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.

Our Volunteers Make the Difference!

We love our volunteers! Each person who gives of their time at The Hope Center is more valuable to us than one can imagine! We couldn’t do all that we do without the dedication and hard work of our volunteers!

Earlier in the year, our residents wanted to have a night set aside to thank all of our volunteers for all they do throughout the year for this ministry. So we came together and decided to have a volunteer appreciation dinner to honor and thank our volunteers.

On October 13th, we hosted our first, and certainly not the last, Volunteer Appreciation Dinner at the Trinity Center on our campus.

 

It was a wonderful evening full of delicious food, fellowship and an encouraging message by Pastor John Miller. In addition to John’s message, his lovely wife, Melissa, sang. But Melissa was not the only voice on the stage that night. Our residents, lead by Chairman of the Board, Gene Ridenour, sang for everyone in attendance.

Our residents didn’t just sing that night, they also served. From the beginning planning phases of this event, our residents wanted to be able to serve the volunteers who serve them throughout the year. So our residents became servers for all our volunteer guests.

The food for the evening, chicken, mashed potatoes & gravy, green beans, fruit cup and cake was provided in part by our wonderful Ladies’ Auxiliary. We want to thank these ladies for always helping to make events special around The Hope Center.

Just like we did the night of the dinner, we want to thank all of the hundreds of volunteers that help out in one way or another throughout the year. Whether the volunteers help to paint, drive, sort, build, cook, serve, play, teach, preach or clean, we know that God uses His people to make a difference in communities and we are so thankful that He gave us such great volunteers to help us reach the least, the last and the lost!

To all of our volunteers, we thank God for you and we pray that He blesses you as you serve Him! Please continue to partner with us to reach our neighbors in Hagerstown!

If you are interested in volunteer opportunities then please call 301.739.1165 or email hagerstownrescue@verizon.net for more info. To learn more about our ministries then jump over to our website www.hagerstownrescue.org.

Help Us Reach Hagerstown This Summer

Summertime is finally here and everyone’s thoughts begin to take a break from reality!

From day-dreaming about vacation to relaxing by the pool or experimenting with a brand new grill, summer provides overworked and highly stressed Americans with a chance to just enjoy life.

Unfortunately the hardships of life don’t go on vacation. There are many people who will still be homeless and hungry during the summer months. There are kids who will need a breakfast and lunch each day of the week in houses with empty cupboards. There are men who will finally hit rock-bottom in their struggle with addictions and abuse.

Fortunately, for all these people struggling to live each day, God doesn’t go on vacation! He doesn’t need a rest. His hope is provided fresh and new with each rising of the sun. And as long as God is up and working, so are we!

Each dollar you give to The Hope Center can help change the lives of so many. Please consider financially supporting the many ministries at The Hope Center, like our summer day camp program, Camp Wild. If you’d like to give, please call our office at 301.739.1165 or email us at hagerstownrescue@verizon.net.

You can also donate with your credit card online at our website through the safe and trusted Paypal service. Just go to www.hagerstownrescue.org and locate the red box on the left of the home screen that says “give online”. Just click on that tab and follow the simple instructions. With a few clicks of the mouse, you could be changing so many lives for eternity!

Whether you are financially able to help us or not, we do ask that you join us in praying for the ministries of hope & rescue at The Hope Center. Pray for the residents at The Hope Center. Pray for their daily fight against the sin that had a destructive stronghold on them. Pray that they will continue to press on to restore the life God intended them to live.

Pray for the homeless. Homelessness doesn’t end in the summer and with high temperatures and humidity overnight, many homeless need someplace cool to sleep. Pray that God will reveal Himself to them. Pray for their safety and security.

Pray for the many families that are struggling to pay for increased energy costs and need to rely on food assistance. Pray that with each meal served or food bag handed out, individuals and families will see the love of God and have a desire to learn more about Him.

Pray for Camp Wild. Pray for all the kids who will be a part of the four weeks of free day camp. Pray for safety for the campers and the staff. And pray that God will work in the lives of the kids and that they will begin a relationship with Him that will change their lives for eternity.

The Hope Center is more than just a shelter or soup kitchen. It’s a fortress for Christ in Hagerstown’s downtown. It’s a place of refuge and hope for hundreds to thousands of weary people each year. This ministry helps to ease the physical suffering while providing a spiritual awakening. Thank you for your support – both financially and through prayer. And remember to always “keep on keepin’ on.”