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-

Happy Birthday!

The first Friday of every month we celebrate the birthdays of any residents born that month.

This month we’re celebrating the birthdays of Michael & Walter!

Bday June 2013 2

Michael is one of our newer residents. He came to us from Baltimore and started in our program in February of this year. Michael is hoping to head back home eventually so he can return to work and support his family.

Walter has been with us since June of 2012. Walter came to us from all the way over on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. When he arrived, he had just been released from prison with only a paper bag containing a few personal items. Walter had nowhere to go and no transportation.

Even though Walter has been a faithful student in our Foundations program, he will be unable to graduate this summer due to very serious health issues requiring hospitalization and several surgeries. Now that his health issues are improving, Walter has about 7 more months in the program until he can graduate.

Even though Walter has dealt with health issues and other setbacks, he has remained very positive. His positive outlook on life and the future can be attributed to one major change in his life, and he isn’t afraid to tell you all about it!

Walter has a new future and hope because loves to tell anyone who will listen about how he came to know the Lord and will tell anyone without hesitation all that the Lord has done for him!

Bday June 2013 1

Join us in wishing Michael & Walter another year of life! And remember to continue to pray for these guys and the countless others who will enter our facilities in one way or another. So many lives are being saved and eternities changed!

Thank you for partnering with us and supporting this ministry of hope. We thank God for all the faithful friends who keep our doors open and our pantry full so that we can meet the physical needs and reach the spiritual needs of thousands of our neighbors who are struggling each day.

If you would like to learn how you can support this ministry or volunteer at The Hope Center, please call 301.739.1165 or email hagerstownrescue@verizon.net. You can learn more about this ministry at www.hagerstownrescue.org.

From the Darkness: Kevin’s Story of Hope

“Who am I, that the Lord of all the earth
Would care to know my name
Would care to feel my hurt.
Who am I, that the Bright and Morning Star
Would choose to light the way
For my ever wandering heart.

“Not because of who I am
But because of what You’ve done
Not because of what I’ve done
But because of who You’re

“Who am I, that the eyes that see my sin
Would look on me with love and watch me rise again.
Who am I, that the Voice that calmed the sea
Would call out through the rain
And calm the storm in me.

 “Not because of who I am
but because of what You done
not because of what I done
but because of who you are.”

Who Am I by Casting Crowns

These lyrics are powerful when thinking about our relationship with the Creator of the universe. But they become even more powerful when you hear the story of how Kevin was facing the darkness of death but was rescued by the God who cared about him in the midst of this crowded world.

If you’ve visited, volunteered or been a part of any outreach at The Hope Center in the past year, then chances are you’ve come in contact with Kevin.

Kevin Scott

Kevin really is a wonderful success story of God’s love and power to transform.

Kevin came to The Hope Center in May of 2011 after venturing to Hagerstown to visit his sister. It was during that visit, in fact it was the day he arrived in Hagerstown, that his sister would take the steps to get him the physical and spiritual help that he so desperately needed.

And now, two years later, Kevin is a different man. He’s alive, clean, sober and positive about the future because he now has his eyes fixed and focused on God, the One Who saved his life and changed his tomorrow.

Kevin grew up in Baltimore and began experimenting with tobacco and alcohol at an early age. By the age of 16 Kevin started using heroin. To support his addiction, Kevin started dealing drugs.

Like most people who are addicted, the drugs started to change who Kevin was. He became a stick up artist to steal from other pushers. These actions, naturally out of character for Kevin, proves how destructive and evil drug addictions can be. Unfortunately, the drugs had a hold of Kevin and he continued on the path of destruction. Kevin was shot twice and has a scar on his face from a bullet that grazed his cheek as a permanent reminder of his dangerous past.

All of the bad choices that Kevin had made caused him to lose everything of value in his life including his job and most importantly his family. He was married and had 3 sons but the drugs tore him away from the people who mattered.

Looking back at that dark time in his life, Kevin says, “I couldn’t take myself anymore. I was a liar, weak-minded, hopeless, and causing pain to those around me.” Completely enslaved to the drugs and a destructive frame of mind, Kevin attempted suicide twice. He went to numerous drug rehabilitation facilities that didn’t help him.

Fortunately for Kevin, his grandmother was a follower of Christ and consistently prayed for Kevin and would talk to him about the Lord.

Desperate to get away from his terrible circumstances in Baltimore, Kevin decided to visit his sister who lived in Hagerstown. The day he arrived in Hagerstown, his sister brought him to The Hope Center.

Kevin came to The Hope Center in May of 2011. Not long after being enrolled in our Foundations program, Kevin heard the Gospel in an evening chapel service. It was that night that would completely change his life for eternity. Originally Muslim, Kevin heard the life-altering story of Christ and gave his life to Jesus. Kevin says, “I saw death close up and I didn’t want to take any more chances. I wanted to be sure of going to Heaven when I die.”

God radically transformed Kevin’s life. He has a peace and joy that is evident to everyone he comes in contact with. The scar on Kevin’s cheek is a reminder of his dark past but the gigantic smile on his face is a sign of his bright future.

Kevin graduated from our Foundations program in July of 2012. He recently completed classes and is currently testing to receive his G.E.D.

Kevin with one of his sons

Kevin with one of his sons

Although he is still separated from his wife, he is working to restore the relationship that was broken. He’s worked hard to restore the relationships with his sons and is now enjoying his family again.

Kevin

Kevin was able to get his own apartment and is currently employed at The Hope Center. He also volunteers many hours each week as a cook’s assistant in our food services department.

When asked about his plans for the future Kevin says, “Anywhere God puts me, I’m there!”

Thank God for His never-ending love, compassion and patience. Kevin is a life that was lost but is now totally and completely restored and better than ever.

Kevin is thankful for his wife, sister and especially his grandmother for helping him get to a place like The Hope Center where he was able to find real hope & change in Christ!

We’re thankful for all of our staff, volunteers and faithful supporters who continue to help precious people like Kevin find the peace that only God can give. Each dollar given, every bag of used clothing donated, each jar of peanut butter provided is part of something bigger. These are the resources that God uses to change lives on earth and for eternity.

Thank you for being a part of God’s ministry to Kevin, and to the hundreds of other men, women, teens and kids who come to The Hope Center each month seeking help and hope in one way or another.

Please continue to pray for Kevin, his family and his future. And remember to keep the many unnamed people who are struggling with the same addictions and darkness that Kevin once dealt with. The only thing more powerful than fear is hope. And the only thing more powerful than sin’s grip is God’s love.

And that’s why The Hope Center exists.

Chad Had Completely Given Up…and Then God Intervened

Meet Chad.

Chad is a young guy who is a part of the Foundations life-recovery program at the Hope Center. Chad has been a member of the program for about three months.

Chad’s story isn’t one that most people would expect from someone staying at a rescue mission. But Chad’s story is one that is becoming the norm in our society as the war of drugs digs deeper into our culture.

Chad grew up in a well-to-do family in Baltimore. His life may have been similar to many people we know. He had a good life but poor choices lead to destructive habits that nearly cost him everything.

In 2006, Chad began using pain killers as a result of injuries he received playing football. As that addiction grew, it soon wasn’t enough and he started using heroin. His life began to fall apart as the heroin soon began to take control. In and out of the treatment centers all up and down the East Coast, Chad recalls, “My life was hopeless. I had completely given up and had turned to drugs and crime.“ Without receiving any real help, Chad continued on a path of destruction until he landed in jail for two months this past year. Chad knew he needed a program that was going to offer a real way to change.

That is when God intervened in his life. God brought Chad to the Hope Center. And Chad can attest that the Hope Center has done something that no other facility could do – create a genuine change in his life. His life needed God’s help to change. And the Hope Center provided Chad with a facility and staff dedicated to helping him not only abandon his life of drugs but replace that with Christ.

Chad will gladly tell you that through God’s help and his spiritual training at the Hope Center he has completely given up drugs and smoking.

A proud Baltimore Ravens fan, Chad can be currently seen working in the kitchen and on the donation dock. He really enjoys being able to talk to people and thank them for giving and helping to keep the Hope Center open at no cost for people like him.

Chad has a home at the Hope Center. He’s creating positive relationships with the other men in the program while also slowly repairing the broken relationship with his family. He says that the Hope Center has helped him work on his “humility, patience and attitude”.

And he’s looking to the future. He’s hopeful and focused on eventually returning  to college to continue working towards receiving a degree.

Because of the faithful support of people like you, Chad has been given the opportunity to meet God and confront the sin that was destroying his life. Since we don’t accept any government funding, we rely heavily on financial donations from individuals and groups as well as the proceeds generated from our Thrift Stores. These combined revenues help to keep the doors of the Hope Center open for people just like Chad and the countless others who have been desperately seeking to change their lives and searching for hope.

Please continue to pray for Chad as he grows in his relationship with Christ. And pray for all the men who are currently in the program and the many others that will walk through our doors this year.

If you would like to join us in the fight against hopelessness, please visit our website at www.hagerstownrescue.org and click on the “donate” tab and then “give online”. Your online donation through Paypal is safe and secure.

If you would like more info about how you can get involved, please call our office at 301.739.1165 or email us at hagerstownrescue@verizon.net