It’s Finally Time for Some Spring Cleaning!

For a time it seemed like winter would never end! But those April showers helped to bring May flowers and some warmer weather. It’s always such a joy to watch the earth come back to life and to hear all the birds singing and enjoying the warmer temperatures.

And with the arrival of spring comes the annual tradition: spring cleaning. As you start to go through your house, room by room, getting rid of unnecessary items, please keep DSC_0805us in mind! With two Thrift Stores (Hagerstown & Chambersburg), we always welcome your gently used clothing, shoes, furniture, jewelry, housewares, and more. Sales generated in our Thrift Stores help to underwrite the cost of all of our programs and services so that we can continue to provide for our neighbors in need at no cost to them or the taxpayer.

If you are interested in donating various items to The Hope Center, here is some info you should know:

Furniture – accepted at the rear of the Thrift Store (central parking lot off of Church St) from 9AM – 4:30PM Monday – Saturday. Please do not leave items on the dock unattended, especially after business hours.

Furniture Items Accepted– beds (frames, headboards, footboards, mattresses* & box springs), couches, upholstered* chairs, dining tables and chairs, small tables (end tables & coffee tables), desks and chairs and dressers. We also accept rugs, bicycles, exercise equipment, wheelchairs and other handicap equipment.
*We cannot accept mattresses or upholstered furniture that is torn, stained or covered in pet hair.

DSC_0888Clothing & Miscellaneous – items accepted at the rear of the parking lot Monday – Saturday from approximately 8:30AM – 4:30PM (between 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM there is no assistance to unload vehicle. You may still drop off items but if you require assistance please come before or after.) Please do not leave items unattended on the dock after business hours.

Items NOT Accepted– wet/soiled clothing, computers, floor model televisions (we do take flat screen TV’s as long as they work), floor model stereos, office telephones (multiple line phones) refrigerators and freezers, washers and dryers, dishwashers, stoves, sinks and toilets, large wooden or metal desks (office), upright pianos, large organs, cribs & car seats (due to government regulations for resale), waterbed mattresses or frames and used ceiling/electric fixtures.

We accept corrugated cardboard at our Baling Facility Monday – Friday from 8:30AM – 11:30AM and 12:30 PM-1:30PM and on Saturday from 8:30AM – 11:30AM.

If you have items to donate that are not listed or you have questions about certain items, please call 301.739.1165 or email hagerstownrescue@verizon.net. We do have a truck that can pick-up your items. Each day our truck covers a specific area of town. If you’d like to schedule a pick-up, please call 301.739.1165 to get more details. You can quickly learn more about donating your gently used items here: https://www.hagerstownhopecenter.com/in-kind-gifts

Also, you can get a receipt for tax purposes by making a list of items donated. Please remember to put your name & address on the list!! Your list can be turned in at the Thrift Store or you can get a form to fill out in the Thrift Store. You will receive your tax-deductible receipt by mail in two to three weeks.

Thank you so much for your generous donations to The Hope Center! These items will help families and individuals in your community in many different ways. Go to http://www.hagerstownhopecenter.com to learn more about all the various programs and services we provide to people in need in our area.

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Washington County Gives – Help Us Feed More Families

On May 1st we’re participating in washingtoncountygives.org. This is a wonderful opportunity for people all over the area to give to non-profits quickly and easily during the 24-hour online day of giving.

But why give to The Hope Center? Great question. We are currently in the beginning process of renovating and expanding our food services area. We serve multiple meals a day and hand out hundreds of food bags a year. All food services are free to anyone and everyone in the community – men, women, families, old, young – it doesn’t matter. No one will go hungry in our community.

But as the need grows, so must our facilities. Feeding those in need in the area is a top priority and generous people in the community have been absolutely fantastic about donating food to keep our pantry stocked so that we can continue to feed thousands each year.

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Unfortunately, our pantry is not really close to being the size we need it to be to feed thousands each year. And we’re so blessed to have the food resources we need – we just don’t have enough space to store all the various food items needed to serve daily meals to our residents, overnight and community guests and also pack food bags for families. Part of the renovation and expansion will include a total overhaul and expansion of our pantry so that we can store more food therefore allowing us to feed more people and do it much more efficiently.

A donation as little as $10 on May 1st will go a long way into helping us bring our food services up-to-date. To learn more about our food services and other free programs to the community please visit http://www.hagerstownhopecenter.com.

Country Ham Sandwich Sale – Order Today!

Our Auxiliary is currently taking orders for their delicious country ham sandwich sale. You can place orders from now until April 14th, 2018. Sandwiches will be ready for pick-up on April 20th.

Ham Sandwich SpringEach sandwich is only $3 and is absolutely worth every penny! And don’t forget that proceeds from the sale go towards all the various programs and services provided for free at The Hope Center. To take a look at the different ways we’re working to help needy neighbors in the community just go to http://www.hagerstownhopecenter.com.

Call 301.739.1165 to place your order. And don’t forget to spread the word to your friends, family, and social media contacts!

Interested in joining our Auxiliary? Email us at hagerstownrescue@verizon.net to learn how you can join our Auxiliary today!

The Heart of Evangelism

by Lynn Harney

Lynn Harney“Sing to the Lord, all the Earth; Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day. Declare His glory among the nations; His wonders among all peoples. For the Lord is great and greatly to be praised; He is also to be feared above all gods.” 1 Chronicles 16:23-25 NKJV

The above verses are a part of the first psalm David sang at the arrival of the ark of God in Jerusalem for the first time. In it I find both the mission and the heart of evangelism. We are told what to proclaim, when to proclaim it, where we should proclaim it, who we should be talking about and why.

What we are to proclaim is “His salvation”, that is the salvation He provided that we were unable to achieve on our own. More to the point, we would not even have come up with such a great plan on our own. The evidence of this is overwhelming, every other option for having a relationship with God is through our own good works. We are told in the New Testament in many ways that it is only through Jesus that we can come to the Father. “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 “There is no other name by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12 “There is one God and one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus.” 1 Timothy 2:5 Just to name a few. This shows us this is His salvation, His idea on His terms.

Once we receive Christ we are to proclaim His glory and His wonders. Glory, now that is not a word we use in the every day world and we Christians might be at risk of taking it for granted. One of its meanings is to give an accurate opinion of a person or a thing. The Gospel of Jesus Christ, the gift of God, is the most accurate description of God there could ever be. In it we see His love, mercy, holiness, and justice. Hebrews 1 tells us Jesus was “the express image of God” or the exact representation of Him. There is no more wonderful thing in life than that Christ would give His for mine that I could share His.

We are told to proclaim it, from day to day. Our lives are to be a continual proclamation of His salvation. Need I say more?

Where we are told to proclaim it. Among the nations to all the peoples. There are no cultural boundaries, racial or economic divides. It is for all people. Some claim the Gospel to be exclusionary and in one way it is that is, in its means or how one is saved. But who it is for, is everyone who is willing to come, on His terms. So we make the Gospel available to everyone all of the time.

Finally, we are told why. “For the Lord is great, and greatly to be praised; He is also to be feared above all gods.” Once again the character of God becomes the focus. Mans’ need for a savior is not the focus, though implied, by God Himself. When people see what God is really like their need becomes obvious. Isaiah saw the LORD and fell on his face, “Woe is me, I am undone. I am a man of unclean lips.” So our lives should evidence the character of God.

David through this Psalm was rededicating his life focus to the person and work of God so that everyone would know how great is our God. We call ourselves The Hope Center not merely because people’s physical needs can be met but because our wonderous God can be met in their time of need.

 

Lynn Harney is the co-director of Foundations Life Recovery program at The Hope Center. He and his wife, Wanda, served with New Tribes Mission for 22 years among the Manjaku people as church planters in Senegal, Africa. They have four children, a daughter-in-law, and four grandchildren. 

Spiritual Growth

by Jerry Cooper

JerryCooper (2)God has many purposes for The Hope Center. But I believe that first and foremost God desires that we preach the Gospel for the salvation of men, women, and children. In addition, God desires the spiritual growth of all who do trust Christ as Lord and Savior.

Through Peter, the Holy Spirit commands all believers to grow in their faith.

2 Peter 3:18, “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

Spiritual growth is one of the reasons that The Hope Center offers a 13-month discipleship program for men. Sonny, Rick, Lynn, and other staff are always seeking and looking for the spiritual growth of the men in the residential program.

Sadly, not all who believe in Christ grow spiritually as God desires. Some follow poor examples as those described in Hebrews 5.

Hebrews 5:12-14, “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.”

“By this time” means that these Christians had time to grow spiritually, but they were still immature. They needed “the basic principles of the oracles of God,” or spiritual “milk”. Each of them was a spiritual “child”.

This passage also teaches that the Word of God is essential for spiritual growth. Sadly these immature Christians were “unskilled in the word of righteousness.” Either they did not read the Scriptures and study them, or they did not listen when others taught the Scriptures.

Therefore, the Mission staff and churches preach and teach the Word of God at every opportunity. Men in the program memorize Scripture. They are urged to be active in a local church and study their Bibles.

Spiritual growth is also important because a Christian is useful to God when he is growing as God commands. The Holy Spirit spoke through Peter and explained who is effective and fruitful.

2 Peter 1:5-8, “For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

God is saying that every Christian should grow in spiritual character: virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection, and love. The word “increasing” means that these words are not static, they are growing. But if they are not increasing, then the Christian is “ineffective” and “unfruitful”.

Let’s always pray for ourselves, that we grow spiritually and not be “ineffective”. And let’s pray for the men in the program, that they will grow spiritually and be fruitful.

 

Jerry Cooper is the pastor at Virginia Avenue Baptist Church and an evening chaplain at The Hope Center. He and his wife, Barb, currently reside in Hagerstown. For more information on Virginia Avenue Baptist Church visit http://www.vabconline.org. To contact Jerry please email him at jtcooper51@gmail.com

 

Our Loss is Heaven’s Gain

It is with profound sadness that we are writing this. Our friend, and former Thrift Store manager, AJ Imbach, went home to be with the Lord this past week.

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AJ and his wife, Jayne, were with us only briefly. AJ accepted the call to become the manager of our Hagerstown & Chambersburg stores in the summer of 2013.

He came with fresh ideas and an excitement for this new phase of ministry in his life. He was going to help bring some much needed change to our stores and would have the opportunity to build relationships with the men in our program who work at the stores.

AJ and Jayne were following God’s plan which brought them all the way across the country from Oregon. Both AJ & Jayne were a breathe of fresh air at The Hope Center.

AJ Imbach

Their joy of life and overall positive outlook showed the love of God in them. They were passionate about reaching others for Christ and doing their part to help bring real hope and change to broken and hurting lives.

Unfortunately in early fall AJ was diagnosed with ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease. They were hoping to stay at The Hope Center for a while as he dealt with his disease but it progressed much quicker than expected and the doctors suggested they might want to return to Oregon to be with family & friends.

Jayne helped AJ adjust to his condition and worked hard to make him comfortable as his body dealt with ALS. And through it all, both AJ & Jayne remained faithful to the Lord and confident in His will and plan.

AJ left his earthly life surrounded by his family. And as we weep here on earth for our loss, we can only imagine the magnificent celebration in heaven for their gain!

We wish we could see AJ’s big smile again, and we have confidence that we will see it as each of us are welcomed into eternity. We’re sure Jesus greeted AJ with a big ole, “well done”!

AJ & Jayne left a lasting impact on the staff and guests at The Hope Center. Their excitement and joy was contagious and their optimism and confidence in God’s perfect plan was inspiring.

We thank God for the opportunity to have met and worked with these two wonderful people. Our thoughts and prayers are for Jayne and the family & friends in Oregon who are left behind.

While we may not understand God’s plan through all of this, we know that His plan is perfect and greater than our minds can ever understand.

Please pray for Jayne as she begins a new chapter in her life. It’s going to be difficult but we know that she is an amazing woman who has a close and deep relationship with an amazing Savior. Please pray for her healing and her new journey.

And please remember to pray for the thousands of families across this nation who are dealing with loved ones suffering from ALS and other terrible diseases. Life is so precious and so many people are hurting and only God can provide the true peace and hope that we all need.

If you have any questions about AJ & Jayne, please call 301.739.1165, email hagerstownrescue@verizon.net or mail us at P.O. Box 685, Hagerstown, MD 21741.

If you don’t have the peace of Christ in your life and are desperate to experience the joy that AJ had, please contact us immediately so we can talk to you about the greatest relationship you will ever know with Jesus. As long as you’re still breathing, it’s never too late. God doesn’t care about your past, He is ready to change your future. Don’t wait to prepare for eternity.

 

 

Join our Auxiliary!

Ladies of greater Hagerstown, are you looking for a way to use your creative talents and ideas in a way that helps the less fortunate in our community?

If so, we’ve got the perfect ministry for you.

We’re looking for some inspiring and excited women to join our Ladies’ Auxiliary!

Our Ladies’ Auxiliary is a very important part of The Hope Center. The women who are a part of this ministry help to raise much needed support for special projects for the many different outreach programs and ministries at The Hope Center.

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In addition to being fundraisers, our Ladies’ Auxiliary also hosts special events throughout the year. Some of the events are for the public and some are specially geared for our residents.

And we’re always looking for fresh ideas and new ways to reach the community. If you feel that you could help The Hope Center and want to be a part of our Auxiliary then please contact us immediately.

The Ladies’ Auxiliary meets the first Monday of each month at 7pm in the Administrative Offices at The Hope Center. The last meetings for 2013 will be held on November 4th and December 2nd.

Also, on November 9th, our Ladies’ Auxiliary will host the annual Christmas Bazaar in the Trinity Center from 9am-2pm. This is a wonderful opportunity for you and your friends to stop by, shop, eat and get to know some of the other ladies in our auxiliary.

So now’s the time to get involved! What are you waiting for? Invite some of your close friends or other women from your small groups or Sunday School classes to join you. Together we can make a difference in the lives of so many in our community.

To learn more, call our Auxiliary president, Dorothy Martin, at 301.790.3843 or email us at hagerstownrescue@verizon.net.