Dear New Hope Family:
Those who have had a chance to spend any amount of time on New Hope’s campus over the years probably know about an important tradition at the school – the New Hope Academy Declaration. Every student from kindergarten onward memorizes it, and I have heard that our alumni can typically recite it on command years after they have left our halls. It goes like this:We go to New Hope Academy, a Kingdom School. We exalt the name of Jesus. We recognize his presence here. We believe in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. We believe the Bible to be God’s Holy Word, to be complete truth, a guide to our feet. I am created in the image of God, and He loves me beyond my imagination. God calls me to love and serve the Lord Jesus Christ, to listen and obey, to listen and obey the first time, to use words with kindness, to respect God’s creation and all authority, to not seek harm against another, to love and encourage others, to serve my community. For I can do all these things through Christ who gives me strength. I can be a teacher, a preacher, a doctor, a banker, a coach, a mother, a father, a fireman, a zookeeper, or a nurse. We will display a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. We will be called Oaks of Righteousness, a planting of the Lord for a display of His splendor.
Being the new guy, I had no idea about the Declaration until the entire student body recited it in unison at a devotions service in September. They even have a part near the end where they yell out when they get to the, “Oaks of Righteousness,” part, pumping their fists in the air. If you haven’t seen it, it’s pretty cool. In my own heart, I was blown away, not just by our students’ ability to memorize, but also because I realized – this is why I’m here.
I grew up like so many of our kids at New Hope. We had plenty of struggles and challenges at home. In fact, I wasn’t even sure where exactly to call home since I attended nine different schools by the time I finished eighth grade. I have been an orphan, among numerous other adverse childhood experiences.
But that is not the end of my story. The end of my story is God’s faithfulness to lift me out of my challenging circumstances by providing me a home with two loving parents, a faith community that supported me, an education at an excellent university, and a wife and two daughters who bless me daily.
That’s why I’m here. All of our students are going to experience challenges in their lives, and they need to see that God will help them overcome. But particularly for our students who come from hard places, they need to see that God has given me “a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.” And God will do that for them too.
I’m guessing that’s why you’re here too. I’m new here, so I don’t know all of you yet, but I’m guessing that you’ve seen our alumni prove it over and over again that they can go on to be “teachers, preachers, doctors, bankers, coaches, mothers, fathers, firemen, zookeepers, and nurses.”
You have seen that they are changing lives in this community, in this country, and in the world, just as their lives were changed here at New Hope. And I’m guessing that you want to be a part of raising up the next generation to be “a planting of the Lord for a display of His splendor.” Thank you for your partnership. Thank you for all the ways that you pray for our students, read to them in the classroom, serve them lunch, run in a race for their benefit, or given your time to mentor them.
We also thank you for your financial gifts. New Hope Academy today is home to more students who have more access to financial aid, better facilities, and a more comprehensive curriculum thanks to your tremendous generosity. This meaningful support brings energy and refined purpose to our school, and it further fuels the heartfelt passion of our administrators, teachers, and families to empower our students to overcome situational and generational poverty through Christ and through education.
As we look to continue making an impact in the lives of these students in the second half of the 2019-20 school year, we invite you again to join us in our pursuit of an enduring legacy for our students today and in the years to come. We hope that you’ll continue to lock arms with us as we move forward in our mission to transform the lives of our students and the culture as a whole toward greater understanding, unity, and love. You can help us by making a gift of any amount, but here is some guidance as you consider the impact you could make:
- $60 sponsors a child for one day at New Hope Academy.
- $300 sponsors a child for one week.
- $1,200 sponsors a child for one month.
- $5,000 covers all of New Hope’s scholarship needs for one day.
- $6,000 sponsors a child for one semester.
- $12,000 sponsors a child to attend New Hope for an entire year.
- $24,000 sponsors two children (potentially all the children in a family).
We deeply appreciate you and your prayerfully considered generosity to the students of New Hope Academy. We have enclosed an envelope with a gift form for your use, or you can donate online at www.nhafranklin.org/donate. We are also available to discuss other ways to give if you would like.
This is an inspiring time to be a part of the New Hope Family, and we invite you to visit. Come to Devotions. Read to a class. Serve as a volunteer. Experience the vibrancy of our school. Know that you are always needed and welcome on our campus. Remember that you are created in the image of God, and He loves you beyond your imagination. He calls you to love and serve the Lord Jesus Christ, to use words with kindness, to respect God’s creation and all authority, to not seek harm against another, to love and encourage others, to serve your community. It’s an honor to serve this community alongside all of you with the hopeful expectation that these students and all of us would become “Oaks of Righteousness, a planting of the Lord for a display of His splendor.”
With gratitude and enthusiasm,
Dr. Devin DeLaughter
Head of School