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.

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Our Block Party Rocked!

On Saturday, May 16th, Walnut Street was the scene of another party for all of our neighbors and friends in Hagerstown!

We hosted a Block Party which was free for anyone in the community. There was plenty to do including a dodge ball tournament, a bounce house, face painting, sports activities, carnival games and plenty of free food!

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Anniversary Block (10)Anniversary Block (21)We’re thankful for all of our faithful friends who volunteered their time and energy to help us throw a great party in the streets! We completely and thoroughly appreciate everything our volunteers do for The Hope Center. Our volunteers have been faithfully serving and supporting this ministry for 60 years and we’re thankful for the strong bond we have with the local community who believe in the importance of reaching, helping, caring, and loving the least, the last and the lost in our city.

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The Block Party was just another fantastic event in our 60th Anniversary Year of Celebration! Thank you to all who participated and supported this event.

To see more pics from this event go to http://www.hopecenter60.com and click on the ‘Events’ tab. At the bottom of that page you’ll see a gallery full of pictures from our Block Party.

And don’t forget to mark your calendars for upcoming 60th Anniversary events in the fall. There’s more to come so go to wwwhopecenter60.com to learn more about our upcoming events.

In addition to celebrating 60 years of hope, our Block Party was also the kick-off event for Camp Wild 2015, our free summer day camp program for kids in Hagerstown and surrounding areas.

Camp Wild is a summer camp program for kids ages 5-12. Kids can attend one of four weeks during July & August for free. From morning until afternoon, the campers partake in tons of various activities like games, interactive Bible lessons, singing & dancing, art projects, lunch and snacks, hay rides, zip line, swimming, adventure lessons, hiking trails, and so much more. Campers are also given free transportation* to our adventure camp! Camp Wild is definitely a highlight of the summer for hundreds of kids in downtown Hagerstown.

To volunteer at The Hope Center, including upcoming 60th Anniversary events and Camp Wild call 301.739.1165 or email hagerstownrescue@verizon.net. Also, go to http://www.volunteerhagerstown.com to learn more about the many ways you can get involved at The Hope Center.

*Camp Wild transportation is free but limited. Complimentary transportation is only available to select areas of the city during select weeks. Check the transportation schedule at http://www.campwildusa.com to see what weeks our vans will be in your part of Hagerstown. If you can provide transportation then you are free to pick the week of your choice but don’t delay, space is limited. Call 301.739.1165 or email info@campwildusa.com immediately.

Our 60th Anniversary Celebration Kick-Off Was a Blast!

Our 60th Anniversary celebration kicked off in March with a party planned outside at Wheaton Park just two blocks from The Hope Center.

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As the day approached, the weather man wasn’t providing us with exactly what we wanted to hear. There were some nice, mild days in the forecast but, unfortunately the day of our outdoor party was not going to cooperate.

We all know that God is in charge of the weather and He wouldn’t allow anything to happen that day that would be more than we could handle so we pressed forward with our plans to host a party for our community. We prayed that the weather would cooperate enough for us to have a good day but, more importantly, that God would bring the crowds to our event.

The morning of our party was much colder than we had hoped. In fact, it was below freezing … literally with a wind chill of 14 degrees. Our volunteers were not going to let a little cold bother them so we began setting up for our party. But God, just reminding us that He’s watching over us and showing us that He’s definitely involved in our event, provided an absolutely unexpected miracle that day.

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The director of the Head Start program at the MLK, Jr. Center had received our fliers about the Party-in-the-Park and had promised to help distribute them in the neighborhood.  Because of the frigid temperatures the morning of the party, this kind lady offered to allow us to use the MLK Jr Center, a community center/gym located just one block away from Wheaton Park. We hadn’t inquired about the building.  We didn’t even know it was an option. But God knew – and He had a plan! 

Of course we couldn’t say no! For the sake of our volunteers and guests we quickly took her up on the offer. And we’re so glad we did! The warmth of the building was a literal God thing that day!

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Our volunteers quickly began setting up the rec center for our event. We had plenty of carnival games, a photo booth, face painting, finger nail painting, food, prizes and more.

As the time approached for the start of our event, we wondered just how many people would brave the chilly weather to come to a park event.

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We never expected to have the turnout as we did. Not only had God provided an indoor facility for us to use, He brought the people out in droves! We had close to 300 guests for our “park” party! The line to get into the building was out the door for a long time!

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Parents, grandparents and kids filled that building with the sights and sounds of happiness & memories being made. Everyone had a wonderful time playing games, goofing around, eating, and just hanging out.

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We even had a surprise visit by the Easter Bunny!

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In addition to all the indoor activities, we were able to have the egg hunt outside for all the families. Over hundreds of eggs filled with candy were hidden in plain view for all the kids who were there. Within a matter of minutes the eggs had been found but not before parents and their children had their chance to have fun together racing around to get as many as they could.

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We had so many prizes that day but we were so excited to have drawings for a few big door prizes like big stuffed animals from LifeWay Christian Bookstore, a Mickey Mouse Easter-themed basket with a special Mickey Mouse plush all the way from Walt Disney World, and a brand new tablet!

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We couldn’t have asked for a better start to our 60th Anniversary celebration! God reminded us that He is still with us, supporting us just as He’s done the past 60 years.

We want to thank so many people for their hard work in making this event come to life.

First, we want to thank the kind people of the MLK Jr Center for offering us their facility to use. We appreciate their commitment to the community and all they do to help improve the lives of our neighbors.

 

DSC_0014We also want to thank a few 4th graders from Fountaindale Elementary School who wanted to do something nice for the community. These girls created “health bags” which were full of personal care items like soap, shampoo, toothpaste and other items. They collected all the items themselves and put it all together for our guests. These wonderful young ladies made 75 bags for our guests! We’re so thankful that these girls have such a big heart for others and that they actually did something to help make a difference.

To all of our volunteers, thank you! A BIG thank you! These awesome folks were willing to brave the cold temperatures to have this party outside. And they adjusted quickly to the changes once we moved the party indoors. Our volunteers probably had just as much fun as the guests and that’s exactly what we were hoping for. Thank you, volunteers, for giving your Saturday to spend it with total strangers. You may never know the impact you made on the lives of our guests but God does and someday you’ll be amazed at what those few hours on that cold Saturday morning did for someone else’s eternity. Thank you for supporting this ministry and helping us reach so many people for Christ! It’s because of faithful people like you that The Hope Center has been so successful. We thank God for our volunteers and we’re so proud to call you a part of The Hope Center family!

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A big thank you to Maranatha Brethren Church for providing food, prizes, activities and volunteers for this event. To all our donors and supporters, it’s not cheap nor easy to host an event like this but because of your generosity, we were able to provide our guests with a great Easter party!  Even if you only bought a bag of candy, that candy was used to tell someone that they are loved by a great God who cares so much for them. Thank you for caring & sharing and helping us show our community the love of Christ!

To Krista, Gene, Sue and Adrian, thank you for the hours of planning that you put into this event. Your heart for others is evident by how hard you worked to put this entire event together. And even when the weather wasn’t kind, your enthusiasm and optimism helped make the event so successful. We are so beyond thankful for your commitment and investment in this ministry. We know that God will bless you so much more than any of us can imagine and one day in Heaven you will see the rewards of your service. Thank you, thank you, thank you for putting together such a great event!

And to Mr. & Mrs. Shank, who worked so tirelessly behind the scenes from day one on this event, and all the other 60th Anniversary events yet to come. This is a challenging year of celebration but God has put the right people in place to make it all come to life! Your love for Christ and this ministry is evident in everything that you do each day and we don’t thank you enough for your hard work and sacrifice. Thank you for all you do and for helping to reach the least, the last and the lost for Christ. Even though its tiring and difficult, just remember as The Hope Center founder, Mr. Resh, would say, “keep on, keepin’ on!” To God be the glory!

Rock the run logo jpgOur 60th Anniversary celebration is rolling right on with our first 5K event in April. Rock the Run 5K: A Race for Hope will take place on Saturday, April 25th at Fairgrounds Park in Hagerstown. This race will help to raise awareness & support for the ministry at The Hope Center that deal with homelessness and hunger in Hagerstown. So many lives are affected by homelessness and hunger and this is our way of helping to get people involved to end the hopelessness. Registration is only $25 until race day and you can register now at http://www.rocktherunhagerstown.com.

Be sure to visit http://www.hopecenter60.com to learn more about The Hope Center, see pictures from the past 60 years, and get all the info about the other upcoming events planned for 2015.

 

It’s Time to Rock and Run!

We are inching closer and closer to our 1st 5K, Rock the Run: A Race for Hope! Have you registered for the race yet? There’s still time, but don’t delay. It’ll be here before you know it.

Rock the run logo jpgRock the Run: A Race for Hope is a 5K race/walk at Fairgrounds Park in Hagerstown on April 25th, 2015. There will also be a kids race prior to the main event. This is a wonderful opportunity for your whole family to get involved and help reach the less fortunate.

Our Rock the Run: A Race for Hope is an important opportunity for us to expose the community to the struggles of homelessness and hunger in Hagerstown. The Hope Center has been open everyday for people in need since our beginning 60 years ago.

We are still dedicated, as we were at the beginning, to helping those in physical, emotional, and spiritual need in our community. Homelessness and hunger can affect anyone at any given time and it is our goal to relieve the burden and stress of the situation by not only addressing the physical needs but the spiritual ones as well.

God has called us to help each other. And for 60 years we’ve been doing exactly that. We’ve seen the demographic trend change from older to younger, from alcohol to drugs, from starving singles to desperate families. God has blessed The Hope Center and we know it’s because of our great support system of friends, volunteers, and donors.

Now, as we celebrate 60 years of helping people in our community, we want to take 60th-HiRestime to help make our community more aware of the reality that is homelessness and hunger in Hagerstown.

And that’s why we’re doing Rock the Run: A Race for Hope. This 5K helps us raise financial support through sponsors and participants, exposes the work of The Hope Center to a new group in our community who may not totally be aware of exactly what we do, and gives everyone a chance to help those in need.

In addition to the run/walk, we’re bringing our donation trucks to the race so that participants and volunteers can donate food items, toiletries, shoes, clothes, and household items. These items will be used in one way or another in our various outreach ministries. From our food bank, to our daily Soup Line, our overnight shelter, to Camp Wild, Family Assistance program, Foundations Life Recovery program, and our Thrift Stores, these donated items will help in multiple ways to provide the physical relief that so many people in our area need.

So go ahead and fill out that registration for Rock the Run: A Race for Hope. You don’t have to be a seasoned runner, you can walk it. And invite your family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, Sunday School class, and more because it’s always more fun to participate in an event like this with friends.

Go to http://www.rocktherunhagerstown.com to learn more and register for this event. Also, go to http://www.facebook.com/rocktherun5krace to join the community on Facebook. Spread the word and tell others to join you. This is not just an ordinary 5K. We’re coming together as a community to run homelessness out of town. And it all starts with the click of the mouse.

We’ll see you on April 25th in your running shoes!

A Wildside Party Kids are Gonna L-O-V-E

Valentine’s Day is almost here and Wildside is ready to celebrate with a big party!

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All kids ages 5-12 are invited to join all their friends at Wildside’s Valentine’s Party on Tuesday, February 10th, from 5-7pm in the Trinity Center.

Kids are gonna have a great time playing games, earning prizes, creating art projects, eating delicious food, and learning all about the love of Jesus! And there will be special prizes for the person who wears the most red!

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This is a free activity for kids but we do ask that you call 301.739.1165 or email info@wildsideyouth.com to register your kids for this event.

Complimentary transportation is provided to select areas inside of Hagerstown but space is limited so please call or email Wildside immediately if your children need transportation to and from this event.

To learn more about Wildside Youth Ministries and other activities at Wildside, go to http://www.wildsideyouth.com.

Don’t Miss Wildside’s Football & Cheerleading Party!

The Super Bowl is upon us and Wildside Youth Ministries is ready for the big game!

On Tuesday, January 27th, Wildside will host their second Football & Cheerleading Party.

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Join all your Wildside friends for a fun night celebrating America’s favorite game by participating in football themed games, cheerleading competitions, and an actual game of football. A night of football isn’t complete without some delicious food so you can be sure to get your fill of great food! There will also be prizes, and, most importantly, a chance to learn more about Jesus! Be sure to wear a shirt or jersey from your favorite team!

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Wildside’s Football & Cheerleading Party is from 5-7pm in the Trinity Center located next to our Thrift Store on Walnut Street in Hagerstown. This activity is free for kids ages 5-12. Transportation to and from this event is possible but limited. If your kids need a ride, please call 301.739.1165 or email info@wildsideyouth.com immediately.

To learn more about Wildside Youth Ministries go to http://www.wildsideyouth.com. If you’re interested in volunteering at Wildside or any other ministry at The Hope Center then go to http://www.volunteerhagerstown.com to learn more.

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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