Last week, Wednesday, I visited credit offices in Southern Region: Muhango (used to be Gitarama), Ruhango, Nyanza and Ntyazo (can you try to pronounce it?). Vincent is the regional manager. I repeated the importance of transformational impact that they are doing and asked each one of them to talk about their stories. Their stories are not very well presented now, but as time goes by they will be more conscious of it and will be able to articulate the stories. At least I am meeting them individually and listening to their grievances and suggestions also. I decided to buy some sodas for them. Fanta, Coca Cola, Sprite in the glass bottle. Remember?
For lunch, we went to a motel. Motel? Well, they serve food and motels/hotels are where they go for decent food. RWF1,500 per person or $2.70. It was sort of noodles with sauce and a couple of pieces of beef. I ate it all whether you like it or not, remembering a missionary's prayer:
"Lord, wherever you lead me, I will follow.
whatever you feed me, I will swallow."
The last stop was Ntyazo. It took us more thant two hours to get to Nyanza, but on a paved road. From Nyanza, it took us another 40 minutes to Ntyazo, but on an unpaved narrow road. Later I found out from the map that we went all the way down very close to the border with Brundi and Tanzania. When we pulled into the village, it was a market place crowded with a lot of people. It was a huge crowd. It was unbelievable. Why so many people in this village deep in the mountain? It was a market day, but so crowded! I asked why? Apparently it is a place where all farmers in the surrounding areas come for trade. We have two loan officers. Can you guess how many clients they serve? Together they serve almost 1,200 and they cannot take any more. They ask for help. No brainer. I asked the regional manager and the supervisor why not adding more people? They replied that they asked for two more loan officers and their request has been on hold until I arrive. I see... We will take care of it, I said.
On the way, I felt like I was in one of the villages in Kangwon-do province.. back in the sixties or seventies. The scenery is pretty much the same... except that the people have dark skins with pretty uniform hairstyle. You know what I mean.
I intend to visit all credit offices and meet all loan officers because they are the faces of UOB. They are in the frontline of UOB. Apparently, they have been neglected for some reason. Although most of them are working for UOB with a mission, they are humans and they have been discouraged at times. It needs to fixed. For His goodness.
Please pray that:
* the Lord will give me wisdom in reorganizing the bank's structure;
* the Lord will give our staff open-mindedness to the change that is soon to come; and
* the Lord will give all of us a sense of direction in unity on various issues. - Jeffrey