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,

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