Thursday, August 2, 2012

Ministry Updates - July 2012

Family, friends and fellow Kingdom workers

Another month has passed by. I trust all is well with you and your family under His abundant grace.

July is a special month for Rwanda. It has Independence Day and Liberation Day. Rwanda celebrated its 50th anniversary of its independence from the colonists and 18th anniversary of its liberation from the genocide. 

The following is our Ministry Updates for the month of July 2012. I pray that you will be encouraged by what God is doing in and through our lives in Rwanda.

1. Jeffrey has been privileged to attend the 3-week long Boulder Institute of Microfinance courses in Turin, Italy. It is still going on but it has been a tremendous learning opportunity for me.

2. We held the UOB Day in July, praising God for who He is and what He has done to and through us. We celebrated the promotion of 10 staff and many who have served UOB for 10 years and five years. We also reviewed the six month performance and shared the plan for the second half of 2012.

3. UOB received a total of approximately $1 million from OI US and OI Canada in the form of convertible debt and grants. We are grateful for these resources to continue expanding our outreach and ministry to the economically active poor people in Rwanda.

4. UOB received many visitors in July, including an insight trip team from OI US, representatives from Kiva (US), a filming crew to cover UOB's transformation stories, representatives from Merry Year International (S. Korea) and several consultants who are working on two projects for UOB. It is our prayer that their visits have produced transformational inspiration and encouragements. Also, may their visits open the doors to different opportunities.

5.  As discussed above, Kiva has confirmed its current rating on UOB of "4 star" that allows us to raise up to $1.4 million. UOB is the only Kiva's 4-star rated MFI in Middle East and Africa Region. 

6. Merry Year International will work with UOB in designing and implementing tuition fee loan for secondary students. For this purpose, MYI has established a loan guaranty fund and sent an intern to work at UOB for the next one year. 

7. UOB continued its growths in all areas with excellent asset quality. Its loan portfolio has now reached Rwf9.5 Bn, an additional growth of 2% from June or  a 25% growth from YE 2011. Deposits have also grown steadily. Clients also continued to increase with the borrowing clients at 42,440, up almost 1,000 from the month earlier. PAR>30 showed a slight decline to 1.5%. To God be all the glory and honor! I am so grateful for all our staff who has been part of this journey!

8. UOB continued developing mobile and agent banking solutions. We are very close to completing our business model with customer pricing and agent commission. It has been and continues to be a challenging task to find the sweet spot that is affordable to our clients while remaining attractive to the agents. Please continue to remember us in your prayer. 

9. In July, UOB has resolved a significant portion of the G/L imbalance that resulted from the system glitch in June. We praise the Lord for His help! Please continue to pray for a quick and complete resolution.

10. The construction work for Ngoma Branch, which began in June continued in July. Also, we completed the renovation of the third floor of Home Office and a new office space has been made available to dozens of staff. The construction work continues with the branch banking hall. We have secured a new space in Huye and agreed to take over an adjacent space to convert the Huye Credit Office to branch also. Moreover, we have secured new Credit Office spaces in Rukomo, Nyagatare, Kirehe, Ngororero, Gisagara. This expansion will help us continue our outreach efforts into rural areas.

11. Shalom Bible Study completed a study on "Full Armor of God." (Ephesians 6:10-18) The SBS has now grown to 17 members, probably the maximum to accommodate at our living room. One has gone back to Korea and another three members will go back to Korea on September 2. Kristin and I will focus on disciple training for 12.

12. In addition to Joyce, our younger daughter, who went to Senegal, Africa as a Peace Corps volunteer in June, Amanda, our older daughter, has been deployed to Djibouti Africa in July. Amanda's mission will be short but currently all Lee family members are in service for Africa in one form or another. Joyce has been well adjusting to a new life in Senegal and Amanda is doing well also. We praise the Lord for this great and rate opportunity for all Lee family to be in service for Africa.

13. Jeffrey continued ministering at Agape Korean Church, St Etienne Cathedral and Shalom Bible Study with God's Word. Kristin and Jeffrey participated in the Korean Missionary Fellowship prayer meeting. It is always encouraging to pray and fellowship together with Kingdom workers.

14. Please pray that:
  • All UOB staff will continue to put trust in the Lord in all they do and to honor Him for all He does.
  • God may bless and make His face shine upon the mobile and agent banking project, and also on the IFC funding proposal
  • All leadership at UOB may go on their knees first in all they plan to do.
  • Joyce may draw nearer to the Lord while she is living and serving in Senegal.
  • Amanda and James may deepen their faith in the Lord in everything they plan and do.
  • Amanda may finish her mission in an African country safely and well.
  • Our parents (Kristin's mom and Jeffrey's parents) may live their last years of life on earth in hope for the eternal time together with the Lord.
  • Kristin and Jeffrey may experience God's grace more and strengthen their relationship with God more intimately in all ministries they partake. 
Thank God for you, your prayer and your partnership with us.

Every spiritual blessing IN CHRIST,

Jeffrey and Kristin Lee from Kigali, RWANDA

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