Last month I was gifted an opportunity to dine at the table of Hope. Peace Prep Academy, an independent Christian school in Atlanta, was hosting its annual fundraiser and I was given a ticket to the occasion that was indelibly marked by Hope.
Hope: The Evening, as the event was called, was marked by reminders that in the face of seeming impossibility there is opportunity to unshed and unwed ourselves of the forces that can so easily cause us to shrink back from progress.
At the event, rapper Tedashii served as a skillful, joyful, reverent and yet childlike host who was well-matched by the evening’s poetic accompaniment, Propaganda (Prop). A piece entitled, “Dear Bored of Education’’ was one example of his artful ability to use words to poignantly share the most obvious truths that are so often unspoken. Sounds of Orchestra Noir met guests as they entered the venue and in between pauses in conversation. The keynote speaker, Katherine Wolf, whose personal story of losing and finding hope in the face of an unimaginable health crisis stirred attendees to not only believe in what seemed impossible, but also to be willing to fund it — that evening Peace Prep raised $50,000 more than they had during the previous year’s event. Hope prevailed again.
Throughout the night we were reminded that when Hope steps in, perspectives shift and that’s only just the beginning. Seeing Tedashii, who serves on the school’s board, become emotional at his recollection of the school’s progress from just an idea to a thriving community of students, families, and staff in English Avenue, one of Atlanta’s most under-resourced communities, made the event much more than a dinner reception — it was a celebration of collective willingness to hope in the dark. Principal Benjamin Wills, who should be celebrated for his tenacity, humility, and vision, was provided with the God-given idea to create the school as not only an academic institution. His dream was to found an engine of community and generational development. What we see in Peace Prep is a monument of what courage under pressure can become, in time. Hope can always prevail.
I don’t know where this brief reflection finds you, but my prayer for you is that wherever you are, Hope would step into your circumstance and that moment would only be the beginning.
: to cherish a desire with anticipation
: to desire with expectation of obtainment or fulfillment
If you have an interest in learning more about Peace Prep Academy, going on a tour of the school, and/or helping bring joy to more families in English Avenue, find out more.