April Showers… bring May’s Pantry Item of the Month!

We’ve successfully made it through April! With the new month comes the hope of warmer, sunnier weather and the opportunity to start getting out and experiencing our world a little more.

The new month also brings a new pantry need – BOXED DINNERS. Boxed dinners are a staple item in our food bags. From boxes of pasta salad, to Hamburger Helper, mashed potatoes, mac & cheese, stuffing mixes, and more, the boxed dinner is an important part of our food bags.

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To donate please drop off at our Administrative Office during business hours (M-F 8:15 – 11:30am and 12:15-2pm). Our office closes at 2pm for visitors but we do have staff working until 4pm. To drop off between 2 – 4pm please call our office so we can be prepared. Our offices are located on our central parking lot located at 215 W. Church St. in Hagerstown.

If you’d like to order food online please use 125 N. Prospect St., Hagerstown, MD 21740 as our delivery address. And remember, when shopping at Amazon be sure to use AmazonSmile (smile.amazon.com) for your orders. When you shop from AmazonSmile Amazon will donate a portion of the proceeds to The Hope Center! For more info about AmazonSmile please email us at info@hagerstownhopecenter.com

Thank you to each of you for all you’ve been doing to help us help others during this pandemic. Your support and love during this has definitely helped us stay encouraged and hopeful. It’s in times like this that we truly see the best in people and we thank God for each of you.

If you or your family are in need of grocery assistance please call our office at 301.739.1165 during business hours (M-F 8:15-11:30am and 12:15-4pm) to schedule an appointment for a food bag. We are happy to help provide you with some food but we ask that you please schedule an appointment so we can make sure we have a food bag prepared. For more info on our food programs and how we can help during the COVID-19 crisis please call or email us at info@hagerstownhopecenter.com

Embracing the Hope of Easter in These Uncertain Times

by John Miller

JohnMiller (2)Easter is a time to embrace our need and celebrate God’s provision! Our need is to be forgiven of sin, God’s provision was to give us the Savior Who would not only offer us pardon by His death on the cross but also Victorious Life by His resurrection from the dead! Jesus Christ is God’s answer to our “virus” of sin.

During these uncertain days of COVID-19, we’re reminded about how fragile life is and how mortal we are. One little microscopic life form has brought planet earth to a standstill. By a simple inhale in the wrong place at the wrong time, we can become the next victim. Hearts are anxious and lives are in upheaval because of this invasion of what has been called “the invisible enemy”. Our prayers go out to all who are affected by this in any way, some more than others. And we applaud all who are on the front lines working to provide healthcare and supplies to hospitals, stores, postal services, feeding programs such as The Hope Center, banks, and every facet of service that is engaged in this war.

As bad as this pandemic is, sin is much worse than any coronavirus. COVID-19 can take a life, but sin can take a soul. The enemy of our souls invaded the human race all the way back in the Garden of Eden. Sin entered our spiritual lungs and began to suffocate the Life of God out of our lives. Mankind no longer breathed the fresh Presence of God. Over the years, old testament sacrifices were made that served as foreshadows of a future Sacrifice on a hill called Calvary but could not take away sin or provide us with a new nature. Jesus is the “Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world” and implants within us a new nature by being born-again, born spiritually.

When Jesus died on the cross as the perfect, sinless “Lamb of God” He did so to provide atonement. The word “atonement” can be better understood as “at” “one” “ment”. God and man had become divided through sin (much like social distancing). God and man could not enjoy the fellowship they once had due to the “sin virus”, so distance was put between us until Jesus came to live a perfect life for us and then offer His life as a sacrifice, much like a blood transfusion, to give us life and restore us to “at” “one” “ment” with God = Atonement! His sacrifice is enough for a full payment of our sins!

But, that’s not the end. When Jesus said “It is finished” while hanging on the cross, it was only getting started! Did God accept Jesus’ offering as a sufficient remedy for our sin virus? During the old testament days, when God wanted to show that He had accepted a person’s offering, He’d raise it up by some spectacular fashion, such as with Cain & Abel in Genesis 4, Gideon in Judges 6, and Elijah in 1 Kings 18. It wasn’t enough just to offer a sacrifice. Would God accept it? Was it good enough?

If God saw that Jesus’ offering was sufficient, then He will raise Him up! Romans 1:4 tells us in no uncertain terms that “Jesus was declared to be the Son of God with power, by the resurrection from the dead.” God raised up Jesus to say to the world: “YES! JESUS IS ENOUGH! MY SON DID IT. I ACCEPT HIS SACRIFICE IN PLACE OF YOURS!” Had Jesus only died on the cross without a resurrection, then we’d have to conclude that God did not see it as sufficient, but HE DID! And He proved it!

You see friends, we deserved to die on that old rugged cross! We do not deserve to go to Heaven. But if we will simply place our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, all is forgiven. Jesus Christ is the only remedy for this sin-virus that runs rampant in the human race. Just as COVID-19 has invaded the planet, sin has invaded the human race. The only vaccine is Jesus. And to accept Him as Savior means so much more than just getting a “vaccination” or “ticket to Heaven”. It’s about relationship.

Do you know Jesus as your personal Savior? Has there been a time in your life when you know you were born-again and that you and God have been restored to “at” “one” “ment” through the Atonement of Jesus?

If not, why not today? Right there, call on Jesus to rescue you from the virus of sin that threatens to take your soul. Turn from sin and look to Jesus in full repentance from sin and open arms to receive Him into your life.

We’d like to encourage you in your faith, especially if you just asked Jesus into your life. Will you let us know? Contact The Hope Center to let them know about your decision to follow Jesus!

HAPPY RESURRECTION DAY! JESUS IS ALIVE!

To talk to someone at The Hope Center please call us at 301.739.1165 or email us at info@hagerstownhopecenter.com. Learn more about The Hope Center, our response to COVID-19, and all the programs & services we offer the community free of charge by visiting http://www.hagerstownhopecenter.com.

John & Melissa Miller are familiar faces around The Hope Center. As former pastor at Faith Christian Fellowship, John & Melissa would help with evening chapel services and have both ministered in various ways to our residents and guests at The Hope Center in the past. Currently they are the V.P. of Operations/Missionaries for Churches in Missions. To learn more about the Millers go to http://www.johnandmelissamiller.com or visit http://www.churchesinmissions.org.

We’re Still Here to Help

In all the chaos and confusion of the current global crisis – we’re still here to help!

Staff 1We’ve been cancelling any activities, programs, services, and ministries that are not essential but we are still open and helping to make sure that during this pandemic anyone who is hungry gets food and any men who need overnight shelter have a place to rest.

Safety is a top priority and we’re making sure that everyone, whether staff, guest, or volunteer is safe throughout this crazy time.

And though we’re here to help – we need help too. With the closure of our Thrift Stores we will desperately need financial donations to help keep us open and operating during this time. Proceeds from our Thrift Stores are a major part of our operating budget since we don’t receive any government funding of tax money. Any donation will help us continue to help those in need in our community during this Covid-19 event.

And if you are able to volunteer, we need your help! We will do everything we can to make sure you are safe as you help us help others. If you are elderly or have a medical condition that puts you at risk of Covid-19 we ask that you refrain from volunteering and just help us in other ways. Again, safety is a top priority.

We need help so in any way that you can, please do! From food donations, to personal care items, to forehead scanning thermometers, or just financial donations, any little bit will help.

Fred Rogers, star of Mister Rogers Neighborhood, was once quoted saying, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

Please help us as we help others in this crisis. God is not absent during this and He will get us through it.

To learn more about donating or volunteering please call 301.739.1165 or email info@hagerstownhopecenter.com. To donate online go to http://www.hagerstownhopecenter.com and click on ‘Financial Giving’ in the drop down menu under the ‘Donate’ tab.

Thank you for caring & sharing!

Congrats, Terry!

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. 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.

One of our February graduates is Terry Barnes. This is Terry and here is his story of HOPE:

If you’ve ever volunteered or dropped off a food donation of some sort then there’s a good chance you’ve seen this tall man with a huge smile – Terry. Terry is a very visible guy because of the happiness and love he portrays to everyone he meets.

DSC_0427Originally from Gettysburg, Terry was tired both physically and mentally of getting high. The final time he got high he knew he needed help and turned to God for that help. When he came down from the high God answered his cry for help and lead him to The Hope Center.

While Terry has always believed in God, it wasn’t until enrolling in Foundations Life Recovery that he learned more about Jesus and made the decision to accept Christ as his Lord and Savior. He finally was at the point in his life to allow God to come in and change the issues that had been destroying him for so long.

Terry’s favorite Bible verse, Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”, is the power and promise he holds onto to continue his life of sobriety and victory.

He is thankful for his time at The Hope Center because it gave him the chance to really learn who Jesus was and what He did for all of us – and what He will do if you allow Him to work in your life. Terry is a proud example of the power of Christ’s transformation in a life. He understands that he still has work to do in himself, along with rebuilding his former life, especially with his family. As Terry says of his life, “this is a project. It doesn’t happen fast. (Jesus) has shown me how to have love and compassion for others.”

As Terry moves forward following graduation he is excited to start clean and sober and dedicated to being a loving man of God. He is looking for an apartment and a car – and would love to have a kitten too! His goal is to continue moving forward in Christ and staying in his church, which he loves. But simply put, Terry’s number one priority for each new day of his restored life is to “give thanks to God everyday.”

Please remember to keep Terry Barnes in your prayers. Pray for his continued success and that he continues to stay strong in the Lord. And pray for all the men, like Terry, who come to that point in life that they know they need serious help and come to The Hope Center. Pray that they allow God to work in their lives and save them both spiritually and physically. Our Foundations Life Recovery program isn’t easy but it’s powerful when the man allows his walls to come down and the addictions to end. Please pray for spiritual power for the men in the program, our staff and all volunteers who come in contact with our residents.

If you’d like to volunteer at The Hope Center and be a part of this life-changing ministry then please call us at 301.739.1165 or email volunteer@hagerstownhopecenter.com.

If you, or someone you know, is in need of help just like Terry was then please contact us immediately by calling 301.739.1165 or emailing foundations@hagerstownhopecenter.com. You can learn more about our rehabilitation/life recovery program at hagerstownhopecenter.com/rehabilitation-

Celebrate Changed Lives!

The same day that everyone was celebrating Punxsutawney Phil, we were having our own celebration. While our celebration had nothing to do with winter, spring, shadows,  or any type of burrowing animals, ours was a celebration of change, new life, hope, and a bright new future!

Our celebration was actually a graduation for four of the guys in our Foundations Life Recovery program!

Just in case you aren’t familiar with the program, Foundations Life Recovery is a 13-month rehabilitation type of program for men who are dealing with various addictions or issues that have caused them to basically lose everything of value in their lives. Foundations Life Recovery is a free program to help these men break the destructive patterns and give them hope of a new life through Christ. While in the program the men stay in our residence dormitory which is located on the second floor of the main facility building at The Hope Center. They attend classes, various church services, and also work different jobs at The Hope Center. As they progress through the program they go deeper in the Word while also going deeper into the issues that caused their life to go off-track. Once they complete the various levels of the program then they are able to graduate and move on to a new life in Christ!

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Graduates seated (L-R): Terry Barnes, Danny Sluss, Keith Coleman, and Ron Trenton

And that’s what we were celebrating on February 2nd. We are so proud of our four graduates for putting in the hard work to complete this program. It’s not easy to admit that you need help and even more difficult to go through the steps to make lasting change.

These four men did it and they are happy to announce that they are clean, sober and solid in the Lord!

Join us in congratulating Ron, Terry, Keith, and Danny for all their hard work and persistence in their life recovery!

The graduation ceremony & celebration was a sweet moment for these men. They were surrounded by friends, family, pastors, staff members, and members of our Board of Directors. Following the ceremony we had a time of celebration with desserts and light refreshments.

These guys, and the many other men who’ve graduated from the program, have achieved a major victory but the war for their soul is hardly over. Please continue to pray for Ron, Terry, Keith, and Danny as they start the process of starting over in society.  Pray that these four men continue to daily fight the good fight and trust God for guidance through the good times and the bad times. Pray that wherever the four guys end up that they will have a body of believers supporting them, cheering for them, and encouraging them through all the ups and downs of their journey.

And pray for the men who are currently in our Foundations Life Recovery program and pray for those who are yet to enroll. This is not an easy fight for these men so please continue to lift them up in your prayers.

Again, please join us in congratulating and celebrating Terry, Keith, Danny, and Ron for completing our life recovery program! It’s an amazing accomplishment for them and a huge celebration for Heaven as four more men have chosen Christ over everything. These four men were seen as dead to the enemy but not anymore!

If you’d like to know more about these men and their stories of victory, we’ll be following up with individual stories of each of them in the next few posts.

Thank you for being a supporter of this ministry and all the various outreach programs at The Hope Center. Your continued support, whether through prayer, in-kind gifts, financial support, or volunteering, you are a part of the victory celebration of these men and the thousands of others who’ve met God at The Hope Center! Thank you for caring & sharing!!

To learn more about our Foundations Life Recovery program please visit hagerstownhopecenter.com/rehabilitation-

Pasta for the Win!

Each month we are going to highlight an item that we need or use consistently at The Hope Center. Most items we highlight are used for food bags that we distribute to families and individuals who are in need of food assistance. Food items donated may also be used in our kitchen for one of the many daily meals served free-of-charge to our residents, overnight homeless guests, and community guests seeking a hot meal.

Whether it’s the coldest day in winter or the warmest day in summer, there’s something just perfect about a nice bowl of pasta and sauce.

Maybe it’s the comfort of the taste. Maybe it’s the bold simplicity of the meal.  Maybe it’s the ease of the process. Perhaps it’s just the happiness shared between your taste buds and your tummy. Or maybe it’s all of the above.

No matter what the reason — there’s just something wonderful about a bowl of pasta and sauce.

And that’s why spaghetti is one item on our list that is a “must have” for every food bag. It’s easy to make, is a hearty meal, and, most importantly, tastes perfect. So each food bag we distribute receives a 24 oz jar of pasta sauce and a box of spaghetti. Even if the family or individual is a novice in the kitchen, pasta is a meal that basically anyone can make.

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So for the month of February we are asking for donations of 24 oz jars of pasta or marinara sauce. We ask for the 24 oz size so as not to fill up too much space in a food bag so we can include other food items as well.

If you, your church, civic club, Scout troop, or business would like to donate pasta sauce please drop any jars off to our Administrative Office Mon – Fri 8:15 – 11:30am and 12:15-5pm (our office is closed daily from 11:30am – 12:15pm). If those hours do not work please contact us at 301.739.1165 or email info@hagerstownhopecenter.com to arrange a more suitable time.

Also, if you’re planning a food drive then be sure to add pasta sauce to the list of much needed items! If you need any other ideas of food items that are frequently used then please contact us so we can give you an idea list.

If you would like to learn more about our food program, or you are in need of food assistance, please go to http://www.hagerstownhopecenter.com/food-programs

Here’s to a Wonderful 2019!

We’re just hours away from not only a new year but a brand new decade! And with this new year comes another chance to celebrate a milestone: 65 years of The Hope Center at Hagerstown Rescue Mission! We’re so excited to celebrate another year of God’s miraculous work in Hagerstown and surrounding communities. We have some exciting changes in the works and 2020 is the perfect year to kick off a major project that will bless the lives of so many in the decades to come.

But before we jump into 2020,  we want to take the opportunity to thank God for all His continued blessings and faithfulness to this ministry and all the amazing things He did and provided in 2019. Each year He continues to amaze us and reminds us that we aren’t in this fight alone. We are truly blessed to have a God who loves us and cares so deeply for this ministry and the people we help each day of the year.

God shows His faithfulness in many ways but one of those ways is with the continued support of people like you. We want to thank each of you for partnering with us to bring the hope of God’s Word to so many people in many different ways. From our daily soup line, to our overnight homeless shelter, to the men in our rehabilitation/life recovery program, to all the precious children who’ve attended a Wildside Youth event, God has done amazing things in 2019 and each of you have been a part of this story.

We look forward to all the great things that God has planned for 2020 and beyond! As we mentioned, 2020 is a big year as we celebrate 65 years of continued hope for our community. But we do have some big news coming that we’ll be sharing with you in the near future. Until then, please continue to help us as we fight the good fight to bring healing to the broken, food to the hungry, shelter to the homeless, and love to all of God’s people.

To learn more about our programs and services, how to get involved, how to give, or how you can get help, please go to http://www.hagerstownhopecenter.com.

And don’t forget to make plans to join us in April for our annual Rock the Run 5K: Pirates vs Princess! We kicked off this race back in 2015 to celebrate our 60th anniversary and here we are still going strong! The 5K is on Saturday, April 25th at Fairgrounds Park in Hagerstown. And we’re proud to announce that our Rock the Run 5K: Pirates vs Princess is once again sponsored by our good friends at Martin’s Famous Pastry Shoppe in Chambersburg. As you plan your New Year’s parties don’t forget to pick up some of their delicious potato rolls! To learn more about our upcoming 5K please visit http://www.rocktherunhagerstown.com.

So as we bid farewell to 2019, join us as we take a quick look back at all the beautiful faces who were a part of our amazing year. From staff, to guests, to volunteers, these smiling faces are what it’s all about! Thank you for helping us have another miraculous year of hope in Hagerstown!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!