Greater Things

Providence Through Library Shelves

As thousands of books came through our doors this past summer and fall, we suspected in September that we would run out of space on the shelves, and we began to pray for taller bookcases.  Specifically, we needed free-standing, six-foot-plus, double-sided, metal bookcases; the kind that are designed for libraries. We called local and regional libraries, searched online databases, and asked various librarians for referrals. Sadly, no bookshelves were to be found. By October of this year, all of our library’s bookcases were full, and we had more books in storage.

A little more than one week ago, on a Friday afternoon, our leadership team decided that we needed to begin purchasing the necessary shelving in order to be good stewards of God’s resources. In the meeting, we searched for the product online, and then calculated the cost of our order including tax and shipping.  At a significant cost of $1000 per shelf for sixty six units, I jotted down this pertinent information to include in the monthly e-newsletter, because I planned to tell our GNU community that this type of project is a part of our Embark giving campaign.

However, during that same meeting, Jennifer Mills, our Provost, received an email from a librarian in Oregon who is a part of the GNU community. A university south of Portland closed this past year, and, at this stage, they were giving away various items for free. The pictures attached to the email showed at least 50 library shelves that were exactly what we needed.  We reviewed the pictures and confirmed that the items were free; then, Jennifer called the university’s contact. Following a brief conversation with a promise to call us later in the day, the library shelves (and any library books still on the shelves) belonged to GNU. This past week, we began transporting the shelves back to Spokane to be assimilated into the library this Christmas break and spring semester. 

Throughout GNU’s journey, we have experienced God’s provision for His work. This story is just one example among many of how our God is revealing Himself in our midst. In this case, He provided $66,000-worth of library shelves so that we could continue to build the collection of books that supports a biblically-based Christian liberal arts education in the Northwest.

In addition, we have seen God’s provision through individuals and families. Thank you to everyone who has generously donated library books to support our academic programs. We are so grateful for your partnership in supporting the education of our students!

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