Congrats Graduates!

Earlier this summer we were able to celebrate with our residents as three of them graduated from our Foundations Life Recovery program.

Our Foundations Life Recovery program is a free 13-month addiction and life rehabilitation program that helps men conquer the sins that destroy their bodies, relationships and lives. During the 13-months in the program, the men attend classes, Bible studies, and participate in work programs. These classes and programs help to educate the men about their true identity and purpose that God has for them in this life.

Some of the men who join the program have been raised in the church or Christian homes while others are brand new to the life-changing message of Christ. All of the men are dealing with addictions of some sort whether they are alcohol, drugs and pornography. The majority of the guys who come seeking help are trying desperately to stop the destruction of themselves, having already lost jobs, houses, and most importantly, relationships with family & friends.

While in our program, the guys live in our dorm and are fed, clothed and counseled for free, thanks to the generous support of our neighbors, friends, churches and other organizations in the community who fund The Hope Center. Many of the men have nothing left when they walk in the door. But they leave having gained so much for so little!

We are so thankful for the staff, volunteers and churches who help to bring the message of God’s love into the hearts of these men who Satan has enjoyed destroying. For the staff at The Hope Center, to be able to watch our residents graduate is a deeply emotional and incredibly exciting moment. Knowing how dark their lives once were and to see them glowing with the happiness of Christ, it’s a feeling that words can barely describe. Each one of these men was once a forgotten soul that Satan had thought he devoured. But God saw them for their potential in all of their sin and He had something great planned for them.

The men in our Foundations Life Recovery program have a lot of obstacles to conquer. From breaking the addictions, to learning who they can trust, to rebuilding their self value, to dealing with personal demons, there are many roadblocks in the path to recovery but these men who graduated fought the good fight and gave the other guys in the program the courage to continue their own fight to sobriety and salvation.

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So join us in congratulating the three men who got the victory this summer. Frank Shortt, Troy Robinson and Bill Rice all completed the Foundations Life Recovery program and were honored at a moving ceremony for them. Staff, family, friends and volunteers were invited to join in the celebratory ceremony where guest speaker, Matt Sargent, spoke. Following the ceremony, graduates, residents, staff and guests all gathered together for a time of fellowship in our dining room.

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We’ve asked each of the three men to give us a brief testimony of their journey towards recovery. Here is what they said:

Frank Shortt

Frank Shortt 2015I came to The Hope Center in September of 2013 out of desperation and loss of hope. Since coming here, God has done something in my life that I, and my loved ones, would never had thought possible.

God has, and is, changing this heart that was hardened and broken. Among many other things, He has given hope where there was no hope.

For now, my future plans consist of building my relationship with God, His Son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, along with my two biological sons.

Troy Robinson

Troy RobinsonWhen I came to The Hope Center in January of 2013 I was lost, scrambling to gain meaningful sobriety. Not just drinking and drugging, which I had succumbed to, but being able to live purposefully.

While in the program, God taught me that Jesus is the only way. He is the truth. He is the life. The hopeless can find hope in the Almighty. There is victory in Jesus.

My future plans are to finish well, rejoicing in the Lord always. “Let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” (Hebrews 12:1)

Bill Rice

William Rice 2015I am 55 years old and I have struggled with alcoholism both as an unbeliever and a believer. Before coming to The Hope Center I attended Bible College but I succumbed to my addiction and fell away from the Lord. So in 2007 I enrolled in the Foundations Life Recovery program and progressed well until I blew it and was released from the program. I attribute my failure to spiritual pride because I had a knowledge of the Word that other members of the program did not.

In 2014 I knew I had to get help and asked to return to the program at The Hope Center. I finished the program and remained sober the whole time. God has dealt a lot with me in the spiritual pride area but He is still working on me.

It is my desire someday to be in ministry, but I find as a graduate that I struggle with handling freedom. I would appreciate your prayers that I would give God total control of every area of my life.

 

Please continue to pray for these men as they venture out on their own, back into the world where Satan has plenty of temptations waiting for them. Pray that they continue to fight the fight and stay strong in the Lord.

And thank you, to each of you who has invested in the lives of these men and everyone else who has come to The Hope Center seeking help in some form. From prayers, to volunteering, to hosting a chapel service, to donating food, shopping in our Thrift Stores and financially supporting us so we can continue to provide this ministry for free, God has used you to help change a life. You may not realize it or even think about it but these three men, and the countless other individuals and families helped at The Hope Center, are because of faithful friends like you who God has called to help change this city and win it for Christ.

Thank you for partnering with us as we celebrate 60 years and thousands upon thousands of lives changed in Hagerstown!

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2014 Year in Pictures: Part 2

This is the second part of a series of pictures celebrating all the people that God brought into The Hope Center in one way or another in 2014.

We appreciate, love, and value each of our guests, staff, donors, and volunteers so much! Thank you to each and every one of you who have partnered with us in 2014. Thank you for your prayers, financial support, volunteer hours, and all the food and gently used goods donated to help us fight against homelessness, hunger, addiction and hopelessness in the name of Christ.

Thank you for helping to make Hagerstown a better place!

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Happy Birthday!

We love celebrating birthdays!

One of our residents, Mark, celebrated his birthday in October, along with our Executive Director, Sonny Shank.

Mark first came to The Hope Center in March 2012. He has tried two previous times to defeat his alcohol addictions.He is a man of quiet demeanor and very intelligent. Unfortunately, his quietness has led to a quiet self-destruction. This is how he came to The Hope Center with the added plea of his parents, “please help our son.”
Mark ZieglerMark has been doing a great job in our Foundations Life Recovery program this time. He’s much more focused and determined to get the victory. He is easy to get along with and causes no problems whatsoever. Yet even here his quietness can harm him if he focuses on outward behavior and not inward transformation. He is proud to profess Christ as his Savior and is currently working hard to honor God with his life.
In about seven months Mark will graduate from the program. Today, he has made it farther than the previous two times he was in the program. Pray that he walks out of here a truly changed man who never needs to return for help, but instead may offer help and bring much glory to God.
We asked Mark to give us a brief testimony about what brought him to The Hope Center. These are his words:
“I came to The Hope Center in March of 2012 at the urging of my friends and family because my drinking was ruining my life.  I would drink to fill a void in my life that was created because of introvert tendencies.  I would rather “hide behind a bottle” than find other activities with people.  The Hope Center has given me opportunities to socialize with others and learn God’s Word.  After hearing other people’s experiences and testimonies it has made me realize I’m not alone and I can overcome alcoholism.  I can get involved in church activities and increase my social circle.  I have been saved, but I want to practice in my life what I have heard preached from God’s Word.  I keep many verses close at hand to use when I need them. Hopefully, this third time in the program will be my last, although I would love to visit The Hope Center after I graduate.”
Please pray for Mark as he nears completion of his recovery in our Foundations Life Recovery program. These next few months are important because many men feel that they are as good as can be and leave early only to fall back into the same traps and lifestyles that ruined them in the first place. Pray that Mark will stay focused on God and the goal of total transformation and recovery. And pray that Mark will use his life experiences to help reach others for Christ. He’s truly an amazing man who has a lot to offer. Pray that he allows God to fully use him for His glory.
Mark’s festive birthday cake was provided by our good friend, Stormy. Thank you so much Stormy for another delicious cake!
DSC_0150Mark wasn’t the only one celebrating his birthday last month at The Hope Center. Our Executive Director, Sonny Shank, also celebrated his birthday.
The staff and residents hosted a special birthday lunch for Mr. Shank in the dining room at The Hope Center. Everyone had a great time coming together to celebrate the man that God has chosen to lead this ministry.
We’re so thankful for Mr. Shank and all he does for this ministry. Please continue to pray for him as he works tirelessly to lead this ministry.

 

 

Now Hiring! Urgent Need!

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We are in urgent need of a qualified person to drive our donation pick-up truck.

Our donation trucks operate from Monday-Saturday. Saturdays would be morning hours only but Monday-Friday would include hours into the afternoon.

Our donation vehicles are small box trucks so a special license is not required but a good driving record is.

Drivers for our donation trucks will work approximately 25-28 hours a week. If you are interested in this position but cannot work everyday, we would be willing to hire two men to divide the week. You would also have one of our Hope Center Life Recovery program men as a helper.

Our donation trucks play a vital role in providing necessary income to help keep our facilities and programs to the community operational. This is an urgent need so if you are interested or know someone who is, please contact us immediately! If you are a pastor, lead a small group or a Sunday School class, please pass this information along and help us get the word out to people in our community.

For more information, please call 301.739.1165 or email hagerstownrescue@Verizon.net. If you are interested in filling out an application, our administrative offices are open Monday-Friday, 8:30am until 5pm.

Happy Retirement, Fran! We’re Gonna Miss You!

As 2013 came to a close, we were saying goodbye to a long time friend & colleague, Fran Williamson, who retired from years of service at The Hope Center.

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Fran was a faithful employee at The Hope Center for 22 years. She started as a receptionist & secretary for Children’s Outreach Ministry. During her time with Children’s Outreach Ministry, she became the facilitator of the Just Kids Bible Club.

The Just Kids Bible Club was a correspondence course for kids ages preschool to high school. Students enrolled in the program would complete lessons in various series. Fran would grade each lesson and send out prizes and other rewards to children in the program.

Fran continued working with the Just Kids Bible Club after Childen’s Outreach Ministry became Wildside Kids (WSK). As WSK grew into Wildside Youth Ministries, Fran became a more visible part of the ministry by helping at after-school events and Camp Wild.

In addition to her work with Wildside Youth, Fran was also the afternoon receptionist in the Administrative Office at The Hope Center.

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Fran will always be considered a part of The Hope Center “family,” and while we’re definitely going to miss her, we’re thankful for her faithful and dedicated service to God and to this ministry, and we wish her the best for the future!

Meet Our New Thrift Store Manager!

After months of praying, searching and waiting, God has delivered the right person to be the manager of our two Thrift Stores.

AJ ImbachOn September 3rd, we welcomed AJ Imbach to The Hope Center family. AJ fills the manager spot left after the passing of our longtime friend & employee, George Shank.

AJ & his wife, Jayne, moved to Hagerstown from Portland, Oregon in August. The long drive from the Pacific Northwest to the Eastern Seaboard gave the couple a chance to see and explore this magnificent country of ours before settling down and getting to work.

We are so excited to see all the great things that God will use AJ to do at our Thrift Stores in Hagerstown & Chambersburg. AJ brings an excitement and passion with him for our ministry, and especially our stores, along with a compassionate spirit and deep love of the Lord. Combine all those things together and you have the right man for the job!

Often times, our Thrift Stores are the first impression of our ministry for many people.  So being manager of our Thrift Stores is a unique opportunity. Not only does the manager make sure that our stores are clean, profitable, and run efficiently, the manager also has the responsibility to set a positive atmosphere for our guests, store employees and residents in the work program.

AJ has a special opportunity to not just work with other Hope Center employees but to actually be able to build relationships with some of the residents in our Foundations Life Recovery program.

Several men in the program work various jobs in our Thrift Stores as a part of their program. AJ will be able to help give these guys some great work experience while also providing them with some great encouragement and positive, Godly support.

Please pray for AJ and his wife Jayne as they adjust to their new life here in Hagerstown. Please pray that God will help them through any new issues that they face on this new journey of ministry. Pray that they will find friends and a great church to be a part of.

And be sure to stop by our Thrift Stores to help support our ministry of hope to your neighbors in need. We have two convenient locations in Hagerstown & Chambersburg. Information about our stores is listed below. If you have any questions, please call 301.739.1165 or email us at hagerstownrescue@verizon.net.

Just remember, when you purchase items at our Thrift Stores or donate your gently used items to The Hope Center, you’re helping to provide a means of support for the many ministries at The Hope Center. The funds generated from the sales in our Thrift Stores are used here in Hagerstown to help the homeless, hungry and hurting, no matter who they are.

Thank you for supporting The Hope Center and partnering with us to bring the hope of Christ to the heart of Hagerstown!

DSC_0584Hagerstown Thrift Store

Corner of Church and Walnut Streets (parking located in central lot off of Church Street)
Hagerstown, MD  21740
301-739-1114
Mon-Thurs 9AM-5PM
Fri-Sat 8:30AM-5PM

Chambersburg Thrift Store

 

Chambersburg Thrift Store

64 S. Main Street
Chambersburg, PA  17201
717-264-9345
Mon-Sat 8:30AM-4:15PM

Now Hiring!

now-hiringWe are currently hiring a manager for our Thrift Stores in Hagerstown & Chambersburg. Please read through the job description & qualifications. If you are interested in the position please contact us immediately. Contact information is located at the bottom of this post.

This position is full-time, 40 hours a week, Monday – Saturday. There are no evening hours or Sunday hours.

Purpose and responsibilities include, but not limited to:

  • Manage, monitor and evaluate the daily operations of the Hagerstown and Chambersburg Thrift Stores
  • Ensure compliance with established policies and procedures
  • Ensure a reasonable financial return on store items
  • Ensure donated items are displayed so they are attractive, neat and orderly
  • Manage and serve as lead worker to subordinate store personnel and volunteers
  • Ensure accountability and security of all store items and funds (including credit information)
  • Plan, supervise and participate in the layout and display of store merchandise

Qualifications:

  • Must be born again believer in Jesus Christ and maintain a lifestyle above reproach
  • Must have 2 years experience in retail management and merchandising (Thrift Store experience preferred)
  • Must have at least 1 year supervisory experience
  • Knowledge of the principles and practices of retail store management
  • Knowledge of the principles and practices of effective customer relations
  • Ability to evaluate overall store operations in order to detect deficiencies and implement appropriate corrective action
  • Must have experience with credit card transactions, the operation of cash registers and excellence in handling money
  • Must be a person of integrity, good character and discreet
  • Must agree with Four States Christian Missions, Inc. statement of faith

To learn more about this position or to talk to someone about applying, please call 301.739.1165 or email hagerstownrescue@verizon.net. To apply, please stop by our Administrative office Mon-Fri between 8:30am-4:30pm. Our Administrative office is located in the building across the parking lot from our Hagerstown Thrift Store. The parking lot is located off of Church Street between Walnut & Prospect Streets.