Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Trip to Kigali, Rwanda (March/April 2017)...

I made a 12-day trip back to Kigali, Rwanda after I stopped over in Bangkok for a few days. I took the Ethiopian Airline flights from Bangkok to Kigali via Addis Ababa. Addis Ababa's Bole International Airport was as expected disappointingly inconvenient. My 5-hour layover on both ways was uncomfortable even without access to any lounge even if I was willing to pay. Well... it is the last airport that I would like to choose for any travel route.

The primary purpose of the trip was to provide a 5-day or 30-hour training on BAM for Nanuri community people. This program is called SfK Missional Business Academy (MBA) Training. It could be provided in different length and 30-hour program is a short one. Naturally I had to cut out many hands-on practices.

They have the Nanuri Medical Center and Nanuri Guest House under construction and expect to begin the commercial operation in January 2018. So the training was timely in getting them prepared for the operations. The attendees were Sang Hoon Lee, Song Hee Lee, Jun Bum Park, Jieyeon Baek, Kihyun Kim, Ji Man Park and Hee Ju Lee.

A couple from Arusha, Tanzania also attended the training: Sung Soo Kim and Youngsoon Kim. They are advising the leadership team of E3Empower Africa that provides energy, education and entrepreneurship for Tanzania and beyond in Africa.

When I arrived in Kigali, I was still coughing and the cold that I caught in Seoul turned into a bad allergy. It turned out to be an excellent idea that I went to see Dr. Tommy for diagnosis and medicine. After taking the medicine that he prescribed for me, I became a lot better. Even after five days of speaking for six hours a day, I was still able to speak without failure. Thanks to God's grace!

All participated in the training sincerely and eagerly. Within two hours, two groups were able to produce pro forma income statement for the first twelve months. Also, both groups were able to analyze the SWOTs of their intended businesses and also actions to take.

At the end, all received the Certificate of Completion and promised to apply what they learned to their daily business practices. I look forward to hearing more about the progress they will make.

The Nanuri Community showed me great hospitality with dinner arrangement for each night. I had to decline the offer but one dinner from each family. Mr. and Mrs. Kim and I reciprocated their hospitality by inviting their family members to dinner also. The Nanuri Community gave me 20 bags of Rwanda coffee. Mrs. Noh also gave me Rwanda honey, hazel nuts and small bags of Rwandan coffee. I appreciated their hospitality.

Dan Mutiganda, lawyer and my former colleague at UOB also came to talk about New Labor Law in Rwanda as part of Human Resources Management training. He is a great man of God and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing him again.

Pastor Innocent of the Kigali Diocese of Anglican Church in Rwanda participated in a few afternoon sessions at the advice of the Bishop Louis Muvuni, the bishop for the Kigali Diocese. We discussed about holding a two-week training on BAM for up to 15 people in October 2017. It is my hope and prayer that we can develop 3-5 trainers who can train Rwandans in Kinyarwanda later on. We will see what the Lord has in mind.

I stayed at the Happy House, a guest house run by Kristin's friend. The facility was somewhat old and the bathroom was malfunctioning, but the breakfast that she prepared for us was fantastic and the view of the Kigali city was stunning. The sunset view was also beautiful. Kigali has a beautiful weather. I missed it a lot.

Kristin and I lived in Kigali for almost eight (8) years and the city has become one of our second homes. I will surely miss the city and the country. - Jeffrey

Trip to Korea (March 2017)...

The primary purpose of this short trip I made to Korea (March 13-18) was to celebrate God's grace in allowing SfK Ministries to establish SfK Korea and SfK BAM Fund I. Almost 100 people attended this celebration and we all were blessed and encouraged by His grace and by each other. A TV talent Won Hee Kim MCed the event and the saxophonist Gwang Sik Park came to perform during the service. Also, a photographic artist Hyun Ah Kwon gladly took still photos for the event. Great photos! Thanks to them all!

Please click here for more details on this celebration.

I also had a brainstorming session with William Son, COO for SfK Korea and Sam Hwan Kim, Managing Director for PPL Foundation and Hwan Chul Yoon, Secretary General for Future Foundation. Rev. Dong Ho Kim is chairing the boards of both foundations. We did not come up with any concrete ways for collaboration, but we agreed to stay in touch.

Even during this short time, however, I also had fellowship with my mother and some friends.

Mother's breakfast was always like a big dinner table. Her love can never be measured fully.

The breakfast gathering hosted by Elder Kyoung Sup Kwon always draws a lot of interesting people, such as Harry Kim, Chang Sun Moon, Seung Won Lee, Hyesung Shin and even Jae Jung Jang from the Philippines. We had a great time of fellowship.

I spent time with Pastor Mingey Hong with some children of pastors who are struggling with their small church congregations. I agreed to speak to them on July 31st. We had Ddeok Bokki and Bokkeunbob afterwards. Always dilicious!

I spent some time with Professor M. Jae Moon, Yonsei University's Underwood Distinguished Professor after having breakfast meeting with Rev. Dong Ho Kim and William Son for mutual introduction. The contemporary history museum was quite interesting and the view of the Blue House, President's resident, along with the Mt. Bukhan and Gyungbok Palace was stunning.

I was invited to a dinner at the house of Dr. Jinho Lim and his lovely wife Jiin and a beautiful daughter Yoonah. They lived in Rwanda for three years and were part of the Nanuri Community. Both of them agreed to get involved in SfK Ministries. We will see what God has in store for them and SfK Ministries.

One of the fun I have taking Seoul's subways is to glance at the poems that are posted on the safety walls at the subway stations. Once in a while, I find a poem or two that draws my attention. Here is one I found moving my heart.

It was unfortunate that I did not get together with my own siblings and close friends. But Yoon Duk Suh came to attend the event with other Agape friends and Pyung Ku Lee came also with Jang Sik Shim. Joonhan and Myung Kyu also came. I was grateful.

I am sure we can find some other time. - Jeffrey