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A Troubled Past to a Powerful Future

Blessings! My name is Ginger Smith. I live in a small Kansas town in the USA. I’ve lived in Kansas all my life. Married for 28 years, I have three grown children and two grandchildren. I’m super excited to be taking online tuition-free ministry courses at Christian Leaders Institute (Learn more about studying the Bible online, Click Here)! It’s wonderful to be able to do my schooling online anytime. Online tuition-free courses are the most important thing to me. Without that, I wouldn’t be able to get the education needed to fulfill my calling.

Traumatic Childhood

Let me tell you a little bit about my childhood. I remember watching Happy Days on television and wishing so hard to have a family like that. Parents that love you, talk with you and basically center their world around you. My sister and I often felt invisible. Mom and dad fought all the time. I’m not talking about “yelling” fights. They were “hide under your bed or you might get hit with something” fights.

I never questioned why they were fighting, I always knew. My dad was a terribly selfish man, and worst of all, he was addicted to gambling. He was a truck driver, and though he had opportunities to come home from his job, he chose not to. Usually, once or twice a month, we saw him. When he was home, my mom, my sister, and I had to put up with him mentally and verbally abusing us. Having lights, gas, and food was not a usual occurrence in our household either.

Deeper Trauma

Although this rendition of normal life for me as a child seems bad, it’s deeper than that. At the tender age of four (my sister was six), my sister and I were raped by one of our uncles. It’s amazing what you remember from a traumatic experience. I can still see the pattern of the curtains in the room, all the furniture, and looking down through tear-stained eyes at the cookie I was given as payment.

Because of this horrible thing happening to us so young, we were deeply changed. My sister became enraged and violent. Most of the time, I was her outlet. With my mother working all the time, my sister and I were alone at home together. I was terrified of her. The smallest thing set her off, and she would beat me. I would run and hide from her and silently wish I could die instead of live like that. My reaction to the traumatic incident, on the other hand, was that of a shy, scared, lonely little girl. I sealed my heart and my trust deep inside. This world I lived in was what I thought everyone was going to treat me like.

Good and Evil

When my father was 34 years old, a woman he had known since he was young adopted him. That woman was everything to me. The moment I met her, I loved her. My newly adopted grandmother was a godly woman with the gift of healing (I really didn’t understand that as a child). She was what I had been aching for. I spent all my free time with her at her house. Those memories will always be precious to me. Within a few months, my grandma started dating a man. They swiftly became serious, got engaged, and I was introduced to him.

He managed to find a way to get me alone with him the second time I saw him. He molested me every time I was at my grandma’s house. I tried to tell my mom what had happened the first time. However, she didn’t believe me. He continuously tried to find ways to get me alone with him. It became an impossible task for me to avoid him. So, I stopped going to stay with my grandma. Shortly after that, we moved away.

Stirring of My Soul and Salvation

My mother’s side of the family was Catholic. When we visited my maternal grandmother, an uncle of mine told us grandchildren about God and Jesus. I was mesmerized! My soul would quicken. All I wanted was to live for God, but I didn’t know how. At the age of 12, I was invited by a girl I knew to go to church camp with all expenses paid. It was there that I received salvation! I felt so much love and joy that tears streamed down my face! Once I got home without anyone to lead and teach me, I soon plunged into a deep void of depression and stayed there for years. I turned to drugs and alcohol and attempted suicide three times. Further, my father decided to disappear for close to a year.

Down-Hill Spiral

Craving love, I became a single mother at the age of 18. My sister and I grew very close during our mid-teenage years (although I did my best not to anger her). She died nine days before my daughter’s first birthday. She was gone. The one person I had endured all this pain and suffering with was gone. Even though she was physically, mentally, and verbally abusive, she was the only person that was always present in my life. I did know she loved me. I felt truly alone.

Then, at 20, I became a single mother again. With no goals and no plans, I lived day by day through the haze of depression. I truly loved my two little girls and never regretted them, but to say life was hard would be an understatement.

Life Can be Good

Then, I began taking classes at a vocational school to be a secretary. During that time, I met a wonderful man. He asked me to marry him. He accepted and adopted my two girls as his own, and I gave birth to a son.

Being a secretary was not what I wanted to be, so I changed to another vocational school for Medical Assistant. During that time, I wanted to go much deeper, so again, I switched to practical nursing classes. I know now the Lord was in that decision. All the times in my career as an LPN, I felt God’s presence! I met a nurse at a facility where I worked, and she turned out to be my soul sister! We have been inseparable for more than 15 years now. As on-fire women for the Lord, we have two Facebook ministry pages and one YouTube page.

Renewed in Christ and Online Tuition-Free Ministry Courses

Fast forward to 2018, I was in bed having my nightly talk with the Lord. I asked Him, “What will You have me do, Lord?” I saw a vision. In the vision, I was in front of a group of people preaching His Word. Then He spoke to me and said, “You will do my work in many ways.” That experience was so overwhelming, I cried for several hours! The absolute joy I felt in my soul! The Lord has blessed me in my life!

My plans for my future ministry are not quite clear to me yet. But, praise God, I’m here at CLI! The online tuition-free ministry and Bible courses are equipping me for whatever God leads me to do!

Register a Study Account

Register for a free study account that automatically enrolls you in the Getting Started Class at the Christian Leaders Learning Platform. The Getting Started class will take you less than an hour to complete.

When you log in to the Learning Platform, you will notice that the Getting Started Class automatically appears on your dashboard.    

The Getting Started Class will orientate you to the Christian Leaders Learning Platform and the Programs offered, including:

  1. Ministry Awards, Certificates, and Diplomas with the Christian Leaders Institute.
  2. College Degrees with the CLI’s Leadership Excellence School.
  3. Minister Credentialling (Ordination) with the Christian Leaders Alliance, including local Soul Center registration possibilities. 

Note: You can enroll in tuition-free courses or mini-courses immediately without finishing the getting started class.  

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