From Tuesday, March 17 through Friday, March 20, I attended the Opportunity International Global Leadership Conference held in Kampala, Uganda. It is an annual conference that gathers all leadership of OI's operations scattered around the world. OI has four regions: Africa, East Europe, Asia and Latin America. Each region has several countries, totalling 32 countries and 35 financial institutions.
Africa has nine countries. They are Ghana, Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique and South Africa. There are other countries where operations are being established, green field or acquisition. In this tapestry of many colors, the common thread is Jesus Christ's call to serve the poor.
The participants are from many nations and cultures, speaking many different languages. But the common language is that of the love of Jesus Christ.
A business enterprise is seeking one bottom line: profitability. OI is seeking triple bottom lines. They are sustainability, scale of outreach and transformational impact. Seeking all three bottom lines is a great challenge since they are offsetting each other to a certain extent. To focus on sustainability, the scale of outreach may have to be compromised, but it cannot be. To achieve the maximum outreach, transformational impact may have to be compromised, but it cannot be. We are called to pursue all three bottom lines without compromising on any. Again, it is a challenge, but it is a mandate to obey.
The global environment is tough and stormy. The theme was batten down the hatches to weather the storm. But the reminder was not to forget our mission to serve the poor. Between these two seemingly contradicting mandates, we have to strike the balance. It is a challenge. But nothing is impossible, Lord's willing and enabling.
The Victoria Lake was still beautiful at a tiny edge of it. I spotted several monkeys on the tree and crossing the street. I have run into a bunch of long horn cows crossing the road and blocking the cars. Uganda is called the Pearl of Africa, comparatively to Kenya's the Pride of Africa and Rwanda's the Heart of Africa.
Oh, Lord. Thank you for the opportunity of gathering together with many leaders of OI, serving the poor all over the world. Thank you for the common vision that you have given us and for the hearts to carry out the mandate you have given us. Thank you for the tough times that we are facing so that we may be made humble before you. Thank you for the determination and resilience that the leadership was showing in weathering the current storm. Thank you for the unity that we sensed in our midst with your presence apparent among us. Thank you for the opportunity that we shared our struggles and challenges to overcome them together. Thank you for the great encouragement that we all received from each other in carrying out the great calling to serve the poor. Thank you for who you are and what you have done for us all. Thank you for the great assurance that you are fighting the war that you have already won. Thank you for so many godly people who are humbling themselves before you and others to exhibit the godly characters with integrity and excellence. Thank you very much for the glory that we all hope for and you will share with us as your co-heirs. Oh, thank you, Lord... Amen! - Jeffrey