Monday, July 9, 2012


Rwanda is a small country. Its expatriate community is even smaller. So you can make friends relatively easily in Rwanda because of this "smallness."

For the past three and half years, we have met many friends in Rwanda and some of them have left the country. Here are a few that come to my mind, who are no longer living in Rwanda:

First, we have met many young KOICA volunteers who were in our Shalom Bible Study group. Their service period is usually two years and many have gone back to Korea. But they are still connected through e-mails. Junghee (he has now come back as an administrative staff for KOICA), Jooheum, Jihun, Sangmin, Eunyoung, Hyosu, Minki, Sangkeub. I miss them. This month, Isaac will go back and on September 2, Minjung, Sunghye and Yurim will also go back. I will miss them.

Second, we met Phil and Becca Smith. Phil was the country director for World Relief and also a director for UOB board. He was a good friend of mine and we were holding each other accountable, iron sharpening iron. Becca ran a guest house, an outgoing and pleasant lady. They adopted a Rwandan boy, Iranzi. They have gone back to the U.S. and Phil is now serving World Relief as VP of Marketing and Operations. Phil and I were part of preaching staff at St. Etienne Cathedral.
Debbie and Dennis Weller with Kristin

Third, Dennis Weller was Mission Director of USAID for four years until last week when he left for Ethiopia, his next assignment. He is from the mid west in the U.S. His first overseas trip was to Malaysia where he served as a Peace Corps volunteer for two years. After this volunteer assignment, he became convinced of God's calling into international development. So he joined USAID. To date, he has been serving in several countries, including Pakistan, Ghana, Kenya and Rwanda. Debbie is a nursing practitioner. She had been working at USAID as a staff. Because of the nursing professional background, Debbie and Kristin got along well. Moreover, Dennis and Debbie attended the same church where we worship and fellowship.

Fourth, Chris Ordway has been serving as Senior Technical Advisor for HOPE International for the past one year. He was a senior executive at Motorola but dedicated one year to serve wherever God directed him. He came to Rwanda with his wife and three daughters. After a dedicated service, he and his family are now going back to the U.S. He demonstrated his passion for Christ and commitment to serving Him. He will now go back this weekend.

Five of Fifties at the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro...
Fifth, I cannot leave out the friends who climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro together: Five of Fifties. Min-Young Jung, Jaesup Choi, Jay Yoon and Bohye Kim. September 1st 2011, 9AM, we stood together at the summit of Kilimanjaro. The height was 5,895 meters from the sea level. For six days, we hung out and dined together, hiked and struggled together.
The Best Friend

Well... there are much more, but I will stop here.

Friends come and go, and I may not live with even my dearest friend and wife, Kristin, forever on earth. But I have a friend who promises to be my friend eternally even beyond my life on earth. His name is Jesus Christ, my Lord. I love Him and love to serve Him with all my hearts. Would you like to befriend with Him also?  You could, if you want to. - Jeffrey

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