Happy Birthday, Louis!

The beginning of each month we have a special day to celebrate the birthdays of the guys who are residents at The Hope Center and are a part of our Foundations Life Recovery program.

This month we are so excited to wish Louis Dennis a happy birthday!! The birthday celebrations are made complete with a delicious cake by our friend Stormy.

Louis has been a part of Foundations Life Recovery program for 11 months. Louis has been progressing throughout the program and could be moved into our Gold Level this month which means he is close to completing the program.

Louis, who works in our Recycling Center, is very happy to talk about how he is growing spiritually since being in the program. In fact, he’s thrilled to tell people that he has even been baptized to show the world his commitment to his relationship with Christ.

We’re so happy to watch as Louis continues to claim victory each day as he continues to overcome his addiction issues and grow closer to Christ.

Join us in wishing Louis a very happy birthday!

If you or someone you know would like more information about Foundations Life Recovery program or would like to talk to someone about how to get help then please call us at 301.739.1165 or email us at hagerstownrescue@verizon.net.

 

 

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Volunteers Are the Heart of The Hope Center

In 2015 we celebrated 60 years of hope at The Hope Center. And a major part of what makes it possible for us to continue to provide services to men, women & children for free are all the hours of service given by faithful, caring friends in our community who serve as volunteers at The Hope Center.

Since 1955, The Hope Center has been a lighthouse to the needy in our community. Whether it was a man addicted to alcohol, a mother in need of clothing for her children, or a family who needs some food assistance, our doors have been open everyday to help those in need without asking a dime from any of our guests…or the tax-payer.

Friends, businesses, churches and other groups in the area have financially supported us from the very beginning allowing us to help so many people without being a burden on the tax payer.

But volunteers help supplement all of our finances by providing hours upon hours of compassion and hard work in many different ways at The Hope Center.

As we celebrated our 60th Anniversary in 2015, we had some special events taking place in the community which gave us some new opportunities for volunteers to get involved and make an impact in our city. But many of the areas that volunteers gave so many hours were activities and events that happen on a regular basis at The Hope Center.

In total, we had 719 different volunteers work more than 13,394 hours! That’s incredible! This is exactly why we think that our volunteers are the best!

These volunteers worked throughout the year in one or more of the following areas of service:

  1. Sorting room
  2. Wildside Youth events (www.wildsideyouth.com)
  3. Camp Wild (www.campwildusa.com)
  4. Chapel services
  5. Men’s ministry check-in desk and teaching classes
  6. Off site: baking cakes, making sandwiches, providing food for after chapel (these are on a regular basis)
  7. Outreach: 60th anniversary events (Rock the Run 5K; Party-in-the-Park; Ladies’ Tea; Anniversary banquet); Thanksgiving Day and more.

Our volunteers gave in so many different ways throughout the year. And we’re so thankful for each and every one of them!

But our volunteer opportunities didn’t stop in 2015. We are always looking for volunteers to join the ranks of our volunteer program all the time. We have so many different areas for volunteers to get involved.

In fact, our 2016 Party-in-the-Park will be held on Saturday, October 22 at Wheaton Park in Hagerstown. We are currently looking for volunteers for this fantastic outreach opportunity. This is a great service project for youth groups to get involved with in their own community.  We will need volunteers to help with food, games, music, face and nail painting, crowd control, popcorn machine, cotton candy, set up and tear down, etc.

If you, your family & friends, church group, civic club or more would like to volunteer at our upcoming Party-in-the-Park then give us a call today at 301.739.1165 or email us at hagerstownrescue@verizon.net. We welcome you to help us reach our city and provide hope for those in need!

For more information about all the various volunteer opportunities at The Hope Center go to http://www.volunteerhagerstown.com.

 

 

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!

Where is Your Hope?

One of my favorite hymns, On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand, states in the first verse, “My HOPE is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.” It states in the third verse, “When all around my soul gives way, He then is all my HOPE and stay.”

The ministry of the HOPE Center at Hagerstown Rescue Mission is reaching out to the many who have nowhere else to turn. They are not aware of the blessed HOPE that is Jesus Christ until they find their way to the Rescue Mission. Lives have been changed through the sharing of the HOPE of the Gospel. (Romans 8:24 & 25)

Hebrews 11:1 states: Now faith is the substance of things HOPED for, the evidence of things to come. As this message of HOPE is given to so many who are down and out and have no place else to turn, the love of God through His Son Jesus gives a whole new perspective. Not only are our sins forgiven, but Titus 2:13 tells us, Looking for that blessed HOPE and glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ. We now know where we will spend eternity, and His return could happen today.

But are believers sharing this HOPE, the good news of our salvation? 1 Peter 3:15 says, But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason of the HOPE that is in you with meekness and fear.

I praise God for the ministry of the many Rescue Missions founded by my dear Uncle Jim Resh and the HOPE they have given to thousands over the years. As we are living in the end times when the rapture could happen at any moment, believers need to be ready to share the Gospel at every opportunity. We also need to give our support to ministries like The HOPE Center at Hagerstown Rescue Mission.

Lynette Brewer

Written by Lynette Brewer

Lynette Brewer lives in Westminster, Maryland, has been President of the Ladies’ Auxiliary of the Westminster Rescue Mission and has recently become a member of their Board of Directors.

Happy Independence Day, America!

There’s just something about Independence Day that just makes you feel down right good.

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Whether it’s the cookouts with the family, basking in the warm summer sun, jumping into a refreshing pool, or gazing into a sky glittered with dazzling fireworks, the Fourth of July is the crown jewel of the summer break.

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And while it’s a great day to celebrate all that is summer, Independence Day is one to be remembered as a the day that God sparked a fire inside the hearts of brave men & women to stand up and chart their own destiny.

The Fourth of July is a celebration of rebellion against tyranny, oppression and a victory of the rights of man. Our founding fathers put their lives on the line so that their children and future generations of Americans would be able to live free and successfully without an oppressive government controlling every detail of their lives.

Today we celebrate all that it means to be free, to be American. We have been given the opportunity, within reason, to choose our own path and be whomever we want to be.

But on this day of celebration against tyranny, we can’t forget that the real fight is not yet over. This is not the fight against man, it’s the fight against spiritual tyranny.

So many of our fellow Americans are not free because of various opportunities or choices made. They are bound by seriously destructive sins. They are being controlled by a tyrant of epic proportions whose whole goal is their destruction.

And that’s why we’re here. The Hope Center values freedom. We want people to be free spiritually to be all that God intended them to be. Whether their choices left them addicted, homeless, broke, hungry, angry, alone, scared, desperate or confused, we’re here to tell them about true freedom, freedom in Christ.

We want them to know that God has written, for them, a Declaration of Independence and signed it in the blood of Christ. They’re already free from sin. God already fought the enemy and won the victory. All they need to do is choose.

At The Hope Center we help them understand that they are not alone. We want them to know that mistakes, bad choices, unfortunate circumstances don’t dictate their spiritual freedom for eternity. We don’t force anyone to choose, but we don’t hide the truth from them. Just like our Founding Fathers wanted, they are free to make their own decisions, and we are here to help them choose wisely.

As you join with your family & friends to celebrate America’s independence, remember to pray for those who are still battling for their own independence from sin. Pray that Satan will lose his grip on their hearts and minds. Pray that our staff & volunteers will show them the love, compassion and understanding that is needed to win this fight.

Thank you for helping us help others. Through your prayers, donations, financial support, and volunteer hours you have helped us continue to fight the good fight and encourage, help and heal those who are hopeless and lost. We appreciate and value your contributions to The Hope Center and all the various ways that your generous heart has helped us change lives for Christ!

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Enjoy your holiday with those who are important to you! Thank God for your freedom! And pray for those still searching for their own day of independence!

Bowling Does Our Residents Good!

When a guy enters our Hope Center Life Recovery program, he’s making a commitment to getting his life back on track and becoming the man God designed him to be.

But it’s not an easy path for many of our residents. They struggle with many things including their addictions, their past, family and work issues and, often times, the lack of love and acceptance.

Once they join the program they begin to build relationships with other guys in the program and our staff. This bond is a very important part of their rehabilitation. When the men aren’t working or attending life recovery classes, they enjoy playing sports and hanging out in the McKinley Rec Center at The Hope Center.

Our staff knows the importance of leisure activities so they plan various outings during the year. From softball tournaments, to fishing, canoeing, picnics and other activities, our staff tries to build relationships with our guys to keep them pushing through the program.

Recently, our staff took the guys bowling. From the laid back atmosphere to the friendly competition, our guys really enjoyed bowling together!

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Here are some pics from the guys’ day at the bowling alley. While going to the bowling alley may just seem like a regular activity to most people, to our guys this is a very important part of rebuilding themselves. These outings are beneficial to their recovery in so many ways.

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DSC_1259DSC_1274DSC_1276DSC_1300-001When you donate, whether financially or through in-kind gifts, you are helping to provide our residents with these types of activities. Thank you for your continued support of this ministry and our residents! You may never truly know how important your gift was, but God knows. You’re helping to change lives for eternity!

Happy Birthday, Eddie!

The first Friday of each month is set aside to celebrate birthdays at The Hope Center, and this month we were able to celebrate another birthday with one of our residents, Eddie!

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Our friend, Stormy, provided another delicious birthday cake for our celebration!

Eddie has been at The Hope Center for a while and he is nearing the end of his program. He’s been working hard to straighten his life out and allow God to mold him into the man he was designed to be.

We asked Eddie to give us a quick testimony of what God is doing in his life. It’s great to see and hear another story of victory from one of our residents.

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“Upon my arrival to The Hope Center I can safely say that I was completely broken.  Between drug addiction and a complete disregard for my own life, I was heading to one of two places – prison or a casket.  I knew of a place called The Hope Center at Hagerstown Rescue Mission where I could go and change my life with God’s help.  I now have one month left in the long-term recovery program here at The Hope Center and I can proudly say that my life is changed!  I now live for God and His glory.  Once I graduate I will be going to Philadelphia, PA where I have been accepted into an internship program through Urban Hope Ministries.  I will have the wonderful opportunity to minister to kids and young adults who have or are around the same life crisis conditions I once had.  God took my mess of a life and is now going to use it for His glory!”

Eddie, just like the other men who come through The Hope Center, was on a path of destruction and death but he allowed God to make the necessary changes in his heart and mind and now he’s a totally new man.

Eddie is fighting the good fight and he’s able to celebrate another year of life thanks to God’s help. Hope has been restored into Eddie’s life and now he’s able to spread the message of hope & change to hundreds of people in Philadelphia.

Eddie is just one of the many men who seek real help from a real God at The Hope Center. Thanks to faithful supporters like you, we are able to provide our residents with a safe environment of love and support to help conquer their addictions and other destructive habits.

When you donate financially or through gifts such as food or gently used items for our Thrift Stores, you are helping to change lives. You may not realize it at the time but it’s true. People like Eddie are made brand new in Christ because of the generosity of loving and caring people like you.

Thank you for supporting The Hope Center at Hagerstown Rescue Mission. We thank God for friends like you because now a person like Eddie is able to change the world for Christ.

If you aren’t familiar with The Hope Center at Hagerstown Rescue Mission and want more info or would like to become a supporter of our ministry then call 301.739.1165 or email hagerstownrescue@verizon.net. Also, check out www.hagerstownrescue.org to learn more about the many programs and ministries we provide to our community.