UMCOR / News Room / News & Features / Archives 2007 / 0220 - One Great Hour of Sharing

One Great Hour of Sharing—A Response to God’s Love

Goharik Gevorgyan lives in rural Yerevan, a marze or province of Armenia. Interlacing mountain ranges surround her home. Through haze she can see distant, snow-covered Mt. Ararat.

Goharik attends school regularly now, because her mother can afford her school fees, once a constant worry. But today, thanks to a small-business loan from AREGAK Mrs. Gevorgyan operates a fish-smoking business that provides a decent living for her family.

Transforming Hopelessness to Hope

The word aregak means sunshine in Armenian. And it is also an acronym for an UMCOR micro-credit program for women. Established in 1997, AREGAK aims to raise the living standards of poor women throughout Armenia.

AREGAK provides small loans that are backed by groups of guarantors selected by the applicants themselves. Before a loan is granted, the applicant and her financial support group attend training sessions to ensure success.

More than 15,000 clients have built home businesses, expanded existing enterprises, and most importantly transformed hopelessness to hope.

UMCOR has worked in Armenia since 1994 in response to chronic war, extreme poverty and devastating natural disasters. Through UMCOR's programs Goharik and children like her now live with hope.

Uniting in Special Lenten Offering

Once a year, during One Great Hour of Sharing, you and your congregation can join other United Methodists worldwide by making a special offering to support humanitarian aid from UMCOR. You can assure that when catastrophes cause suffering, your church, impelled by Jesus' love and compassion, will be in the lead to ease the pain.

The 2007 Offering Essential to UMCOR

Gifts to this offering underwrite UMCOR's "costs of doing business." That helps us keep our promise that 100 percent of designated donations go entirely to specific projects, said the Rev. R. Randy Day, General Secretary, UMCOR.  "The One Great Hour of Sharing offering on March 18, 2007, is a gift of stability to UMCOR," said Rev. Day.  "Our ability to respond and remain until the job is done is in direct proportion to the generosity of United Methodists at this time of offering."

UMCOR is a good steward of God's gifts, he said. Offering gifts over and above those used to cover administrative costs are channeled where they're most needed. UMCOR's specialized ministries-responding in disaster, fighting hunger, alleviating poverty, providing relief supplies around the world, and offering hospitality to immigrants and refugees-all assist the most vulnerable people whose need is greatest.

No World Service Funds to UMCOR

UMCOR receives no World Service funds or any other apportionments. Offering gifts mean United Methodists are right there with hardworking families, people who are affected by storms or war, disaster or disease.