Saturday, November 13, 2010

A Retreat with Shalom Bible Study Group

[Burning woods to generate steam to dry tea leaves ... Different sizes of tea powder ... Ready to be exported]

[Praising the good Lord with Sangmin's guitar play... It is all tea plantation. Beautiful, isn't it?.... Kind of cute, huh?]

On Saturday, November 13th, we had a retreat with Shalom Bible Study members at the SORWATHE, the largest tea factory in Rwanda. It supplies 75% of the Rwandan tea. It has its own tea plantations of approximately 260 hectares and also collects tea leaves from nearby farmers who have approximately 1,200 hectares. From the main road, we drove 19 kms to the tea factory and we were able to see the tea plantations along the road throughout the journey. It was beautiful and impressive.

We toured the tea factory and it was quite interesting. We all had to put on blue gowns and we looked interestingly cute. We toured the black tea, white tea and orthodox tea factory facilities. The green tea factory was not in operation. I learned that green tea production process is different from black tea's in that 1) their tea trees are different and 2) green tea is steamed while black tea is withered.

After the tour, we had a great time of praising the creator God, of eating B.B.Q. beef with lettuce and more, and of studying about "Good Steward's Financial Management." One of the members (Junghee Park) was going back to Korea a week later after his service as a KOICA (the Korean version of Peace Corps) volunteer and I felt strongly that young people should learn about the biblical principles on financial management when they are still young. I had to condense 7-8 hour volume to 2 hours, but it was a blessing to us all. If they could grasp and apply even one or two principles to their lives, they would be better off.

Oh Lord, may your Holy Spirit bless their hearts with your divine wisdom in their financial management lives! - Jeffrey

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