In time, we were able to rent a small house in the compound next door. This served many years as an ideal BI facility.
God Provides a Bible Institute - "Just for" Pastor Michel
And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. 2 Timothy 2:2
Michel was the 1st graduate. He and his wife, Alice, are standing in front of the Bible Institute.
God Provides a Bible Institute
Most all of us have heard the saying, “Where God guides, He provides.” When you set out to follow Jesus, you can rest calm in His promises. Jesus said to His followers in Matthew chapter six: “Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on.” He went on to assure them that if God feeds the birds of the air, and clothes the grass with beautiful flowers, He’ll do much more for them. He “knoweth that ye have need of all these things.” Jesus went on to say, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
Immediately after Pastor Michel’s conversion, we started having a Bible study with him three and four days a week. He worked at a pharmacy close to our house, so, when the businesses closed for three hours during the heat of the day, he would come to our house and we would study the Bible. One day, after a couple of weeks of Bible studies, Michel humbly said to me: “Pastor Ken, I believe that God called you to Benin just so I could get saved and preach the gospel to my people.” We started in on Pastoral studies. It was not easy for Michel in those days…going to work from 8 AM to 8 PM, six and seven days a week, and then studying theology during his three-hour “siesta” time. He remained faithful. I would try to encourage him from time to time by saying: “Michel, God has called you to be a pastor and some how He will make it possible for you to study full-time and not have to work so many hours a week.” Together, we committed ourselves to pray that God would bring a solution. We had no idea how God would work this out and I must admit that at times my faith grew weak to the point that I wondered if it ever would come to pass.
Debbie, our girls, and I, returned to the States for our first furlough. We reported to our churches of the good things God had accomplished during that first term. Pastor Michel continued working all those hours at the pharmacy, barely able to make ends meet. When we returned to Benin, Michel returned to his pastoral studies. Again, I told him; “I don’t know how,” (and I really didn’t) “but God will do something.” We committed afresh to pray regularly for a God-sent solution. We prayed fervently. Within a couple of weeks, the answer came. A supporting church pastor called me and said that the church had just voted to increase our support significantly and that we were to use the increase to start a Bible Institute and give Michel a full scholarship with subsidies so he can quit his job at the pharmacy and study full time. Hallelujah and Praise the Lord! The Benin Bible Institute was born, ”just for” Pastor Michel. Let’s thank God for providing this means to train, not only Michel, but other pastoral students throughout the years that would follow.
Article by Ken Haley
Handfuls Of Purpose, Inc.
"And let fall also some of the handfuls of purpose..." Ruth 2:16
Michel & Alice
Michel (center) was the 1st student and in a short time we added a second student, Luc, who pastors the Allegleta church.
Local Bible Institute
We no longer have a physical address for the Bible Institute. We have trained the pastors to teach BI courses in their local church. When in country, I teach block courses to the BI students. Below, right, the students are displaying their certificates of achievement for completing the Bible course we taught last year.
We have a Bible course scheduled for February and March.
The Bible Institute began in our home. The 2nd story L-shaped room had many windows which provided a good breeze.
Bible Institute 1st Commencement ceremony.