Caring for Students in Difficult Days

Burned Benches

The January 17th and 18th attacks against Christian churches and homes in cities across Niger left a wake of destruction, pain, and fear.  These events have resulted in the deaths of 10 Nigeriens (not Christians), millions of dollars in damaged property, and a community stunned at this unexpected wave of violence.  Christians and M*sl*ms, citizens and foreigners, young and old – across the spectrum, we are wrestling with the trauma of this loss and what it means.  Our students were not left untouched.  Some students had to flee for safety, others offered their homes as safe shelter for families who literally fled with nothing but the clothes on their backs and still others faced the destruction of the local churches and ministries in which their families were investing their lives. They are now processing through these experiences.  Pray for wisdom for our staff as we come alongside them and pray that the Holy Spirit would be free to accomplish His purposes in each student’s life during this very vulnerable time.

Burning ashes

all around,

Sweeping down

from across


I find myself feeling

most alone,

lying prone,

feeling scared,

hurling at this

white hot rage.

My chest feels

like it’s in a


In my brain

I see one thing.

A lion’s mane,

gleaming gold with peace.

Rage contracting,

New thoughts flashing,

from this slope I


The hope will

Rise again.


-Written by a Sahel Academy Student in response to the weekend’s events.