2014 Year in Pictures: Part 1

2014 has all but come & gone. Each year seems to go faster than the one before. And the end-of-year festivities wouldn’t be complete without a look back at the year that just was.

So the next few days we’re going to post some pictures from all the various events, ministries, and activities that took place at The Hope Center.

You’ll see pictures of volunteers, staff, guests, residents, donors and anyone else who helped to make 2014 another great year in Hagerstown!

And while we’re putting 2014 behind us, we’re so excited for the year that’s coming. 2015 is going to be a big year at The Hope Center as we celebrate 60 years of ministry in Hagerstown!

Very soon we’ll be bringing you some information about all the upcoming 60th Anniversary activities that are happening in 2015 so be sure to keep checking back.

We want to thank everyone who helped to make 2014 such a success. From all of our staff, to volunteers, and donors, we appreciate each one of you and your commitment to this ministry. Thank you so much for your support and prayers in 2014 and we look forward to your continued support in 2015!

And now, we bring you the first series of pictures from 2014.

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Tons of Smiles at our Downtown Block Party

On Saturday, September 20th, Walnut Street in Hagerstown came to life with the sights & sounds of laughter, excitement and people having a great time!

Our youth ministry, Wildside Youth, hosted the Downtown Block Party along with Maranatha Brethren and Valley Grace Brethren Churches.

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The churches came with games, prizes, food, and plenty of volunteers ready to create a fun afternoon for all of our guests.

The Trinity Center was open and housed various food stands like snow cones, hot dogs, popcorn, and cotton candy along with cold beverages. There was an area set up for our guests to play some basketball and wow everyone with their skills.

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We were also pleased to have a short show by “Bam the Liquid Robot”. Peter Arizmendi, aka Bam, stopped by to entertain our guests with a dance sequence. Peter uses hip hop and his gift of dance to share the Gospel. He’s currently in the process of opening a dance studio in Hagerstown. Bam the Liquid Robot has stopped by Sunday Night Wild in the past and he’s making another appearance in October.

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Outside on the Walnut Street side of our property were all the games and amusements. From a bounce house, to ring toss, to finger nail painting, to street bowling, face painting, carnival games and a waterslide, there were plenty of activities to keep everyone entertained for hours!

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In addition to volunteers from Maranatha Brethren and Valley Grace, our good friends from Grace Pointe Community Church of the Nazarene in Severn, Maryland drove up for the day to volunteer at this event. We were so happy to see their faces again and we’re thankful for their ongoing support of this ministry and their heart for Hagerstown!

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God provided a beautiful day for our block party as well. The nice warm sun gave people a good reason to come outside and enjoy the festival in the street.

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We estimate that around 250 guests flooded our property to enjoy the free block party together. And the best part was watching kids and parents alike take part in all the various activities!

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We are so thankful for all the resources and hard work that the people of Maranatha and Valley Grace did for this event. We know everyone, from guests of all ages, to volunteers, and even some of our residents, had a great time interacting, socializing, playing, eating and celebrating together. We look forward to hosting this event again in the future.

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If you’re looking for a ministry to get involved with or would like an after-school program for your kids or grandkids to get involved with, check out Wildside Youth Ministries. Go to http://www.wildsideyouth.com for information as well as upcoming activities. All of Wildside’s events are free for kids ages 5-12. If you’d like to talk to someone please call 301.739.1165 or email info@wildsideyouth.com.

If you’re currently looking for a church to attend and would like to be a part of a group of people who not only love the Lord but have a heart for service, then check out Maranatha Brethren or Valley Grace Brethren Churches.

For information about Maranatha Brethren Church visit http://www.maranathagbc.net or call 301.733.1717. Maranatha Brethren is located at 19835 Scott Hill Drive just off of Jefferson Boulevard in Hagerstown.

For information about Valley Grace Brethren Church visit http://www.valleygrace.net or call 301.582.0155. Valley Grace Brethren is located at 17310 Gay Street just off of Virginia Avenue in Hagerstown.

If you are interested in volunteering with Wildside Youth Ministries or any other ministry at The Hope Center, including our upcoming Great Hagerstown Thanksgiving Feast, please visit http://www.volunteerhagerstown.com.

Missions Team Lends a Helping Hand at The Hope Center

A missions team from Rochester, New York spent a day working at The Hope Center as a part of their youth group’s summer missions trip with Wonder Voyage.

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On July 23rd, the missions team spent the day serving at The Hope Center. Upon arrival in the morning, the group spent a little time learning about the various ministries and programs at The Hope Center before starting their day of service.

 

The team was broken into two groups: one group stayed in the Trinity Center, our multipurpose building on property, to help with different projects, and the other group went to our outdoor camp area outside of Hagerstown.

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The missions team worked from 9am until 2pm doing various projects like painting backdrops, preparing Camp Wild manuals, and some physical labor preparing for the next two weeks of Camp Wild.

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After the morning work session, the group came back together to eat lunch with our residents. They had the opportunity to talk & mingle with the guys in the program and enjoy a delicious lunch prepared by our kitchen crew.

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We are very thankful to Wonder Voyage for arranging this missions team to help at The Hope Center. They were a great service to the staff of Camp Wild and they helped get a lot of necessary tasks finished before the last weeks of camp.

Wonder Voyage is a ministry that helps to get churches and youth groups to various missions opportunities or pilgrimages worldwide. To learn more about missions trip and pilgrimages hosted by Wonder Voyage, go to http://www.wondervoyage.com.

St. James Brethren Youth Serve & Learn

This past Sunday evening, a few students and leaders from the youth group at St. James Brethren Church stopped by to serve a light dinner to the residents at The Hope Center.

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The youth group at St. James Brethren Church is no stranger to The Hope Center. They’ve helped fill food boxes for our food bank ministry multiple times and have even taken a tour of the facility and briefly met some of our residents.

But this time was special for the group. And it was special for our residents as well. The youth group prepared the meal and served it but then also spent some time interacting and talking with our residents.

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At one point in the evening, some of the men gave their testimonies for the students and leaders. But then the leaders at St. James were able to give their testimonies for the men to hear.

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It was a wonderful evening of food & fellowship for our residents and the youth group from St. James.

Sara Moore, the youth leader at SJBC, was so thankful for the opportunity for her students, and the leaders, to serve in another capacity at The Hope Center. The chance to actually serve the men and then talk to them was something special for the students.

The kids enjoyed the evening so much that they want to come back and do it again! And it’s important for the students to see and hear how God is changing lives at The Hope Center. It gives these young Christians proof, outside of their own world, that God has the power to not just conquer sin, but also renew a life – and that every person, no matter how lost or destroyed by sin, has value and is important to God.

Teaching young people the importance of service is vital. It gives them the opportunity to understand that they are called by God to be the hands of Christ to people in need and it gives young people the chance to see that there are people in their own city who may not have had the wonderful life that they’ve been blessed with. It helps to create a compassionate heart in each student that they will, hopefully, be carried with them to adulthood.

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But teaching Christian service isn’t the only lesson that can be learned. These students from SJBC learned how human the residents at The Hope Center are. They learned that these are not just “homeless” or “addicted” men. These are people. These are the people that Christ died for, just like He died for them. They learned that with God, there is always hope. And that is a valuable lesson for anyone to learn.

We are so thankful that Sara has a heart for her students and for The Hope Center. She is teaching her students that being a part of a church means being THE church and showing God’s love to the least, the last and the lost.

We will always welcome the youth group from St. James Brethren Church to The Hope Center anytime! Thank you students & leaders from SJBC!

And we would welcome any youth group to stop by and volunteer. If you have a youth group, civic group, boy scout or girl scout troop that would love to help at The Hope Center then please call us at 301.739.1165 or email us at hagerstownrescue@verizon.net. For more info about The Hope Center at Hagerstown Rescue Mission please check out our website at www.hagerstownrescue.org.

If you are looking for a local church to be a part of or you have children or grandchildren who need a solid church program then please visit St. James Brethren Church at 17718 Lappans Road, St. James, Maryland. Or for more info just check out their website at www.sjbchurch.com.

They’re Back!!

The kids from St. James Brethren Church didn’t get enough the first time they volunteered so they came back for more!

And we are so happy they did!

This time the group was a little bit larger and super excited to get to work. The last time the young people from St. James stopped by they helped to pack food boxes. This time we had them pack some food bags for our food bank ministry. The group got right to work and finished in no time!

After all the bags were filled with food, the group was assigned to help organize personal care items and also fill personal care bags. The personal care bags are full of items like soap, shampoo, a toothbrush, toothpaste, razor and deodorant. These bags are given to transient men who stay in our overnight shelter as well as men who are residents of our program.

The youth group had a good time packing the much needed personal care kits as well as helping to separate bags of soaps, shampoos and other items for future use.

We greatly appreciate the work that these young people did for us. Preparing the food bags was a tremendous blessing. Keeping food bags stocked to hand out can be a very time consuming project. And we’re constantly handing out personal care kits to our overnight guests so it’s nice to have plenty ready to hand out.

We want to thank Sara Moore, the leaders and the young people from St. James Brethren Church for coming back and helping us! The enthusiasm of these young people is exciting! They were so happy to help out and get involved that they were already talking about coming back!

The future looks bright when you see young people, like the kids from St. James, so excited to serve the Lord and help others in need. To see kids with such servant hearts is a wonderful sight!

Thanks again, Sara & the BYIC youth group! You’re welcome back anytime!!!

If the young people from St. James have inspired you or your group to get involved in some way, please contact Becky Shank at 301.739.1165 or hagerstownrescue@verizon.net.

If you would like more information about the BYIC youth program at St James Brethren Church or you would like to know more about the church itself, jump over to www.sjbchurch.com or connect with the church on facebook.

The BYIC youth group meets every other Sunday in the ministry center at the church from 4-6pm. All youth from 2nd-12th grades are welcomed to attend. St. James Brethren Church is located at 17718 Lappans Rd in St. James. In addition to the monthly meetings, St James also has a summer camp program, Kings Kids Summer Kamp, for kids in grades K-5th. The church also has a state accredited child care program for infants of 6 weeks to 12 years old.