Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Ministry Update - June 2013

The month of June showed signs of hope, but the numbers did not reflect the hope. Nonetheless, we were able to finish the month with an upbeat tone.

The following are highlights of the ministry activities during the month of June:

Solar Lamp Program Launched
1. UOB signed an agreement with Great Lakes Energy that will supply Sun King solar lamps for UOB's clients. These solar lamps will help bring lights to rural Rwandans who have had to depend on kerosine lamps. For more details, click here

2. UOB participated in the Rwanda Agriculture Show 2013 and was acknowledged for its effective participation in the agriculture finance program. This acknowledgement is the second year in a row. For more details, click here

3. UOB received approval from Rwanda Development Bank (BRD) on our request to increase its credit line to Rwf1.2 Billion from Rwf560 Million. This will help manage the liquidity comfortably.

4. Finally, UOB received the first installment of the grant from IFC. It has taken so long to come up to this point and I hope the process will be smooth.

UOB Recognized at Rwanda Agriculture Show
5. UOB's client service point (CSP) strategy continued to be implemented. Currently UOB is focusing on rolling out mHose and UOB grace cards. But this CSP strategy will expand to work with other institutions for easy access to their saving accounts by UOB clients. A major roll-out marketing plan is currently under development.

6. T24 R10 model bank migration work has begun officially. We formed a task force, led by the COO, which will spearhead into several key tasks to be ready for the migration during the third quarter.

7. UOB also received a notification from Access to Finance Rwanda (AFR) that it has approved our grant proposal for $600,000. This will help us accelerate the deployment of mHose agents.

8. UOB's story has been included in a book, titled "The International Bank of Bob." Authored by Bob Harris, this book covers several stories that demonstrate how effectively small loans can help micro entrepreneurs in developing countries. UOB's story is in the entire Chapter Eight. For more details, click here Also, UOB was mentioned in an article of the Wall Street Journal which covered what Visa is doing in Rwanda. We are thrilled to be part of this project.

9. Jeffrey continued to serve God's people through preaching and teaching the Word at Agape Korean Church, St. Etienne Cathedral, UOB staff devotion and Shalom Bible Study. It is a bubbling joy springing up from my inside to be used for this Word ministry.

10. Kristin's Gicumb (Yaramba) Nursery project is almost completed. The water tank has been installed, the fences have been erected, the gutter work has been completed. Currently, the toilet work is being done and should be ready for operation that will start from August.

11. Family News Updates:
Jeffrey's parents in May 2010
  • Jeffrey's parents celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in June. What a great blessing to see them still remaining on earth! We are delighted to see and grateful for their 60th wedding anniversary.
  • Joyce returned to Senegal safely and has resumed her work with the Peace Corps.
  • Amanda is adjusting to a civilian life after nine years of military life while James is under training in several locations.

12. Prayer Requests:
  • UOB, its staff and its clients are still struggling to recover from the economic recession. We are told that the money started flowing again, but people on the ground just do not feel it yet. Please remember to pray for quick and complete recovery from the shock.
  • UOB is going through heavy loan write-offs and intensive recovery process. May God intervene to stabilize and normalize the operation.
  • Please remember to pray for successful rollout of mHose agents. In June, we experienced several glitches that disturbed the operations. Now they have been fixed, but we feel like we are walking on thin ice.
  • Please pray that our field staff will not neglect the Holistic Life Improvement teaching in the midst of intensive recovery efforts. These two issues could easily collide with each other in conflict.
  • Please pray for God's grace in securing a competent teacher and administrator to lead the Yaramba Nursery operation. The hardware may be good, but without as good a software operation, the project cannot be called a success.
  • Please pray for God's grace upon our spiritual life to continue to be growing mature every day as we are in a position to lead and influence many people in different capacities.
Again, we always thank you for your standing with us through your faithful prayer and support.

Gratefully in His service,

Jeffrey and Kristin Lee from Kigali, RWANDA

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