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,


Chris said...

I stumble across you blog. I will be praying for you and your ministry in Rwanda. I know some wonderful Missionaries there in Rwanda. Gary Bennett and his family.

jlee80111 said...

Thank you for your comments. I know Gary and Barbara. It is a small world indeed. I would appreciate your prayer. Thank you! Shalom!