The Heart of Evangelism

by Lynn Harney

Lynn Harney“Sing to the Lord, all the Earth; Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day. Declare His glory among the nations; His wonders among all peoples. For the Lord is great and greatly to be praised; He is also to be feared above all gods.” 1 Chronicles 16:23-25 NKJV

The above verses are a part of the first psalm David sang at the arrival of the ark of God in Jerusalem for the first time. In it I find both the mission and the heart of evangelism. We are told what to proclaim, when to proclaim it, where we should proclaim it, who we should be talking about and why.

What we are to proclaim is “His salvation”, that is the salvation He provided that we were unable to achieve on our own. More to the point, we would not even have come up with such a great plan on our own. The evidence of this is overwhelming, every other option for having a relationship with God is through our own good works. We are told in the New Testament in many ways that it is only through Jesus that we can come to the Father. “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 “There is no other name by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12 “There is one God and one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus.” 1 Timothy 2:5 Just to name a few. This shows us this is His salvation, His idea on His terms.

Once we receive Christ we are to proclaim His glory and His wonders. Glory, now that is not a word we use in the every day world and we Christians might be at risk of taking it for granted. One of its meanings is to give an accurate opinion of a person or a thing. The Gospel of Jesus Christ, the gift of God, is the most accurate description of God there could ever be. In it we see His love, mercy, holiness, and justice. Hebrews 1 tells us Jesus was “the express image of God” or the exact representation of Him. There is no more wonderful thing in life than that Christ would give His for mine that I could share His.

We are told to proclaim it, from day to day. Our lives are to be a continual proclamation of His salvation. Need I say more?

Where we are told to proclaim it. Among the nations to all the peoples. There are no cultural boundaries, racial or economic divides. It is for all people. Some claim the Gospel to be exclusionary and in one way it is that is, in its means or how one is saved. But who it is for, is everyone who is willing to come, on His terms. So we make the Gospel available to everyone all of the time.

Finally, we are told why. “For the Lord is great, and greatly to be praised; He is also to be feared above all gods.” Once again the character of God becomes the focus. Mans’ need for a savior is not the focus, though implied, by God Himself. When people see what God is really like their need becomes obvious. Isaiah saw the LORD and fell on his face, “Woe is me, I am undone. I am a man of unclean lips.” So our lives should evidence the character of God.

David through this Psalm was rededicating his life focus to the person and work of God so that everyone would know how great is our God. We call ourselves The Hope Center not merely because people’s physical needs can be met but because our wonderous God can be met in their time of need.

 

Lynn Harney is the co-director of Foundations Life Recovery program at The Hope Center. He and his wife, Wanda, served with New Tribes Mission for 22 years among the Manjaku people as church planters in Senegal, Africa. They have four children, a daughter-in-law, and four grandchildren. 

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Camp Wild 2015: Gallery of Smiles

Camp Wild 2015 was an incredible summer for both our campers and staff! We had over 230 kids experience all the action & adventure of our free summer day camp. There are plenty of activities for our campers to get involved in each day. From learning about Jesus, to building relationships, to creating art, hiking, swimming, exploring and playing, campers at Camp Wild are never lacking for anything exciting to do each day.

Since Camp Wild is free for any kid ages 5-12, we rely on the generous support of all of our donors in the area. We want to say thank you to all the individuals, churches, civic clubs, businesses and other organizations who helped to underwrite the cost of Camp Wild 2015. We appreciate your support and your commitment to reaching these precious kids for Christ and giving them a summer experience they will always remember.

For more information about Camp Wild go to http://www.campwildusa.com. To learn more about our youth ministry, Wildside Youth, go to http://www.wildsideyouth.com.

Flashback: Camp Wild 2015

Even though the carefree days of summer are a thing of the past, our memory of the excitement of all the various summer activities lives on!

As we all start to bundle up, sip our delicious PSL and enjoy the crispness of the air, we want to take a quick trip back to one of the highlights of our summer: Camp Wild 2015.

In case you’re not familiar with what Camp Wild is, let’s get you up to speed.

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Every summer Wildside Youth Ministries at The Hope Center hosts four unbelievably fun weeks of camp for kids in Hagerstown. This camp is free for any kid between the ages of 5 -12 and we even provide complimentary transportation to kids living in certain parts of the city.

While at Camp Wild, the kids are given an assortment of activities to be a part of. From singing, to group games, hiking, art projects, interactive Bible lessons, hands-on educational activities, swimming, and more, the campers are not lacking for excitement each day.

Since Camp Wild is a free ministry to the kids of Hagerstown, we rely on the generous support of donors and volunteers to make each summer possible for our campers. We’re so thankful to say that since the 1970’s our summer camp programs, Conoco Camp/Camp Wild, have been blessed by God and He has provided the necessary funds, volunteers and resources to reach hundreds of kids for Christ! Thank you to everyone who has been a part of our summer camp outreach programs in the past.

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Camp Wild 2015 was an amazing summer of ministry. God proved Himself faithful by providing over and over again in the areas of drivers, counselors, donations, and plenty of campers. We ministered to 228 children, sharing with them the message of Jesus’ love and salvation. Churches like Tri-State Fellowship, Faith Christian Fellowship, Maranatha Brethren Church, and Grace Point Community Church came along side us in the ministry. A truly fantastic summer.

This summer’s lesson series focused on our core-value of relationships. In today’s culture there is a big need in understanding how to cultivate and maintain healthy, pure relationships. We wanted to use our lesson time to help children learn some great truths from the Bible about how we connect and bond with others.

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We began by explaining and defining a relationship. We learned through the Bible that we are to do our best to live in peace with everyone. This means that living in peace is a key to having good relationships with others. Fighting hurts relationships, but peace leads to life.

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After defining relationships we moved on to talking about the most important relationship of all, the one we have with Jesus Christ. Campers learned that we need to stop trying to live life our own way but start living life Jesus’ way. Our Bible verse for the day focused on how when we were God’s enemies He made peace with us through the death of Jesus.

Next, we moved on to talking about relationships with friends and family. Campers learned how it is necessary to have balance in relationships, to ask for forgiveness when needed, and to always forgive others as Christ forgave us. They learned the key to having good relationships with parents comes from God’s command that children are to obey their parents in all things because this pleases Him.

We spent some time talking about a negative relationship- enemies. We all have relationships that require hard work. In this lesson we talked about loving enemies and praying for those who hurt us, just like Jesus did when He sacrificed Himself for us.

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The week concluded with learning how having successful relationships will lead to having a successful life. The Bible commands us to encourage one another and give each other strength. Nothing in life is a complete solo task, we depend on others and others depend on us. Because of this, our lives and dreams need to be centered around Jesus and serving the needs of others.

Africa Park
This year saw the re-opening of our Africa park. We went back to the roots of camp and gave our African-themed area a complete facelift and overhaul. This involved both major and minor renovations, a new attraction, lots of paint, and tons of flags.

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Part of the transformation process began in 2012 by opening GPS, God’s Preaching System, in what was to become the Habari Jungle. This was the first part of a three-year strategy to consolidate our existing African attractions to one area of the campground while opening the Latin America and Asia parks. In 2013 we moved The Dig and Sanaa into their permanent spots.

This year we added new signs to the camp, new exhibits, new buildings, and lots of details to really make campers feel like they have traveled into the heart of Africa. We added lots of decorative elements to the camp, repainted some old signs, and added new cultural elements all around the African park to enhance the camper’s experience. In an effort to celebrate the diversity of God’s creation among cultures, we added in 45 flag poles. These were used to display flags from African countries.

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One area we were very excited to open was Zulu! Campers traveled to South Africa to train how to be a Zulu warrior. The word Zulu means “people of Heaven’. Here camper’s learned about the armor of God, King Shaka Zulu, and the culture of the Zulu nation. Camper’s got to shoot bow and arrow, practice dodging splash balls with a shield, and learn how to toss a spear. Each activity took place in brightly painted, African gazebos.

Our new activity center was complete with an 8-foot display of the armor of God, real spears, an authentic cowhide shield, and a six-foot tall mannequin dressed as King Shaka. We also included a life-size elephant skull replica, as well as replicas of zebra and leopard skins.

KIJIJI EXPEDITION
After being closed for two years, we re-opened the Kijiji Expedition. This summer we shortened the trail, condensed the activity centers, and refurbished some displays to give them longevity. Arnold Horst and the S.W.A.T. team (Senior Worker Attack Team) completely transformed our temple area to include nice thick plywood walls and a sheet-metal roof. We created a new meerkat mound using Styrofoam and cement, as well as covering our existing termite mound in cement. We also added a back wall to one of our bamboo huts, really giving the campers the illusion that they had stepped into someone’s house in the jungle.

SENEGAL
Kids traveled to Senegal to visit two active learning centers. First up is the return of GPS. This year we made GPS, our missionary zone, into a word scavenger hunt. Campers would work in their Small Groups to figure out clues related to each of our Senegal cultural signs. At the end of the activity, all the kids reviewed things together and learned how they could be missionaries at home.

The second active learning center is Matu. We reopened this attraction after a year hiatus and put it in the middle of the GPS trail loop. Here at Matu campers learn about the creation of the world, the anatomy of a seed, Senegal’s exotic animals, the life cycle of a plant, and even take home a plant pot of their own. The goal of this hands-on learning center is to educate and celebrate God’s marvelous creation!

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At the Sanaa Trail, camper’s got to express their creativity and reflect their Creator God by making some different forms of art. This summer campers were able to make safari ornaments and color their own tribal masks.

The Dig is one of the camper’s favorite attractions. This archaeological dig simulator teaches campers the purpose of learning other cultures and the excitement of finding buried treasures. We always teach campers that you must also dig into the Word of God to find the true treasure of Jesus Christ and eternal salvation.

Matu Base/Shed
In an effort to make the best use of space, we placed the Matu attraction inside the loop created by GPS. We wanted to have a building erected that would serve as a jungle base for the kids to play in. Here the campers can look at animal replicas, play on a chalkboard, learn about God’s creation, and take a break from the sun’s heat. After camp ends, we utilize this space as storage for displays, tables, and most of our Africa décor. Having this new storage shed greatly reduced our clean up time this year while freeing up storage space at the office. The majority of the materials were donated by Mike & Bre Black and the construction was done by Arnold Horst and his crew.

Staff
This summer we introduced two new levels of staffing into Camp Wild. The first group is called Shepherds. These counselors were the ones who led the daily small group discussions with the campers. They were available if any campers had questions of a spiritual nature or need prayer.

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The second group added was the Student Trainee. These were older campers who had been appointed by the Director or Assistant Directors to pitch in to help out with small tasks where and when needed. Although Student Trainees did not have authority over other campers they proved to be a big asset in having a successful summer of camp.

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As camp moves forward, we hope to continue finding ways to better serve our faithful counselors. Equipping them better, giving them more training and encouragement has been invaluable in improving the quality and effectiveness of camp ministry.

Thank you to everyone who has donated of their time, talent, and treasure to make Camp Wild a success. Every year I am encouraged by the generosity of God‘s people, amazed at God’s faithfulness, and grateful for all everyone who cares about the campers and has sacrificed in order to give them a summer they’ll never forget!

To learn more about Camp Wild, including seeing more pictures from 2015, go to http://www.campwildusa.com.

Even though Camp Wild is over, the fun of Wildside isn’t! Our youth ministry hosts activities all year long! Go to http://www.wildsideyouth.com to learn more about our youth ministry program and all the activities Wildside has planned in the upcoming months.

Want to be a part of the action? We’re always looking for volunteers to help at Wildside and our other ministries at The Hope Center. Go to http://www.volunteerhagerstown.com to see all the various opportunities we have for you to get involved.

Maybe you don’t have the time to commit to volunteering but you really want to become a financial partner of The Hope Center. If this is you then don’t wait any longer to get in touch with us! We’re always thankful for our donors who help to fund all of our programs to the people in our community. Since we do not receive any tax money or government funding, we operate completely on the generosity of our faithful donors and Thrift Store patrons. Call 301.739.1165 or email hagerstownrescue@verizon.net to talk to somone about financially supporting this ministry.

Camp Wild is Off to a Great Start!

We’re almost through our first week of Camp Wild!

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Everyone’s been having a great time! From playing games, to creating art projects, swimming in the creek, discovering ancient artifacts, flying high above the earth, charming snakes & running with tigers, the campers have been getting their fill of action-packed adventure!

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The theme for Camp Wild 2014 is excellence. The campers are being taught & challenged to be excellent in everything they do. They’re learning that no matter what task is presented to them, they should always do their best and try their hardest. God wants the best for them, and in return, they need to give their best to God.

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In the afternoon, Camp Wild 2014 takes the campers on an adventure to the exotic continent of Asia. In addition to the exciting activities in our African & Latin American sections of the outdoor camp area, Camp Wild 2014 has added Asian elements of discovery for the kids to enjoy.

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Mixing education, entertainment & spiritual applications, Camp Wild 2014 uses interactive activities to transport kids, and their imaginations, to places like India & China.

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The kids are able to partake in activities like the Tiger Trail, a fast-paced obstacle course, the Snake Charmer, an educational hike into the world of Cobras, and Expedition Panda, our 600 foot zip line adventure where the kids fly high above the ground while trying to deliver special “food packs” to endangered pandas.

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Not only are the campers learning about new cultures, conservation & outdoor survival skills, they are also being taught about missionaries and how others travel the world to reach people for Christ.

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Camp Wild is more than just another day camp. It’s an exciting world full of new adventures, enchanting places, and valuable life lessons centered around Christ. The kids who attend Camp Wild aren’t just aimlessly wasting away their days. They are learning new things, creating strong bonds with staff, and, most importantly, getting closer to God.

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We’re so thankful to the staff, volunteers & donors who have helped to make Camp Wild 2014 possible. The vast majority of our supporters & friends won’t be able to see the spiritual & physical impact of Camp Wild on the lives of these kids, but in Heaven, you will. Lives are being changed, hearts are being won, and Satan is being defeated. Children are the most precious resource on earth and we’re thankful for the opportunity to reach them, teach them, and love them.

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Even though we’re winding down Week One, there’s still 3 more weeks of camp to come!

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If you know of some kids who would benefit from our free camp program, call 301.739.1165 or email info@wildsideyouth.com immediately. There is some space still available for some of the weeks of camp but don’t delay! Call now and get your kid registered.

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Maybe you don’t have any kids but you feel the call from God to help reach kids for Christ. We’re always looking for people to help. Call 301.739.1165 or email hagerstownrescue@verizon.net to get the process of volunteering started. Wildside Youth Ministries hosts activities all year long so there’s plenty of ways for you to get involved after Camp Wild ends. Jump over to http://www.volunteerhagerstown.com to learn more about volunteering and see the many different areas of ministry that you can be a part of.

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If you’re interested in supporting Camp Wild and the many other ministries and outreach programs at The Hope Center, call 301.739.1165 or email hagerstownrescue@verizon.net to learn how you can become a partner of this ministry. You can also donate online through our secure PayPal account by visiting http://www.hagerstownrescue.org and clicking on the ‘Give to HRM’ tab located in the red box on the left-hand side of the home page.

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No matter how you get involved, please continue to pray for Camp Wild, the staff, volunteers and other ministries at The Hope Center. God is moving in many different ways in Hagerstown but Satan is always on the attack. Prayer is the most important thing that we can ask for. We appreciate your prayers and we see the power of prayer on a daily basis! Thank you for all you do!

To learn more about Camp Wild, go to http://www.campwildusa.com.

 

 

 

Koffee Klatch Says Goodbye…for Now

On Thursday, June 5th, Koffee Klatch had their final meeting for the season.

Instead of the traditional donuts and Bible study time, the season finale was a delicious lunch and time of fellowship, praise and celebration. Following the Bible study, the women had a wonderful time eating and socializing. The ladies all prepared food for the celebration and there was plenty of delicious food to be had!

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Usually, the Bible study follows the fellowship time, but this day was a little different. The ladies sang some songs, shared some stories, prayed together and gave special thanks to those who help make Koffee Klatch successful.

We, too, want to take a minute to thank the people who work behind the scenes to make Koffee Klatch possible each week. Becky Shank, who works in our administrative office, makes sure that all the food & coffee is prepped and ready to go each Thursday. She sets up the fellowship area and cleans up after each Koffee Klatch. We also want to thank the two very special ladies who lead Koffee Klatch each week. Dorcas Black, who works in our Sorting Ministry (donated goods), and Anna Nunemaker, a volunteer and former missionary to Africa, team lead Koffee Klatch each week. We are so thankful for their service to the ministry and their heart for all the women who attend.

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Anna Nunemaker, who usually teaches Koffee Klatch, brought a special speaker to give the ladies a word of encouragement. Anna’s granddaughter, Melanie, who lives in Switzerland, was visiting her grandmother and accompanied her to Koffee Klatch. Melanie, who travels Europe to speak about Science and the Bible, spoke to the women about using every opportunity, whether good or bad, to show the world who God truly is. She talked about how Satan may try to use a situation for evil, but can use it for good. She encouraged the ladies to keep up the fight during the summer break and remember that no matter what happens in life, always remember God means it for good.

During the Bible study time, the ladies in attendance gave God praise for the many blessings and prayers answered during this year. Many of the ladies talked about how God provided miracles in their lives, healed relatives and friends, and how He opened doors through various means to allow the women to share Christ with total strangers.

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Many of the women noted that Koffee Klatch is something that helps them grow in the Lord and is an activity that is much needed in their lives. One lady even said that the thing she loves most about Koffee Klatch is seeing women from all different churches, denominations, ages, and social backgrounds coming together at the weekly Bible study to worship God and grow spiritually.

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And she’s right. One of the most beautiful things about Koffee Klatch is the blending of women from all over the area. Some women are Baptists, others Brethren, and others Mennonite. There are women who have careers, others who are retired, and some who are housewives. The differences of these women show the power of God’s Word. It’s a unifying force that draws people together who would never usually mix. It’s the common thread that creates lasting friendships and breaks down barriers and stereotypes among humans. These women don’t see each other with the man-made labels we often give each other. They see each other as daughters of God. They’re sisters in Christ and they’re coming together to teach each other, support each other, pray for each other, love each other, and grow in the Lord together.

And this is why we want to encourage you to join us in the fall when Koffee Klatch returns. This is a great opportunity to create new friendships, help other women through various situations, and learn more about God in a different atmosphere. Koffee Klatch is free and open to any women who have some time each Thursday to attend.

And don’t forget to invite your friends, too! Bring your mom, sister, coworker, neighbor, and join us for a very informal worship time together. There’s so much that we can learn from each other so why not stop by? Unfortunately we don’t provide childcare. If you would like to learn more about Koffee Klatch, call 301.739.1165 or email hagerstownrescue@verizon.net.

Have a great summer, ladies, and we’ll see you in the fall!

 

 

Camp Wild is Full of Adventure!

Are you looking for a great summer program for your kids? Looking for an exciting, action-packed, adventurous and Christ-centered activity for your children this summer?

Then you definitely want to check out Camp Wild!!

Camp Wild is all about adventure, fun & building a strong spiritual foundation for your children. Our free day camp is a perfect solution for the summertime doldrums. It’s a great program to get your kids out of the house and into nature while also providing them with an opportunity to learn and grow spiritually.

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The Camp Wild day starts at the Trinity Center, the multipurpose facility on the campus of The Hope Center, in Hagerstown. Morning activities include group games and activities, interactive themed lesson times, praise & worship geared just for kids, small group time & a delicious lunch. Following lunch, campers are transported to the outdoor camp facility located just west of Hagerstown in Cearfoss.

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The afternoon is packed with all types of adventures. From swimming in the creek, to flying with the birds on our 600 foot-long zip line, to nature hikes, explorations deep into the jungles of Central America and expeditions into the heart of the Africa, Camp Wild’s themed outdoor adventure area is sure to be a hit with your kids! There are plenty of other activities like art projects, animal & insect discoveries and opportunities to win prizes or get snacks at the Sugar Shack!

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If you are interested in sending your kids to Camp Wild this summer, then don’t delay! Space is limited and can fill up quickly. Camp Wild runs for four weeks during the summer. Campers are able to attend one week out of the four. Free transportation is provided to certain areas inside of Hagerstown for specific weeks. If you are able to provide transportation each day then you may select the week that best suites your schedule.

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For videos, photos and more information, including a downloadable registration form, please go to www.campwildusa.com. You can also call 301.739.1165 or send an email to info@wildsideyouth.com. If you would like a Camp Wild brochure with an attached registration form mailed to your house or to family or friends, please call today!

Home For Christmas…All the Way from Africa!

One very special lady, Anna Nunemaker, has been volunteering for years at The Hope Center. When she’s not helping to sort through donated books & reading materials for our Thrift Stores, she can be seen every Thursday morning leading the weekly ladies Bible study, Koffee Klatch.

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Anna, center, enjoys talking with the ladies that attend Koffee Klatch each Thursday at The Hope Center

Anna is the sister of Ellen Resh, the late co-founder of The Hope Center at Hagerstown Rescue Mission. Just like her sister Ellen, Anna has spent her years serving the Lord in various ways.

For 30 years Anna, and her late husband Glenn, were missionaries in Niger, located in West Africa. Anna & Glenn raised their two sons in Africa and both of them are still serving the Lord through various missions programs throughout the world.

While in Africa, Anna & Glenn took Samuel Djibo into their home when he was only 10 months old. Samuel became like a son to Anna & Glenn and continues to be a part of Anna’s family to this day even though he still lives in Niger. Samuel tries to visit his “mom” every year. When he’s in Hagerstown, he enjoys stopping by The Hope Center and talking to the residents and helping Anna with Koffee Klatch.

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This is Anna’s story of how Samuel became a part of her family:

“Samuel’s mother was dying of TB so he needed a home.  We took him into our home when he was only ten months old.  He grew up with our two sons and was a part of our family for the rest of our years in Africa.  We brought him to America several times while he was under our care.  He loved America!

“Samuel went to a Bible school as a young man and later became a teacher in the Mission school of Niger, West Africa.  He developed a very serious eye problem and soon was no longer able to teach.  We brought him to the States to be examined at the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins.  They said there was no cure for his problem.

Samuel still serves the Lord in spite of his handicap.  He speaks three languages, so he does a good job of translating for speakers who come to Niger to teach.”

Sam really wants to serve the Lord, but his handicap makes it hard.  He is here to visit his “Mom,” Anna Nunemaker, for Christmas.  “He is a great blessing and help to me, and to my church, and to the Bible study (Koffee Klatch) at The Hope Center”.

We really appreciate all the years of service that Anna has given the Lord both here, at The Hope Center, and abroad. She genuinely loves serving the Lord and reaching people with the hope of Christ.

If you are a lady looking for a good Bible study geared just for women then please check out Koffee Klatch every Thursday morning at 10am. The ladies meet at 9am in the dining room at The Hope Center for donuts and coffee. Koffee Klatch is free for any woman looking for some good fellowship and spiritual nourishment. For more info about Koffee Klatch please call 301.739.1165 or email hagerstownrescue@verizon.net.