Saturday, November 1, 2014

Ministry Update - Sabbatical Leave Six Months

I left Urwego Opportunity Bank of Rwanda (UOB) as of April 30th, 2014 after 63 months of service as its CEO. And I declared to be on a sabbatical leave.

The dictionary defines sabbatical leave as a leave from a regular job while remaining employed. According to this definition, I have not been on the sabbatical leave because I did not remain employed.

But, if it is defined as a time period to break away from your routine work and discern what God's will is for the next chapter of life, I will take it.

Any way, six months have since passed as of today. So I wanted to update you of what has transpired during this past six-month period.

The following summarizes what has happened for the past six months:

Do we look like a nomad couple?

Group photo after the trip

Majestic aerial view of the Victoria Falls

Picture perfect scenery at Okavango Delta
1. We took a three-week overland trip from Cape Town, South African to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. The trip had a total of 18 people including two couples of our friends from New York and went through Namibia and Botswana. It was rough at times, particularly dusts in Namibia, but overall it was a fantastic and memorable experience. Namibian deserts, Himba tribes, Okavango Delta in Botswana, Moremi crossing, Chobe river safari in Botswana and Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe were the highlights. (May/June) If you are interested in reading more about this trip, please click here.

2. We had a family reunion in Colorado. All our children came and enjoyed our time together up in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. In May, Joyce finished her volunteer service with Peace Corps in Senegal and joined us right after she accepted an offer for employment with a high tech company in San Francisco. We also visited with our friends in Denver, New York and Atlanta. (July/August)
Selfie for our family

3. I agreed to assist Access to Finance Rwanda (AFR) and Association of Microfinance Institutions of Rwanda (AMIR) in making recommendation on improving regulatory environment for microfinance institutions in Rwanda. This project commenced in June and has continued on and off up to even today. I was glad to be of help. (June - November)

4. I attended the Third Business As Mission (BAM) Consultation held at Mt. Seorak in Korea in September. It was the second time attendance for me and I was able to meet a lot more people than last year. It is always encouraging to meet up with the like-minded people on creative world mission. (September)

5. I taught 26 students from 18 countries for two weeks at Handong Global University, Pohang, Korea on the subject of "Microfinance for Sustainable Development." It was an intensive teaching for these students studying for a master's degree in global development and entrepreneurship. The teaching experience was uplifting and I was named a visiting professor for Handong. (September/October)

With 26 students from 18 countries

6. I ministered to the young adults and adults at Gimhae First Church in Gimhae over the weekend while I was teaching at Handong. This church is shpherded by Pastor Yongsik Ahn, who was the senior pastor of Emmanuel Mission Church in Los Angeles where I was a founding member in 1993. Our reunion was joyous and their hospitality was warm and welcoming. (September)
With Rev. and Mrs. Yongsik Ahn

7. I have agreed to provide a diagnostic evaluation of Rz Manna Rwanda's financial management and internal control. Rz Manna Rwanda was established as a social enterprise by Handong Global University, sponsored by KOICA. It has been recognized as a top quality bakery and cafe in Kigali operationally, but it has lacked transparency in financial management associated with internal control. This pro bono service still continues with a hope that it will continue to operate as a thriving social enterprise even after the KOICA's support ends. (October/November)

8. While we were traveling, we were able to see many old friends and meet new friends. We are always thrilled about these opportunities. The photos below are with Shalom Bible Study members.

9. I have also agreed to serve as board members of a few Opportunity International's microfinance institutions in Africa. I have accepted this responsibility at Opportunity Kenya and Opportunity Tanzania, and I will consider up to two more locations. (September and on-going)

10. Kristin has started teaching English for preschoolers and first grade students at 2 & 5 Nursery that was established and is being run by Korean missionaries.

Even during our intended leave, God has kept us pretty busy with various ministry opportunities. We are slowly but surely seeing where God is leading us for our next chapter of life, but we remain still prayerfully trying to discern His will.

Thank you for reading this update and your continuing to stand with us.

Gratefully in His service,

Jeffrey and Kristin Lee from Kigali, Rwanda


Unknown said...

I just ran into your blog while surfing another blog from a dear friend and teacher, Father Broom. BUT, I want to comment and let you know that you and your wife will be included in my daily prayers. Its so beautiful to see how you and your family is so open to obeying and following Gods will. You are truly inspirational to me! I read your sabbatical update, and think you are all so beautiful and amazing!! Congratulations on your beautiful mission(s)! May God continue to bless you, and give you the essential graces to continue your labor of love in His name! De Colores! Martha +

jlee80111 said...

Mariposa, thank you for your kind remarks and prayer. May God bless you richly!