Member Testimonies

Get to know members of Covenant Hood River Church. New testimonies will be published monthly.

"God Seeks and saves those who are lost - long before they are aware of who he is."

-Gaby ugarte-

Gaby knows this to be true – God seeks and saves those who are lost – long before they are aware of who He is. (Luke 19:10)

Gaby is a single mom with four children: a talented adult son, an exceptional teen daughter, and adorable twin little girls. She gives of everything she has to making sure that her kids have all that they need, training them as they grow into whole, godly, and happy people.

As a child, Gaby was raised in a traditional denomination where she learned about religion but did not have a personal relationship with Jesus. She did learn that prayer was a way to talk to God. She grew up in a rough Californian neighborhood, with more focus on “hood” than neighborliness. Gang life was all around, but her parents worked on keeping her family together.

At 15, Gaby was pregnant, single, and had decided to have an abortion. She wasn’t sure that it was the right thing to do.  In the abortion clinic, she decided to talk to God. Praying, she asked God what to do. This is what she heard the Lord say, “You can do this. You are not alone. You won’t be the first (single mom) and you won’t be the last.”

Gaby chose life for her son. Later, she moved to Hood River in 2003 with her partner and two children. In 2008, she separated from him and began life on her own as a single mom.

In 2010, Gaby was invited to go to Covenant for a parenting seminar with a friend. She wanted to go back to the church again, but the friend declined, so she tried to talk her sister into coming to church with her instead. Nevertheless, the next week she found herself at Covenant alone yet determined. Since then, she committed her life to Christ, still attends Covenant regularly, and has brought many people with her.

When asked what she sees as different in her life now, Gaby said, “I have more compassion for people, but it has grown to include gang-related youth, pregnant single moms, and teens who want to know more about real life with Jesus.” Because she knows that God sought her out to save her, she works to reach other people with the love of Jesus, so they can know the awesome God too.

At Covenant Hood River, Gaby serves as a faithful volunteer in the Kid’s Church, Nursery, and Information Kiosk. Professionally, she is a property manager at a local apartment complex. Prior to that, she served as a Center’s Director with the local Pregnancy Resource Center as well as an insurance agent with Farmers.

Her personal strengths are her interpersonal aptitudes and strong organizational skills. She enjoys helping people, especially when she can encourage them to find hope and life in Jesus. Many times, while working with young teen moms, her compassion and encouragement helped them choose life, continue their pregnancy, and give their heart to God.

"Perserverance in God's Kingdom always pays off"

-Barb Hosford-

Barb Hosford is a servant. When Christ told us to humble ourselves, making ourselves least for the care of others, He was talking about her. She has devoted her entire life to serving others, her work as a Physical Education and Health Occupations Teacher (which she served as for 31 years), as well as countless other positions in the community such developing the school’s Sports Medicine program, First Aid CPR and AED trainer for the community, director of the Future Health Professionals Organization club, and OSAA varsity women’s Track and Field, Varsity Tennis and Volleyball coach allowed her to impact student’s lives in dramatic and uplifting ways.   An honored coach of many sports, Barb’s priority was tennis. One of Hood River’s Tsuruta Tennis Courts (the ones across from the Middle School), was even named after her. If you have ever played there, you may have crossed rackets on our very own Hosford Court.


Barb was an appointed board member of Northeast Oregon Area Health Education Center (NEOAHEC) for 7 years, promoting rural Oregon’s growth potential for rural medicine classes paired with Eastern Oregon University and Oregon Health Science University. It was an honor and a pleasure for her to continue encouraging rural youth to gain confidence and access pathways of future career pathways.


One of her favorite quotes is, “be the paintbrush of our community to help change lives.” She believes wholeheartedly that all of the giftings that have been granted to her were meant to be shared to better the community. Actions speak louder than words, and she has always been a woman of action.


A professed career woman, Barb is forward-thinking, constantly pushing herself to grow, to move, to do more. Born in Hood River and raised in The Dalles, she moved to Puyallup, WA at the age of 16, where she graduated from high school. From there she then attended OSU, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Education. At the age of 25, she received her Master’s of Arts of Teaching from Lewis and Clark College where her career immediately took off, never pausing until she retired.


Now, she is a health coach running a business to help transform lives, a venture that she began 2 years ago, forever an advocate for promoting true and complete health and wellness in others. She also spends her time volunteering as the “paintbrush” in our community, supporting the FISH food bank, Pregnancy Outreach Clinic, Hood River Adopt-A-Dog, and helping raise college scholarship funds for women and teens with the International Order of Lions and Beta Sigma Phi organizations.


Barb is a positive and productive person who is driven on joy, a well of which is fed by her deep love of the Lord. Many have granted her the title of “The Encourager”, a gift from the Holy Spirit that Barb often doesn’t even recognize that she is using. A shy young girl, God has given her confidence, teaching her to prioritize her gifts, having faith in herself and the Lord. Currently, God is calling her to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, supporting God’s petition by serving. It requires consistency, practicing every day, but as she put it so wisely, “perseverance in God’s kingdom always pays off”.


When asked about how she would like to encourage the church body, she said “become involved! The biggest turning point in a Christian’s life is finding your growth track and focusing on your purpose. Discover what you like, and what your strengths are, and then act on it, so that you can grow and know how and where to serve. Find a church service program that you have an interest in, even if you don’t know much about it, and get involved.”


She and her husband often use this quote, “The best defense is a better offense.” She explained how this applied to faith: “if you are not defending your core moral beliefs and values, living the way you want in the kingdom of God, your offense is often guided by other people’s decisions and influences. Instead our offense should be Jesus, surrounding ourselves with people who want to make a difference in other people’s lives, who share their gifts. Attend church, serve, and go to Life Groups.”


We hear you Coach Hosford! May we all aspire to be as vibrant of a paintbrush as you.

"Fitting our lives around our faith"

-Caleb Bell-

“I have an obsession with 3D printing.”

When asked about who he was, his various interests, and hobbies, this was Caleb’s first response.  For the past 5 years, Caleb has thrown himself into the art and science of creating and painting 3D printed objects. With two printers running at home nearly 24-7, he enjoys printing everything from props, to miniatures, to helpful items around the house. He has printed things for friends, family, businesses, and even figures for our very own CHR Game Nights (which he gives as gifts for everyone in attendance).

“It fascinates me to take raw, unformed material and create anything from it, with little effort on my part. You upload a design, and the machine makes it for you, transmitting 3D objects from the digital to the physical realm.”

Creating things is in Caleb’s blood. His father a civil engineer, his mother an artist, Caleb was involved in the building of their house on Underwood Mountain from a young age. Surrounded by family, his childhood was filled with playing in the woods, working on projects, mending fences, chopping and moving firewood, thinning and pruning orchard trees; and much to his chagrin, taking care of cows, chickens, horses, goats, pigs, lizards, rats, dogs, and cats (though he managed to finagle himself out of this as he got older).

When not terrorizing on the mountain, Caleb was involved in many outreach events, primarily with and run by his parents and extended family. He performed in puppet shows and skits at Daubenspeck Park in Bingen, sharing stories about the Gospel to local kids. His Halloweens were spent staffing carnival games and pressing fresh apple cider at the Festival of Light in White Salmon; giving out Bibles and preaching Christ’s message to the families that came. He stuffed and hid hundreds of Easter eggs around Daubenspeck Park for another outreach (even going as far as to dress up in a bunny costume, although that lucky task usually landed on his brother).

Now, as well as owning his own food brokerage business, Arkaios, Caleb has continued to pursue his zeal for ministry. In fact, God often asks him to put his business aside, trusting Him for financial provision, to devote the majority of his time to discipling men, being available to serve others, and to seeking the Lord’s direction. 

I asked Caleb, if he could say one thing to encourage our church body, what it would be; this was his response:

“Figure out how to be less busy with all the things that don’t matter in life, and try to find what you’re passionate about in the church. It is easy to separate faith - our church faith, and the rest of life faith – and not blend them very well. God has been teaching me that it is essential to blend them together to walk out your calling. At the end of the day, faith is our first priority, over work and everything else. It is not how God’s calling fits into our lives, but how our lives fit within our callings.

You have to take the time to work through this. It is easy to look at the world around you and want all of it: the life, the house, the career, the calling; to strive for what culture says you should strive for. However, this is not the example that Christ or the disciples gave. It is so easy to fall into, walking out our faith as second priority. God will help us reorganize our lives when we walk out in obedience to how he is calling us.

God will provide if you are faithful to trust Him. For the past 3 years, I have watched God provide income for my wife and I. Neither of us work conventional or full-time jobs, which should not be possible especially in the area in which we live. God has always provided as needed, giving us our daily bread. Often God provides over and above, but when we are faithful, He always provides our daily bread. “

Caleb’s Spiritual Giftings: Faith and Leadership

Caleb’s Talents: Inspiring and motivating others & solving problems