Starting 2018 Off Right – Working With God to Do Great Things

by John Miller

 

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John & Melissa Miller

John 14:12, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on Me, the works that I do he shall do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto My Father.”

 

“When God contemplates some great work, He begins it by the hand of some poor, weak, human creature, to whom He afterwards gives aid.” -Martin Luther

Just think of it! The Almighty of this universe desires to employ us in His eternal work! Can anything be more fulfilling than this? To know that the Creator desires to give us aid and opportunities to fulfill His will in sharing His love with others.

All human edifices and titles will one day be dust. Worldly fame and fortune will be forgotten. At the funeral of one of the richest men who ever lived, J.D. Rockefeller, someone asked: “How much do you think he left behind?” The reply was: “All of it.”

Heavenly treasure never fades. Working with God in His eternal purposes will last throughout eternity. What a humbling thought, that God would choose to place some “calling” in our hearts, invite us to become involved in something He is doing, then provide aid to us. Perhaps He is calling you to some special work? Is God speaking to your heart to become more involved in aiding The Hope Center in some way? Has God blessed you with time to serve? Resources to give? Some talent to be used to help others?

I can think of nothing more rewarding and satisfying than seeing God work and provide through people to bring about His hearts desires. As The Hope Center moves forward in their calling they pray to God to raise up people who can serve and give to reach others. They can’t do this alone. They continue looking to God for all we need. The staff remains focused on exalting Christ in all they do, praying for each person who comes through their doors, encouraging people, feeding stomachs and souls, and being vessels through whom God can do His works!

Jesus said we could do “greater works” than He did because He went to the Father. Isn’t this astounding?? This word “greater” doesn’t mean better or grander, but more in number. Jesus went back to Heaven at age 33 but He continues from Heaven, providing opportunities for us to complete works He still has to do, through you and me! What an amazing offer from a perfect God to weak, broken and unworthy souls.

How does God want to work through you today, and more specifically to help The Hope Center fulfill the mission God has given to them? Call today and inquire about how you can help. God will smile upon your benevolence.

To learn more about how you can join God’s mission to the city of Hagerstown through the many ministries, programs, and services provided at The Hope Center just go to http://www.hagerstownhopecenter.com. To speak to someone now about how you can get involved in one way or another call us at 301.739.1165 or email us at hagerstownrescue@verizon.net

 

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.

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“Bring Hope” by John Miller

JohnMiller (2)My wife and I organize and facilitate missions teams around the world. Each trip is designed to bring the Good News of Jesus Christ in practical deeds and the spoken word. We build bridges to people groups in many countries in order to share the love of God. While preparing for a mission trip to a certain location here in the United States we called our contact in that particular area and asked this question: “Besides bringing people and resources to complete a week of ministry in your area, what is the most important thing we can bring with us?” She answered: “Bring hope”.

Many people live without hope. Their lives have taken them down a path they didn’t plan on or didn’t ask for. Some people suffer because of wrong decisions that accumulate over time, destroying marriages, jobs, health, and affecting children.  But some people suffer not as a result of poor decisions but simply where they “showed up” in the world. Perhaps they were born into a very poor family living in a depressed area of the world that offers little hope for advancement in education or trade skills. Their “lot in life” was determined before they arrived on the scene and every day is survival for them.

Hope is something people can’t live without, at least not truly “live” without. Hope defined means “a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.” It’s the optimistic desire for circumstances to become better and life to be easier. Life can be very draining on the single parent trying to do “double duty” or the well intentioned father who simply cannot find a job to help “make ends meet”. It seems that no matter how hard some people try, difficulties continue to assail them year after year. The effects of this constant barrage of trials in life slowly whittle away at a person’s hope, creating pessimism and despair. Whether they go through trials due to their own poor choices or they’re simply “in the way” of poor choices of another person, hope can go down the drain like dirty dishwater. The eyes reveal the emptiness and the face lacks a smile.

People need hope. When they’ve lost theirs, perhaps they can share some of yours. When our contact said: “Bring hope”, we knew exactly where the greatest hope is to be found and how to bring it. In Romans 15:13 we read, “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope,  through the power of the Holy Ghost.”

As long as there is a God, there is hope! God is eternal and will always be God, therefore anyone can have hope! God is described in the verse as “the God of hope”. The word hope used in this verse is a Greek word that means “to anticipate, to expect, to have confidence”. God’s promises offer us a way to climb out of devastating circumstances and even in the midst of them we can still maintain a sense of anticipation that things will eventually get better and our confidence will be restored!

But we have to do something, according to this verse. Did you see it? “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope,  through the power of the Holy Ghost.” We must believe. It can be difficult to believe when that addiction has kept one in chains for so long. It’s not easy to believe when it seems it’s always “one thing after another”. A common thing we hear today is: “It is what it is”. Often, this phrase is verbal indication that a person has pretty much given up hope and is in “autopilot” mode. Faith must be restored by a deliberate choice to believe in the God of hope and His ability to restore, deliver, and make new.

Have you lost hope in a situation or a person? Do you know someone who needs to have their hope restored? Let’s be the bearers of good news that the God of hope is alive and well today! He can do anything! He specializes in the impossible and wants you to keep hope alive for your own circumstance and help others recover their hope too!

 

The Millers are familiar faces around The Hope Center. As the former pastor of Faith Christian Fellowship, John and 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 johnandmelissamiller.com or visit churchesinmissions.org. 

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 is Off to a Great Start!

We’re almost through our first week of Camp Wild!

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Everyone’s been having a great time! From playing games, to creating art projects, swimming in the creek, discovering ancient artifacts, flying high above the earth, charming snakes & running with tigers, the campers have been getting their fill of action-packed adventure!

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The theme for Camp Wild 2014 is excellence. The campers are being taught & challenged to be excellent in everything they do. They’re learning that no matter what task is presented to them, they should always do their best and try their hardest. God wants the best for them, and in return, they need to give their best to God.

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In the afternoon, Camp Wild 2014 takes the campers on an adventure to the exotic continent of Asia. In addition to the exciting activities in our African & Latin American sections of the outdoor camp area, Camp Wild 2014 has added Asian elements of discovery for the kids to enjoy.

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Mixing education, entertainment & spiritual applications, Camp Wild 2014 uses interactive activities to transport kids, and their imaginations, to places like India & China.

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The kids are able to partake in activities like the Tiger Trail, a fast-paced obstacle course, the Snake Charmer, an educational hike into the world of Cobras, and Expedition Panda, our 600 foot zip line adventure where the kids fly high above the ground while trying to deliver special “food packs” to endangered pandas.

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Not only are the campers learning about new cultures, conservation & outdoor survival skills, they are also being taught about missionaries and how others travel the world to reach people for Christ.

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Camp Wild is more than just another day camp. It’s an exciting world full of new adventures, enchanting places, and valuable life lessons centered around Christ. The kids who attend Camp Wild aren’t just aimlessly wasting away their days. They are learning new things, creating strong bonds with staff, and, most importantly, getting closer to God.

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We’re so thankful to the staff, volunteers & donors who have helped to make Camp Wild 2014 possible. The vast majority of our supporters & friends won’t be able to see the spiritual & physical impact of Camp Wild on the lives of these kids, but in Heaven, you will. Lives are being changed, hearts are being won, and Satan is being defeated. Children are the most precious resource on earth and we’re thankful for the opportunity to reach them, teach them, and love them.

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Even though we’re winding down Week One, there’s still 3 more weeks of camp to come!

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If you know of some kids who would benefit from our free camp program, call 301.739.1165 or email info@wildsideyouth.com immediately. There is some space still available for some of the weeks of camp but don’t delay! Call now and get your kid registered.

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Maybe you don’t have any kids but you feel the call from God to help reach kids for Christ. We’re always looking for people to help. Call 301.739.1165 or email hagerstownrescue@verizon.net to get the process of volunteering started. Wildside Youth Ministries hosts activities all year long so there’s plenty of ways for you to get involved after Camp Wild ends. Jump over to http://www.volunteerhagerstown.com to learn more about volunteering and see the many different areas of ministry that you can be a part of.

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If you’re interested in supporting Camp Wild and the many other ministries and outreach programs at The Hope Center, call 301.739.1165 or email hagerstownrescue@verizon.net to learn how you can become a partner of this ministry. You can also donate online through our secure PayPal account by visiting http://www.hagerstownrescue.org and clicking on the ‘Give to HRM’ tab located in the red box on the left-hand side of the home page.

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No matter how you get involved, please continue to pray for Camp Wild, the staff, volunteers and other ministries at The Hope Center. God is moving in many different ways in Hagerstown but Satan is always on the attack. Prayer is the most important thing that we can ask for. We appreciate your prayers and we see the power of prayer on a daily basis! Thank you for all you do!

To learn more about Camp Wild, go to http://www.campwildusa.com.

 

 

 

Become a Volunteer!

Do you have that feeling that you just want to make a difference in your community?

Have you been trying to figure out how to get involved?

Why not join our team of volunteers?

Since 1955, The Hope Center (formerly known as Hagerstown Rescue Mission) has been reaching the least, the last, and the lost for Christ. We’ve been successful because God has always supplied our needs, including providing the best volunteers!

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Volunteers come in many different shapes, sizes & ages! Our volunteers have many different interests but they all share the same goal: to help others.

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Depending on the gifts, talents & personality that God has given you, we can help you find the best place to fit into our ministry. If you love working with kids, we’ve got the perfect spot for you. Wanna feed the hungry? We’ve got a kitchen ready for you. Would you rather tinker, clean or do something with your hands? We’ve got jobs just for you.

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There are so many different ways to get involved that you may have a hard time deciding which you want to do. Well don’t worry about that either, you don’t have to do just one task! From photography, to food service, to painting, to donation sorting, to our Ladies’ Auxiliary, we’ve got plenty of interesting, challenging and spiritually fulfilling volunteer jobs for you.

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And the best part of volunteering, you can help as little or as much as you want! There are volunteer opportunities that take place each day or once a year. It’s up to you to decide how involved you’d like to be. And you don’t have to do it alone. We welcome volunteer groups, families or just a handful.

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Ready to take the next step? Excellent! Go to http://www.volunteerhagerstown.com and take a look around. Click on the ‘Opportunities’ in the top tool bar to read through the many different volunteer positions that are available. If you’re feeling frisky, click on the ‘Urgent Needs’ tab to see what volunteer positions we desperately need immediately. Even if you’re unable to help with that job, you might know someone who can. So go ahead and take a look at how you can get involved.

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Once you’re ready to get started you can click on the ‘Why’ tab and fill out the email form at the bottom. Someone will be in touch with you as soon as possible. Or you can always call us at 301.739.1165 or email us directly at hagerstownrescue@verizon.net.

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We look forward to having you join our team of fantastic volunteers! Since we don’t receive any money from the government, we rely heavily on the support from our community of friends. From prayers, to donated goods, to financial support & volunteers, our friends in the community help to make this ministry possible and have helped to reach thousands upon thousands of lives for 60 years!

We have a great legacy of ministry in Hagerstown and we’re looking forward to a great future! Why not be a part of it?

Camp Wild Needs You!

Camp Wild is just around the corner! In fact, it kicks off on July 7th. It will run for four weeks during the summer.

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Just in case you aren’t familiar with Camp Wild, it’s a free day camp for kids ages 5-12. Camp Wild runs Monday thru Friday from 9:30am-4:30pm, including rainy days. Campers are welcome to attend one week during the summer. They are able to pick which week they’d prefer to attend, but our free transportation is provided to certain areas during designated weeks only.

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Mornings at Camp Wild are spent in the Trinity Center located on The Hope Center campus in Hagerstown. Morning activities include games, free time in our rec rooms, theme time, small group time and lunch. Theme time is where everyone comes together to learn the Biblical principles for the week of camp. During Theme Time the kids and counselors also sing and dance to hip-hop, R&B, and rock-styled praise & worship music!

Following lunch, everyone is transported to our outdoor camp facility located just outside Hagerstown on the Conococheague Creek. This outdoor space is a missionary-themed adventure land with areas like Africa, Asia and Latin America. These different areas have fun attractions and activities like the Sanaa Trail, which is an African styled art area, Expedition Panda, our 600 foot long zip line, and The Great Caiman, an inner-tube ride adventure on the Conococheague! There are plenty of other fun outdoor activities like hiking, obstacle courses and so much more!

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Like we said, all this fun and adventure is free for kids in the greater Hagerstown area! Each week about 50 campers fill our camp with laughter, excitement and the taste for adventure. To many of these kids, this is their only vacation. The majority of our campers come from Hagerstown’s West End, Jonathan Street district, Noland Village and Frederick Manor/South End area.

Since the camp is free, we rely heavily on the support of financial donations and volunteer labor. It takes many people and lots of supplies to make Camp Wild operational for four weeks each summer. We’d love for you to get involved. Below are some ways you can donate your time or resources to help reach kids for Christ this summer.

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Take a minute to read through the various needs for Camp Wild. If you’d like to get involved in one way or another, contact information is listed at the bottom. We’d love to have you partner with us to make a difference and bring hope to kids in Hagerstown!

Food Donations Needed:

200 individual serving bags of chips/pretzels/cookies etc.
400 individually wrapped snack cakes
5 jars of spaghetti sauce
45 boxes of spaghetti noodles
400 taco shells
200 cans of Sprite
150 fruit drinks (Kool-Aid/Capri Sun)
500 napkins

Volunteers Needed:

Counselors:

We’re looking for counselors ages 14 and up. We’re looking for Christian teens, young adults, and adults who are developing themselves spiritually and want to help reach out to kids. We’re looking for volunteers who can help in the mornings (8:30-1:00), the afternoons (1:00-5:00), or even all day (8:30-5:00).

Small Group Leaders:

These counselors will be assigned small groups of 4 to 7 kids. They will lead those children in small groups discussions, visit attractions with them at the campground, and take care of those children’s needs.

Assistant Helpers:

These helpers will assist Small Group Leaders, Team Leaders, Assistant Directors, and the Camp Director where and when needed by serving lunches, helping lead kids, helping with small tasks around the camp like sweeping and cleaning, and helping out at the campgrounds.

All counselors will help out at our afternoon attractions such as monitoring the creek, helping with the kayak and inner tube ride, running the Rental Shop, staffing the Sugar Shack, and helping the kids have fun at the playground or soccer field.

If you would like to donate food items or just make a monetary donation to Camp Wild, please call 301.739.1165 or email hagerstownrescue@verizon.net. You can always drop off food/monetary donations to our Administrative Office during business hours, M-F, 8:30am-5pm. If you just want to financially support Camp Wild, you can go to http://www.hagerstownrescue.org and click on the ‘Give to HRM’ tab located in the red box on the left side of the page. Donations are processed through PayPal and are completely safe.

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If you’re free to volunteer and feel that God is leading you to help reach kids this summer, welcome! We’re so glad to have you interested in joining our volunteer team! You’ll have the wonderful opportunity of building relationships with kids, talking and getting to know them, and leading them to knowing and growing in Christ! Your time invested in the lives of kids this summer could change them for eternity. What an incredible thought! To volunteer, please call 301.739.1165, email hagerstownrescue@verizon.net, or visit http://www.volunteerhagerstown.com and fill out the Volunteer Interest form located on the ‘Why?’ page. Someone will contact you quickly and get you the information needed to begin volunteering.

We are so thankful for supporters like you! You help to keep this ministry and all the other ministries of hope operational throughout the year at The Hope Center! Whether it’s volunteering time, donating gently used items, hosting food drives or providing monetary gifts, our friends and supporters are the heart of this ministry. The many different ways of community involvement help us keep everything free for our guests and also tax-free for the community. We don’t take any money from the government so all of the ministries and programs at The Hope Center are made possible through kind people in our community!

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Thank you again for your interest in Camp Wild and The Hope Center!

 

 

Koffee Klatch Says Goodbye…for Now

On Thursday, June 5th, Koffee Klatch had their final meeting for the season.

Instead of the traditional donuts and Bible study time, the season finale was a delicious lunch and time of fellowship, praise and celebration. Following the Bible study, the women had a wonderful time eating and socializing. The ladies all prepared food for the celebration and there was plenty of delicious food to be had!

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Usually, the Bible study follows the fellowship time, but this day was a little different. The ladies sang some songs, shared some stories, prayed together and gave special thanks to those who help make Koffee Klatch successful.

We, too, want to take a minute to thank the people who work behind the scenes to make Koffee Klatch possible each week. Becky Shank, who works in our administrative office, makes sure that all the food & coffee is prepped and ready to go each Thursday. She sets up the fellowship area and cleans up after each Koffee Klatch. We also want to thank the two very special ladies who lead Koffee Klatch each week. Dorcas Black, who works in our Sorting Ministry (donated goods), and Anna Nunemaker, a volunteer and former missionary to Africa, team lead Koffee Klatch each week. We are so thankful for their service to the ministry and their heart for all the women who attend.

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Anna Nunemaker, who usually teaches Koffee Klatch, brought a special speaker to give the ladies a word of encouragement. Anna’s granddaughter, Melanie, who lives in Switzerland, was visiting her grandmother and accompanied her to Koffee Klatch. Melanie, who travels Europe to speak about Science and the Bible, spoke to the women about using every opportunity, whether good or bad, to show the world who God truly is. She talked about how Satan may try to use a situation for evil, but can use it for good. She encouraged the ladies to keep up the fight during the summer break and remember that no matter what happens in life, always remember God means it for good.

During the Bible study time, the ladies in attendance gave God praise for the many blessings and prayers answered during this year. Many of the ladies talked about how God provided miracles in their lives, healed relatives and friends, and how He opened doors through various means to allow the women to share Christ with total strangers.

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Many of the women noted that Koffee Klatch is something that helps them grow in the Lord and is an activity that is much needed in their lives. One lady even said that the thing she loves most about Koffee Klatch is seeing women from all different churches, denominations, ages, and social backgrounds coming together at the weekly Bible study to worship God and grow spiritually.

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And she’s right. One of the most beautiful things about Koffee Klatch is the blending of women from all over the area. Some women are Baptists, others Brethren, and others Mennonite. There are women who have careers, others who are retired, and some who are housewives. The differences of these women show the power of God’s Word. It’s a unifying force that draws people together who would never usually mix. It’s the common thread that creates lasting friendships and breaks down barriers and stereotypes among humans. These women don’t see each other with the man-made labels we often give each other. They see each other as daughters of God. They’re sisters in Christ and they’re coming together to teach each other, support each other, pray for each other, love each other, and grow in the Lord together.

And this is why we want to encourage you to join us in the fall when Koffee Klatch returns. This is a great opportunity to create new friendships, help other women through various situations, and learn more about God in a different atmosphere. Koffee Klatch is free and open to any women who have some time each Thursday to attend.

And don’t forget to invite your friends, too! Bring your mom, sister, coworker, neighbor, and join us for a very informal worship time together. There’s so much that we can learn from each other so why not stop by? Unfortunately we don’t provide childcare. If you would like to learn more about Koffee Klatch, call 301.739.1165 or email hagerstownrescue@verizon.net.

Have a great summer, ladies, and we’ll see you in the fall!