Congratulations Graduates!

On Wednesday, March 7th, the Hope Center held a spring graduation for two residents graduating from our Foundations program.

In order to graduate, the residents must accomplish various levels of achievement during their 13 months in the program.

We are so proud of our two graduates, Charles Mercier and Jose Obregon.

Charles and Jose may have lived two separate lives but both of them were on the same path. And fortunately for them, that path eventually led them to the Hope Center.

Charles, from Severna Park, had all but given up on himself…and life. He was living “a miserable life”. He had lost his house, his youngest son and the overall desire to care about his own well-being.

Charles really wasn’t too excited about coming to the Hope Center. Like most people, he wanted to stay closer to his family & friends. But God knew that Charles desperately needed a change. God knew the potential that Charles had and He wanted Charles to change.

Even after Charles enrolled in the program, he still had the desire to leave but he said that there was a small voice that kept telling him to “just sit, sit still for a while”.

Jose, originally from Puerto Rico, was living a life totally out of control. By age of 17 Jose had experience a life that most people couldn’t imagine.

Jose had dropped out of school, began drinking, and became totally rebellious. Finally feeling that life was pointless, Jose prayed to God for help.

Just a few weeks after, a friend invited Jose to church. It was there that he heard the Gospel and accepted Christ into his life.

But Jose’s life wasn’t improving and he fell into sin. He then made a move to the Bethesda Mission in Harrisburg, PA. He went through the program and graduated but still felt that he needed a new direction. After having trouble finding a job, the assistant director of the men’s program at Bethesda recommended that Jose try the program at the Hope Center.

Once Jose arrived and began the program, he finally felt at peace and had total relief knowing that this is where God wanted him.

We’d like to say congratulations to both of these men for persevering and achieving success in our program. Their accomplishment was celebrated at our graduation. Hope Center staff and residents, along with some members of the Board of Directors, family and local pastors and friends attend. Our graduation service is always open to anyone who would like to attend. The men are given the chance to share their testimony and give encouragement to the other residents still working through the program.

Following the ceremony, everyone is invited into the Hope Center dining area for a reception. This gives the graduates a chance to celebrate with everyone.

Please pray for Charles and Jose as they begin the process of readjusting into society, as new men. And remember to pray for the many men who come to the Hope Center seeking real change. These men have made the first, sometimes hardest, step by acknowledging that they desperately need help. Pray for their strength and focus to battle their addictions and give Christ the victory.

We’ve always said that the Hope Center isn’t here to put a new suit on the man but rather to put a new man in the suit. Thanks to your support, whether it be financial, prayer or in-kind gifts, we are able to help change lives, rebuild families and restore hope!

“For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord.  Therefore whether we live or die we are the Lord’s.”  Romans 14:8

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