Thursday, October 3, 2013

Ministry Updates - September 2013...

Beautiful Mt. Seorak, Korea
Three quarters of 2013 have passed by. After each quarter, I tend to look back and reflect on how my life has been faithful to the Lord and how much my spiritual life has grown over time. It seems that no much progress has been visibly made, but I trust in this midst the Lord has been diligently work in me and my wife, and the lives of my beloved ones.

How has God been working in and through you and your family? How has your walk with the Lord blessed and enriched you?

The following were the highlights of the month of September:

1. Now it has been official;y announced that Jeffrey Lee will step down as CEO of UOB in February 2014. I have informed the board of my intent in March 2013 and the board has graciously understood my family situation and accepted my intent. The CEO search committee has been formed and a search firm has been retained. Active search process has since been underway. I have full confidence that God has bestowed upon UOB an excellent and godly man or woman to succeed me as CEO of UOB. If you are interested, or if you would like to learn more, please read my blogpost on this. Click here, for more details.

Part of the Participants in BAM Consultation 2013
2. Kristin and I made a trip to Korea for 10 days or so in September. The primary purpose was to attend a 5-day Business As Mission (BAM) Consultation held in Mt. Seorak. Approximately 40 people gathered from 15 countries and it was a great learning experience for us and I also gave three presentations. For more details, click here

Jeffrey also gave a testimony and a lecture about BAM at Pohang Joy Church. It was a mutually blessing time. We also had a reunion with several SBS alumni in Seoul and Pohang, and saw our old friends and family.

One of mVISA Billboard with UOB Logo
3. mVISA has held road shows almost everyday at different places of Rwanda in September. The main purpose of the road shows is to enhance the awareness about this emerging market solution for financial access. UOB and Bank of Kigali are the only banks that are participating in this world's first interoperable solution. Interoperability means that UOB clients and Bank of Kigali clients may use either agent network to do the banking transactions. Also, all users of MTN, AirTel and Tigo users can send money to or receive money from other telco users.

UOB has participated in  the road shows by holding a booth explaining about UOB's mHose product that uses the mVISA platform, plus interest payment on savings and free life insrance.

More than 1,000 new clients have signed up with UOB during the road shows. click here

UOB's mHose now has more than 8,000 clients and more than 80 agents signed up. The heaviest use of mHose is now for loan repayment. Along with mHose rollout, UOB has continued distributing UOB Grace Cards to borrowers as well as depositors. Both will be essential platforms to benefit from UOB's CSP or client service points Strategy.

4. Along with the mVISA road shows, UOB has continued its radio campaign through two stations about holistic life improvements (HLI) training on business management, household personal finance and health management based on biblical principles. These public radio campaign for business and financial literacy training has drawn great reception and appreciation. Praise the Lord!

5. UOB held its quarterly board meeting in September. The board approved three policies and reviewed how the bank is helping Rwandans transform holistically. The board also approved the Revised Annual Forecast or RAF for 2013.

6. UOB senior management team has begun the strategic planning session to work on updating the 3-year strategic plan and 2014 business plan along with financial projection. This way, all stakeholders will be engaged in the process to own the strategic plan and business plan together.

7. UOB continued its recovery in operations with a 4% increase in loan portfolio registered as of September 30th from the second quarter. We have also regained borrowing clients by 1,552, up 4%, from the end of the second quarter. Although the pace was a lot slower than we hoped, we are grateful that God answers our prayer and helped us turn around the corner. Please pray that this trend will continue during the fourth quarter.

8. Gisozi Branch has been under construction and is almost ready to open. This branch will help reduce the congestion at Nyabugogo Branch. This will be the 11th full service branch and 44th business office, not counting additional 80 plus agents.
Painting about a Market Scene taken at Urban Hotel

9. Agricultural Finance program and Education Finance program have scaled up in September as they both had high seasons in demand. We financed more than 8,000 farmers for their input or production costs and provided tuition fee loans for more than 1,000 students/parents. We also made three additional school improvement loans to private schools. These are part of UOB's specialty financing programs to help meet the needs of clients.

10. UOB continued to prepare for the migration of core banking to T24 R12 model bank. As soon as the model bank is ready, scheduled for October, UOB will be the first implementing member within the Opportunity International Network to migrate into the model bank. We need your prayers for thorough preparation and smooth migration.

11. UOB received the visit from IFC that has provided a grant to finance the agent network expansion. UOB also received several groups that visited UOB and its client groups, which included HOPE International's donor group, Boston Consulting Group's extern and OI US donor group. May all these visitors be inspired by the transformation that is taking place in the hearts and lives of UOB clients and staff.

12. Prayer requests:

Please pray with us that:

  • The search process for the new CEO at UOB will progress smoothly and the search firm and search committee may find the right person to continue to carry out the mission towards the vision aligned with God's vision.
  • UOB operations will normalize and stabilize from the setbacks experienced in 2013 so that the revenues may be restored, the lending activities may regain the momentum and the PAR may come down to a normal level.
  • UOB's client transformation training (HLI) and group meeting standardization process (5W) may not be compromised due to the challenges in the field.
  • UOB's endeavor to implement Spiritual and Social Performance Management system, God Provides DVD, Process/Service Fit Test, Discipleship Training for staff, monitoring and evaluation of transformation efforts (Hope Quotient) may continue to gain God's favor for smooth and proactive implementation towards effective spiritual transformation.
  • UOB's client service point (CSP) strategy rollout may continue to be scaled up to secure as many client access points as possible without creating too much a financial burden on the bank.
  • UOB's T24 R12 model bank migration may progress well to secure a stable platform to serve the clients.
  • UOB's initiative to expand its traditional micro finance into inclusive finance to achieve holistic community development may also gain traction to move towards the next step.
  • We may discern God's voice and will for the next ministry opportunities that God has in store for us and make a decision that will be pleasing to Him. 
Thank you very much for your standing with us in our ministries in Rwanda.

May God richly and abundantly bless you all.

Joyfully and gratefully in His services,

Jeffrey and Kristin Lee from Kigali, RWANDA

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