A Bowl of Chili and a Smile

On Sunday the youth group from St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church from Greencastle hosted a lunch for our residents and Soup Line guests! This isn’t the first time the youth group has served at The Hope Center and we were so happy to have them back again this year!

The group was led by youth leader, Vicky Patterson and included eight other volunteers of students and adults. The youth group prepared and served our residents and guests a perfectly fall lunch of chili, cornbread, salad, carrots, cookies and lemonade.

Volunteers make a huge difference at The Hope Center so we appreciate each and every one who gives of their time to serve our residents and guests in some capacity. But there’s just something so refreshing in seeing young people giving back to the community and learning the importance of helping others. Daily we hear and see such tragic news of how loveless and selfish our world seems to be but not often enough are we reminded of the good in the world and how the love of God continues to be spread through the actions of caring people in our community.

We are so thankful for Vicky and the youth group from St. Mark the Evangelist for being a part of our story of hope at The Hope Center. We genuinely appreciate the day of service given and look forward to hosting the youth group again next year!

To learn more about St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church in Greencastle, PA please visit http://www.stmarkstlukeparish.org.

If you’d like your youth group, Sunday School class, civic club, business, or family to serve just like the youth group from St. Mark the Evangelist then please give us a call at 301.739.1165 or email us at volunteer@hagerstownhopecenter.com to learn more about serving at The Hope Center.

Greencastle Youth Group Share Christmas Love…And Cookies

We were so excited to have the youth group from St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church in Greencastle stop by to serve lunch to our residents and community guests on December 9th!

This was the first time the youth from the church served at The Hope Center and we hope it’s not the last. They served a delicious meal of homemade soup and sandwiches and even made homemade Christmas cookies for everyone.

The youth group at St. Mark the Evangelist meets a few times a month where the students, grades 8th – 12th, learn about their faith or partake in service projects, like serving at The Hope Center, and fun activities geared for them.

We love seeing young people serving their community. The future success of helping people depends on young people getting involved and actively participating in being the hands and feet of Christ in our community. A big thank you to Vicky, youth ministry coordinator, the parents who helped, and most importantly, the students who gave part of their weekend serving others!

For more information on St. Mark the Evangelist please visit http://www.stmarkstlukeparish.org

Local Youth Show Love Through Serving

Sometimes watching the news or reality TV, you get a sense of hopelessness for the future of this country. From all the profanity, to celebrated reckless behavior, to shows glamorizing disrespectful people, the youth of America seem to be heading down a very destructive path.

But once you turn the TV off and take a look around, it may not be as bad as you think. We have the pleasure of hosting youth groups full of volunteers throughout the year. These kids dedicate time out of their schedules to help others, not because they have to, rather, because they want to.

These kids often times do jobs and tasks that are way outside of their comfort zones and far from anything glamorous. But they do these jobs with a smile and a positive attitude that reminds you that with each new generation God has provided new leaders, compassionate young people, who are going to help change the world for Him.

During the month of February, we were able to host two different youth groups. One served at the beginning of the month and the other at the end. Both were a breath of fresh air.

Dublin Mills Community Church brought a group of 4 young people to spend a Saturday serving around The Hope Center. Accompanied by the church’s pastor, Sam Stoey and his wife, the young people worked from 9am until 2pm. During the morning, they helped paint the stairway to our dorm facilities in our main building. After painting, the youth group helped Mrs. Stoey prepare and serve lunch for our community guests at our daily soup line while Pastor Stoey shared a short devotional with our guests.

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Dublin Mills 10Dublin Mills Community Church has been a longtime supporter of The Hope Center in many ways. We are so thankful for their continued support, not just through prayer and financial support, but also by volunteering and helping physically.

Later in February, some teens from Antrim Brethren in Christ Church came to serve as a part of their 30 Hour Famine project. The group from Antrim BIC, lead by youth director, Brent Hey, consisted of 29 teens and 7 leaders.

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The volunteers from Antrim BIC were participating in World Vision’s 30 Hour Famine event which helps to raise funds for hungry children across the world by having young people fast for 30 hours as a collective group and take part in service projects, among other activities planned for the 30 hours. The youth group was not only learning the importance of helping people overseas, they were learning how to make a difference and reach out to people in their own backyard!

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DSC_0035While they were at The Hope Center, they helped in many different ways around our facilities: some washed baseboards and walls in our Transient waiting area, others cleaned our chapel, some cleaned carpets in the Wildside Youth department, a few helped in our Thrift Store, some cleaned chairs in the Trinity Center, washed windows throughout and organized donated personal care items and made personal care kits for transients.

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DSC_0043All these projects helped keep the kids busy but also helped us in a really big way! We are so thankful for the youth leaders and the teens who came from Antrim BIC to help serve.

Volunteering is such a great way to teach young people so many valuable life and spiritual lessons. It doesn’t matter about the size of the group, anyone can help make a difference in the lives of so many. These teens may not really think that what they did was very important but God can use simple things like a warm meal, a clean facility or a bag full of soap & shampoo to touch a life and change it for eternity.

The simple acts of kindness and love that were demonstrated by these two youth groups may not be fully recognized until we talk face to face with our Creator. It’s a mind-blowing thought to think that two hours of volunteer work can be the catalyst for a series of eternal events in the life of another human.

Again, we’re so thankful for these young people, and the many other young people who’ve helped in the past. There are so many distractions for teens today so it’s a wonderful sight to see such vibrant lives helping others.

If you’re in the process of looking for a church, why not check out one of these two churches? We value the strong relationship we have with Dublin Mills Community Church and Antrim BIC, as well as many other local churches who donate and volunteer regularly to help provide hope to Hagerstown and win lives for Christ.
For more information about Dublin Mills Community Church, including service times and youth group information, please call 814.685.3910. Dublin Mills Community Church is located at 2700 Dublin Mills Road, Hustontown, PA.
Antrim Brethren in Christ Church is located at 24 Kauffman Road E, Chambersburg, PA, just across from Mrs. Gibbles Restaurant off of Route 11 north of Greencastle. For more info or to talk to someone from the church, call 717.375.4658. Check out all the various ministries & programs at Antrim BIC along with service times at www.antrimbic.org.

Antrim BIC Food Drive is a Christmas Blessing!

‘Tis the season to be thankful and we definitely are thankful for the generosity of the congregation from Antrim Brethren in Christ Church just north of Greencastle, PA.

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The church recently held a food drive for The Hope Center and they supplied our pantry with a huge selection of food.

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There was so much food that we totally filled a cargo van!

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The food donated will be used to help feed our residents, SoupLine guests, overnight guests and fill many food bags for needy families in the area.

As food continues to rise in cost, we cannot stress enough how thankful we are to be supported by so many wonderful churches, civic groups, businesses and friends.

Each year we feed thousands of men, women & children through our various food programs. Generous food donations and food drives, like Antrim BIC, help us to keep our food costs down while still providing the necessary services to neighbors in need.

If you would like to donate food or sponsor a food drive, call 301.739.1165 or email hagerstownrescue@verizon.net to learn more.

If you’re looking for a church in to attend, check out Antrim Brethren in Christ Church. Go to www.antrimbic.org to learn more about the church including service times and ways to get involved.

Get to Know Rick Roche

We are going to start focusing on some of the various staff and volunteers at The Hope Center who help to make this ministry run so effectively. These faces are the wonderful people that God has placed here to help change lives and provide hope to all types of people in the community who are looking for help in one way or another. We are so thankful to all of our staff and volunteers who give so much to reaching the least, the last and the lost.

My name is Rick Roche.  I am the Job Supervisor here at The Hope Center.  I have a BS in Pastoral Studies from Antietam Bible College.  I was ordained into the ministry in 2003 while serving as an assistant pastor and youth pastor at Grace Bible Church in Greencastle, PA for approximately 4-1/2 years.

The Lord opened the door here at The Hope Center in 2004 through a good friend who was a monthly speaker here in the evening chapel service.   I served as evening chaplain for 5 years, overseeing all chapel services, counseling residents and transient men in spiritual matters and life issues when needed, and supervising residents’ and transients’ activities.

In 2009/10 we as a staff team revamped our program and I moved to day shift as Residential Job Supervisor.  Our “Foundations” program requires that the program members all have job responsibilities to help them learn accountability and responsibility.  As Residential Job Supervisor, I have the challenge of matching the many varied personalities, skills and work ethics of the program members with the various job responsibilities of the different departments of The Hope Center which would include housekeeping, kitchen duties, recycling, Thrift Stores, donation drop-offs, trucks, maintenance, grounds keeping and farm work.

I also teach between 3 and 4 classes each week from the inherent Word of God about a relationship with Jesus Christ and the freedom from sin and slavery that He gives to all who trust in Him.  I’ve had the opportunity to see many lives changed during the past 8 years.  The Lord opened this door of opportunity and blessing and I am grateful to Him for allowing me to serve Him here at The Hope Center.

Antrim Youth is on a Mission

The Student Ministry Department at Antrim Brethren in Christ Church brought 8 Senior High students and 3 staff to volunteer for a week at The Hope Center.

This local missions trip coincided with the first week of Camp Wild, July 9-13. This was the first time that the young people from Antrim BIC spent a week on a missions trip in Hagerstown. Most often, young people head to other parts of the USA or are able to leave the country and go to third world nations for missions trips.

So it was a nice change of pace to have these fine young people experience ministry in their own backyard! The group stayed in a hotel in Hagerstown and had the full missions trip experience. They bonded as a group, worked together and grew spiritually as they ministered to others and were even ministered to themselves.

During their missions trip, the group spent the majority of their time each day working with the kids at Camp Wild. They took part in leading small groups, serving lunches, helping with activities at the outdoor facility, and most importantly, building relationships and interacting with the campers.

Many of the teens became really attached to the kids at Camp Wild. One of the teens, Maegan, found herself being a big sister to one of the campers during the week. Another teen, Tori, loved helping at Camp Wild so much that she returned the second week on her own to help out! Many of the teens didn’t realized how many ministry opportunities there are in Hagerstown. One teen even said, “I never knew there was such a need so close to home!”

The missions team didn’t just spend all their time at Camp Wild. One morning the group sat in with the residents during their morning devotions with Executive Director, Sonny Shank. One thing the students noticed was how many Bible verses the residents have memorized. In addition to joining the residents in their morning devotions, the team also was able to meet the residents and community guests in the evening for chapel service.

During the evening chapel the team from Antrim was able to put their talents and gifts to good use. Some lead praise & worship while others gave their testimony. Some of the missions team were part of a drama, 3 Crosses, which was written and performed specifically for this trip!

The young people also served the evening meal, washed dishes and interacted with the residents and guests in attendance.

This missions trip was a great success for the team but also an incredible blessing to us! It’s important that young people in our own community understand the need and the opportunities available to be the hands and feet of Jesus. These young people helped to make a difference in the lives of kids and adults.

Now that they realize the great need in their own community, the young people were excited to return another time to help out at The Hope Center. Matt Sargent, Youth & Family Pastor at Antrim BIC, said, “This trip was great because it helped our teens see more of the world around them.”

We welcome the teens from Antrim BIC to come back again. And we invite any other church in our area to plan a missions trip here in Hagerstown and serve at The Hope Center. Missions isn’t just a third world activity. For many American young people, their own backyard is a great place to start training to see the world through the eyes of Christ and to be the church in their community.

If you’d like more info on how your youth group or misssions team can partner with us to reach the community, please call 301.739.1165 or email us at hagerstownrescue@verizon.net.

For more info about Antrim Brethren in Christ Church, including worship service times, please visit www.antrimbic.org