Where is Your Hope?

One of my favorite hymns, On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand, states in the first verse, “My HOPE is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.” It states in the third verse, “When all around my soul gives way, He then is all my HOPE and stay.”

The ministry of the HOPE Center at Hagerstown Rescue Mission is reaching out to the many who have nowhere else to turn. They are not aware of the blessed HOPE that is Jesus Christ until they find their way to the Rescue Mission. Lives have been changed through the sharing of the HOPE of the Gospel. (Romans 8:24 & 25)

Hebrews 11:1 states: Now faith is the substance of things HOPED for, the evidence of things to come. As this message of HOPE is given to so many who are down and out and have no place else to turn, the love of God through His Son Jesus gives a whole new perspective. Not only are our sins forgiven, but Titus 2:13 tells us, Looking for that blessed HOPE and glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ. We now know where we will spend eternity, and His return could happen today.

But are believers sharing this HOPE, the good news of our salvation? 1 Peter 3:15 says, But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason of the HOPE that is in you with meekness and fear.

I praise God for the ministry of the many Rescue Missions founded by my dear Uncle Jim Resh and the HOPE they have given to thousands over the years. As we are living in the end times when the rapture could happen at any moment, believers need to be ready to share the Gospel at every opportunity. We also need to give our support to ministries like The HOPE Center at Hagerstown Rescue Mission.

Lynette Brewer

Written by Lynette Brewer

Lynette Brewer lives in Westminster, Maryland, has been President of the Ladies’ Auxiliary of the Westminster Rescue Mission and has recently become a member of their Board of Directors.

Happy Birthday, Jim!!

Today, March 20th, would have been the 98th birthday of James Resh, the founder of The Hope Center.

Many of you reading this might not have any idea of the man behind this ministry. The story of how the Hagerstown Rescue Mission, which later became the Hope Center, cannot be told without telling about the incredible man, and his incredible wife, who tirelessly worked following God’s call to reach the least, the last and the lost.

Jim & Ellen on the set of "Echoes of Hope"

Jim and his wife, Ellen, opened the Hagerstown Union Rescue Mission on Jail Alley in 1955. Feeling the call of God to reach out to the homeless and drunk men of the region, Jim & Ellen packed up their belongings and moved from a quiet, peaceful life in Cascade, Maryland into the heart of Hagerstown’s inner city.

When Jim received the call to minister he was working at Fairchild Industries in Hagerstown. Deciding to leave that job and move his family was not a popular decision to others in Jim’s family but he knew that God would provide. As soon as Jim and Ellen took that initial leap of faith, Jim had officially found his calling. He knew that starting a rescue mission and reaching Hagerstown’s inner city was exactly what God had planned for his life!

To say that Jim was passionate about helping others is an understatement. After Jim’s passing, his wife Ellen wrote this about Jim, “It seemed Jim had energy to spare, for he was never satisfied with just one mission. From our local mission came six other missions, all because Jim said ‘Here I am Lord, use me’. And He did!”

Jim was definitely a visionary. He was constantly looking for new projects and better ways of helping those in need. He wanted to live the Great Commission. Ellen recalls, “I remember when we would go on a little vacation in whatever town we would pass through, if Jim saw an empty building he would say, ‘That would make a good rescue mission.’ If it were possible, he would have started a mission in every town in America”.

In addition to starting the Hagerstown Rescue Mission and other area missions, he also created the Good Samaritan Lodge, a facility outside of Hagerstown which is now home to the graduates of the Foundations men’s program. He also had a hand in the creation of many other projects including Cedar Ridge Children’s Home, Four States Crusade for Christ, Four States Prophesy Conference, Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast, WJAL TV 68, a radio program and Echoes of Hope weekly TV broadcast.

Jim truly loved the Lord and took his calling into ministry very seriously. Through the years there were always challenges and trials but Jim knew that keeping focus on winning souls for Christ was the whole point of the Rescue Mission. As Jerry Falwell said of Jim, “Jim Resh was a simple man, a humble man. He sought no glory for himself. Souls were his motivation.”

On March 29, 1996, the Lord took Jim home to be with Him. And while he may no longer be with us on earth, his legacy is still making an impact today. His devotion to the Lord and his heart for people in need  is still changing lives today.

Jim would always say, “keep on, keeping on!” And thanks to his love for Christ and dedication to reaching others, the Hope Center is still fighting the good fight and reaching those who are often overlooked in our society.

Happy Birthday, Jim! You are greatly missed!