Ginger McBride of Grand Cane, LA is a Certified Pastoral Member of the Sarasota Academy of Christian Counseling and has been an International Representative since January, 2018. Ginger is also a Licensed Pastoral Counselor through the N.C.C.A.
Currently she is teaching Created In God’s Image and has five (5) students. She plans to teach Creation Therapy to those students soon.
Claiming God’s Promises by Ginger McBride….
It was February 20, 2018. Twenty days into this precious project and God has accomplished so much. I called Debbie around 7pm for an update. She and her family: her husband, children, brothers, and others, were working into the night by the lights of tractors, getting gutters on the house before another rain. She had to let me go. They were at a tedious point.
That’s the way it has been every day since she signed a lease with Heritage Bank on a repossessed home with 3 bedrooms and 2 ½ baths. She told the banker her story. God told her that prison ministry for one hour a week was not enough. God wanted her to open a half-way house for women coming out of the prison system, women He treasured. The banker believed her story and also believed if God told her, it would happen. By the way, the first three months of the lease were free.
This is a story of what happens in the natural while God works in the supernatural. It’s a story about what God does with prayer, fasting, obedience, and claiming His promises. When we take small steps to make these things priorities in our lives, life is not hard – it’s fun. The Bible is full of promises that assure us of an abundant, adventurous life, we just have to have the faith of a “mustard seed” to take those small steps. Our Creator knows what stretches us and builds our faith. He will put one test at a time in front of us. If we cannot pass the test (or refuse to take it), He will send us back to our lessons until He tests us again.
Debbie McClure and I have learned to take the test the first (or second) time. Debbie and I met on a mission trip to Peru. Then, God put us together on a mission trip to Haiti. We were part of a construction team after the earthquake in 2010. Being the only women, we had time to share our hearts for missions with each other. We both felt the Lord leading us to be a part of ministry where no one else was working. We talked about starting a non-profit, but God had to be in the middle of it. We knew we had to start with prayer.
My friend, Sandy Burford had given me a book on fasting a few years ago. If ever we needed to know God’s will, it was now. We fasted and prayed the first 21 days of 2011. We began to see God work. Dusty Feet Missionaries became our first non-profit. It reaches so many needy families. We work with missions’ organizations, but we search to find areas outside the scope of their ministries where we can help at home and around the world. God has taken us on some exciting adventures. We have been His voice, as His love through Jesus Christ has been proclaimed. We have been His hands and feet for those who needed to feel His compassion.
Participation in jail ministry came about as we usually get involved in ministry. My daughter-in-law mentioned that she thought I should join the work of Purchased: Not for Sale, a ministry to prostitutes in the Shreveport/Bossier area of Louisiana. They were having orientation classes on Monday nights in July. Sandy and I went to see what they were all about. After the first class, I called Debbie and asked her to come check this program out. Even though she lives 3 hours away, she made the Monday night classes, including the make-up class.
After the classes, we were given the opportunity to sign up for the different areas of ministry, including visiting women in jail. While I was making my way to talk to the director and tell her that I would be praying for her ministry but I didn’t think I was called to this particular ministry, Debbie was signing us up. I wasn’t so sure about all of this, but I didn’t take my name off the list.
Debbie would drive up every Tuesday. We would meet the volunteers for prayer before visiting inmates. Some volunteers came to see one girl. We would see as many as we could during the Tuesday visitation time. One of the guards asked us if we would like to participate in Tuesday night church services. We set up that orientation and soon we were visiting in the afternoons and going into the women’s cell block in the evenings.
Since there were already women ministers for this cell block, we asked if we could go into Female Mental Health where no one was holding church services. The chaplain asked us if we had counseling experience. We told him no, so he sent us right on in to Female Mental Health. Later he recommended to us, Temperament Counseling through Sarasota Academy and the National Christian Counselors Association.
Debbie and Sandy volunteered me to take the first class. The Created in God’s Image class met on the same night as jail ministry and we weren’t ready to give that up completely. Just as the Purchased orientation, I wanted them to experience these Temperament classes for themselves, so we all started taking one class at a time, through Creation Therapy, Life Coaching, Phase I and Phase II until we were certified.
Somewhere in the middle of all these classes, Debbie began jail ministry a little closer to her home with her nieces, Sherry Patten and Jill Thompson. That’s when the Lord spoke to her and told her one hour was not enough. At first Debbie resisted, but God insisted. She filled out the paperwork for another 501(c)3. We decided Almost Home Behavioral Health Ministries, was a good name for a “more-than-half-way” house.
For the first 21 days in January 2018 we fasted and prayed for Almost Home. We knew only Jesus Christ could make a difference in the lives of the broken. We prayed for the girls. We prayed for God’s will and God’s way. We prayed for the paperwork. We prayed for a place.
The first weekend of January, Debbie and I had the opportunity to be Prayer Boot Camp facilitators, a prayer Bible study from the movie, War Room. Claude King from Lifeway Christian Stores in Nashville, Tennessee, was leading the study at First Baptist Church, Bushnell, Florida. Even though we try to limit our trips during our fasting, it doesn’t always work out. Our prayer time is sometimes in solitude; and sometimes while we are on the go. This year, we would go to Florida for the weekend and start Created in God’s Image classes on Monday night. Our typical prayer and fasting times happen more like Brother Lawrence’s: He prayed while he was “rattling his pots and pans.” We decided this prayer retreat would be good for us and good for the ministry. Rev. Claude King allowed us to share about Almost Home that weekend, then he prayed for us and the ministry. The whole church was excited about what God was leading us to do. Many came offering us words of encouragement.
On January 22-23, Louisiana Southern Baptists held their Evangelism Conference. That’s a meeting that I always enjoy, if I’m in the state. Monday night was class night, but I could be there for the Tuesday sessions. Sandy and I attended our first breakout session on prayer with Dr. Greg Frizzell. He shared on Biblical principles of prayer and his testimony of how God turned a church back to Himself, when the congregation humbled themselves in prayer.
Our next session was with Karen Abercrombe who played “Miss Clara” in the movie, War Room. She shared about Rahab the prostitute and how God used her to be part of the lineage of Jesus. After her talk, Sandy and I went up to introduce ourselves and tell her about our ministry to prostitutes and women in jail due to addictions and bad behavior. She too, was excited and prayed for us and the ministry. So much has been about War Room. I’m pretty sure we will be meeting the Kendrick brothers before the year is over. They will want to pray for us as well. Our state Women’s Ministry Director, Janie Wise, overheard our conversation with Karen. She wanted to know about the ministry and do what she could to help us.
God continues to put people who can pray for us in our path. We met Dr. Brook Bello at the NCCA Conference October 2017. Debbie and Brook have kept up with each other through texts and Facebook. Brook called Monday, February 5, for a prayer time. She had specific prayer requests for her ministry, and we had specific prayer requests for ours. We agreed with each other in prayer. It was a sweet, sweet time.
Pastors and lay leaders from denominational and nondenominational churches have prayed in the house, for the ministry and for the women who will be living there. They have promised to go back to their churches and ask for financial support. We need the financial support, but more importantly, we need their prayers. Others came on weekends to bring donations and work on pending projects. God supplies our needs through money, volunteers, donations of goods and services, causing things to happen and preventing bad things from happening. We accept them all as gifts from Jehovah Jireh.
As I said before, we signed the lease February 1, and the actual work on the house began. Debbie’s daughter-in-law, Angie Wilson, stepped in to help. Angie has been at the house early in the morning until late afternoon, when she goes home to take care of her own household. She sticks by Debbie as Ruth did Naomi. Angie helped paint the Leslie Wilson Room in memory of Debbie’s daughter, and then she has painted all the other rooms that had not been painted. Debbie and Angie are a painting machine. Debbie cleans and primes; Angie paints, and when a Melancholy paints, it’s perfect.
As people sponsor rooms in memory of loved ones, their healing process continues. This community is broken because of pre-mature deaths of too many young adults. Some suffered addictions and overcame them; some were overcome by them. As family members and friends sponsor rooms for their loved ones, and as they see the lives of these broken women healed of their addictions and destructive lifestyles, they will know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, God is in heaven and He cares for each one of us, most especially those who the devil is so dead set on destroying.
Please pray for us. Pray that God will anoint us with every ministry gift. Pray that God will give us strength for body, soul, and spirit to reclaim and restore lives the devil has stolen for himself. He cannot have them. Pray that God will continue to send willing workers. Pray for longevity of the ministry that will stop recidivism in our prison system.
Pray that the women we touch with our words and deeds will come to have a true relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Pray that their lives will be restored. Pray that they will see themselves as God’s treasures. Pray that they will understand God’s unique plan for them and be able to implement it. Pray for programs and curricula that will teach in a way that is easy to learn and apply.
Pray that we would always humble ourselves before Almighty God, and give Him glory, honor, and praise for allowing us to be a small part of His mighty work.
“And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19
“Everyone whose heart stirred him and everyone whose spirit moved him came and brought the Lord’s contribution for the work of the tent meeting and for all its service and for the holy garments.” Exodus 35:21
“Then I will rebuke the devourer for you so that it will not destroy the fruits of your ground; nor will your vine in the field cast its grapes,” says the Lord of hosts. Malachi 3:11
“The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it more abundantly.” John 10:10
“This is the day which the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24
Pray that we will be bold to claim and implement all of God’s precious promises for His priceless treasures.