OGHS Stories

Hopes and Dreams: Eve Gym for Women

“I tried many times to follow a weight-loss program, but none of them were long term”, said Tamam, a 42 year-old female participant in a health education workshop on obesity offered in 2014.

“Most weight-loss programs focus on a rigid regimen for a short period of time utilizing a list of allowed and forbidden foods. The 2014 workshop was different and I lost 15 pounds.”


Small Transformations

My heavy teaching loKaren_and_youthsm.jpgad often drains me; stories about lack of transparency and abuse of power in the church can leave me sad and frustrated. But when I have an opportunity to experience the energy of students who are learning valuable lessons of faith and practical ministry from humble pastors, wise congregants, and from each other . . . well, my faith is lifted up and my heart filled.

Karen Campbell Nelson pictured with students who did their field education in Belu Presbytery.

Dancing with Delight

Sharing_brings_joy.jpgAfter hearing about the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan; the lack of government assistance; the struggle to create a sense of hope; and little ability to provide tangible needs, people who lost everything welcomed us extravagantly.Beyond anything I could have imagined, dancers wearing bright yellow and red costumes, and smiles as big and as bright, graced us with their presence. 
Today was a great day! We experienced a message of Truth; a message of Love; a message of Justice; a message of Compassion; a message of Hope; which is the Message of God! Amen!"Keep the Faith, Never Give Up the Fight, Righteousness Shall Prevail!"

Japan and Philippines Trip Blog

The United Church of Christ's delegation to Japan and the Philippines has reached its completion. On our journey to Asia and the Pacific, which began Aug. 4, we have learned about disaster response and deep poverty. We have increased our understanding of how devastation impacts the lives of everyday people, just like you, and just like me.  First-hand accounts go a long way into helping us see past our own levels of comfort. And it was in the uncomfortable times that we allowed ourselves to be open to a new truth. We have learned through first-hand accounts of the great impact the United Church of Christ, One Great Hour of Sharing and Global Ministries have made and continue to make in impoverished communities striving for life. It proved to us why disaster relief and rehabilitation are essential following disasters long after most people have forgotten the images that once were on news broadcasts, or that made front page news. Through this trip, we have become witnesses to great need and suffering, hope and blessings.

Participants have blogged along the course of the journey.  The journey in our own words ....

Meet Missionaries You Support Through OGHS

Who are the missionaries you support through OGHS, and what are they up to these days?  Here are snapshots of – and thought-provoking quotes from - Timothy and Diane Fonderlin, Teresa and Anil Henry, Donald and Maryjane Westra, and Karen and John Campbell-Nelson, with links to their web pages and blog posts. 

Solidarity Visit to Middle East by UCC and Disciples Leaders

A Thank You Letter...

Last summer thousands of unaccompanied children fled from violence and hunger in Central America to seek refuge in the United States. Through UCC ministries and with  your contributions to One Great Hour of Sharing and Neighbors in Need, you have created family. Read this update from Bethany Children's Home in PA. 

Death Penalties

Karen Campbell-Nelson serves with the Evangelical Church of West Timor as a Professor. Her appointment is supported by your gifts to One Great Hour of Sharing, Disciple's Mission Fund, Our Church's Wider Mission and special gifts to support her work.

In the middle of January on the island of Sumba (to the west of Timor), a young woman, 20 years old, was said to have fallen—or jumped—off the bus she was on and died. The Chief of Police in West Sumba, who learned from the woman’s parents that their daughter had sent them a cellphone message (SMS) saying she was uncomfortable as the only woman on the bus, was suspicious of bus driver’s claims and initiated an intense investigation.

Feb. 15 - Transfiguration

Feb 15th is Transfiguration Sunday.  Mark 9: 2-9, The whole context of the Transfiguration story is that Jesus is teaching his disciples what it means to follow him.  As part of that experience, Jesus takes those disciples, Peter and James and John, to a high mountain apart, and chooses to give them a glimpse of his fullness.  The writer of Mark describes it poetically as “his clothes became dazzling white such as no one on earth could bleach them.”  Jesus appears, talking with Elijah and Moses.  To know the fullness of Jesus is to experience his role as one of the prophets who spoke into being what no one could imagine and as integral to life in all generations.  

Vocational Education in Honduras

Vocational Education is a key that opens doors for people to learn what they need now to earn a better living in the future. It is making a great impact in Honduras.

The Congo: A Little Help Goes a Long Way

There is always more need than we are able to support. Yet, one smile and one flicker of hope in the eyes of a child make it all worthwhile.

For the Iraqi Children

When the Iraqis fled their homes from Mosul last summer, they had little with them when they arrived in Jordan. The impending winter became a challenge that required an immediate solution.  A distribution to provide vouchers for children’s winter clothing had been planned, but seeing reports of rain, Father Emmanuel called the Orthodox Initiative to move the scheduled distribution up, bringing aid and relief to families before the storm came.


FIRM, Fresno Interdenominational Refugee Services was established over twenty years ago to assist with the needs of refugees, mainly Hmong, Lao, and Slavic, who now reside in the U.S.

Colorado Flood Letter

On September 13, 2013, more than a foot of rain fell on the farming community of Longmont, Colorado.  Water saturated the ground. Creeks and rivers rose. And the St. Vrain River broke out of its river bed, flooding hundreds of houses outside of the designated flood plain.

Devasted by Water

Late 2014, and mid-2015 mark the 10 year anniversaries of two of the largest disasters in recent history—December in Southern Asia and Africa; and August in the US along the Gulf Coast.

Where is God in the Midst of Destruction and Loss


When there’s a huge natural disaster, victims’ stories are broadcasted and people from around the world can hear their struggles. With all the destruction and loss, it’s hard not to ask the question, “Where is God in all this?”

Farm Recovery Program

Donors, including CWS are supporting a local NGO with big capacity, and providing assistance for the farmers who got affected by Nargis.

We Will Speak Out

In 2013, the World Health Organization reported that 1 in 3 women globally will experience Sexual or Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) in her lifetime.  A study released in 2011 by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had already produced similar findings in the US, while noting that along with 1 in 3 American women, as many as 1 in 4 American men will experience this violence as well.

South Sudan

The situation in South Sudan constitutes a humanitarian crisis. Over 3 million people are at acute risk of food insecurity. Despite some signs of progress along the way, nine months of peace talks have seen few tangible results.

Thank You for Your Support

Wessington Springs, SD: Two local congregations say 'thank you' to the wider United Church of Christ and One Great Hour of Sharing.

World Food Day

By 2015, the number of people living on less than $1.25 a day will drop to roughly half of what it was in 1990.  Still, 805 million people remain chronically undernourished.

Angel Card Project

One Great Hour of Sharing highlights the Angel to Angel Project: Cards and Care for Prayers

Hanging Nets to Prevent Malaria in the DRC

The United Church of Christ is part of IMA WorldHealth, not only providing treated malaria nets in the Democratic Republic of Congo, but also the personal touch of teaching people to hang it properly for optimal effectiveness.

Hunger: Food Issues Globally, Ways to Help Locally

Ambassador Ertharin Cousin, executive director of the United Nation’s World Food Programme joined members of Bread for the World on September 30th for a conversation on global hunger which Highlighted - Food availability and access. Through the United Church of Christ, you are part of Bread for the World, a collective Christian voice urging our nation’s decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad by changing policies, programs and conditions that allow hunger and poverty to persist.

Match inspires Chuches to make School Kits

For over 30 years the Federated Church of Rochester, Vermont has made Church World Service one of its major missions. Estelle Holmquist has been leading this drive since she started at the church.


OGHS supports Bread for the World. Get their annual report and join in on this wonderful Christian Bible Study about Food and Food Security in the World.

5 P's of Welcoming Refugees

Welcoming Refugees is one of the cornerstones of the Refugee and Immigration Ministries of the United Church of Christ. Together with UCC Local Church Members, thousands of refugees have started their new lives with love and kindness.

Oiko Credit Empowers Women

Health in India

Economic Prosperity is to Benefit Everyone

In scripture, when God’s will is being done, resources are shared and everyone benefits. We see this perhaps most notably through iconic feeding stories such as manna in the wilderness, the miracle of the loaves, and the Last Supper.

An Update on the Displaced People of Syria

The Muslim holy month of fasting and charity, Ramadan, came to an end with the Eid celebration on July 28th.  During Ramadan, as the sun set and families gathered to eat a simple meal, many displaced Syrian refugees struggled for access to food.

Ebola Epidemic

Thousands flee to Nineveh

Connecting the dots between Unaccompanied Child Refugees and Mayan Women’s Micro-Credit Project in Guatemala


Markets, health care, clean water and safety

One Great Hour of Sharing supports development initiatives that support women helping them to live out their dreams and earn a better living for themselves, family and community.

One Great Hour of Sharing Plants Hope

Through OGHS, we plant seeds that provide families with hope rather than despair. Farmers can now expand home gardens to ensure they can feed their families. Through OGHS, you help families plant hope. And that smells even better than freshly brewed coffee.

One Great Hour of Sharing Finds Love

OGHS Supports Just Peace

Every day hundreds of refugees struggle across the northern border of Kenya from South Sudan. Since violence broke out in the world’s newest nation on December 15th nearly 900,000 people have been uprooted. A ceasefire in January 2014 offered hope, but violence has continued unabated. At refugee reception centers in Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia people are offered shelter, food and relief after their arduous journeys to safety.

Helping Really Matters

Surviving a Nuclear Disaster

Terumi Kataoka, Vice Representative of the Aizu Radiation Information Center, shared her words of thanks to everyone who provided assistance in the wake of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant disaster in March 2011. She reports that life is going on, but the people still live with fear and anxiety.

Hammer, Nails, Tape-measure & Savings

Tim and Diane Fonderlin, OGHS-fully supported Global Ministries Mission Personnel serving in Haiti, help young adults through a micro-credit, micro-finance program.

OGHS Saves Lives

A group of thirty newly arrived refugees from Myanmar (Burma), Somalia and Iraq surround Crystal Zook as she coordinates a cultual orientation session.

OGHS Responds to Disaster

God’s amazing work in the world continues. Through One Great Hour of Sharing, you build networks of relationships that multiply this good news in ways we can only imagine. We invite you to consider your 2014 participation.

Extravagant Welcome

Through OGHS you are present with the Republic of Congo as the Church of Christ, a partner of UCC/Disciples Global Ministries, as children experience care, receive shoes and attend school. The Church of Christ in the Congo has been extravagant in the midst of their own challenges, caring for over 275 children, providing classroom space, teachers, and materials


OGHS Changes Lives

You change lives through One Great Hour of Sharing. In these weeks before the recommended OGHS offering date of March 30th, we would like to send you a weekly note with stories of how you have Changed Lives through OGHS during the past year. Thank you. We also invite generous 2014 participation.

Proctecting Children

OGHS-Supported Church World Service, working with others to create web-based tracking measures to greater protect victims of sex trafficking, child prostitution and child pornography.

No Longer a Stranger

The Hands of Peace Summer Program continues addressing the geographic, religious and cultural diversity issues of the Israeli-Palestinian reality through the bringing together of teens from the Middle East.

Microfinance Provides Freedom From Hunger

“Once I saw a young girl die in the hospital emergency room where I worked,” says Luis. “Her mother didn’t know how to read and write.” Shaking his head in anger, Luis continues, “And the girl just died. Her mother didn’t have any power to make any decisions for her. She felt really bad. She cried hard, and didn’t know what to do because she was dependent on her husband.”