They will tell you God has a sense of humor and sometimes they have no idea what they are doing. But they will also tell you that they are following God’s lead and putting all of their trust in Him. That trust has led the Akridge family of Christ Lincoln Schools to put together the most unconventional family in the most unconventional circumstances and they couldn’t feel more blessed.
Ben & Michaela married in 2011 and moved to Lincoln in 2013. They began attending church at Calvary Lutheran and had their first son, Levi. They got involved in ministry, sharing their passion for working with kids through the summer Vacation Bible School program. This program hit the streets in the impoverished sections of Lincoln and it would prove to change their lives forever in the best way possible.
It’s through this experience that they met the first of three children: Tahjja, Ta’sha & TaJonne (who they fondly refer to as the 3 T’s). They came from a life that was fatherless and filled with abuse, neglect, and poverty. They begin inviting them into their home, caring for them, helping them through school, and showing them love. They quickly became a part of their family and began living with them full-time, which eventually led to their adoption by the Akridges in June 2020. The 3 T’s have flourished and found success in school at LPS with Ben & Michaela being advocates for them, working through IEPs, and encouraging them to be their best. Tahjja is now studying at SCC, Ta’sha is at Southeast High School and working at Christ Lincoln Schools Child Care, and Tajonne is excelling as a high school sophomore and is involved in football and wrestling.
That same summer when the 3 T’s came into their life, they also connected with another young boy. Ruey was a kid, with a hardworking single mom, who tended to find trouble. He sought negative attention and was following the lead of older siblings who were constantly pushing the limits. After several years, much like the 3 T’s, their relationship with Ruey grew and soon his mom allowed the Akridges the opportunity to welcome him into their home and care for him.
When the time came for Ben & Michaela’s biological son, Levi, to start Kindergarten, they knew they needed a school filled with faith. Levi had been attending preschool at Immanuel Lutheran and they wanted his Christian education to continue. They found Christ Lincoln Schools and couldn’t be more happy. It’s a place that helps him love learning, filled with amazing teachers, a Principal who cares, and relationships that have blessed their family. He loves the music education provided and takes pride in his school – it is his place. Christ Lincoln Schools assisted the Akridges by filling the gap and providing tuition assistance that has helped make it all possible. And to top it all off, Ruey was able to join Levi in the second semester of his 3rd-grade year. The Akridges credit Principal Mark L’Heureux and his teacher Laura Asplin for creating a welcoming environment for him that was filled with patience, yet discipline. He began to see his value & capabilities and his confidence skyrocketed. He developed meaningful friendships and his faith life has grown exponentially. It also doesn’t hurt that he is a huge dog lover and gets to adore Christ Lincoln Schools Comfort Dog, Joanna.
Ben has worked for the railroad all these years and Michaela heard God’s calling again a few years back when she started a non-profit called Food Fort. Through this venture, they invest in and build relationships through meals in those same areas of our community where their family was completed. You can learn more about this beautiful mission at lincolnfoodfort.com. The Akridges also have another biological child, Brady, who will start Kindergarten at Christ Lincoln Schools in the fall. From preschool at Immanuel to elementary school at Christ Lincoln Schools, they have found the blessings offered through the Lutheran Schools of Lincoln.
The road hasn’t always been smooth or easy in their journey, but they are following God’s lead and His calling. They are trusting, faithful, joyful, and filled with love for the family that He has created for them.