Saturday, December 1, 2012

Ministry Updates - November 2012

November was another month of experiencing God's overflowing grace. Glory be to the Lord God Almighty!

Relationship Staff training clients on household finance
The following were the highlights of our ministry in November:

1. Jeffrey and Kristin attended the Opportunity International Africa/Eastern Europe CEO Conference held at Zanzibar, Tanzania. (October 31st and November 1st) The conference was for building up on the Strategic Blue Print that was shared at the September Global Leadership Conference held in Oxford, U.K. I had the privilege of presenting about Client Presentation. We had the bonus of enjoying the fantastic beauty of Zanzibar's coastal lines.

2. UOB received high powered visitors in November. They included Harry Turner, CEO of OIN GMO (Global Microfinance Operations, David Simms, Chairman of OIN Global Board, Stanley Tsikirayi, CEO of Opportunity Tanzania, OI US Insight Trip team, Edity board members (Chris, Rodney, Dale), Merry Year International management and Tom Philipps, a Christian Kingdom businessman. They all witnessed how God is working through UOB to empower the underprivileged people of Rwanda.

Harry Turner with COOPAG farmers
3. UOB celebrated the opening of its ninth branch in Ngoma, Eastern Province, which is 42nd business outlet for UOB. Local officials and David Simms, OIN Global Board Chairman helped open the branch. We held a parade in the town with UOB's mobile branch, 25 motorcyclists, 10 roller blade riders and a radio anchor woman promoting the bank's newest branch. UOB is now working on two other branches.

4. God provided additional resources for UOB in November. UOB received approval on in its grant funding proposal for 650,000 British Sterling Pounds ($1 million equivalent!) under DFID's Innovation for Education program. OI UK team (Deborah and Sally) and Nathan Byrd played a significant role in securing this funding. Praise the Lord! OI UK also submitted another proposal to DFID UK for agricultural financing. UOB submitted an Expression of Interest for collaboration to USAID Ejo Heza, led by CHF International. Collaboration produces synergy.

5. UOB held an off-site prudential meeting with BNR (Rwanda's central bank) in November for the third quarter performance. UOB maintained a favorable rating from the central bank based on its safe and sound performance. Excellence by the regulatory guideline is the foundation for the opportunity to point to the Lord who is the real CEO of UOB.

6. UOB project team worked on preparing for the final launch of mHose, an interoperable mobile and agent banking solution. It is scheduled for a soft launch in December. UOB lending staff also worked on finalizing its product design for secondary student tuition fee loan (SSL) to be launched in January 2013. UOB insurance team worked on designing the new premier credit life (to be named in Kinyarwanda) to be launched in January 2013. This will replace its current Enhanced Credit Life.

7. UOB's performance in November remained almost unchanged from October. It is normally a slow season for economic activities after planting crops. Moreover the insecurity in Eastern part of DR Congo that is bordering Rwanda has created fear and uncertainty among many Rwandans. Historically this area has been at the center of many conflicts and please pray with us for this area to regain the peace and stability not in a human way but in a way that clearly evidences God's intervention.

8. UOB and Jeffrey were privileged to be featured in a few video clips produced by OI Canada. Here are the links.

A boy who could benefit from nursery...
9. Kristin visited the Gicumbi Church twice to check the progress of building a nursery for little children. God has provided ample resources for this project through many people He has chosen. A separate report will be made to the supporters. Praise the Lord! Kristin and I also visited a site in Bugesera to explore the possibility of building another nursery in cooperation with a pastor.

10. Jeffrey continued serving God's people through preaching at St. Etienne Cathedral, Agape Korean Church and UOB staff devotion, and leading the Shalom Bible Study. SBS is still studying the precious and profound epistle of Apostle Paul to the Colossians. We are blessed by these preaching and teaching ministry opportunities.

11. Here are the topics for which we are seeking your prayer support:
  • God's intervention in the DR Congo conflicts. The conflicts affect hundreds of thousands of people, including innocent children and Rwandans living in the border area.
  • Insightful thinking and wise judgment under the uncertain situations as we are working on the 2013 budget and 3-year strategic plan.
  • Long-term perspective and deep commitment to UOB's holistic transformation as we plan to scale up its efforts in 2013, including Holistic Life Improvement training, Spiritual and Social Performance Management system, God Provides DVD resources, financial literacy training radio campaign, children education on financial literacy etc.
  • Successful preparation and launch of mHose, SSL and premier credit life products.
  • Successful construction of Gicumbi nursery, Huye Branch and Gisozi Branch.
  • Peaceful and hopeful lives for our parents
  • Godly lives for our children in service for His Kingdom people
Thank you very much for standing with us in prayer and with support!


Jeffrey and Kristin Lee from Kigali, RWANDA

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