“God Gave Me a New Beginning – Even at My Age”

To a lot of people birthdays are kind of a big deal. We all love celebrating the birth of our kids, family, friends and other loved ones. And at The Hope Center it gives us great joy to celebrate the birth of the guys in our residential recovery program: Foundations.

For the residents in our program, the celebration of their birth is special because many of them came to The Hope Center in desperate need of help for victory over addictions and other destructive lifestyles that were destroying them. The fact that we celebrate their life is a major victory for each of these men. And since they’re a part of our family, we love celebrating them!

So last Friday we celebrated the birthday of one of our residents, Terry Barnes. If you’ve volunteered or stopped by The Hope Center there’s a good chance you’ve seen Terry. Since being in the program Terry has worked in our kitchen and more prominently in our shelter as a deskman. So there’s a chance you have seen him smiling around The Hope Center.

IMG_2758But even if you’ve seen Terry you might not know much about him or his journey in life, especially the most recent journey of recovery and redemption at The Hope Center. So we asked Terry to give us a little summary of his thoughts as he celebrates another birthday. Here is what Terry has to say:

“I want to thank God first, then The Hope Center and the pastors and staff. I came to The Hope Center on June 1, 2018. I will graduate January 19, 2020. God has given me a new beginning at even my age. He’s shown me how to be accountable and responsible, and to believe and trust in Him. I say that because I found myself in a very difficult situation last month and God showed me He was right there with me and He gave me patience and strength. When I leave here, I am going to live a different lifestyle and give praise and thanks to God every day for changing my life.”

We are so proud of Terry and all the work he’s put into his personal recovery and relationship with God. He’s just a few short months away from completing our Foundations Life Recovery program. Please continue to pray for Terry as he moves quickly towards that finish line. And please remember to pray for the many other men who are in our recovery program and those who will enter our program hoping for a lasting change and freedom in Christ.

Please join us in wishing Terry a very, very HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Here’s to many more, Terry!

And we want to thank our friend, Stormy, for baking another delicious birthday cake for our celebration! Every month we celebrate a birthday Stormy faithfully bakes and decorates a cake for our residents to enjoy. We appreciate her kindness and generosity so much!

To learn more about our recovery program please visit http://www.hagerstownhopecenter.com/foundations. If you’d like to talk to someone about our program, including enrolling in Foundations, please call 301.739.1165 or email foundations@hagerstownhopecenter.com.

Wildside’s Birthday Bash Kicks Off the Party Season!

Imagine one giant party to celebrate everyone’s birthday. Sounds kinda wild, doesn’t it? Well Wildside Youth Ministries likes to do things a little different so they kicked off their school year party season with a huge birthday party celebration!

All the kids who attended the Birthday Bash on September 25th were able to celebrate their birthday. Each month was given a celebration and no one was left out of the fun! 52 kids ages 5-12 attended the first Wildside party of the season where they played birthday themed carnival games, painted faces, made crafts and enjoyed some great food.

But the most important part of the evening was learning about having the most important birthday: a spiritual birthday. The kids in attendance learned all about the importance of being born again and following Jesus.

Wildside is the youth ministry at The Hope Center. In addition to monthly large event parties during the school year, Wildside hosts Sunday Night Wild on select Sunday evenings during the school year as well as The Crew which is the student leadership development program for older kids in the program. And each summer Wildside hosts Camp Wild, a free day camp for kids in July & August. All Wildside activities are free for kids ages 5-12. Learn more about Wildside and upcoming events by visiting http://www.wildsideyouth.com.

Your financial donations to The Hope Center help fund these important activities for kids in Hagerstown. We are able to keep Wildside and our other programs and services for free for our guests because of generous and faithful supporters in our community. Thank you for your support of The Hope Center as we continue to reach everyone in our community – even kids – for Christ!

Want to learn more about donating or volunteering at The Hope Center? Go to http://www.hagerstownhopecenter.com to get all the info you need on how to become a partner with us.

Happy, Happy Birthday!!

Join us in wishing Dustin & Albert HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Dustin celebrated his birthday in July and Albert just celebrated his this week. Both men are in our Foundations Life Recovery Program. Each month we celebrate the birthdays of the men in our residential program – and of course we have cake! Our good friend Stormy bakes birthday cakes each month for our residents!

Dustin joined our Foundations program in January of this year. While here he made a profession of Christ in his life and is seeking to make positive changes in his life that will help him once he leaves the program. He is about halfway through the Foundations program so please continue to pray for him in his journey as he grows and faces the challenge of confronting the various things that have caused problems in his life.

Albert joined Foundations in September of 2017 after being released into our facility from prison. While in prison he made a profession of Christ which is what lead him to apply to our Foundations program at his release. He wanted a safe, Christian environment to help him grow and change his life patterns and to be in a place where he can build a positive bridge into his future. He quickly joined a local church in Hagerstown and has continued to grow spiritually which has helped him develop great relationships with others. He is very close to graduating from Foundations so continue to keep praying for Albert that he finishes strong and has the confidence to go boldly into his new life without fear. He’s excited about his opportunity to share his new life with others in the community who need to hear about the power of Christ just like he did.

Please continue to pray for all of the men who come in and out of our Foundations Life Recovery Program. It’s not easy for guys to acknowledge that they need to join the program and make necessary changes in their lives and it’s even harder for them to continue once they join. These men are facing serious challenges in their lives and they need all the prayer and support possible. Please continue to invest in their lives through prayer, volunteering, and donating to The Hope Center. Your donation of food, used clothing, shoes, housewares, furniture, etc, and your donation of time serving food, hosting a chapel service, painting or doing anything at The Hope Center are all part of helping these men rehabilitate their lives and giving them the recovery and victory they so desperately want and need. Your support truly does make a difference and God uses it to help them move forward in the face of personal issues. Thank you for helping us celebrate these men and their birthdays.

To learn more about volunteering or donating to The Hope Center or for more information about our Foundations Life Recovery Program for men please visit http://www.hagerstownhopecenter.com or call 301.739.1165.

Happy Birthday, Louis!

The beginning of each month we have a special day to celebrate the birthdays of the guys who are residents at The Hope Center and are a part of our Foundations Life Recovery program.

This month we are so excited to wish Louis Dennis a happy birthday!! The birthday celebrations are made complete with a delicious cake by our friend Stormy.

Louis has been a part of Foundations Life Recovery program for 11 months. Louis has been progressing throughout the program and could be moved into our Gold Level this month which means he is close to completing the program.

Louis, who works in our Recycling Center, is very happy to talk about how he is growing spiritually since being in the program. In fact, he’s thrilled to tell people that he has even been baptized to show the world his commitment to his relationship with Christ.

We’re so happy to watch as Louis continues to claim victory each day as he continues to overcome his addiction issues and grow closer to Christ.

Join us in wishing Louis a very happy birthday!

If you or someone you know would like more information about Foundations Life Recovery program or would like to talk to someone about how to get help then please call us at 301.739.1165 or email us at hagerstownrescue@verizon.net.

 

 

Not Your Average Birthday Girl

We live in a pretty generous area. In fact, the greater Hagerstown region has been so generous and faithful in their support of our ministry that we have never used any government tax money to fund any of our programs or services! Our facilities have remained open and operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week since 1955 thanks to people in the community who have shopped in our Thrift Stores, donated funds, gave gently used items and kept our pantry fully stocked.

So we know all about the great people who give so much to our ministry to make sure others who are less fortunate have what they need to help meet their needs.

But every once in a while we are taken aback by the generosity of others.

dsc_0015-2Let us introduce to you a pint-sized hero in our community: Melanie. Melanie may look like just another 7 year old but Melanie did something that most kids would not do for their birthday – she asked her family and friends to donate non-perishable food to The Hope Center. Her birthday request brought in 118 pounds of food for our pantry!

Melanie’s parents are helping her understand that there are people in her own community who are in need and struggling with hunger and homelessness. Children are never too young to teach the importance of helping others and giving to the less fortunate.

Melanie and her mom were given a tour of the kitchen and dining room where the food will be used to feed those who come for help.

Thank you, Melanie, for your generous birthday donation! We are so thankful for your heart to help others and we hope you help to inspire other young people to follow your lead.

If you would like to join Melanie in donating food or other items to The Hope Center then call 301.739.1165 or email hagerstownrescue@verizon.net to learn more.

If you are in need of assistance then contact us immediately. We’re here to help so give us a call!

Happy Birthday!

We love celebrating birthdays!

One of our residents, Mark, celebrated his birthday in October, along with our Executive Director, Sonny Shank.

Mark first came to The Hope Center in March 2012. He has tried two previous times to defeat his alcohol addictions.He is a man of quiet demeanor and very intelligent. Unfortunately, his quietness has led to a quiet self-destruction. This is how he came to The Hope Center with the added plea of his parents, “please help our son.”
Mark ZieglerMark has been doing a great job in our Foundations Life Recovery program this time. He’s much more focused and determined to get the victory. He is easy to get along with and causes no problems whatsoever. Yet even here his quietness can harm him if he focuses on outward behavior and not inward transformation. He is proud to profess Christ as his Savior and is currently working hard to honor God with his life.
In about seven months Mark will graduate from the program. Today, he has made it farther than the previous two times he was in the program. Pray that he walks out of here a truly changed man who never needs to return for help, but instead may offer help and bring much glory to God.
We asked Mark to give us a brief testimony about what brought him to The Hope Center. These are his words:
“I came to The Hope Center in March of 2012 at the urging of my friends and family because my drinking was ruining my life.  I would drink to fill a void in my life that was created because of introvert tendencies.  I would rather “hide behind a bottle” than find other activities with people.  The Hope Center has given me opportunities to socialize with others and learn God’s Word.  After hearing other people’s experiences and testimonies it has made me realize I’m not alone and I can overcome alcoholism.  I can get involved in church activities and increase my social circle.  I have been saved, but I want to practice in my life what I have heard preached from God’s Word.  I keep many verses close at hand to use when I need them. Hopefully, this third time in the program will be my last, although I would love to visit The Hope Center after I graduate.”
Please pray for Mark as he nears completion of his recovery in our Foundations Life Recovery program. These next few months are important because many men feel that they are as good as can be and leave early only to fall back into the same traps and lifestyles that ruined them in the first place. Pray that Mark will stay focused on God and the goal of total transformation and recovery. And pray that Mark will use his life experiences to help reach others for Christ. He’s truly an amazing man who has a lot to offer. Pray that he allows God to fully use him for His glory.
Mark’s festive birthday cake was provided by our good friend, Stormy. Thank you so much Stormy for another delicious cake!
DSC_0150Mark wasn’t the only one celebrating his birthday last month at The Hope Center. Our Executive Director, Sonny Shank, also celebrated his birthday.
The staff and residents hosted a special birthday lunch for Mr. Shank in the dining room at The Hope Center. Everyone had a great time coming together to celebrate the man that God has chosen to lead this ministry.
We’re so thankful for Mr. Shank and all he does for this ministry. Please continue to pray for him as he works tirelessly to lead this ministry.

 

 

Superheroes Come in All Sizes

Captain America. Iron Man. Black Widow. Spider-man. We all have our favorite superheroes, whether they wield a hammer, are faster than a speeding bullet, or protect humans with their mutant powers, superheroes make for great stories, spectacular movies, and can teach kids great lessons about helping others.

But what exactly is a superhero? According to Webster’s Dictionary, a superhero is, ” a fictional hero having extraordinary or superhuman powers; also :  an exceptionally skillful or successful person.”

Do superheroes truly exist? Obviously they do. From the men & women of our Armed Forces, to firemen & women, police, and more, there are so many people who give above and beyond the call of human duty to make a difference.

It’s refreshing when a superhero comes in the form of a little boy.

DSC_0161Our superhero, Carson, is quite the little guy. For his birthday, like most little boys, Carson wanted a superhero theme. But his superhero birthday proves just how much of a hero Carson and his family is.

Instead of gifts for Carson, he and his family decided to help others by having party guests donate items to The Hope Center.

Included in the party invitation was a list of the items that are always needed in our pantry. From peanut butter, to sugar, coffee, creamer, cans of vegetables, box dinners, and more, Carson’s family wanted to make sure that they could help keep the hungry in Hagerstown fed.

In addition to items for our pantry, the family asked for other necessary items like paper towels, toilet paper, and napkins. They also gave party attendees the option of donating personal care items like soap, deodorant, shampoo, disposable razors, and shave gel for our overnight homeless guests.

DSC_0156

And in the grand tradition of superheroes, every kid who brought a donation received their official superhero cape!

It’s not everyday that a superhero celebrates his birthday in a way that it helps so many people in the community. Carson and his family may never know the full impact of their donation but God sees their generous spirit and we know that He will bless them as much as they blessed us.

We are thankful for parents who teach their kids the importance of giving to others, helping the less fortunate, and showing God’s love to all people.

Happy birthday and thank you, Carson, for being a real superhero! We thank God for you and your family and all the people who helped to make your birthday so special for us!

 

Happy Birthday, Kevin!!

Join us in wishing Kevin a happy birthday!

The first Friday of each month is birthday celebration day at The Hope Center. In May, we were able to celebrate Kevin. And our good friend, Stormy, baked another delicious cake for the party!

Kevin Sothern 3

Kevin arrived at The Hope Center at the beginning of August, 2012.  He came to Hagerstown after previously being at the Central Union Mission in Washington, D.C.

Kevin says, “I was spiritually bankrupt and severely lost my way in all directions in my walk with God.  I stopped everything: no Bible study, no church, no prayer.  I stopped my involvement with prison ministry.  No communion with God at all.”

Kevin joined our Foundations program and promised God that he would finish the program and would let God have control of his life.

Kevin Southern 1

The Foundations program at The Hope Center is a 13-month life recovery program where the residents learn to break the destructive addictions and habits that Satan was using to destroy their lives. While in the Foundations program, the guys faithfully study the Word of God and grow closer to Him in their recovery. They are able to get their lives back on track spiritually, physically and emotionally and are able to mend many broken relationships from their dark past.

Kevin is excited about the future and plans on graduating in early Fall of 2013.

Kevin says, “God has revitalized my spirit and renewed my spiritual drive to do His work, whatever He has for me.”

In addition to the classes that he’s a part of in the Foundation program, Kevin is a cook’s assistant in Food Services and also works in the check-in office in The Hope Center.

Please remember to pray for Kevin and all of the other guys who are trying to get their lives back on track and live the life that God designed them to live. It’s not an easy road to recovery but with the prayers of faithful supporters like you, guys like Kevin have a chance to become both spiritually and physically reborn!

We want to thank you for supporting this ministry of rescue at The Hope Center. From prayer support, to financial support, to volunteer support and in-kind donations (food, gently used clothing, shoes, furniture, etc), you are truly helping to change lives for God and bring hope to so many who are lost and alone. Thank you for caring & sharing with those in need!

If you’d like to volunteer or give to The Hope Center, please call 301.739.1165, email hagerstownrescue@verizon.net or give online at www.hagerstownrescue.org.

Happy Birthday, Mr Shank!

We want to wish our Executive Director, Mr. Shank, a very happy birthday today!

Mr. Shank was surprised this morning by the residents and transients as they sang happy birthday and presented him with a card.

In addition to all the executive duties at The Hope Center, Mr. Shank leads the morning devotions with the residents & transients. The men really enjoy the time spent digging into the Word and learning from Mr. Shank.

All of the staff, residents & transients at The Hope Center are thankful for the love, compassion, dedication and faithful service of Mr. Shank. He truly leads by example and we’re very blessed to have such a wonderful man as our Executive Director!

Join us in wishing Mr. Shank a very happy birthday and many more to come!