Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve 2011

December 24, 2011, it is Christmas Eve. As usual, it is a quiet day and evening. But it is a lot closer to the first Christmas Eve. It was a silent night and holy night.

Kristin and I spent time, after dinner, reflecting on God's overflowing grace poured upon us in 2011. Indeed our experience of God's grace in 2011 has been undeserving and more than we could ever ask for. Of course, we had challenges and hardships. But all the experiences have produced goodness somehow.

* God kept us both healthy ... although I still had a few near-passout experiences on the airplanes.
* God solidified our mutual love and understanding even stronger than ever.
* God kept our children safe and healthy. He brought James (our son-in-law) back safely from Afghanistan.
* God kept using me in preaching and teaching the Word while growing my faith and maturing my trust in Him. He has been transforming a few young people in the Shalom Bible Study, noticeably to others. PTL!
* God prospered UOB by doubling our micro loan portfolio over the year, while maintaining an excellent portfolio quality. Also He enabled us to achieve the operating sustainability. I cannot be thankful enough to Him. He increased the number of clients we serve to over 120,000, an incredible amount of trust in us, and allowed us to scale up client transformation through Holistic Life Improvement modules. We must prove faithful since we have been given the trust. (1 Cor. 4:2)
* God expanded Kristin's sewing project for 20 women and her outreach to the needy.
* God kept our parents healthy while extending the life of Kristin's mother although in bed. We pray that her last days on earth may remain hopeful for the time to see the Lord face to face.
* God allowed me to climb and to stand on top of Mt. Kilimanjaro with four friends of mine. It was a thrilling and unforgettable experience! We called ourselves the Five of the Fifties. We all made it to the top!
* There are numerous more blessings that God gave us throughout 2011...

But, the greatest gift and grace that we have ever received and ever will receive is Jesus who came to earth in human flesh. God's divine incarnation. God made flesh. Eternity came into time and space. Glory turned to sin.  Creator became creation. Unbearable and inconceivable. Simply undeserving. Amazing grace.

So, Christmas Eve can hardly be "Jingle Bell" or "Dashing through the snow" to me. It is a holy night, making me solemn, humble and ever grateful.

This Christmas Eve, though, had a difference. We were reflecting and talking, listening to the music sung by Placid Domingo, Jose Carreras and Diana Ross with the Vienna Symphony on December 23, 1992. Their music was a good company to our dialogue.

On the Christmas Day, we celebrate the birth of the Savior. But His birth is meaningful only when He becomes our Lord as well. His birth and redemptive death on the Cross bear fruits only when our hope for the promised return of our Lord becomes evident in our lives, His return being not as the slain lamb but as the Lion of Judah. As the King of the kings and the Lord of the lords. Not to die again but to judge and reign.

On this Christmas Day, may this confession be ours together! May we worship Him with deep gratitude. Thank you, Lord! - Jeffrey 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

New Creation Ministry Graduation

[Gary Scheer... Graduates singing "Jesus loves me"....One of the graduates with Gary and his wife...
UOB Gospel Singers... UOB Gospel Singers leading the praise... Guests at the graduation ceremony]

On Saturday, December 10, New Creation Ministry (NCM) held a graduation ceremony for 18 pastors who completed their 2-year training through NCM's Pastor Training School.

NCM was founded by Gary Scheer, a missionary from Colorado, USA, who has been serving the Lord in Rwanda since 1979. His ministry focus has been on training pastors and church leaders who are influential to so many people in Rwanda.

On December 10, 18 pastors graduated. They included two Burundians and one Ugandan. They all were grateful for the teaching. They sang a song "Jesus loves me this I know." They looked so serious and their seriousness made me smile.

UOB Gospel Singers were invited to lead the praise time. I am so grateful for UOB Gospel Singers because they are so talented, first, but more importantly, their hearts and passions for God are so inspiring.

I was thinking of Gary and his wife Lori's dedicated service for the past 30+ years for Rwanda, and became so humbled. They are good friends of mine and Kristin's, and I became deeply grateful for them to the Lord. Gary has recently filed for a university level accredited school, called "Christian Leadership Institute of Rwanda" or CLIR. Once approved, it would be the first Christian accredited university for leadership education and training.

May their ministry be more abundantly blessed!

Below are some photos. - Jeffrey

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Good Steward's Financial Management...

On December 4 and 11, I led a seminar on "Good Steward's Financial Management" at Agape Korean Church in Rwanda. This 8-hour session dealt with the issues related to our financial matters.

The world is full of a disease, called "Affluenza." Affluenza is contagious and causes high fever to people when infected. It also has serious side effects. It makes people greedy and crave for materials and money. It also makes people fall in love with Hedonism, Materialism and Consumerism. It is a disease.

The most effective cure for Affluenza, particularly for Christians, is stewardship. It means realization that God owns everything and we are only managers or stewards. This is true because God owns mankind two times: once through His creation and twice through His redemption (buy-back) at the expense of Christ.

But, not all stewards are good stewards. Good stewards are those who not only accept God's ownership in everything but also make conscious efforts to managing possessions according to the owner's will.

The following questions may illustrate three types of people well:

1. Most people: "What shall I do with my money?" (my ownership and my desire)
2. Stewards: "What shall I do with God's money?" (God's ownership but my desire)
3. Good stewards: "What does God want me to do with His money?" (God's ownership and God's desire/will)

This good stewardship should be apparent and manifest in four aspects of financial management: Earning, Giving, Saving and Spending. I call them "four pillars of financial management."

Earning should be without greed to make money money. Whenever we feel we should make more money, we may fall into temptation. Earning should be without sacrificing any relationship, particularly family or friends, or health. Earning should also be without 'love of money.'

Giving should be made in priority. The first portion of the fruits should be dedicated to giving. It is a grace of giving. Giving means allotment according to God's will: God's portion, Neighbor's portion, Government's portion and my portion. This allotment means responsible giving. Moreover, sacrificial and generous giving has been encouraged because the best antidote to 'Affluenza' is giving.

Saving should be made in preparation for unproductive times and unpredictable events. Excessive accumulation of wealth without consideration for the owner is foolish, according to the Scriptures. The world tries to fool us with false calculation for the retirement needs. Retiring is re-tiring, a process to change the tire and keep going.

Spending is critical to all aspects of Good Steward's Financial Management. Uncontrolled spending will likely put pressure to all other aspects of financial life. It will tempt you to earn more, to give less and to save less. One should be cautious about "lifestyle creep" where your spending increases in anticipation of an increase in earning. Rockefeller suggested a 10-10-80 rule in that giving the first 10%, saving the next 10% and spending within the remaining 80%.

"One who gives away what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose is a no feel." (Jim Elliot)

It is my prayer that all who participated in the seminar may put a few lessons into their practical use. - Jeffrey

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Ministry Updates - November 2011

Dear friends, family and fellow Kingdom workers,

The month of November was another slow month at UOB due again to the seasonality, but the month was yet full of excitements. Here were the highlights

1. UOB will distribute 7,000 English bibles to the leaders of trust groups so that their children may have English bibles and the Word of God may be passed unto the next generations. World Bible Translation Center is sponsoring these bibles. UOB received the first supply of 1,000 bibles and 480 bibles have been distributed in Gicumbi. It is our prayer that God's Living Word may impact young people of Rwanda. This was done as part of my plan to visit field staff at least once a year.

2. Mona Park from Philadelphia, PA, Kristin and I had an opportunity to visit one of Savings Circles HOPE International is supporting in cooperation with Rwanda's Anglican Churches. These Savings Circle are informal groups where they save regularly and lend to other members through which they grow their wealth gradually. UOB is exploring the possibility of providing linkage loans and services to help them graduate up to the formal financial services sector.

3. Korean missionaries in Rwanda continued the monthly prayer fellowship and it was a blessing to us all.

4. UOB signed a loan agreement to use Rwf575 million (approximately $1 million) from Rwanda Development Bank (BRD). With this funding, UOB has now secured a total of $5 million for 2012. Along with equity capital and deposits, this should be sufficient to cover all funding needs in 2012. Praise the Lord!

5. Kristin and Jeffrey received and had fellowship with several visitors, including Mona Park, wife of the senior pastor for Jubilee Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, Byungsan Chung, a missionary with YWAM UK and Young Chun Byun, a missionary based in the Philippines. Their visits are always encouraging and uplifting.
6. UOB received the final report that documented UOB's Social Performance using CERISE format. It was the first time that we received such a report on social performance. It has provided a good guidance on what we should improve.

7. In November, UOB received several audits, including EU audit, Gates/Master Card Mid-term audit and Earnst & Young external audit for the third quarter. Audits are good in a sense they establish accountability, but too many at the same time create a significant burden. Nonetheless, our team has handled them pretty effectively.

7. As of November 30th, UOB's loan portfolio remained pretty flat Rwf6.9 billion, slightly lower than October 31st. This slight decline reflects the low seasonality in October and November.

8. UOB's outreach, however, continued to expand with its borrowing clients totaling 39,765, a few hundreds clients more than October 31st. This is wonderful in light of the challenges that we face in the field, particularly competition from new banks.

9. We continued our preparation to offer the third-party remittance services, including Western Union, Money Gram and RIA This will enhance UOB's product offering, in addition to the US dollar, wire transfer services and FX services that have been launched recently.

10. Meanwhile, PAR (Portfolio At Risk) > 30 days increased to 1.2% from 0.72% a month earlier, an undesirable move but this level still represented a very healthy level. We shall closely monitor how it moves.

11. We provided a 2-day credit training for approximately 18 staff on micro business lending (MBL). This group of people included 10 people who were selected out of the last month training group of 20 plus Loan Underwriting Team and other related staff. We trust that these training will provide competence in serving our clients who desire to graduate to individual loans from group loans.

12. A group of four graduate students from Johns Hopkins University will be working with UOB on a project related to agent banking. We had the first telephone conference in October and they will work off site until January when they will be on site for three weeks to produce a white paper proposing an effective implementation plan on agent banking. We look forward to working with them. Also we are in contact with St. Mary University in California and George Washington University MBA students on different projects.

12. The Kininya sewing project that Kristin is handling continues to progress well. Out of 20 women who have been trained for the past six months, 10 are able to produce simple products in commercial quality. They keep practicing their skills through pilot testing work. From January 2012, they will be able to generate income out of sewing. Later next year, they plan to form a cooperative to be more formal and to be able to bid for bigger contracts. We are excited!

13. Jeffrey continued serving God's saints through preaching at UOB staff devotion and Agape Korean Church in Rwanda under establishment. He also led the weekly Shalom Bible Study, studying the Sermon on the Mount. It is a mutually blessing time.

14. We have the following Prayer Requests: Please...

* Pray for the UOB's continuing holistic transformational development through Christian micro finance in Rwanda.
* Pray for the scheduled pilot testing for mobile and agent banking in December
* Pray for a scaled-up progress in UOB's agricultural lending program.
* Pray for a mission team who will arrive in December with a focus on Business As Mission (BAM) products for Rwanda
* Pray for God's wisdom and guidance in designing effective educational finance products that will benefit many students in Rwanda
* Pray for our children (Amanda + James, and Joyce) who are still trying to figure out what God has in store for their lives on earth.
* Pray for God's peacefulness in the heart of Kristin's mom during her last days of life on earth

We appreciate your partnership with us through prayer and support.

Gratefully and joyfully in His service,

Jeffrey and Kristin Lee from Kigali, RWANDA,

Friday, November 18, 2011

7,000 English Bibles for Rwanda

UOB has agreed to work with an NGO in the US to distribute 7,000 English bibles to Rwandans. UOB has received the first batch of 1,000 bibles and on November 18th, we distributed 480 bibles to Gicumbi, a northern part of Rwanda.

Most of UOB clients cannot read nor speak English. But their children are learning in English at their schools. It is our desire to see these English bibles passed onto the children of our clients so that the Word of God may be spread to young generations of Rwanda.

UOB has approximately 40,000 borrowing clients. So it is not feasible to distribute the bibles to all. So we will distribute the bibles to each trust group's committee members. In Gicumbi alone, there are almost 3,000 clients and the committee members are approximately 480, hence 480 bibles. We distributed the first four bibles to the leaders of a group with whom we spent time discussing about how we can better serve them. This group was started in 2003 and has since been continuously increasing their activities.

One of the members mentioned that "UOB was the first institution that empowered women and we will never forget that." What an encouraging statement! We praise the Lord who has been at the center of all we have been doing. - Jeffrey

Thursday, November 17, 2011

HOPE International and Savings Circle...

On November 17th, we had an opportunity to visit one of the Savings Circle that HOPE International is helping to form and run in Rwanda. Savings Circle are informal groups where members gather together, save regularly and lend to other members. HOPE is working with Rwanda Anglican Churches in helping the poorest of the poor learn to save and borrow to increase their economic activities.

The Savings Circle that we visited was involved in growing coffee, raising pigs and chickens, growing vegetables etc. The members were 183 in total operating through 12 Circles under the leadership of Pastor John, who was joyous with a big smile all the time.

Through their enhanced economic activities, they are now building a new church building and a new home for the pastor, where the Savings Circle also meet. The meeting was with the leaders of Savings Circles and their president. They all were proud of the achievements with deep gratitude to God who has enabled them to start the savings and improve their basic life quality.

They had a request for considering a loan for them to buy a truck to transport their produce faster for a better value. Also we discussed about "Linkage" loans to help increase their economic activities. We prayed together for God's blessing and provision in their endeavor to eradicate the poverty. - Jeffrey

Monday, November 14, 2011


Sylvan used to be a security guard for the house where we are staying now. He was transferred to another house by the landlord, but a few months ago, he was let go when the tenant decided not to keep him.

He moved to our neighborhood staying with his friends. He has been doing some cleaning at our place and Kristin has arranged with other homes to use his cleaning services to help him earn money for his living.

But his heart was in riding the motor taxi. He has secured a riding license but he also had to secure a jacket and rent a motorcycle to do the business. Unfortunately he did not have sufficient resources. We wanted to be of service to him.

Now he is riding the motor taxi for a few days a week while he is still working as a janitor and a home assistant from time to time. He also has a sponsor for his secondary education.

One day, he has shown up on the motor taxi. He wanted to show us how he was doing it. We took a few photos. He was happy. He has regained dignity and become more hopeful than before. He is still poor by any standard even in Rwanda, but now he is hopeful that he will resume his study and he will be able to look forward to the future, one that empowers him to endure and persevere the present challenges in hope. He has been a blessing to us. - Jeffrey

Sunday, November 13, 2011

November 13, Sunday --- God's Glorious Riches

Today, November 13, 2011, I preached at Agape Korean Church in Rwanda. The second Sunday of every month is my turn.

The sermon was titled "God's Glorious Riches."

God provides for His people. When He provides, He is not stingy. He provides abundantly. His abundant provision is often overflowing. Based on scriptures, "my cup overflows", "barns will overflow", "my carts overflow", "my lips overflow with praises...", "overflowing joy" and "overflow with the expression of thanksgiving."

One observation from these scriptures is that the cup or container must be filled first before it can overflow. Thus, if the container is small, things can overflow more easily than when the container is big. In other words, the smaller the container, the easier the overflowing will be.

This container can be compared to one's own desire. If one's desire is big, it will be difficult for him or her to experience the overflowing until his or her desire is filled. On the other hand, if one's desire is kept small, he or she will be relatively easy to experience the overflow.

Let me explain this in another way.

Let us suppose there is certain quantity of substance to be put into one's container. If one's desire is big, he or she will feel that he or she is not filled, thus feeling he or she needs more. On the other hand, if one's desire is small, he or she may feel fully filled, thus overflowing the substance out of his or her heart.

Normally, people are willing and able to share with others to the extent of the overflow and to be thankful to the extent the overflow.

Christians should make conscious efforts to reducing the desire under all circumstances. That is how we could be thankful always more often than not.

Regardless of the size of our containers, however, God's glorious riches can fill and overflow all our containers combined because His glorious riches are far greater and more than anyone can ever imagine.

First, Philippians 4:19 says that He will meet all our needs abundantly according to His glorious riches. All our needs could be tremendous but God's glorious riches will be more than enough to meet and exceed.

Second, God's glorious riches not only provide for our physical needs, but also provide for the "things above", as commanded of Christians according to Colossians 3:1,2. They are made available through God's grace and in Christ. (Ephesians 2:6,7)

That is why someone said that God's GRACE stands for "God's Riches At Christ's Expense." I think it makes perfect sense.

How do you experience God's glorious riches, then?

Let us try to find the answers from Ephesians 3:14-19. This passage suggest three ways:

1. "through the power of the Holy Spirit who is in our inner being, we may be strengthened." The presence and work of the Holy Spirit make it possible for us to experience the glorious riches. The Holy Spirit provides us with the channel to God's power and His riches.

2. "Christ may dwell in our hearts through faith." Christ's indwelling signifies His reigning over our lives and our submission to His authority. This is made possible only when we have genuine faith, not necessarily the faith that saves but the faith that sanctifies. Then, we can fully experience His glorious riches.

3. "we may have power by being deeply rooted and established in love." We also can experience God's glorious riches when we are full of love that has been manifest in our lives, which we do not deserve. Love embraces everything and represents the essence of all riches that are made available by God. We should be deeply rooted in this love.

May we all fully experience and enjoy these glorious riches through the power of the Holy Spirit, genuine submission to the authority of Christ and being deeply rooted in love that encompasses everything! - Jeffrey

Thursday, November 10, 2011

November 10, Thursday...Korean Missionary Fellowship

From last month, Korean missionaries in Rwanda started a monthly fellowship gathering. We gather together to fellowship over a potluck dinner and through prayer.

There are six families in Rwanda and each family's ministry is quite different from each other. Someone does church planting, another focuses on pastoral training and bible distribution, another carries out mercy ministry through medical and dental services, another gets involved in community development, another plans for agricultural project and education. We need each other's support and encouragement. It has been a blessing to all of us.

Not only Korean missionaries in Rwanda but also some missionaries in other countries have also joined the fellowship. One missionary from Kenya is in the process of setting up a branch for its pastoral teaching school branch. Another missionary who is now in the Philippines is planning to relocate to Rwanda after his 10-year ministry in the country. I have also received a phone call from a missionary who is now in Burundi and is planning to relocate to Rwanda.

It it my prayer that this gathering will develop into a fellowship that builds up each other through prayer and caring. May the Lord keep us in unity and under His gracious care! - Jeffrey

Friday, November 4, 2011

New Bible Study on "Sermon on the Mount"

On November 4th, Shalom Bible Study began a new bible study on "Sermon on the Mount." It will take at least 5 months to study the 5th, 6th and 7th chapters of the Gospel according to Matthew.

[Missionary Koh is not in the photo, taking this photo.]

A total of 11 people have begun the study. Our group has a diverse age group from teens to 50's. After a split in August, SBS has grown again to 11. It is God's grace that we continue growing in number of people who desire to learn more about the Word and God's will. May God's faithfulness and goodness continue to prevail upon us and our group over the next 5 months or so.

The Sermon on the Mount was the first public message that Jesus delivered to His disciples to be different, as the citizens of His Kingdom, from the worldly people. May we learn and live godly lives through which His gospel message may be spread to others! - Jeffrey

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

BRD Loan $1 million Signed...

On November 1st, UOB signed a $1 million worth local currency loan agreement with Rwanda Development Bank (BRD). BRD is Rwanda's development bank that provides funding for the sectors commercial banks are not willing to support without risk mitigation, such as education, agricultural, micro finance and development projects. This is the first formal event that we have sealed off after UOB signed an MOU with BRD in 2009.

This loan will be used to help expand UOB's micro credit programs. It has taken quite a long time, but it has finally been signed.

God has been gracious to UOB in funding. UOB has now secured all funding required for the whole year 2012 even before the year begins. It is significant because we are projecting a growth of $5.6 million in 2012. Praise the Lord! - Jeffrey

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Ministry Update - October 2011...

Dear friends, family and fellow Kingdom workers,

The month of October was a little slow in UOB activities due mainly to the seasonality, but we still had a lot of excitements going. Here are the highlights

1. Jeffrey attended the Opportunity International CEO Conference in Franshhoek, S. Africa.: It was an important strategic meeting, clarifying the vision, mission and triple bottom lines that OI Network is pursuing under the new leadership of OI Network and GMO (Global Microfinance Operations). We praised the Lord together, particularly on how God has been blessing UOB and its clients for the first nine months of 2011.

2. Shalom Bible Study (SBS) completed the study on the Book of Acts in October. It has been a 10-month long journey. We praise the Lord for His grace poured upon us through the study. SBS will study the Sermon on the Mount for the next several months.

3. Korean missionaries in Rwanda started their monthly fellowship and prayer meeting in October. We trust that we may edify and encourage each other through these meetings.

4. Jeffrey organized a training seminar on "Rwandan Culture" for Koreans. Gary Scheer, a 30 + year long missionary from the U.S. was the speaker and 30 people benefited from Gary's insightful views on Rwandan culture.

5. Jeffrey received several groups of visitors, including 23 IFC delegates under its Corporate Leadership Program, 26 Rice University MBA students. We pray that what God is doing through UOB are also transforming the visitors to have a better and more clear perspective on the underprivileged people in the developing nations.
6. Jeffrey had an opportunity to meet Mats Tunehag, a Swidish expert on Business As Mission (BAM) along with a few other Kingdom businessmen, including Tom Philipps, a long-time friend and supporter of UOB. It was an exciting and encouraging time to meet them and share common world views on God's grand salvation plan, particularly on BAM. May God advance His Kingdom through many BAMs particularly in the hostile strategic frontiers for world mission.

7. As of October 31st, UOB's loan portfolio reached almost Rwf7.0 billion or US$11.6 million, slightly higher than September 30th. Honestly, we anticipated a slight decline in October due mainly to the seasonality. Despite our little faith, however, God has shown His good will and power through the last minute spurt beyond our imagination. During the month, the portfolio balance dropped by as much as Rwf500 million. God's amazing grace is abundant and we honor Him!

8. UOB's outreach also continued to expand with its borrowing clients totaling 39,427. This was attributed also to God's grace that enabled our staff to make an effective outreach.

9. We continued our preparation to offer the third-party remittance services, including Western Union, Money Gram and RIA This will enhance UOB's product offering, in addition to the US dollar, wire transfer services and FX services that have been launched recently.

10. Meanwhile, PAR (Portfolio At Risk) > 30 days remained strong at 0.72%, well below 1%. This is marvelous!

11. We provided a 3-day credit training for 20 young people on micro business lending (MBL). 10 people will be selected out of this group to attend an intermediate level of credit training to be held in November. This is to prepare our staff to be able to handle our clients who desire to graduate to individual loans from group loans.

12. A group of four graduate students from Johns Hopkins University will be working with UOB on a project related to agent banking. We had the first telephone conference in October and they will work off site until January when they will be on site for three weeks to produce a white paper proposing an effective implementation plan on agent banking. We look forward to working with them. Also we are in contact with St. Mary University in California and George Washington University students on different projects.

12. The Kininya sewing project that Kristin is handling continues to progress well. 20 women are now making more complex products. It has been six months since the projected started, but at their request we agreed to extend the training period for two more months.

13. Jeffrey continued serving God's saints through preaching at UOB staff devotion and Agape Korean Church in Rwanda under establishment.

14. We have the following Prayer Requests: Please...

* Pray for the UOB's continuing holistic transformational development through Christian micro finance in Rwanda.
* Pray for the scheduled pilot testing for mobile and agent banking in December
* Pray for a scaled-up progress in UOB's agricultural lending program.
* Pray for God's wisdom and guidance in designing effective educational finance products that will benefit many students in Rwanda
* Pray for our children (Amanda + James, and Joyce) who are still trying to figure out what God has in store for their lives on earth.
* Pray for God's peacefulness in the heart of Kristin's mom during her last days of life on earth

We thank you for standing with us in our ministry through prayer and support.

Humbly and gratefully in His service,

Jeffrey and Kristin Lee from Kigali, RWANDA,

Monday, October 31, 2011

7 billion people on earth...

Today, October 31st, 2011, the earth population reached 7 billion. This compares to 2.8 billion in 1955. It is projected to reach 9 billion by 2045. Can the earth take these many people?

Some call it a population bomb.

Every second, 3-5 people are newly born. On November 5th, the population has already reached 7 billion and 1 million. It is scary.

Can the earth supply the food for its population?

One out of every seven people will go to bed hungry every night. It is a cold reality of hunger and poverty.

Most of us who are reading this article do not worry about the hunger. But there are people who are hungry and in poverty. We cannot and should not ignore these people. We should do something to help these people graduate out of the chronic and absolute poverty. - Jeffrey

Friday, October 28, 2011

Shalom Bible Study (SBS) Completed the Acts...

Praise the Lord!

Shalom Bible Study completed the study of the Book of Acts over the past 7-8 months. We celebrated God's grace over our study and our successful completion. Through the study, we witnessed how the great commission was emphasized to all of us, how the church was born when the Holy Spirit descended upon the saints, how the early church in Jerusalem was established and ministering to people, how Stephan was martyred and how the church was forced to be scattered, how the apostles proclaimed the gospel with miraculous signs and wonders, how the apostle Paul was boldly witnessing who Jesus was and what He has done for us and how we may know God and may be saved. What a powerful journey of the Holy Spirit!

We all learned that the Acts of the Holy Spirit have not ended at the 28th Chapter of Acts. We Christians are called to continue writing the 29th Chapter of the Acts through our lives. Whether we participate or not, the Acts of the Holy Spirit will continue and when we do we shall share the joy of our God. If we do not, we will miss the opportunity to be part of God's grand salvation plan.

Shalom Bible Study dates back to 2009 when Kristin and I started a small bible study with three KOICA volunteers: Jooheum, Jihun and Sangmin. The SBS started growing gradually and we ended up splitting the group in August 2011 since it was getting far too big. For this study, some members started the study together but had to go back to Korea without completing the study, but new members also joined in the process. The members who remain in the SBS now include:

Missionary Koh's family (Mrs. Koh and their son Kyungchul)
Deacon Sejun Park
Jihye Moon
Minjung Kim
Hyeyoung ChoiSunghye Yoon
Isaac Baik
Garam Kwon
Kristin and me

From the list of topics and bible books that I suggested, we have agreed to study next on the "Sermon on the Mount." Many wanted to study on "Good Steward's Financial Management" but this study has been decided to be shared with the members of Agape Korean Church of Rwanda on one Saturday.

We rejoiced greatly together in the completion and encouraged each other to be faithful to the
next study.

I have included a few photos that show the SBS history:

[A group photo taken after SBS was split, August 2011]

[A group photo taken after the study of Ephesians, March 2010. Junghee, Jihun, Yeonhee, Sangmin and Jooheum]

[A group photo taken after completing the study on "Romans." A humble beginning in 2009 with Jooheum, Jihun and Sangmin.]

To date, SBS has completed the studies on "Ephesians", "Romans", "God's Names and Titles", "Kingdom of Heaven and Kingdom Life" and "Acts." May God continue to lead us to improve our knowledge of God and His will so that our lives may reflect His will and love to bring Him the glory that He deserves! - Jeffrey

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Opportunity International CEO Conference

On October 24 and 25, there was Opportunity International CEO Conference held in Franshhoek, S. Africa. Franshhoek means "French Corner" that is 45 minutes away from Cape Town and is known for its Alps-looking mountenous scenery and wineries.

Originally, this conference was organized as OI Africa CEO Conference. But OI Network has newly appointed the CEO for its GMO (Global Microfinance Operations) and this new CEO wanted to conduct a brainstorming session on OI's triple bottom lines with the 9 CEOs in Africa
and 2 CEOs in Eastern Europe. Along with him, Chairman of the OI Network Board was also in attendance and so are many other GMO chiefs, such as Chief Financial Officer, Chief Risk Officer, Chief Information Officer, Chief Auditor and a few functional directors for African regions. There was a group of 26.

On the first day, all country CEOs gave a short presentation about how they are performing in their respective countries, YT September, and a snapshot budget for 2012 and their funding needs. On behalf of UOB staff, I was pleased to report how God has been graciously blessing UOB and its clients for the first nine months of 2011. A 77% growth in loans and 48% growth in deposits, operational self sustainability of 111% in September, an excellent PAR>30 of 0.74%, significant client growth, improved productivity and efficiency, apparent progress in client transformation etc.

Moreover, I was only one presenting that was not in need of additional funding for 2012, while all others asked for additional funding, except for Eastern European implementing members, since we have already secured all funding required for the projected growth of almost 50%. We praised the Lord! Besides, we were projecting an annual OSS of 102% with a projected ROE of 10%, the mandated maximum ROE.

On the second day, we spent an extensive amount of time brainstorming about OI's triple bottom lines: Transformational Impact, Sustainability and Outreach. Normally I remain quiet in the conference unless there are essential issues to be discussed. But I was encouraged by both the OIN Chairman as well as the new GMO CEO to speak up and share our experiences at UOB. I ended up presenting the Christ-centered, client-focused service graphs that are tied to the OI's triple bottom lines and triple transformational impact graphs. They all liked it and I was happy to share what has been used at UOB. The leadership also asked us to assist other implementing members to enhance their client transformation efforts, such as Holistic Life Improvement modules. Absolutely!

It was an intensive two-day meeting, but we all felt encouraged by the OIN executive leadership's commitment to the Christian-faith and to transformation. We all left hopeful for the progress to be made over the next six months or so until we meet and report the progress. May our good Lord bless the OIN leadership to steer the largest Christian microfinance organization in the world into the right direction where God's glory may be manifest in an uplifting way! - Jeffrey

Friday, October 21, 2011

Meeting with Mats Tunehag

On Friday, October 21st, 2011, I had one of the exciting moments of meeting someone you wanted to meet. I met Mats Tunehag. He is one of the world-renowned experts in Business As Mission or BAM. He is serving the Lausant Movement and writes many articles and books about BAM.

He came to us as part of Bridge 2 Rwanda's guests. B2R is an NGO founded by Dale Dawson, a Christian investment banker who turned himself to the Kingdom business of bringing resources and borrowed talents to Rwanda. He is a member of UOB board.
[Chuck, me, Mats, Tom and Russ. Dale had to leave for an appointment.]

Along with him, Dale this time brought several friends, such as Tom Phillips, a long-time supporter of UOB and Opportunity International. He has already started a chicken farm and is starting a mini hydraulic power plant. Both of them are Kingdom businesses dedicated to His Kingdom. We also had Chuck Weldon and Russ Bylsma who are in hospitality business. They came to Rwanda to see if they can start a BAM in the hospitality industry. Mats Tunehag has come to observe what is happening in Rwanda.

We had an exciting time, sharing what the Lord has done in our lives and what He has bestowed upon us. We easily clicked because we shared many common views and identified a few mutual friends. What a small world! He told me that after this visit to Rwanda he would be going to New York to speak to Korean American BAMers. We quickly identified 'who's who.' Isn't it amazing?

May God bless all my brothers in Christ and many of His people to be great blessings to others who are in need through the Kingdom businesses! - Jeffrey

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

IFC Corporate Leadership Program Delegates

On October 17 and 18, I had an opportunity to meet with 26 delegates from IFC (International Finance Corporation), World Bank's arm to assist the private sectors of the
developing countries. These delegates came to Rwanda as part of its Corporate Leadership Program designed to develop the emerging middle management leadership.

On 17th, a group of 9 delegates visited UOB and we talked about who we are and what we do. They also attended one of our client group meetings.

On 18th, I again met with the 9 delegates for one and a half hour about leadership: what it is and how it should be to be effective. I also shared my faith journey to Rwanda and Christian values. They all appreciated my sharing. Praise the Lord!

After this session, we met altogether with a couple
of other local leaders in a group setting for an hour. We discussed a few issues that were most appealing to them.

They are future leaders of IFC. UOB borrowed $2.5 million from them to finance UOB's micro finance activities. But, the process was far too long and we almost gave up a few times along the way. I emphasized to them that, in the information age, speed in providing service was critical. In the industrial age, a big fish ate a small fish. But in the information age, a fast fish eat a slow fish. They took my constructive criticism graciously. That gave me some hope.

They met also with President Kagame and they all were excited about this photo. Why not?
- Jeffrey

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Rice University MBA Students

On Wednesday, October 12, 2011, I had a meeting with 23 Rice University MBA students over breakfast. This is the third time meeting with Rice University students. Rice University is a Christian school based in Houston, Texas, in the U.S.

These students come to Rwanda to work on business venture projects, primarily in health care and IT. This program is led by Professor Marc Epstein who used to also teach at Harvard University.

This time, the students had five groups, including one specialized in education. Each group had its own product brochure and they were quite impressive. One of them was solar-powered learning device that can easily be distributed at affordable prices to children.

I shared with them about micro finance and UOB. I also shared briefly about my faith journey to Rwanda as Marc dragged me into it. He told me later that he and many students appreciated my testimony about Christian faith and values. Praise the Lord!

It is always refreshing and encouraging to interact with young intellectual minds. Conversation is fresh and stimulating. That is how I learn and grow. Learning never stops.

May these business ideas be incubated into viable enterprises to help Rwandan transform! - Jeffrey

Sunday, October 9, 2011

October 9, Sunday... Life Worthy of the Calling...

On Sunday, October 9, I preached at Agape Korean Church in Rwanda, the only Korean church in Rwanda.

The following is the summary of the sermon:

We all desire to be called by someone who is significant. Christians have been called by the Almighty God who created and has been operating the entire universe and everything in it, beautifully, perfectly and harmoniously. What a privilege it is! How? In many ways, but here is the most typical one. "Come to me." Some were called also by way of "Come and see" or "Follow me."

Matthew 11:28-30 describe "the Greatest Invitation" as John Stott called it. His invitation had two components.

First, Jesus called the most burdened and weary to Himself so that He may give the rest by lifting off the burden and carrying it on their behalf. Indeed, He carried the burdens of all sinners on the cross and died the redemptive death. This rest is not a physical one but a spiritual one, the salvation from eternal condemnation. (Isa. 53:6; John 1:29; Hebrews 19:28)

Then, is it an once-in-a-life time event? No. The calling to restore the relationship with God may be one if the calling is responded properly, but it is also an on-going event where we can receive and enjoy His rest everyday as we surrender ourselves to His authority.

The second component of His invitation was "Take my yoke" and this signifies the call to our surrender/submission to His authority. Jesus was the Savior in the first calling and Jesus is requiring us to submit ourselves to His authority as the Lord and Master in our everyday life. But His yoke does not produce another burden but instead, "you will find rest in your souls" for His yoke is light and easy. Christ's yoke is indeed the necessary boundary for our freedom we enjoy in Him. (Please refer to the previous blog-post for more details.)

Then, what are the spheres of our life that enable us to find rest for our souls? There are six spheres, the first two of which are related to God, the next two to self and the final two to others:

1. Worship: It is natural that we, as God's creations, find rest when we worship the Creator God. We worship Him through praise, confession of our faith, offerings. God commands us to worship Him alone, for there is no other God and none like Him.

2. Growing and maturing faith: There are so many voices that tempt us to believe: the Satan, the world and the self-righteous inner voice. But we will find rest for our souls when we believe what the Creator is telling us. He urges us to use the shield of faith against the flaming arrows, the ungodly temptations.

3. Holiness: Holiness is God's essence. He calls us to be holy also. (1 Peter 1:15,16) He even urges us to perfect the holiness. (2 Corinthians 7:1) We will find rest for our souls when we pursue God's attribute. Pursuing holiness requires cleansing unholy and ungodly attributes and behaviors. This process requires unceasing repentance and prayer for forgiveness. He promised to forgive our inequities when we repent. (1 John 1:9)

4. Living according to His will: Life require endless decision-making. Each decision is made on the basis of something that we believe and value to be right. No one wants or intends to make a wrong decision. Jesus is urging us to make our decisions according to God's will. God's will includes ones that are general in nature and that are particular to individuals. His general wills have been revealed through the nature (visually), the Scripture (verbally) and Jesus Christ (both visually and verbally). His particular wills that are applicable to individuals have been and are being revealed through the understanding of the Scripture, counsel with the wise and the godly. It takes commitment and obedience to live according to God's will, but when we do, we find rest in Him for our souls.

5. Sharing the good news: Salvation by His grace and through our faith in Jesus Christ is indeed a good news. If we choose to keep the good news to ourselves, it is a selfish decision. It is natural to share a good news with family, friends and even strangers if indeed it is a good news that does not bring you any harm. The spiritual good news that Jesus is the Way to the Father God must be shared with all nations as His witness to the ends of the earth until He returns as the King of the kings and the Lord of the lords on the Day of the Lord. (Matthew 28:19,20; Acts 1:8; Matthew 24:14) We find rest for our souls when we do the Great Commission of God.

6. Serving the neighbors in love: Loving and serving the neighbors, particularly the underprivileged ones, is also a mandate. (Deuteronomy 15:11) It is a new commandment and when we obey it the world will know that we are his disciples. (John 13:34,35) When we love others, we have completed the law. (Romans 13:8) When we love each other, God's love is made complete. (1 John 4:12) We find rest for our souls when we obey God's command.

Now we know that we have been called to come to Jesus to receive the spiritual rest and to take on Christ's yoke to find rest for our souls. Then how do you live such a life?

In Ephesians 4:1-6, Apostle Paul is urging Christ-followers to live the life worthy of the calling we have received.

1. Be completely humble and gentle: In Matthew 11:29,30, Jesus was describing Himself to be gentle and humble. They are Christ's attributes and He is urging us to be like Him. To be humble is before God who is almighty. When we humble ourselves before Him, He promised to lift us up in His time. (1 Peter 5:6) Humility comes before honor. (Proverb 15:33) To be gentle is towards others. John Stott called gentleness "tamed or controlled strength." Whatever strength we may have should be used in a controlled or tamed manner. This way, we will be able to live a life worthy of His calling.

2. Be patient bearing with one another in love: This is required not when everything is going well or as expected. This is required when things are not going well, when someone is rubbing you off, when you dislike what someone else is saying or doing, even when someone hates you or persecutes you for no reason. So it is not easy. It is easier said than done. Rather it is tough. Nonetheless, that is the way we should live. We recite in the Lord's Prayer, "Forgive our debts, as we forgive our debtors." Our forgiving our debtors comes before God's forgiving our debts. It is a sobering command. But that is how the body of Christ grows and we grow in Him. (Ephesians 4:15,16)

3. Keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace: God is one. The Spirit is one. The Lord is one. We were called to one hope. There is one faith. One baptism. One body. (Ephesians 4:4-6) Before Jesus was arrested to complete His redemptive death, He prayed three times each for Himself, for the disciples and for all saints. In His prayer for all saints, He prayed for unity among the saints. So unity among saints is not an option but a mandate. We should make every effort to keep this unity. The best way to keep this unity is through the bond of peace. God is the King of peace and Jesus is Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6) Jesus was the peacemaker between the Holy God and the sinful men by becoming the sin and the curse. So we Christ-followers must also be peacemakers. Peacemakers are blessed because they shall be called the children of God. (Matthew 5:9) The author of the Hebrews urged us to be in peace with everyone, if possible. (Hebrews 12:14)

We Christ-followers have been called to rest in Him and to take on His yoke to find rest for our souls. We are also urged to live a life worthy of the calling by being completely humble and gentle, being patient and bearing with one another in love and keeping the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. We pledge to do so because we love Him and love to serve Him by honoring and obeying His commandments. May we all be living a life worthy of His calling! - Jeffrey

Monday, October 3, 2011

Christ's Yoke... Necessary Boundary for Freedom

On Monday, October 4, I preached at UOB staff devotion. The message was about "Christ's Yoke" based on Matt. 11:25-30. This was in commemoration of John Stott who now went to the Lord to rest in peace.

In the passage, Jesus gave two affirmations and made two invitations.

Two affirmations were that 1) God revealed Himself completely through Jesus Christ and 2) God revealed Himself only to His believers like little children.

There is no way any man may be able to know God unless He himself reveals. He has revealed some through nature and more through the Scriptures. But His revelation was made complete through Jesus Christ who Himself was God and came down to earth as human. Jesus was the Word made flesh. (John 1:14) In nature, God's revelation was visualized. In the Scriptures, His revelation was verbalized. But in Christ, His revelation was both visualized and verbalized. What a blessing it was to know Him.

Two invitations were to His followers that 1) "Come to me, you weary and burdened. I will give you rest." and 2) "Take my yoke for it is light and my burden is light." As Savior, Jesus invited people to come to Him for rest. His way of giving the rest was by lifting up the burden that we humankind were carrying. He carried the burden Himself on our behalf as the Lamb of God. (Isa. 53:6; John 1:29) At the same time, Jesus also invited us to take His own yoke. This is the claim for His Lordship over His followers and it balances against the rest that He provides. But, His Lordship is not burdensome to people. Rather it is easy and light. This is the necessary boundary for the freedom He provided when people accepted and believed the Truth. (John 8:31,32)

A good analogy for the Christ's yoke is fish that is in water. She enjoys all the freedom as long as she is in water. If fish decides to jump out of water to explore the world outside water, she immediately faces danger and risks her life. We as Christians need this yoke that is obedience to His authority, particularly His Word.

May we enjoy the freedom that is abundantly provided within the Christ's yoke that is easy and light! - Jeffrey

Sunday, October 2, 2011

First Science Competition in Rwanda...

On Saturday, October 1, five KOICA volunteers jointly held the first Science Competition in Rwanda. The competition was held among high schools (secondary schools) for team competition and also for individual competiton. The areas of competition were:

1. Dropping eggs from the highest p
oint without breaking them.

[some of the samples]

2. Making bridges with chopsticks which can hold the heaviest weight

[photos of a bridge holding a weight of 20 kg, second right below]

3. Flying gliders longest

4. Shooting water longest

The participants also competed on solving mathematical problems.

The winners received NetBook computers and they all were excited about the significant and valuable gifts that they received.

It was very well organized, well attended and well executed. Kudos to young KOICA volunteers!

It is their hope that this tradition will be continued to spark the interest of young students in science that will be the basis for this country's dream to be the East Africa's ICT hub. - Jeffrey

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Ministry Update - September 2011

Dear friends, family and fellow Kingdom workers,

We continued to experience God's grace also in September.

The following highlights the ministry updates for September 2011:

1. I visited four EBUs in September: Ngoma, Kigali West, Musanze EBU/Branch and Kigali East. I listened to their opportunities, challenges, transformation progress and requests. I met some clients to see how we can serve them better.

2. UOB did an outreach to Nyaruguru District in collaboration with a medical/dental mission team from S. Korea under an NGO called "Hearts and Hands International." Our clients and potential clients received medical and dental services from a total of 14 people, including a medical doctor, two dentists, a nurse, three dental hygienists and several assistants. Kristin joined the team for a week to serve Rwandans in Musanze and Nyaruguru Districts. They altogether treated 400 patients and provided medicines for hundreds of more people. They plan to continue to send mission teams every six months and we agreed to collaborate.

3. We held the quarterly board meeting. The board blessed three initiatives that we proposed on agricultural lending, EduFinance program and mobile/agency banking. We are thrilled to proceed with the initiatives.

4. We started providing "linkage loans" for the informal savings and credit groups in the villages. We hope to help build their economic and financial capacities to graduate up to the formal financial sector. We partner with Catholic Rescue Services and CARE International for now. We are also talking with HOPE. We hope to see up to 100,000 Rwandans benefit from this program by the end of 2012.

5. We signed a definitive agreement with Edify to provide private school development loans to Christian schools. We look forward to seeing Christian private schools expand their services to Rwandan youth. We will start a program under which up to $100,000 may be provided within a year.

6. As of September 30th, UOB's loan portfolio exceeded Rwf6.9 billion or US$11.5 million, up 4.5% or Rwf300 million (US$500K) from August 31st. This translates to a 77% growth from YE 2010! I am amazed by the continued growth that God is allowing for UOB in 2011. It is all God's grace and we praise Him!

7. UOB's outreach also continued to expand with its borrowing clients totaling 39,040, an increase of 1,506 clients from the previous month-end. This was attributed also to God's grace that enabled our staff to make an effective outreach.

8. We continued our preparation to offer the third-party remittance services, including Western Union, Money Gram and RIA This will enhance UOB's product offering, in addition to the US dollar, wire transfer services and FX services that have been launched recently.

9. Meanwhile, PAR (Portfolio At Risk) > 30 days remained strong at 0.74%, well below 1%. This is marvelous!

10. We have expanded our agricultural loans to rice, maize and Irish potato farmers.

11. UOB had an off-site monitoring meeting with the BNR, the central bank, in September. While we are still waiting for the final examination report from the central bank, the off-site meeting indicated an improved rating overall.

12. UOB received 1,000 English bibles from Bible League in the U.S., which are part of a total of 7,000 bibles to be supplied to UOB. These will be distributed to the committee members of trust groups in hopes that they will be passed down to their children to help spread the Word of God to young generations in Rwanda.

12. The Kininya sewing project that Kristin is handling continues to progress well. 20 women are now making more complex products. It has been six months since the projected started, but at their request we agreed to extend the training period for two more months.

13. Jeffrey continued serving God's saints through preaching at UOB staff devotion and a Agape Korean Church in Rwanda under establishment, and leading Shalom Bible Study. We are still studying the Book of Acts (of the Holy Spirit).

14. We have the following Prayer Requests: Please...

* Pray for the UOB's continuing holistic transformational development through Christian micro finance in Rwanda.
* Pray for the steady implementation of UOB's e-Wallet strategy.
* Pray for a scaled-up progress in UOB's agricultural lending program.
* Pray for God's wisdom and guidance in designing effective educational finance products that will benefit many students in Rwanda
* Pray for our children (Amanda + James, and Joyce) who are still trying to figure out what God has in store for their lives on earth.
* Pray for God's peacefulness in the heart of Kristin's mom during her last days of life on earth

We thank you for co-laboring with us in our ministry with your interest and support.

Joyfully and gratefully in His service,

Jeffrey and Kristin Lee from Kigali, RWANDA,

Friday, September 23, 2011

Trip to Musanze...

On Friday, September 23rd, I made a trip to Musanze, the north western hub in Rwanda, to visit UOB staff at Musanze Regional Center and to meet the Irish potato farmers. Emmanuel Mugandura traveled with me as an interpreter.

Musanze Regional Center houses Musanze EBU (Entrepreneurial Business Unit), Musanze RSC (Regional Support Center) and Musanze Branch, with a total staff of 21.

Musanze EBU serves over 4,000 clients in six districts: Musanze, Nyabihu, Rubavu, Ngororero, Burera and Gakenke through 11 relational staff while Musanze Branch serves an additional 2,000 clients since it was opened in early 2011.

Our meeting with the staff lasted for about three hours, centering around the bankwide performance update, new products and services under development, listening to their feedback on new products, their opportunities and challenges, and their requests.

After the meeting, we visited Irish potato farmers in Kinigi, a sector in Musanze District. This is where you begin your mountain gorilla trekking. We provided input financing for 47 farmers through KOABIKI cooperative about four months ago and the first cycle is ending soon. I wanted to talk to the cooperative leadership about their experiences on farming this past season and with UOB.

We began the meeting with a thanksgiving prayer to the Lord whom we worship together. I was delighted when Emmanuel, the chairman and president of KOABIKI, suggested that we begin the meeting with a prayer. Several members who attended the meeting as KOABIKI's leadership were all Christians!

This past season, they faced several challenges in growing Irish potatoes. First, they had a drought in early growing season; second, they had unexpected rain that also damaged the crop and third, they had a disease in late growing season that most adversely affected the harvest. Nonetheless, Emmanuel, the cooperative chairman and president, said that he was thankful to God who has kept the damage to the level that most of the cooperative members are able to absorb. The technical adviser to the cooperative said that 70% of the 47 borrowers were able to increase the yields significantly thanks to the input financing provided for them. We praised the Lord!

They made a few requests and we all agreed to expand the relationship. The cooperative has 76 members and this season up to 60 members will apply for the loan.

We are planning to scale up our input financing for Irish potato farmers in the region, including Nyabihu, Burera, Rubavu Districts, in addition to Musanze District. May God continue to be gracious to them in transforming their holistic lives! - Jeffrey

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Young Technocrats in Rwanda...

Rwanda has many young people who were educated in the developed countries and who are now serving the country in government posts. They are young technocrats.

[This photo is of President's Forum with Young African Leaders in the U.S.]

They are smart, reasonable, ambitious, hard working and motivated to help Rwanda transform into a self-sustainable country. They are willing to listen and learn to improve in every aspect. They are anxious to see the jigsaw puzzle pieces come together to draw a complete picture for the government, for the country and for the people of Rwanda.

I had a private meeting with a director general of a government agency along with two senior policy analysts at the President's Office. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss about how to improve certain policy and procedural issues at the subject government agency. (I am afraid that I cannot disclose the agency for privacy and in courtesy.) This particular agency has been enforcing certain regulatory issues but far beyond the extent of rational comprehension from the perspective of an expatriate who is coming from a developed country that has already gone through such a process.

This director general is not an ordinary person. This person is a Harvard Law School graduate and is smart. This person could be proud and possibly conceited. But this person was eager to listen and willing to make changes. Two senior policy analysts also have similar calibers and maintain the same attitude towards changes and learning.

How impressive they are!

This is a huge difference that the Rwandan government has and that most of other developing countries do not have. These young technocrats are the next generation leaders for Rwanda and present a great hope to this rapidly transforming country. With the visionary leader, President Paul Kagame, who leads the country with principles and discipline, these young technocrats can develop the country into an exemplary knowledge-based affluent society which most of African countries only dream of. May this become a reality in Rwanda! - Jeffrey