Thank You, Dorcas, For Your Lifetime of Service!

As we bid farewell to 2017 and joyfully welcomed a new year, at The Hope Center we said goodbye to a long-time employee. Dorcas Black, known to many simply as Aunt DSC_0463 (2)Dorcas, retired from 48 years of full-time ministry at The Hope Center. Dorcas, daughter of founders, Jim & Ellen Resh, has been actively involved in many different areas of ministry at The Hope Center in her 48 years of service. From singing with The Missionaires, to directing The Lighthouse Puppeteers who entertained and ministered to hundreds of people throughout the area, to directing Echoes of Hope TV broadcast, to creating Conoco Camp, Just Kids TV show, helping in our Ladies’ Auxiliary, cohosting Koffee Klatch, and supervising the Sorting Room just to name a few. Her impact and influence has been a major part of the formation of many ministries and programs at The Hope Center, most notably the long-running children’s ministry that she started, now known as Wildside Youth & Camp Wild, which to this day is still reaching kids in Hagerstown’s downtown neighborhoods.

Dorcas has been a faithful servant of the Lord in her time here at The Hope Center. So inDSC_0447 (2) December we threw her a retirement luncheon in our former “studio” building where she spent so much of her time creating Just Kids and Echoes of Hope TV shows. Our staff joined the pride of Dorcas’ life, her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, in celebrating her career and all of the things she’s done while serving God here.

With all she’s experienced and accomplished at The Hope Center, we asked Dorcas to give us her thoughts about the 48 years of her ministry to reaching so many for Christ. Here are her thoughts:

“48 years… sounds like a really long time, but when you think about it, it’s almost like yesterday. And after 48 years of employment here at The Hope Center at Hagerstown Rescue Mission, I have retired. I never thought that I would retire but it was the right time and the right thing for me to do. I really never considered my years here at the Mission as “employment” but rather as service and I am so thankful for the opportunities that the Lord gave me to serve. Actually I was here from the very beginning which was 62 years ago. My siblings and I watched as our dad and mom followed God’s call to start a rescue mission in Hagerstown. When we moved to the apartment above the Mission on Jail Alley, we soon realized that our neighbor was the county jail. We had no yard. We could not go out on the street under any circumstances so it was quite an adjustment for all of us five kids. But there was an excitement about this as we watched miracle after miracle take place as the Lord used our parents to minister to “the least, the last, and the lost” – as Dad used to say.

At the age of eighteen, I married Carl Black. That was July 9th, 1960. In May of 1962, with our two baby boys, Carl Jr. and Curtis, we moved to York, PA where Carl directed the York Rescue Mission for seven years. Moving back to Hagerstown, Carl became assistant to my dad and I started my employment as a clerk in the Thrift Store. That was August, 1969.  It has been quite a journey as I reflect on the past 48 years. For 34 years, I directed the Conoco Day Camp for children, the Lighthouse Puppeteers, Just Kids TV, Just Kids Bible Club, as well as helping in other areas of the ministry. Then in 2004 I took over supervising the Warehouse (Sorting Room) in place of my mother who was having some serious health issues – she was 87 years old and a faithful worker.

On November 3, 2015, while working, I tripped on a box and fell, breaking my hip. Following surgery and many, many weeks of therapy, it was determined that the bone was not healing properly, so a second surgery was performed in May of 2016. Again, after months of therapy and very little progress in healing, on November 2, 2016, I was sent to Baltimore where I had total hip replacement. Then seven weeks after this surgery, a knock came to my door. It was Sonny, Becky & Laurel (my sisters). Sonny informed me that my son, Curtis, age 54, had dropped over with a massive heart attack. I was totally devastated. It was difficult. The Lord had called my husband home to Glory in December, 2007. I was blessed to have two wonderful sons who had been there  to help me with anything I needed (even though they were grieving the loss of their father). And now my youngest, sweet Curtis, is gone. I can’t express the pain as I go through this grieving process, but I can express the wonderful sweet presence and peace of my Heavenly Father.

I never cease to be amazed at the sovereignty of God, knowing that He is in control and that He makes no mistakes and that He is faithful. I draw upon the precious promises of His Word which assures me that “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning” Psalm 30:5. Jesus is the healer of broken hearts. He is mending my heart as I depend on Him. I have wonderful memories as a wife and mother and I am slowly learning that even death cannot rob me of the joy of all those many sweet memories.

And now that time has come to retire. It was such a hard decision to make but through much prayer and soul searching I knew it was what I needed to do. I will still be involved in many ways. But as I adjust to this new schedule I know that the Lord will direct my path as I trust in Him, lean on Him, and acknowledge Him. And, I will always look back on those many, many memories of serving here at the Mission – some heart-wrenching, some hilarious, some miraculous. I am truly blessed.”

Aunt Dorcas, thank you for your creativity and passion and being willing to do so much to reach all people, young and old, churched and unchurched, for Christ! You will never know your true impact while on earth but Heaven is most certainly keeping track of all you did – and will continue to do even in your retirement.

Please join us in thanking Dorcas for all that she’s done to further the Kingdom of God in her 48 years of service! To God be the glory!

 

 

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Camp Wild Volunteers Needed

Camp Wild 2017 is quickly approaching! Each summer the Trinity Center at The Hope Center comes alive with the sounds of kids laughing, playing and having a great time together.

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Camp Wild is our free summer day camp for kids ages 5-12. We provide four weeks of camp that include transportation, specialized activities, interactive Bible lessons, lunch, prizes, snacks and more. Again, all of this summertime fun is provided free of charge to all of our campers thanks to the generous support of people in our community.

But since Camp Wild is free, we rely on volunteers to help us make the whole experience exciting for our campers. And we’re still looking for volunteers to be counselors for Camp Wild 2017.

As a Camp Wild counselor you will spread the Gospel of Jesus to the campers in your small group by building relationships with them. This happens by connecting with them during Team Time, leading them in daily discussions, encouraging them as they play games, and eating lunch alongside of them. In the afternoons at our Camp Wild facility just outside of Hagerstown you will visit one of our many outdoor attractions with your small group during our Daily Adventures times. Afterwards you will assist in monitoring our many other activities.

Our Camp Wild volunteers make a huge impact on the lives of the kids who attend camp. There are many roles that our counselors play in making sure that each day the kids have a fun and safe environment to learn, study, play, relax and grow. If you have one week or multiple weeks that you can volunteer at Camp Wild please contact us immediately.

Camp Wild runs from 9:30am – 4:30pm, Monday through Friday. As a Camp Wild volunteer we ask that you arrive at 8:30am for our morning prayer and Bible study, and stay until 5pm.

Camp Wild operates the following weeks:

  • July 10-14: North End/Jonathan Street
  • July 17-21: West End/Gateway Crossing
  • July 31-August 4: South End/Noland Village
  • August 7-11: East End/Locust Point

If you’re interested in volunteering please contact us at 301.739.1165 or info@wildsideyouth.com. To learn more about Camp Wild go to http://www.campwildusa.com.

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.

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!

Camp Wild is Coming!

Camp Wild is about a month away! If you’re looking for a great summer camp activity for your kids, then check out Camp Wild.

Camp Wild is a free day camp for kids ages 5-12. Camp Wild runs Monday-Friday, 9:30-4:30 each day, including rainy days.

CampWild2012w3p164There are four weeks of camp. Campers are able to pick one week to attend. If you will be providing your own transportation, then any week may be selected. If campers are in need of Camp Wild’s free transportation, then please select the week that serves your neighborhood. Unfortunately, Camp Wild does not provide free transportation to areas outside of the city of Hagerstown. If your campers need transportation but are unable to attend during your designated week, please call or email the Camp Wild offices immediately.

The four weeks of Camp Wild and free transportation schedule:

  • July 8-12                 West End/Jonathan St/North End
  • July 15-19               West End/Jonathan St/North End
  • July 29-August 2     Noland Village/South End
  • August 5-9              Frederick Manor/East End

For more information about Camp Wild, including pictures & videos of previous years, please go to www.campwildusa.com. If you would like to register your child or childrenDSC_0194 for Camp Wild, please go to www.campwildusa.com and click on the ‘camper registration’ tab. If you would like Camp Wild brochures, with registration sign-up card included, please call the offices immediately. Camp Wild registration brochures can be sent to friends, families or neighbors as well.

Since Camp Wild is free, space fills up quickly. Please don’t delay! Get your registration card in the mail today!

If you’re interested in volunteering, please contact The Hope Center immediately!

CAMP WILD CONTACT INFORMATION:

Let’s Pray Together for a Great Summer of Camp!

“If I could relive my life, I would devote my entire ministry to reaching children for God!”  -Dwight L. Moody

Camp Wild is less than two weeks away! Join us in praying for all the kids that will come to this incredible missions program.

Please pray for the staff as they do their best to make sure Camp Wild gives these campers the greatest week of their summer.

Pray for safety for the campers and staff.

Pray for good weather and safe conditions for the afternoons spent at our outdoor camp facility.

Pray for the protection of our facilities and vehicles.

Pray for wisdom and compassion for our staff. Each interaction with a camper could impact their lives for eternity. This is not just a summer job or volunteer opportunity. It’s the Great Commission in action.

Pray for the families of the campers. Each day the campers will return home to their families. Some of these households are environments of despair and conflict. Pray that God will bring peace to the lives of these children and that their parents may see Jesus through their kids.

Please consider sponsoring Camp Wild and The Hope Center. Your donation to The Hope Center helps to keep great ministry programs like Camp Wild operating free-of-charge for families of Hagerstown who may not be able to send their children to fun camp activities because of financial constraints. Also, many kids that attend Camp Wild and Wildside Youth Ministries during the school year are unchurched. This may be the only times these precious children hear and learn about Jesus.

If you would like to make a donation to The Hope Center then please call us at 301.739.1165 or email us at hagerstownrescue@verizon.net to find out how you can give to change lives forever.

If you would like to pay with credit or debit, just jump over to www.hagerstownrescue.org and click on the ‘Give to HRM’ tab located in the red box on the left side of the homepage. You’ll be able to use your card of choice through PayPal.

Any funds received that go above and beyond what is needed for Camp Wild will go towards the many other programs at The Hope Center. Your gift can help change the lives of so many people facing so many different situations.

If you would also like to volunteer at The Hope Center then please contact us about opportunities that are available. We are always looking for caring, compassionate people who wish to serve God by reaching out to the least, the last, and the lost.

Camp Wild 2012 is Almost Here!!

Can you believe that in only 2 weeks Wildside will welcome the first campers to Camp Wild 2012?!

The fun begins on Monday, July 9th. Campers will start the day with fun indoor activities at the Trinity Center and Sanctuary at Wildside. Morning activities include games, singing, interactive Bible lessons, small group time, free time in the rec rooms and a delicious lunch.

In the afternoon the kids are taken to the outdoor facility located on the Conococheague Creek just a few miles outside of Hagerstown in Cearfoss. Outdoor activities include swimming, tubing, a zip line, hay rides, hikes,  art projects, immersive cultural learning, environmental awareness activities and so much more!

All this fun is provided totally free of charge for all the campers! Many campers that attend Camp Wild cannot afford to go to other local camps that charge a fee. Also, many of these campers are not fortunate enough to be able to go away on a vacation with their families.

Camp Wild has become an important part of the summer activities for kids all throughout Hagerstown. Not only does the camp provide fun activities and an escape from TV  and video games each day, it also provides Wildside staff a chance to build relationships with the kids that last well past the last day of camp. But most importantly, Camp Wild provides us with the opportunity to teach these awesome kids about Jesus! Each day provides countless opportunities for the kids to see and hear who Jesus really is and why He’s so important to their lives.

And providing this camp free-of-charge is essential to the success of the program. We don’t operate this camp as a way of making money or supporting the ministry. Camp Wild IS the ministry. The majority of campers that come to Camp Wild are lower-income, at-risk children who do not regularly attend church. It’s important to us to provide them with a fun camp experience that will not only enhance their summer but also have the opportunity to change their lives for eternity!

If you know of kids that would benefit from this exciting summer camp program then please contact Camp Wild immediately. Space is limited and is first-come-first-served. But it never hurts to ask! Email Camp Wild at info@wildsideyouth.com or call 301.739.1165 and ask for Camp Wild. You can also find Camp Wild on facebook at www.facebook.com/campwildusa

If you are interested in financially helping Camp Wild then please call our office at 301.739.1165 or email us at hagerstownrescue@verizon.net to find out how you can give*. If you would like to give by credit card, just go to our website at www.hagerstownrescue.org. Locate the red box on the left side of the homepage and click on the “Give To HRM” tab. Follow the simple instructions to safely donate via PayPal.

If you are unable to financially help, please don’t forget to pray for Camp Wild this summer. Pray for safety during the four weeks of camp. Pray that God will really work and move in the lives of the staff and campers. Money is important to keeping the doors open and the vans running but prayer is truly the most important resource to the success of the entire program.

For more info on Camp Wild, just go to www.campwildusa.com to see pics and videos of past years and to get all the latest updates on Camp Wild 2012!

*Any funds received over and above what is needed to fund Camp Wild will be used for other programs and services of The Hope Center.