On Sunday, we celebrated the most hopeful event in history. Jesus, the Son of God, rose from death to life—making a way for us to experience true and lasting life through Him.  

Without Easter, school would be a lot different at Hope Academy. Children would learn to do what the people of Israel did when they had no king: “whatever seemed right in their own eyes” (Judges 17:6).  We could teach our students to follow a set of rules. Though, without a common moral standard, it would be hard to define these rules (and to agree on many other decisions). Through discipline, we could try to modify behaviors. This would only produce outward, temporary change.

Throughout Minneapolis, there would still be crime, injustice, poverty, broken relationships, and other effects of sin—but no real solution.  

This is why redemption is so important—and is a core value at Hope Academy.

We are passionate about God’s transformational work to redeem all things through Christ. “Through the person and work of Jesus Christ, God fully accomplishes salvation for us, rescuing us from judgment for sin into fellowship with him, and then restores the creation in which we can enjoy our new life together with him forever,” explains pastor and author, Tim Keller. 

With this incredible hope, we can approach teaching in a different way. We can tell our students that there is a King! We can point children to God—the One who transforms hearts and minds, giving us both the desire and the ability to change.  

At Hope Academy, hundreds of students are learning what Easter really means for their own lives, their families, and all of creation. Children are experiencing the love of Christ, choosing to follow Him, and finding true freedom and hope. With God’s help, they are growing in love and using their knowledge and skills to bless others.  

Parents are also gaining hope in Christ, and families are being strengthened.

Wayne, a parent with five children who have attended Hope Academy, shared:  

“[When I moved to Minneapolis], I had no GED, with school having felt more like a prison than a place of learning. Selling drugs was the best job I knew, until my neighbors introduced me to some honest work that I did on a part-time basis.

I was just beginning to see that there might be a way out. I also had a young son out of wedlock, and a hard heart towards his mom. She was a single mom of three in her early 20s, scared and doing the best that she could.

After hearing a man named Jeff Bird share at her church, she decided to put her oldest daughter at a tiny new school called Hope Academy in South Minneapolis.  

God has used that decision—and the people associated with this place—to completely change our lives. I married that woman, and her children became our children. It’s hard for my wife and I to express what this place means to us, how much of an oasis it is. Neither Kim nor I came from strong families. To be honest, we’d never even seen a healthy family up close. So, to be exposed to that at Hope Academy was truly mind-blowing.

By inviting us into their families, this community has strengthened our family, which has had a tremendous stabilizing impact on our kids.

I know that the love for Christ and the lessons my children have learned here, they’ll continue passing on to their children, and hopefully their grandchildren after that.”  

Today, Wayne is the Associate Executive Director of the Society of St. Vincent De Paul-Twin Cities and a member of Hope Academy’s Board of Directors. He and his wife, Kim, have two children who currently attend Hope Academy. 

We’re so thankful to see God’s redeeming work in our students’ lives and families; and that we can look to a day when He will completely renew all things (Isaiah 65:17-25; Revelation 21:1-5).

May God fill you with even more joy and hope in this amazing promise!