Sunday, February 8, 2009

The First Week and the First Lord's Day in Kigali...

[<= This is the head office of Urwgo Opportunity Bank where my office is located.]

A week has passed by in Kigali. It was a hectic week that has flown away like at the blink of an eye.

My week was full of meetings with people and busy taking over from the interim CEO. Kristin spent the week, coming up with creative cooking out of limited resources available from the market and looking for our housing, while recovering from sickness she had right before we left on Friday.

On Friday, I had an opportunity to open and share the Word with the staff at the head office. It was at one of the two devotion times that the bank holds every week. The other is held on Mondays. We all were blessed and challenged. I managed to say a few expressions in Kinyarwanda, the native language, and they all responded with applause. I expressed my desire to be able to share the Word in Kinyarwanda someday in the future, which drew another applause. Praise the Lord.

Yesterday, I practiced driving a stick shift car. In Rwanda, almost all cars are on the stick shift. So it is challenging to drive cars here since the country has a lot of hills. Rwanda's nickname is 'the land of thousand hills.' I barely managed to drive around the town, I still need more practices. Lord's willing and enabling, I will be able to drive more comfotably.

This coming week, I plan to visit the bank's credit offices in the Eastern Region on Wednesday and Thursday. Rwanda has five regions, including Kigali. Urwego Opportunity Bank (UOB), the bank I will be leading, has 27 credit offices scattered around the nation. So I will be able to see and experience the rural areas and the real poorest of the poor for the first time. Thus far my experiences in Rwanda have been limited to the city of Kigali where a decent lifestyle is still made available.

This coming week will be the first week on my own since the interim CEO handed the office and keys over to me in the Friday afternoon. On Monday, I will distribute my message to all staff in English as well as in Kinyarwanda. I plan to meet all VPs, directors, and managers individually to learn what they do and to find out what their suggestions are.

We are still hunting for a house. We have found one that we think will suit our needs. The landlord is reviewing the lease agreement that I ended up drafting. We hope to get the house since it is not too big and it will be within our budget.

Kristin has been working on our monthly budget. She has also been testing her creative cooking skills. So far she has proven to be creative enough to prepare our dining table with a lot of varieties without having to eat the same meal twice. This week she may explore some options for her future ministry opportunities. But her effort will be limited until we are settling down at a place with the household stuff expectedly to arrive on the 20th of February.

Please pray that:

* we will depend on God's grace in securing our house suitable for our budget;
* we will depend on God's wisdom in learning about the work and people; and
* we will depend on God's discernment in making judgment and every decision. - Jeffrey

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