My, My What a Spring It Was!

Summer has officially arrived! We love those long, hazy and hot days of summer. The smell of grilling out, the taste of a cold glass of lemonade and the chance to cool off by taking a dip in the pool are some of the things we like the best about this season. But we also love hosting hundreds of kids each summer at Camp Wild, our free summer day camp for kids in Hagerstown.

But before we kickoff Camp Wild season at The Hope Center, we want to take a moment to look back at Spring 2017.

From our 3rd annual Rock the Run 5k, to Easter celebrations, to Soup Line parties and more, our spring was loaded with activities.

We started celebrating random “National Holidays” with our Soup Line guests. On any given day we would include our guests in a “holiday” of sorts which could include prizes and a themed meal. There’s so much negativity and hurt in the world today so we wanted to have some fun with our guests and bring smiles to their faces as they celebrate such days as Oreo Day, Strawberry Day and, of course, St. Patrick’s Day.

But of all the springtime celebrations, of course nothing can compare to the importance of Easter. And this Easter we had so much going on! We hosted everything from a Wildside Youth party complete with a huge Easter Egg Hunt, to our Auxiliary bake sale, Easter celebration with our staff, residents and guests and an Easter cantata performance by the choir from Maranatha Brethren Church with a delicious meal too! Easter is obviously so important to our ministry because it is the basis for the change and hope that we offer at The Hope Center. The power of Christ’s resurrection is what makes all this change possible. So we make sure that our residents and guests understand how important this celebration is to the power of hope.

As soon as Easter was over we were tying our running shoes for our 3rd annual Rock the Run: A Race for Hope presented by Martin’s Famous Pastry Shoppe. Each year our race gets better and better as we see so many new faces. But with all the new faces, we’re so thrilled to see so many participants returning to support The Hope Center. From our sponsors, to our volunteers and participants, our race this year was an overwhelming success! And we’ll be hosting it again in April, 2018 so plan to join us. Learn more about the race at http://www.rocktherunhagerstown.com.

And just this past weekend the awesome folks at Germantown Church of God hosted our residents for an evening of fellowship and great food! The people at the church have been hosting this picnic for years upon years and it’s an activity that our men genuinely love. We were so thrilled to have some of our staff join our men as we mixed and mingled with the people from Germantown Church of God. In fact, our very own Sue (she’s the voice you hear every time you call The Hope Center) is wife to Mark, the pastor of Germantown Church of God. We’re so thankful that the church continues to provide this evening of relaxation and fellowship for our men.

So as we bid farewell to yet another spring, we excitedly look forward to what God has in store for this summer. Camp Wild is just weeks away and things here are focused on making sure that our campers have another safe, fun and action-packed experience this year. Keep up-to-date on Camp Wild by visiting http://www.campwildusa.com. If you’re interested in volunteering or donating supplies for Camp Wild 2017 then call us at 301.739.1165.

We want to thank each of you who have prayed for us, supported us and volunteered with us thus far in 2017. We couldn’t do all that we do without the loving support of each of you. Your gifts, time and talents do not go unnoticed by our staff or our Heavenly Father. Thank you for caring and sharing and investing so much in the lives of so many! We look forward to all the great things in store for the rest of the year!

If you would like to learn more about all the different ways that The Hope Center is working in our area then go to http://www.hagerstownhopecenter.com. Thinking about volunteering? Great! We’ve got the information you need at http://www.volunteerhagerstown.com.

 

Happy Memorial Day!

“In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,

With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me;

As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free!

While God is marching on”    -Battle Hymn of the Republic

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As Americans we love our freedoms but sometimes we often forget the extreme price that has been paid for those freedoms. We can easily get caught in our day-to-day routine of balancing family with work and navigating such busy lives that we sometimes forget how blessed we are to not just live in a prosperous nation but also one that enjoys such incredible freedoms.

As we go to picnics, parties and gatherings today, we need to remember the thousands of patriots who have gone before us sacrificing their lives, their blood and their families so that we can enjoy such human freedom that was once only imagined as a dream.

We thank God everyday for our military and their families who give up so much so that we can be free. Thank you to each of you who are currently serving right now to make sure that these shores are protected and our rights and freedoms continue.

Thank you to the families who watch as their loved ones leave for long periods of time to put their lives on the line for millions of fellow Americans that they’ve never met.

And we thank God for giving us the honor of living in a country where we value freedoms and each other so much. We hope that each day serves as a reminder of the blessings given to each of us from above. May we continue to fight for freedom, both here and elsewhere, defending those whose voices have been silenced and whom God asks of us to help.

On this Memorial Day, we hope that we all can come together, in spite of our differences, to thank those who have given their lives so that we can all live in peace and be free.

“There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:13

 

2014 Year in Pictures: Part 2

This is the second part of a series of pictures celebrating all the people that God brought into The Hope Center in one way or another in 2014.

We appreciate, love, and value each of our guests, staff, donors, and volunteers so much! Thank you to each and every one of you who have partnered with us in 2014. Thank you for your prayers, financial support, volunteer hours, and all the food and gently used goods donated to help us fight against homelessness, hunger, addiction and hopelessness in the name of Christ.

Thank you for helping to make Hagerstown a better place!

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Germantown Church of God Hosts a Delicious Picnic!

Since 2005, one special Sunday evening in June the residents and staff at The Hope Center are invited to an evening of food, fellowship & worship from our good friends at Germantown Bethel Church of God in Cascade, MD.

The annual event is a chance for the members of the church to meet and mingle with the residents and staff at The Hope Center and to learn more about how the church’s continued support is helping change lives and reach people for Christ in Hagerstown.

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The evening begins with a delicious picnic full of wonderful foods prepared and provided by the church families in attendance. This year, though, was a wee bit different.

Usually there are hamburgers and hot dogs served at the picnic but this year the church did something a little unexpected and had a delicious pig roast! The pig was prepared by Ed and Margaret Baker of Sabillasville, MD.

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Following the food, everyone gathers together for the evening service hosted by The Hope Center. The service included songs and testimonies from the men. The service is also a time for the church members to hear about all the work that God is doing at The Hope Center and receive an inspiring message to challenge everyone in attendance.

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Germantown Church of God has been partnering, supporting and helping in various ways at The Hope Center for many, many years. In fact, Germantown has been involved with The Hope Center since at least the spring of 1956!

We are so thankful for the lifelong commitment the people of Germantown Church of God have made to this ministry! They understand the importance of the work done at The Hope Center and they take an active part following God’s command to reach all people for Christ.

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And we really appreciate the yearly invitation for our residents and staff to get to know and see the faces of the people who help to make this ministry possible. We want to give a big “thank you” to Pastor Mark Hosler and his wife, Sue, for always being such wonderful hosts, faithful supporters, and for promoting God’s work here at The Hope Center to their church family.

Thank you, Germantown Church of God, for your support and friendship through the years!

If you would like to know more about Germantown Church of God, please visit http://www.germantowncog.org or call 301.241.3050.

Great Evening at our Annual Picnic!

Each year, our staff, residents, Auxiliary, Board of Directors and family members come together for an evening of sports, fellowship, activities and delicious food.

Our annual Hope Center Picnic was held on Friday, September, 27th at the Washington County Regional Park.

Our residents enjoyed an evening away from our downtown facilities to play softball, horseshoes, Frisbee and socializing.

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Approximately 60 people attended. Our Auxiliary provided chicken & sodas and other guests brought delicious side dishes, salads and desserts.

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We always enjoy this event. It’s a nice, casual way to get to know each other outside of The Hope Center and it provides our Board of Directors and Auxiliary to really get to know some of our residents and staff on a more personal level.

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This is a wonderful opportunity for our residents to meet some of the loving people who help in many different ways at The Hope Center. The men in the program get to meet and talk to the people who are their invisible support team helping each of the men reach their spiritual, physical and emotional goals.

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We are so thankful for our staff, Auxiliary and Board of Directors. These people care so much for this ministry and the hundreds and thousands of lives who are reached by the various programs at The Hope Center.

If you would like to get involved with The Hope Center by joining our Auxiliary, please call 301.739.1165 or email hagerstownrescue@verizon.net.

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Great Times at our Annual Picnic!

Every year we host a Hope Center “family picnic” in the late summer. The picnic is for the entire Hope Center family including residents, graduates, staff, Board of Directors and Ladies’ Auxiliary.

This year our picnic was held on Friday, September 28th at Black Rock park in Hagerstown.

It was a beautiful day for the picnic and our residents and men’s ministry staff spent the afternoon enjoying the park activities like softball, horseshoes, football and frisbee.

Everyone in attendance, except for our residents, brought delicious dishes and our auxiliary provided chicken and sodas.

While there was no service planned for the event, some of the men spontaneously expressed their appreciation and gratitude for the picnic and for everything that is done for them at The Hope Center. A couple of the men shared very touching testimonies of how God has blessed them and changed their lives since they came to The Hope Center.

It was a great evening of food & fellowship for everyone who came. It’s nice to be able to have all aspects of The Hope Center family come together to get to know each other and learn more about the ministry and how God is changing lives and bringing hope to lives.

As some of the men spoke about how God is moving in their lives and how special they feel because of the love and compassion of The Hope Center, it reminds us that you, our friends in the community, have made such a difference in the lives of every person who receives help and assistance at The Hope Center.

None of us may never know during this lifetime the true scope of lives touched and changed through this ministry. But we know that God values each of these lives tremendously. And we know that God uses each of you to help keep this ministry moving forward and bringing hope to so many of your neighbors in the community.

Thank you so much for partnering with us to provide the only real hope that can genuinely change lives for eternity!

As our late founder, Jimmy Resh, would say, “keep on, keepin’ on”! Let’s continue to bring people to Christ in Hagerstown until He returns!

Annual Germantown Cookout

We enjoy building relationships with the many churches that support this ministry in one way or another. Many churches are involved by helping to host an evening chapel service followed by a meal. Other churches help by donating food or clothing. And other churches are involved with providing certain items for specific ministries when we are in need.

So to say that our local churches are important to this ministry would be an understatement. We appreciate all the churches that partner with us to reach thousands of people each year for Christ.

But it’s very special, especially for our residents, when we are invited to a church for a meal!

Germantown Church of God hosted our residents and staff for a cookout Sunday evening, June 10th. But this isn’t the first time the kind folks from Germantown have done this. For the past 15 years the church has been grilling up a wonderful cookout for our residents and staff!

And the event was even more special for our residents and staff because our receptionist, Sue, is not only a valuable staff person at The Hope Center but also an active member of the church – and the pastor’s wife!

The delicious menu included hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill along with salads, desserts, macaroni & cheese, and other picnic favorites. Everything was cooked, grilled and prepared by the great cooks and hospitality team who attend the church!

Germantown Church of God is located up the mountain on a beautiful property which seems like a far distance from the downtown core where The Hope Center is located. So it’s especially nice for our residents to be able to have time to relax and explore the beautiful property surrounding the church.

After the cookout and outdoor time, everyone gathered in the sanctuary of the church for an evening of praise and worship, testimonies and a message.

Germantown Church of God has been involved in one way or another with The Hope Center since approximately 1960.  Their involvement includes hosting a monthly chapel service, and every Thanksgiving they provide 30-40 pies for our annual community feast.

We want to thank Pastor Mark Hosler, Sue and all the wonderful people of Germantown Church of God for being so generous and hospitable to our residents and staff and for being so faithful to serving the Lord throughout the years at The Hope Center!

If you are currently looking for a church, please remember to check out Germantown Church of God. The church is located at 16924 Raven Rock Road, Cascade, MD  21719. For more info about the church or to learn about how your church can get involved, please call 301.739.1165 or email us at hagerstownrescue@verizon.net.