Saturday, September 22, 2012

Church Nursery Project in Gicumbi...

Gicumbi in red color
Pastor Innocent
Gicumbi is one of the districts located in the Northern Province in Rwanda. Its old name was Byumba. Gicumbi's altitude is 2,300 meters high or higher and its terrain is pretty mountainous.

In Gicumbi, there is a church called PEFA Gicumbi that has approximately 120 adult members and 100 children. This church is ministered by a Rwandan pastor, Innocent (photoed), who is building a dream in educating young children, particularly 60 kids of five years old or younger.

Mud bricks under production
This 43 year-old pastor wants to build a nursery that provides basic education and care for little children who normally wander around on the streets and fields while their parents work in the fields. Pastor Innocent wants to build the nursery building with mud bricks. The church members have already started making mud bricks as shown in the photo. But he cannot afford to buy other construction materials, such as structural beams, concrete cements to lay the foundation for the building, window frames and iron sheets to cover the building. The construction cost is estimated to be $15,000 for two classrooms, including costs for basic necessities, such as blackboards, desks, chairs and school supplies.

The Lord has convicted me to be of help for Pastor Innocent and young children at PEFA Gicumbi Church. I would like to invite those whom the Lord is also convicting to help these young children in Gicumbi Rwanda to participate in raising funds for this project. Once the nursery project is going under way, Pastor Innocent hopes and prays to build additional classrooms for kindergarten and even primary schools to help out the underprivileged people of Rwanda whom he has been called to serve.

Would you be interested in helping this energetic and motivated pastor helping young Rwandan children?

Children of the church

We have deposit accounts set up in the U.S. and S. Korea to help you make contribution. If you are interested or have any questions, please contact me via e-mail (, skype (kristinlee) or facebook messenger (klee80111).

Thank you and may God bless you richly! - Kristin

"He who willingly gives away what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose is no fool." - Jim Eliott

Sunday, September 16, 2012

God's Will

Today, September 16th, 2012, I had the privilege of sharing God's Word at Agape Korean Church in Rwanda. It was my first time at the current location after the recent move.

God's will is a little fuzzy concept for many. Some may think it is a hidden secret. Others may think you can not really know God's will until you experience mystical voice or trauma.

But, I believe that God has clearly revealed what He desires His followers to obey and keep.

In the Old Testament, God the Father was clear about His will. He communicated clearly and directly to His people.

When Jesus was on earth, He himself revealed Himself directly in human flesh. But He also showed many signs pointing to Himself. Even after He completed His redemptive work on the cross, resurrected and ascended to heaven, His apostles carried out the evangelical mission pretty much the same way Jesus did: showing many signs pointing to the Christ. All signs were empowered by the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Christ.

Now we are living in the Church era. Jesus is the logos, the Word. He was with God and He was God. (John 1:1) He came to us in human flesh, Jesus. It was incarnation. After He completed His redemptive work, He went back to the Father, but He left the Word. It is the bible. God's Word. God's Word therefore reveals God's will clearly, extensively and in details.

We are men and women of God if we believe in God and in Jesus Christ as the Savior and the Lord. We as Christians or Christ-followers, therefore, ought to honor and follow God's will.

King David, as praised by God as the man of His own heart, desired to follow God's will (Psalms 40:8) and prayed God to teach him to do His will. (Psalms 143:10)

But no one can come even close to Christ who exemplified as the doer of God's will. In the prayer He taught us to pray, He said "Thy will be done as is in heaven." (Matthew 6:10) He said the purpose of His coming to us is to do the will of the One who sent Him, the Father. (John 6:38,39) When Jesus was praying before He was arrested, He was obedient to the Father's will despite His own desire of avoiding the cross, if possible at all. He chose to put His will only after the Father's will. (Matthew 26:39) On the cross, Jesus declared "It is finished." He was referring to the will of God for Jesus Christ to die as a ransom for all humanity. From the birth to death, Jesus was doing the will of God.

We Christians should do the will of God.

Let me quickly and briefly highlight seven wills of God that have been clearly stated based on Ephesians 5:15-21 and other selected scriptures:

1. God's foremost desired will is that we be saved. "This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come into a knowledge of the truth." (1 Timothy 2:3,4) God is waiting with patience until all whom He chose before the foundation come to repentance.

2. Being filled with the Spirit is the will of God. According to Ephesians 5:18, we are urged to be filled with the Spirit instead of getting drunk. When we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we can experience the explosive power that was manifested among the apostles. Peter was a good example who was able to proclaim Jesus in front of the whole Jerusalem leading more than 3,000 people to salvation despite the threat of being arrested, persecuted and possibly killed. It was the power that made it possible, which resulted from the filling of the Holy Spirit. It is God's will that we be filled with the Spirit.

3. Singing praises and thanksgiving is the will of God. According to Ephesians 5:19,20, we are urged to sing praises and saying thanks in everything we do. God's grace is amazing whenever we think of His decision to save us without any merit. We were lost but are found. We were blind but now can see. With grateful heart, we can sing praise to God for His grace. The opposite is thankless heart. Despite many blessings, we look at what we do not have, thus being unsatisfied, unhappy and ungrateful. Ungratefulness leads to discomfort, worry, despair and the downward spiral. It is God's will that we rejoice with thanksgiving and praising.

4. Being mutually submissive is the will of God. Ephesians 5:21 urges us to be mutually submissive. This pertains to relationships. We should be submissive to our spouses, our parents, our superiors at work and to our governments. Not out of obligations we should be submissive but out of reverence for Christ, the scripture says. We should do with all our hearts in everything as if we work for the Lord because we submit ourselves to the Lord, not men. (Colossians 3:23) Romans 13:1 says that all authorities have been established and blessed by God. We should be submissive to the government in honor of the Lord, but to the extent the government does not conflict with God's own attributes, based on Acts 4 and 5.

5. Being sanctified is the will of God. It is God's will that we be sanctified according to 1 Thessalonians 4:3-6. Our  sanctification pertains to achieving personal holiness, avoiding sexual immorality, attaining full control of our own body and avoiding abuse of our neighbors. We have been called righteous because of the righteousness of Christ and it is God's will that we complete the sanctification process.

6. Suffering is the will of God. Believe it or not and like it or not, it is God's will that we go through the suffering for the sake of Christ's goodness. If we suffer for the Christ's sake and His righteousness, the scripture says it is our blessing. In such cases, we should rejoice because there is great reward in heaven. (Matthew 5:10-12) If we suffer for Christ's sake, the world will hate and persecute us not because of us but because of Jesus. Apostles rejoiced when they were persecuted for Christ's name sake because they were glad that they were considered to be worthy of the suffering. It is God's will that we suffer for His name because the glory bestowed upon us in heaven is far greater than the suffering that we may have to endure. (Romans 8:17,18)

7. Self-will is the will of God, but only after we have kept the wills of God that were listed above. In our daily lives, the wills of God stated above may not be practically helpful to us. We still face day to day challenges in our lives. We may do it as we wish and desire and He will honor our self-will as long as we remain in Christ and His words remain in us. (John 15:7) If our decision and desires are clearly against the will of God, He may keep us from going in such a direction. Instead He will show us alternative ways. He is good and faithful beyond our imagination.

It is my prayer that you and I discern His will with the divine wisdom and do it willingly and obediently. He will be honored with our obedience to His will. May God bless you with this message! - Jeffrey

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Borrowed Talents for UOB...

UOB has benefited tremendously from many borrowed talents. Other organizations call them interns or volunteers. I called them borrowed talents because they are indeed talents who have been borrowed from the first world. They play an important role in bridging the gap that exists in the human resources pool.
Sungeun, Roopa, me, Jeremiah, Jamie

Their roles are quite different from people to people. Some are exceptionally good with finance and analysis. Austin and Kyle were examples. Some excelled in power point presentations. Jinho and Sungeun fall into this category. Some were greatly talented in writing and editing. Jerimiah, Seungchul, Kristine were in this category. At any rate, these young people are talents whom I treasure so much.

Until recently, we had Jeremiah from the U.S. He is an MBA candidate from Oklahoma Christian University and has been helping us with designing and drawing workflows for mobile and branchless agent banking, plus helping us revising the Operations Procedures Manual. Jeremiah had worked at UOB for 10 weeks until end of August when he went back to the states to finish his MBA.

Roopa is an Indian lady who is currently living in France. She finished her master's degree in microfinance at a school in Belgium. Her work at UOB was an internship. She has also helped us with the preparation for the mobile banking and agent network development. She assisted us for two and half months until the end of August when she returned to France.
TJ, Jamie
U of S.F. research team
Jamie (Hyeonguk) Lee was a KOICA volunteer. He helped us primarily with the IT Team but later on he had also helped us serving the USD clients, particularly KOICA clients and Korean Embassy. He had worked for UOB for 18 months until early September when he returned to Korea.

Sungeun Choi (Uwineza) is an intern from Merry Year International in Korea. She came to Rwanda in July to work for UOB for a year. Her primary assignment is helping design, develop and implement a secondary student tuition fee loan product in cooperation with UOB and also introduced a web-based individual lending program, called "Story Money" in S. Korea. She is also trained in other areas of microfinance. 
Jackie on Umuganda Day
Jinho and Seungchul 2009
 There were many more borrowed talents whom I cannot name all here: Austin, Kyle, Jared, Patrick, Whitney, Michelle, Maurice, Jinho, TJ, Seungchul, Jackie, Kristine etc. I am so thankful to the Lord who has supplied all these talents timely and appropriately. Their contributions have been tremendous and will be remembered for long. Thank you! - Jeffrey

Opportunity Global Leadership Conference Oxford 2012

Delegates praising God
For three days, September 10-12, 2012, Opportunity International Network Global Leadership Conference  (OIN GLC) took place in Oxford, UK. The venue was Keble College, one of 38 colleges under the Oxford University umbrella. We stayed at the college's bed and breakfast facility. This OIN GLC is held every 18 months. The previous one was in March 2011 at Chennai, India. This was the third GLC that I have attended after I joined the OI Network.

This year's conference theme was Strategic Blueprint: Shaping the Future.

Under the new leadership of CEO Harry Turner, the GMO (Global Microfinance Operations) presented the strategic blueprint. It was encouraging to see the global leadership come up with the blueprint in unity. The presentations were reasonable and forward-looking.

Harry Turner, GMO CEO
Many leaders and board members from all over the world came and actively participated in the conference. The conference schedule was tight and packed with programs. Unlike previous conferences, I led a couple of working groups and gave a presentation about what UOB is doing through partnerships, particularly with a world renowned payment service provider.

There were six presentations: Social Performance Management, client solutions, global portfolio, channels and partners, operational effectiveness, and people. Each presentation included a key note speaker presentation and a group of panelists who also gave presentations. A questions and answers session followed each presentation session. Afterwards, all members were assigned to working groups that came up with observations and recommendations for each presentation or theme.

Latino delegates leading the praise 
Michale Ramsden, the devotion speaker
There were side meetings over breakfasts, lunches and dinners with different stakeholders. Due to these packed schedules, I did not have sufficient time of discussion with colleagues working in different countries on topics of common interest.

The sessions that I liked and enjoyed most were devotions. Michael Ramsden who is a professor at Wycliffe Hall and European Director of Zacharias Trust. His messages were so inspiring, engaging and profound that I was deeply touched by them. From three familiar parables, he was able to draw profound truths and messages.
Keble College Campus

View from ARCO Building where we stayed
Overall, the conference was productive, efficient and informative. I trust all other participants would also share my sentiment. Praise the Lord! - Jeffrey

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Oxford in Spires...

Queens College Courtyard
Kristin and I have come to Oxford, England to attend the Opportunity International Network Global Leadership Conference that is scheduled to take place from September 10-12, 2012. We came a couple of days earlier to catch up with the Mas, the previous blog post, and to tour Oxford, the city of "dream spires."

Oxford is in spires and also inspires.

In England, there are two oldest universities: Oxford and Cambridge. Collectively they are called Oxbridge. University is relatively a new concept to them because in olden days there were only federations of colleges. Colleges are independent legal entities, employing their own staff, owning their own buildings, managing their own endowments and hiring their own staff. The central university only administers and coordinates among colleges.
Schulman Auditorium

Oxford University has 30 colleges and 12 permanent halls. Some are better known than others. In total, Oxford University has approximately 16,000 students, including 5,000 graduate students pursuing higher degrees.

Today, September 8th, Kristin and I had a tour of Oxford, visiting some of the colleges. Fortunately, today happens to be an "Oxford Open Day" that allows tourists to visit some of the college buildings for free. We visited Queens College, New College and Magdalene College.

Inside Queens College
Queens College from High St.
Queens College opened its chapel and auditorium. The alley towards the auditorium was very romantic with two rock-built walls leading to the auditorium. Before entering the auditorium, there was a small courtyard that had a big tree, meticulously maintained grasses and a few benches. It was so cozy and soothing. I felt I could study well in such an environment. The auditorium was built with wooden panels. It was not so big but it appealed to me strongly to make me feel like lecturing to students there.

Students after Final Exam
Trinity College
New College is the newest college of Oxford University, but it celebrated its 600th anniversary recently. So other colleges are 800-900 years old. New College has become famous after Harry Porter's movie filed dining hall scenes at New College's Dining Hall. What appeared in the movie looked a lot bigger and more grand than the reality, but it was still pretty sizable. Its campuses, buildings, meadows and walking trails were all meticulous and romantic.

Sheldonian Theater
New College from Courtyard
Magdalene (pronounced Moh-dlene in old English) College is the home for famous scholars, such as C.S. Lewis and Oscar Wilde. I could not find any external evidence for C.S. Lewis' teaching there. I was told that one of the walking trail rest spots has one of his poems by the bench, but I learned about it after I have come out of the trail. Its courtyards were maintained with excellence. Clean and beautiful. The walls and floors in the corridors have been worn out due to the age, but such worn out parts looked rustic and classic.
New College Dining Hall
New College

We also toured other parts of the city, such as Martyrs Memorial, High Street, Broad Street, The Covered Market, Sheldonian Theater, Trinity College, Examination Schools, Blackwell Bookstore etc.

Sheldonian Theater is where all University official events take place, such as welcoming ceremony to new comers and graduation ceremony. There was a wedding ceremony in the back of the theater.
New College
Magdalene College
Examination Schools building is the most feared building for all students. As a tradition, all students who are taking the final exam must be wearing black suits, white shirts, white bow ties and gowns. Today, there were students who must have taken the final exams. Many students were coming out of the building in such outfits. I am sure they felt relieved from the finished final exam and proud to be part of Oxford tradition at the same time.

Magdalene College
Oxford is a city of "dream spires" and is a city in spires. Indeed it inspires. - Jeffrey

Reunion with Drs. Julie and Wonsuk Mas in Oxford

Wonsuk and Julie Ma
Dr. Wonsuk Ma is Executive Director at Oxford Center for Mission Studies (OCMS) in Oxford, England. He has been leading this institute for the past six years. OCMS coaches and grants students PhD degrees in mission studies. Dr. Julie Ma is the wife of Wonsuk and a professor at OCMS. They both graduated from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA with their PhD degrees.

St. Phillipe and St. James Church
But, what is more significant to Kristin and me is that they both attended the same church when we were living in Los Angeles. It was in the early 1990's when we were attending the same church. Since then, we have gone our own ways as the Lord has led and we have not seen each other for almost two decades.

Thus, our reunion was joyous.

The Mas were missionaries to the Philippines for more than two decades before he accepted to lead this historically important institution six years ago. Their field experiences plus academic background made their qualifications stood out. OCMS, once struggling, is now stabilized and begins to thrive. Praise the Lord!

Kristin and Julie Ma
OCMS is located at the former St. Phillipe and St. James Church building, that just celebrated its 150th anniversary. Every corner and floor spaces are used for the OCMS staff or faculty offices. OCMS remains significant to the mission academia because it has been the pioneer in holistic mission, as acknowledged by the late John Stott.

We had a delicious dinner at the Kings Arms Restaurant located right next to the Thames River. We ended up being treated by the Mas, gratefully. We both praised the Lord for His faithfulness in our lives through countless number of blessings, with many in the form of miracles. Julie Ma went through a couple of medical situations that were diagnosed by doctors to be hopeless, but she has been cured in both situations. Hallelujah!
Wonsuk Ma at his office
OCMS in the church building
We agreed that we were grateful for the fact that we are being utilized for His Kingdom and His ministries. Until we have to pass our torches at the opportune time, which we have to discern well not to miss His timing, we would put our best efforts to carrying out the responsibilities He has bestowed upon. Amen! - Jeffrey

Brainstorming... 44 Ideas...

Presentation was made after these brain exercises...
I had an opportunity to participate in a brainstorming session along with a few colleagues of mine at UOB. We joined a group of people from a couple of world renowned enterprises. (I am sorry that I cannot name them due to a non-disclosure agreement that I signed.)

One enterprise has been retained by the other enterprise to conduct an in-depth survey on the felt needs of Rwandans for the use of mobile and agent banking. A group of six people (from Hong Kong, Shanghai, Johannesburg, San Francisco and Rwanda) lived together, talking to people at all levels in geographical areas for almost four weeks. They worked 1,068 hours, collected 3,750 data points, visited 24 towns and conducted 110 hours of interviews, including 37 in-depth interviews and 12 expert interviews.

Then, the group interpreted the collected data and drew essential principles. They called it a synthesizing process. They gave us the presentation about five personas that are prototypes of clients and analyzed their behaviors in depth, including their felt and real needs.

The brainstorming session was the process of collecting further feedback from participants and of producing conceptual business ideas to meet the identified needs and coming up with graphic drawings for effective use of mobile and agent banking technology.

The list of 44 conceptual business ideas...
It was a rigorous but productive session because at the end of the day we came up with 44 conceptual ideas. Also, we voted for the ideas that were most creative and most pragmatically implementable. We came up with four that collected most number of votes from 14 participants. It is now the next step to take to bring these ideas into reality, which is another daunting task. It is a blessing to have these resources come to UOB and to Rwanda to help conceptualize the needs into product ideas. - Jeffrey

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Shalom Bible Study

SBS at the last session for Full Armor of God
Shalom Bible Study (SBS) is the bible study group that God led Kristin and me to start three and half years ago. Its members are primarily KOICA volunteers. Its membership has evolved over time as some old members who have completed their mission have returned to Korea and new members have joined.

In July, Isaac has gone back and last night/today three members (Sungye, Minjung and Yurim) are returning to Korea. I already miss them, but I will have to let go and let God lead them to go to the next level of Christian maturity. It will be tougher to keep faith and grow mature in the first world than here in Rwanda because of the increased exposure to worldly temptations and peer pressures. Last Friday, we prayed for the three lady members. Now we have eleven members (Jihye, Hayan, Jihyun, Yoonbum, Sungeun, Deacon Sejun Park, Youngsup, Jaejoon, Jonghak, Ilmo and Keunhwa), plus Kristin and myself. The member used to be as high as 17. We have agreed not to increase the membership beyond 12, plus our couple, so that our bible study will focus more on discipleship training like Jesus did.

SBS has an interesting group of talents. Keunhwa is a guitar player (Keunhwa), leading the praise and Hayan is a great singer who helps us with our praise. Both Hayan and Sungeun are violin players. They are wonderful musicians. Jihyun and Youngsup are cooking specialists. Jihye is an artist. Jonghak is a TaeKwonDo master. And so on. I am so grateful for this bunch of people who have so many talents.

Some members request to continue receiving the e-mails and handouts for their study. It is encouraging to hear such requests. I freely provide all materials as they request.

To date, SBS has studied Ephesians, Romans, Beatitudes, Names of God, Jesus and Kingdom Life, Book of Acts and most recently Full Armor of God. We have started the study on Colossians from August. SBS has been an important part of our ministries in Rwanda. I pray that the faithful Lord will continue holding our hands in serving the SBS members joyfully and faithfully. I also pray that the good Lord will continue helping the SBS members grow stronger in faith, deeper in love and higher in hope for the life to come that will be eternal. - Jeffrey  

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Ministry Updates - August 2012

The group of people who received English bibles
Dear family, friends and fellow Kingdom workers

August was another month of significant progress which we would like to thank and praise God for.

The following updates exhibit the highlights of our ministry in Rwanda:

1. IFC has approved our funding proposal for $450K that will cover technical assistance and funding in developing mobile and agent banking network. This is the third support that God has provided since we began the project, after UNCDF and Triple Jump. We praise the Lord for His provision! Unfortunately, however, the launch date for this project has been pushed back to November. The positive side is that we will have more time to prepare for the launch. Please pray with us for His continuous guidance.

2. We have finalized on the name of UOB's mobile banking solution. It has been selected out of 30 or so name candidates. It carries a relevant meaning and sits very well with UOB's tag line of "Banki ya Bose" (Bank for All) as well. We thank God for providing this name for us. Sorry for not being able to share it until it is ready to be released.

3. UOB has now started taking steps towards issuing up to 50,000 UOB Grace Cards (chip 'N PIN debit cards) before the year-end. This project has gained momentum because RSwitch (Rwanda's national switch) successfully migrated UOB's connection towards Postilion, an upgraded version of the switch server. We plan to issue 2,500 cards in September before we scale it up in the following months.

4. Operationally, UOB continued its growth and sustainability.

5. UOB has completed its construction for Ngoma Branch. It will be open for business as of October 1st. We are securing a lease for Huye Branch and planning to open it in December. We are also securing a lease in Gisozi to open a mini branch. Also in August, we have secured 6 new credit offices while closing down one that has been absorbed into other credit offices. Now UOB has 32 credit offices, 8 branchs (10 by the year-end) and 1 mobile branch.

6. UOB held several training courses for its staff, including 2-weekend credit training for which I was part of the faculty. All these training courses are held as part of UOB Academy. Continuous capacity building for the staff is an essential element for a sustainable development and operation.

7. UOB is redesigning its micro insurance product to enhance the benefits and speed up the claim service process. We will run a few focus groups to collect feedback from clients before we launch in November. UOB is also designing a life insurance product tied to the mobile banking platform. We are excited about this product.

8. UOB has received additional 6,000 English bibles from Bible League in the U.S. to be distributed to UOB clients. It is our prayer that these bibles will be passed on to the children of our clients so that they may be exposed to the Word early on. These bibles have been received after we successfully distributed 1,000 bibles earlier this year. We are grateful for this provision!

9. God has allowed for some challenges so that we may remain humble before Him. We had a robbery case of one of our lending staff, but later on the police suspected the very staff who reported the robbery and ended up charging him for the fraud. We also faced another fraud and challenges from local authorities in several places. He keeps us putting our trust in Him, rather than leaning on our own understanding.

10. We held the quarterly off-site prudential meeting with the BNR (central bank) in August. The governor confirmed that UOB is the overall best run bank in Rwanda. BNR, however, raised a few issues which I think are somewhat unreasonable but nonetheless we will have to explain about and plea for reconsideration. Again, we need to depend on Him before we make any decision and take any action.

11. We received several visitors, including the World Relief Global CEO, Stephan Bowman. He used to be Country Director of World Relief Rwanda. World Relief founded Urwego Community Banking as part of its post-genocide relief work in 1997, which merged with Opportunity International's green field bank in 2007 to establish the current Urwego Opportunity Bank.
Shalom Bible Study with children at Mt. Kabuye

12. Shalom Bible Study hiked Mt. Kabuye in a total group of 15 people. Most of us made to the top where we praised God and prayed. It was an event organized to make a memory for three members who are returning to S. Korea after their 2-year mission. We also participated in Korean Missionary Fellowship prayer meeting. I continued to minister to God's people at Agape Korean Church, St. Etienne Cathedral and UOB through preaching. I am grateful for the opportunities of proclaiming the gospel of love, peace and hope

13. We have the following prayer requests:

  • For God's continued guidance in developing the mobile banking solutions in a timely manner for a timely launch in November
  • For God's provision of wisdom in designing the road maps in implementing IFC TA funding
  • For God's provision of discernment in analyzing, assessing and deciding on human resources cases, including frauds so that our decisions may be godly and edifying
  • For God's conviction to all staff about UOB's mission, vision and core values so that our transformation efforts may be apparent and evident in all we do.
  • For God's mercy upon our aging parents to finish their lives on earth in joy, hope and love.
  • For God's grace upon our two daughters who are in service for different purposes in Africa so that they may serve as if they work for the Lord and they may clearly see the path that the Lord has prepared for them.
  • For God's continued illumination to us to be able to understand God's Word clearly so that we may preach, teach, coach and lead many people who have been bestowed upon us to serve.  
Thank you all for standing with us through prayer and support for our ministries.

May God bless you, keep you, make His face shine upon you and extend His grace and peace to you!

Gratefully in His service,

Jeffrey and Kristin from Kigali, RWANDA