If you’ve been part of Westminster Church for any length of time, you’ve heard of One Great Hour of Sharing. One Great Hour of Sharing, or OGHS, was started during World War II by Protestant groups concerned about reconstruction efforts after the war. By 1950, the organization was formally introduced. Since then, as many as 29 different denominations have participated in any given year. It is a true ecumenical success story. One Great Hour of Sharing focuses on four specific areas: Water, Hunger, Disaster Relief, and Empowerment. Today I would like to tell you a recent story of one of those OGHS’ successes.
Matee Kakoo is a 40-something woman who lives in a poverty-stricken area in Eastern Kenya. Their group has not been blessed with financial or political support over the years. The situation has gotten so bad that their water resources were almost non-existent. They had no water in their village and they had to walk a long distance, stand in line for four to five hours to get access to the water, and then walk all the way home again.
Needless to say, they had no water for bathing, leaving them humiliated by their neighbors. The people in Matee’s village often went hungry because there was no water left over for cooking. They dreamed of having a school, but water is necessary for making bricks, and water for bricks was a pipe dream.
Then, One Great Hour of Sharing stepped in to help. With the funds from OGHS, a sand dam was built to preserve water for Matee’s community. Now, they are able to bathe and have regained their self-respect. They have water for cooking and their families are healthy again. They even built their long-awaited classrooms. Plus, many of the residents started building their own homes because water was so prevalent.
This is just one of many faithful success stories made possible by One Great Hour of Sharing. This year, on Sunday, April 15, we will introduce this year’s OGHS program. Children will be given fish banks during their Faith Formation classes. They will also be available after worship in the Narthex.
We will take the OGHS collection the following Sunday, April 22. Please pray before you give. Your donation can make a huge difference, when included with other Westminster member’s gifts. Together we can make a lasting difference in the lives of the less fortunate. Matee showed her appreciation by saying of the OGHS-sponsored dam: “It will be remembered by generations to come.” Be part of making a difference in God’s name, by supporting One Great Hour of Sharing.