Situation in Bukavu: