By Linda Beher
United Methodist News Service
Goharik Gevorgyan lives in rural
She attends school regularly because her mother now can afford school fees that were once a constant worry. Thanks to a small-business loan from a micro-credit program run by the United Methodist Committee on Relief, Gevorgyan operates a fish-smoking business that provides a decent living.
UMCOR operates such ministries in
For more than 50 years in the
Through United Methodist congregations, One Great Hour of Sharing is a primary funding source of UMCOR, which does not receive denominational apportionment funds. UMCOR is the agency that, on behalf of The United Methodist Church, brings hope and aid when catastrophe strikes anywhere in the world.
UMCOR has worked in
The word “aregak,” or “sunshine” in Armenian, is an acronym for the ministry established in 1997 aimed at raising the living standards of poor women throughout
The AREGAK program provides small loans 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 into hope.
One Great Hour of Sharing donations are essential to UMCOR because the funds help underwrite the cost of doing business so that 100 percent of the money donated to a specific UMCOR project goes to that project and not to home office and administrative costs, says the Rev. R. Randy Day, chief executive of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries, UMCOR’s parent agency.
“The One Great Hour of Sharing offering on March 18 is a gift of stability to UMCOR,” said 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.”
Offering gifts from One Great Hour of Sharing over and above those used to cover administrative costs are channeled where they are most needed, Day said. 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 world’s most vulnerable people.
How to give
To learn more about the offering and how to order free resources, visit www.umcmission.org. To request free leaflets/offering envelopes and posters, contact United Methodist Communications at 888-346-3862.
Those who cannot donate through a local church can send a check, designated for One Great Hour of Sharing, directly to UMCOR at