Congrats, Keith — and Happy Birthday!

At the beginning of February we had a graduation ceremony for four men in our Foundations Life Recovery program. Foundations Life Recovery is the 13-month rehabilitation program for men who are in desperate need of serious life change and a new start in Christ. Foundations Life Recovery is a free program where the men who enroll are given housing in our dormitory on the second floor of our main building. They attend classes, church services, and take part in a work program all while being held accountable to being clean of all drugs and alcohol. Upon completion of the program we celebrate the incredible accomplishment of recovery with a graduation service with the men, our staff & Board, and any family or friends of our graduate.

While we were excited to celebrate all four men graduating on Sunday, February 2nd, one of our graduates had a little extra celebration that day — Keith Coleman was also celebrating his birthday! We love celebrating the birthday of our residents but this one was even more special since we got to celebrate with him, his family & friends, on a day of victory and new life!

One of our February graduates is Keith Coleman. This is Keith and here is his story of HOPE:

DSC_0425Originally from Baltimore, Keith found himself in 2018 at The Hope Center for the second time. Having crashed and totaled his car after leaving a bar, Keith knew he needed help for his alcoholism. Fortunately for Keith he didn’t sustain any physical injuries from his accident but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually he knew he was hurt.

And he returned to The Hope Center to get help. Having been at The Hope Center in 1999 for cocaine abuse, Keith came back to get help for a new substance abuse.

Keith had accepted Christ as his Savior at a Baptist church in 1997 but struggled in his walk with God, including dealing with the passing of his wife.

But this time Keith knew he needed a legitimate change. And it was time to have victory in his life and be able to handle the struggles of life while also walking close to the Lord.

During his second time at The Hope Center, Keith learned in Foundations Life Recovery that there’s more to being a successful Christian than just believing in Christ. He acknowledges that continuing in a healthy spiritual walk with God involved accountability and being surrounded by other believers and actively participating in spiritual growth. He knows that the key to his sobriety and victory is staying strong in the Word of God and daily talking to God and interacting with Him. And ultimately, Keith says that his plan for spiritual success is to love Jesus with all his heart, mind, and soul.

As Keith begins his post Foundations life, he is taking a verse with him to help keep him strong on his spiritual journey. This verse is not just powerful for Keith, it’s for all of us as we go through our day dealing with the sins, disappointments, struggles, and issues of this broken world. Keith’s favorite verse is Romans 6:14, “For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.”

What a powerful reminder of just how amazing our God is! The past is the past but the future is Christ. The power of grace is simply astounding.

Keith is currently waiting for the VA to help him get HUD housing but beyond that he isn’t sure exactly what the future holds for him. He’s waiting for God to open the door for his next opportunity and looking forward to giving God all the glory!

Please lift Keith up in your prayers. Pray that his housing situation is taken care of and that he continues to keep his focus on God during the good times and the bad. Pray that he continues on his path of sobriety and that God provides the right people to help keep him accountable and successful in his spiritual journey.

And also pray for the many men who are currently enrolled in Foundations Life Recovery and those who will make the decision to receive help from the program this year. The road to victory for these men is difficult and many men suffer setbacks. But our God is powerful and forgiving and we pray that these men understand both of those amazing attributes of God.

God is using people like you to help change lives like Keith. Because of your prayers, financial support, in-kind gifts, volunteering, Thrift Store shopping, and even running in our 5K, you are a part of Keith’s victory story! Thank you for partnering with us to reach the least, the last, and the lost. Thank you for providing a place for the Keith’s of the world to find help and a new sober, safe, and healthy life in Christ! As our founder, Jim Resh, would say, “keep on keepin’ on!”

If you or someone you know is in need of help or rehabilitation please contact us at 301.739.1165 or email foundations@hagerstownhopecenter.com. Learn more about our Foundations Life Recovery program by visiting hagerstownhopecenter.com/rehabilitation-

“God Gave Me a New Beginning – Even at My Age”

To a lot of people birthdays are kind of a big deal. We all love celebrating the birth of our kids, family, friends and other loved ones. And at The Hope Center it gives us great joy to celebrate the birth of the guys in our residential recovery program: Foundations.

For the residents in our program, the celebration of their birth is special because many of them came to The Hope Center in desperate need of help for victory over addictions and other destructive lifestyles that were destroying them. The fact that we celebrate their life is a major victory for each of these men. And since they’re a part of our family, we love celebrating them!

So last Friday we celebrated the birthday of one of our residents, Terry Barnes. If you’ve volunteered or stopped by The Hope Center there’s a good chance you’ve seen Terry. Since being in the program Terry has worked in our kitchen and more prominently in our shelter as a deskman. So there’s a chance you have seen him smiling around The Hope Center.

IMG_2758But even if you’ve seen Terry you might not know much about him or his journey in life, especially the most recent journey of recovery and redemption at The Hope Center. So we asked Terry to give us a little summary of his thoughts as he celebrates another birthday. Here is what Terry has to say:

“I want to thank God first, then The Hope Center and the pastors and staff. I came to The Hope Center on June 1, 2018. I will graduate January 19, 2020. God has given me a new beginning at even my age. He’s shown me how to be accountable and responsible, and to believe and trust in Him. I say that because I found myself in a very difficult situation last month and God showed me He was right there with me and He gave me patience and strength. When I leave here, I am going to live a different lifestyle and give praise and thanks to God every day for changing my life.”

We are so proud of Terry and all the work he’s put into his personal recovery and relationship with God. He’s just a few short months away from completing our Foundations Life Recovery program. Please continue to pray for Terry as he moves quickly towards that finish line. And please remember to pray for the many other men who are in our recovery program and those who will enter our program hoping for a lasting change and freedom in Christ.

Please join us in wishing Terry a very, very HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Here’s to many more, Terry!

And we want to thank our friend, Stormy, for baking another delicious birthday cake for our celebration! Every month we celebrate a birthday Stormy faithfully bakes and decorates a cake for our residents to enjoy. We appreciate her kindness and generosity so much!

To learn more about our recovery program please visit http://www.hagerstownhopecenter.com/foundations. If you’d like to talk to someone about our program, including enrolling in Foundations, please call 301.739.1165 or email foundations@hagerstownhopecenter.com.

Wildside’s Birthday Bash Kicks Off the Party Season!

Imagine one giant party to celebrate everyone’s birthday. Sounds kinda wild, doesn’t it? Well Wildside Youth Ministries likes to do things a little different so they kicked off their school year party season with a huge birthday party celebration!

All the kids who attended the Birthday Bash on September 25th were able to celebrate their birthday. Each month was given a celebration and no one was left out of the fun! 52 kids ages 5-12 attended the first Wildside party of the season where they played birthday themed carnival games, painted faces, made crafts and enjoyed some great food.

But the most important part of the evening was learning about having the most important birthday: a spiritual birthday. The kids in attendance learned all about the importance of being born again and following Jesus.

Wildside is the youth ministry at The Hope Center. In addition to monthly large event parties during the school year, Wildside hosts Sunday Night Wild on select Sunday evenings during the school year as well as The Crew which is the student leadership development program for older kids in the program. And each summer Wildside hosts Camp Wild, a free day camp for kids in July & August. All Wildside activities are free for kids ages 5-12. Learn more about Wildside and upcoming events by visiting http://www.wildsideyouth.com.

Your financial donations to The Hope Center help fund these important activities for kids in Hagerstown. We are able to keep Wildside and our other programs and services for free for our guests because of generous and faithful supporters in our community. Thank you for your support of The Hope Center as we continue to reach everyone in our community – even kids – for Christ!

Want to learn more about donating or volunteering at The Hope Center? Go to http://www.hagerstownhopecenter.com to get all the info you need on how to become a partner with us.

Happy, Happy Birthday!!

Join us in wishing Dustin & Albert HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Dustin celebrated his birthday in July and Albert just celebrated his this week. Both men are in our Foundations Life Recovery Program. Each month we celebrate the birthdays of the men in our residential program – and of course we have cake! Our good friend Stormy bakes birthday cakes each month for our residents!

Dustin joined our Foundations program in January of this year. While here he made a profession of Christ in his life and is seeking to make positive changes in his life that will help him once he leaves the program. He is about halfway through the Foundations program so please continue to pray for him in his journey as he grows and faces the challenge of confronting the various things that have caused problems in his life.

Albert joined Foundations in September of 2017 after being released into our facility from prison. While in prison he made a profession of Christ which is what lead him to apply to our Foundations program at his release. He wanted a safe, Christian environment to help him grow and change his life patterns and to be in a place where he can build a positive bridge into his future. He quickly joined a local church in Hagerstown and has continued to grow spiritually which has helped him develop great relationships with others. He is very close to graduating from Foundations so continue to keep praying for Albert that he finishes strong and has the confidence to go boldly into his new life without fear. He’s excited about his opportunity to share his new life with others in the community who need to hear about the power of Christ just like he did.

Please continue to pray for all of the men who come in and out of our Foundations Life Recovery Program. It’s not easy for guys to acknowledge that they need to join the program and make necessary changes in their lives and it’s even harder for them to continue once they join. These men are facing serious challenges in their lives and they need all the prayer and support possible. Please continue to invest in their lives through prayer, volunteering, and donating to The Hope Center. Your donation of food, used clothing, shoes, housewares, furniture, etc, and your donation of time serving food, hosting a chapel service, painting or doing anything at The Hope Center are all part of helping these men rehabilitate their lives and giving them the recovery and victory they so desperately want and need. Your support truly does make a difference and God uses it to help them move forward in the face of personal issues. Thank you for helping us celebrate these men and their birthdays.

To learn more about volunteering or donating to The Hope Center or for more information about our Foundations Life Recovery Program for men please visit http://www.hagerstownhopecenter.com or call 301.739.1165.

2017: A Year to Remember

I don’t know about you but it just seems that each year gets a little shorter and goes by a little faster. 2017 is quickly coming to an end but it literally feels like it just started. It’s definitely been one interesting year.

2017 had it’s ups & downs, good times  & bad, high points & low points but with everything going on in our nation and in the world in general, we’ve seen God working and doing things at The Hope Center more than ever. God has been blessing this ministry and He has given us so many wonderful people in the community who have helped us make 2017 one of the best years ever!

From hosting another successful Rock the Run 5K in April, to Camp Wild in the summer, The Great Hagerstown Thanksgiving Feast, and all the other activities in between, it truly has been a great year and we’re thankful to each one of you who volunteered, donated, supported, and prayed for us in 2017.

But we’re excited and looking forward to all the incredible and amazing things God will do in the upcoming year. And once again we will be hosting our Rock the Run 5K in April except we’ve got a pretty big (and fun) twist on it this year! You and your friends & family will definitely want to be a part of that. And along with our 5K we have so many other activities, events, and opportunities for you to get involved in bringing hope to Hagerstown.

And as we’re on the cusp of a brand new year we want to give one final salute to 2017. And there’s no better way to do that than posting pics from all the various things that happened at The Hope Center this year. And if these pics aren’t enough and you just need to see a few more then jump over to http://www.hagerstownhopecenter.com and click on the ‘More’ tab in the upper tool bar. There you can click on the Year In Pictures gallery. Enjoy the look back at 2017! And Happy New Year!

Not Your Average Birthday Girl

We live in a pretty generous area. In fact, the greater Hagerstown region has been so generous and faithful in their support of our ministry that we have never used any government tax money to fund any of our programs or services! Our facilities have remained open and operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week since 1955 thanks to people in the community who have shopped in our Thrift Stores, donated funds, gave gently used items and kept our pantry fully stocked.

So we know all about the great people who give so much to our ministry to make sure others who are less fortunate have what they need to help meet their needs.

But every once in a while we are taken aback by the generosity of others.

dsc_0015-2Let us introduce to you a pint-sized hero in our community: Melanie. Melanie may look like just another 7 year old but Melanie did something that most kids would not do for their birthday – she asked her family and friends to donate non-perishable food to The Hope Center. Her birthday request brought in 118 pounds of food for our pantry!

Melanie’s parents are helping her understand that there are people in her own community who are in need and struggling with hunger and homelessness. Children are never too young to teach the importance of helping others and giving to the less fortunate.

Melanie and her mom were given a tour of the kitchen and dining room where the food will be used to feed those who come for help.

Thank you, Melanie, for your generous birthday donation! We are so thankful for your heart to help others and we hope you help to inspire other young people to follow your lead.

If you would like to join Melanie in donating food or other items to The Hope Center then call 301.739.1165 or email hagerstownrescue@verizon.net to learn more.

If you are in need of assistance then contact us immediately. We’re here to help so give us a call!

2015 is a Year of Celebration!

In 1955, God called and a family answered.

Jim & Ellen Resh took a leap of faith and followed God into the dark world of homelessness, alcoholism, and hopelessness in the heart of Hagerstown.

And now, 60 years later, The Hope Center is standing firm and helping thousands of people each year in Hagerstown.

60th-HiResThe Hope Center at Hagerstown Rescue Mission is celebrating 60 years of hope this year and it’s going to be a year-long party!

 

We’re hosting events to get everyone in the community involved in our celebration. We have parties lined up, musical shows, dinner concerts, a 5k run/walk, and so much more!

To keep up with all the activities, go to http://www.hopecenter60.com and get familiar with our calendar of events for 2015. You can be a part of the celebration by attending, sponsoring, or volunteering at one or all of our activities.

We’re beyond excited to celebrate all that God has done at The Hope Center in the past 60 years and we’re thrilled to celebrate with you!

You’ve been a part of the impact, now be a part of the party! Check out our 60th Anniversary website, mark your calendars, and spread the word. It’s just not a party without you!

Visit http://www.hopecenter60.com to get the scoop on all the anniversary activities. Also, go to http://www.rocktherunhagerstown.com to register to run or walk in our 5k in Hagerstown.

To learn about how you can volunteer at The Hope Center, go to http://www.volunteerhagerstown.com.