|The group of people who received English bibles|
August was another month of significant progress which we would like to thank and praise God for.
The following updates exhibit the highlights of our ministry in Rwanda:
1. IFC has approved our funding proposal for $450K that will cover technical assistance and funding in developing mobile and agent banking network. This is the third support that God has provided since we began the project, after UNCDF and Triple Jump. We praise the Lord for His provision! Unfortunately, however, the launch date for this project has been pushed back to November. The positive side is that we will have more time to prepare for the launch. Please pray with us for His continuous guidance.
2. We have finalized on the name of UOB's mobile banking solution. It has been selected out of 30 or so name candidates. It carries a relevant meaning and sits very well with UOB's tag line of "Banki ya Bose" (Bank for All) as well. We thank God for providing this name for us. Sorry for not being able to share it until it is ready to be released.
3. UOB has now started taking steps towards issuing up to 50,000 UOB Grace Cards (chip 'N PIN debit cards) before the year-end. This project has gained momentum because RSwitch (Rwanda's national switch) successfully migrated UOB's connection towards Postilion, an upgraded version of the switch server. We plan to issue 2,500 cards in September before we scale it up in the following months.
4. Operationally, UOB continued its growth and sustainability.
5. UOB has completed its construction for Ngoma Branch. It will be open for business as of October 1st. We are securing a lease for Huye Branch and planning to open it in December. We are also securing a lease in Gisozi to open a mini branch. Also in August, we have secured 6 new credit offices while closing down one that has been absorbed into other credit offices. Now UOB has 32 credit offices, 8 branchs (10 by the year-end) and 1 mobile branch.
6. UOB held several training courses for its staff, including 2-weekend credit training for which I was part of the faculty. All these training courses are held as part of UOB Academy. Continuous capacity building for the staff is an essential element for a sustainable development and operation.
7. UOB is redesigning its micro insurance product to enhance the benefits and speed up the claim service process. We will run a few focus groups to collect feedback from clients before we launch in November. UOB is also designing a life insurance product tied to the mobile banking platform. We are excited about this product.
8. UOB has received additional 6,000 English bibles from Bible League in the U.S. to be distributed to UOB clients. It is our prayer that these bibles will be passed on to the children of our clients so that they may be exposed to the Word early on. These bibles have been received after we successfully distributed 1,000 bibles earlier this year. We are grateful for this provision!
9. God has allowed for some challenges so that we may remain humble before Him. We had a robbery case of one of our lending staff, but later on the police suspected the very staff who reported the robbery and ended up charging him for the fraud. We also faced another fraud and challenges from local authorities in several places. He keeps us putting our trust in Him, rather than leaning on our own understanding.
10. We held the quarterly off-site prudential meeting with the BNR (central bank) in August. The governor confirmed that UOB is the overall best run bank in Rwanda. BNR, however, raised a few issues which I think are somewhat unreasonable but nonetheless we will have to explain about and plea for reconsideration. Again, we need to depend on Him before we make any decision and take any action.
11. We received several visitors, including the World Relief Global CEO, Stephan Bowman. He used to be Country Director of World Relief Rwanda. World Relief founded Urwego Community Banking as part of its post-genocide relief work in 1997, which merged with Opportunity International's green field bank in 2007 to establish the current Urwego Opportunity Bank.
|Shalom Bible Study with children at Mt. Kabuye|
12. Shalom Bible Study hiked Mt. Kabuye in a total group of 15 people. Most of us made to the top where we praised God and prayed. It was an event organized to make a memory for three members who are returning to S. Korea after their 2-year mission. We also participated in Korean Missionary Fellowship prayer meeting. I continued to minister to God's people at Agape Korean Church, St. Etienne Cathedral and UOB through preaching. I am grateful for the opportunities of proclaiming the gospel of love, peace and hope
13. We have the following prayer requests:
- For God's continued guidance in developing the mobile banking solutions in a timely manner for a timely launch in November
- For God's provision of wisdom in designing the road maps in implementing IFC TA funding
- For God's provision of discernment in analyzing, assessing and deciding on human resources cases, including frauds so that our decisions may be godly and edifying
- For God's conviction to all staff about UOB's mission, vision and core values so that our transformation efforts may be apparent and evident in all we do.
- For God's mercy upon our aging parents to finish their lives on earth in joy, hope and love.
- For God's grace upon our two daughters who are in service for different purposes in Africa so that they may serve as if they work for the Lord and they may clearly see the path that the Lord has prepared for them.
- For God's continued illumination to us to be able to understand God's Word clearly so that we may preach, teach, coach and lead many people who have been bestowed upon us to serve.
Thank you all for standing with us through prayer and support for our ministries.
May God bless you, keep you, make His face shine upon you and extend His grace and peace to you!
Gratefully in His service,
Jeffrey and Kristin from Kigali, RWANDA