Snapshot: Re-Opening the Bible School!

When the flood took over our compound in August, the Bible school was one of the entities completely swept through with river water.

I’ve written about our involvement with L’ESPriT – “L’École Supérieur Privée de Théologie” – Bible School of Theology – here on this blog not long ago. This school exists to train pastors to lead churches in unreached parts of Niger and West Africa.

The entire school was inundated by flood waters in late August. The student’s housing, most of their belongings, as well as the library and office were completely ruined.

This was a real crisis! With at least ten new students, along with their families, set to arrive in September, there was nothing left to do except pray for a miracle. Meanwhile, through the flood emergency fund, God provided money to replace some supplies that were lost in the flood – mattresses, gas bottles for cooking, large cooking pots, food, and bed linens. There was a lot of searching around the city, talking with local church leaders, and PRAYER.

In mid-September there was an offer made and accepted to use a center owned by another church denomination. What an answer to prayer! The school director’s wife and I went shopping one day to buy food and pots for the new location. Everyone was excited!

Then, just days before opening, this church denomination changed their minds and revoked their commitment. It was a shock and such a discouragement. All we could do was cry out to God. Some of us simply held on to the knowledge that God is in control – even of this.

Of course you already know there is a happy ending to this story! About one week later there was another phone call, another conversation about an option just outside the city. There is a ministry called “The Rock” that has a center in this village suburb. They explained how they were going through changes, had been praying about what to do next with their center. They had been praying specifically that God would give them something that could infiltrate this village with the light of the gospel, that their neighborhood would be impacted by Christian witness.

The director of ESPriT talked and prayed with the Rock ministry leaders, and it was clear this was the plan for both of them! Thankfully, housing was found for all of the families – within this village! – and even a place for the library and office were secured.

On Monday morning, October 26th L’ÉSPriT held the opening service at their new God-given location! Andy was out of town but I was able to attend. The director spoke about being a light in this new place and the sovereignty of God in everything – the flood, the hardships, and now this new blessing.

Please continue to pray for this school, these pastors-in-training, and for the new neighborhood of people who will be impacted by the presence of this Bible School this year.

7 thoughts on “Snapshot: Re-Opening the Bible School!

  1. Wow, I didn’t know all this! Thanks for sharing.So delighted to see how the Lord worked things out for EsPriT and The Rock team. And tickled to see you and Andy are involved with EsPriT as well.

    Hope to see you all soon.

    Stay safe and enjoy your time in quarantine,


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  2. Wow!! What a journey!! Thank you so much for the update. You guys have been often on my mind as you’ve transitioned back to Niger… this time without Nathaniel. How is he doing? Does he get to go be with grandparents for the holidays?? Praying for all of you and grateful for you faithfulness

    On Sun, Dec 6, 2020 at 8:21 PM Gray Family: Sojourn in the Desert wrote:

    > graysafricafive posted: ” When the flood took over our compound in August, > the Bible school was one of the entities completely swept through with > river water. I’ve written about our involvement with L’ESPriT – “L’École > Supérieur Privée de Théologie” – Bible School of Theol” >

    1. HI Nicole! So good to hear from you! I often “see” you on facebook but I am so inconsistent there that I rarely comment on things. How is Celeste? Is she home with you guys or? And is Tillman enjoying his job? Our Nathaniel is doing well, though it has been quite a challenge for him. With Covid, the usual ways of making friends are removed so he has been quite lonely. I am proud of how he has patiently persevered and finally broken though into some cool things. He found a men’s Bible Study that he enjoys, got two on-campus jobs and now he joined the track team! wow! He will spend Christmas at my parent’s house in Richland and I know he will be adequately spoiled there. He knows another Whitworth student who lives in that area too, so maybe he’ll even have some friend time. We are plugging along with the usual life challenges here, and a few extra thins since we had to relocate due to the flooding. Our own house was also flooded – did you know that? (I always assume that people get our email updates but then again I shouldn’t be so sure!) We were able to rent another house but it has been a big change nonetheless. Anyway, I hope you guys enjoyed thanksgiving in lockdown (oh boy!) and have some interesting plans for Christmas time. Love and hugs to you and the whole family! Love, Nikki

  3. Amazing story of how God provided that new location! Thanks for sharing…and all the pictures are a wonderful bonus.


  4. Dear Gray Family

    I love your letters! They uplift my spirit, inspire me to grow my faith by seeing how God answers your specific prayers and takes care of those who love Him.

    We would like to water the seed you’ve planted in Niger by supporting your friends who want to go to Bible school. Is there any update on their plan? Could you tell me or send a link on the best way to do that?

    Thank you and have a blessed Christmas! We’re praying for your family, especially that Nathaniel will have a happy Christmas even without your physical hugs.

    Love & hugs


    Sent from my iPhone


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