We want to wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas and a joyful and peace-filled New Year. Thank you for your prayers, your encouragement and for participating with us in God’s mission in Rwanda.
Looking forward to 2017 . . .
To a new project year
We both enjoy being in the field, connecting with beneficiaries and people in the communities where we work. However July to December is typically a very busy time in the CBM project process, so we both spend a lot of time in Kigali in the AEBR office; working with the AEBR Community Development staff to prepare concept notes, then proposals, action plans and proposal budgets. During this time it is a common sight to see Ken working one on one to support and build capacity in the AEBR Community Development staff.
Please pray for our colleagues in Rwanda, DR Congo, Kenya and South Sudan as they begin a new year of project activities, and as they strive to bring hope to individuals and communities through their words and their actions.
To a new accounting system for the AEBR
Shortly after we arrived in Rwanda, Wendy began working with the AEBR regarding challenges they were having with their accounting system. The list of needs was long and funds were not available, so it was difficult to move forward. But in 2016 some amazing resources came together in a manner that was greater than we ever could have asked or imagined. A church from Ontario embraced, and decided to support, the need for a network and an improved accounting system at the AEBR.
This year Jonathan Mills has been working virtually with a team of IT professionals from his home church to build a network and server to support an accounting system. This church also raised the funds needed for the hardware and software required for this project.
Berthe, Samuel and Wendy also have been working with Christine Klassen, an experienced Sage 300/Accpac consultant from Ontario, who volunteered to work with the AEBR. This past year Wendy, Berthe and Samuel have spent a lot of time discussing double entry accounting and how their jobs will be done differently in the new accounting system. The AEBR was very excited to have Christine travel to Kigali for a week in August to begin training and planning for the accounting system.
Please pray for Christine, her husband (an Electrical Engineer) and her son (an IT specialist), who will all be coming to Rwanda in January 2017. Also please pray for Berthe and Samuel as they receive training and begin to do their work in a new way. This system has great potential to help the AEBR strengthen their transparency and accountability, and to help them manage funds efficiently and effectively.
To seeing you in Canada soon
Time seems to pass quickly. A little over two years ago we arrived in Rwanda and now we are planning to return to Canada for home assignment in spring 2017. CBM is still busy planning our speaking schedule, but we hope to see many of you!
Tentatively our schedule is to arrive in Mississauga near the end of March and begin our home assignment at the beginning of April with church visits in Ontario and Manitoba. We will then spend time in Saskatchewan, travel to The Gathering (CBWC Assembly) in Alberta, visit churches in British Columbia and then return again to Saskatchewan.
We have appreciated your support and journeying with us over the past two years. We are looking forward to connecting with you in person!
About Ken & Wendy Derksen
The Derksens joined CBM as Field Staff in Rwanda in 2014, and will be working primarily on capacity building with CBM’s partner the Association of Baptist Churches of Rwanda (AEBR). As a Certified Management Accountant, Wendy is engaged in financial training and administrative management. Ken consults with the AEBR with a particular focus on providing support for community development projects and acting as a resource in facilities management.