Germany was a country devastated by a cruel war, an evil leader, and a demonic regime. My mother survived the horrors of the Nazi Germany, but not without its deep affects upon her life, her family torn apart during and after the war. It was into this environment of demonic oppression and generational sin that I was born.
I have very little memory of my early years of life, few pictures, no shared stories of what I was like as a baby or child. My mother left me in the care of my grandmother at 10 months old. I don’t know who my father was. I did not see my mother again at until the age of 5 1/2, when I came to the United States with my grandmother and uncle. Two years later my grandmother died of cancer, a serious loss to me. I became a US citizen at age 10, only to move to England shortly thereafter, and once again I saw my homeland. These were a difficult 3 years: family hardships, traumatic events, and more confusion about my life.
By eighth grade, I was back in the USA, and life began to be filled with night terrors of war and an evil presence. I had many doubts about who I was since I knew nothing about my history, my father, or why my mother left me in Germany. I had a continuous feeling that I was a “bad person” and deserved death. I say all this to give you some understanding of the roots that dominated my life for the next 15+ years.
Abandonment fears, survivor’s guilt, a deep lack of trust and suspicion of people, no sense of identity or destiny, and much mental oppression took their toll on my mental health. The story is too long to tell of the depression, demonic affliction, mental breakdowns, counseling, and the struggle it was to live a “normal” life.
God, in His mercy and loving kindness, called to me in my darkness and brokenness. Not knowing anything about Him, I asked Jesus into my life at age 21.
During the next few years God worked in my life to bring deliverance, and tremendous healing of my distorted thinking, fears, family curses, occult influences and strongholds. I learned to fight against the lies and schemes of the evil one and to protect my mind from attack and oppression. As my relationship deepened with God, I learned to invite the work of the Holy Spirit to be a part of my walk, talk, and prayer times with the Lord. Many times I cried out, called out, and inquired of Him for answers, wisdom, and guidance of how to do life and relationships. In His great faithfulness, He always answered in some way.
He showed me my purpose as a mother, wife, friend, and follower of Christ. He led me to be a prayer minister helping others to heal and be set free just as He did for me. In time, I was called to establish and administrate a non-profit healing prayer ministry. For 16 years I worked as director of Desert Gardens training and equipping others in prayer ministry, teaching classes for personal growth and spiritual development and doing prayer/ counseling for individuals and married couples.
Although I dissolved Desert Gardens and retired before our move, my gifting, skills, and purpose have not changed completely. God stills calls me to pray for healing, protection from the schemes and wiles of the evil one for my family, friends and those He would ask me to minister to. There are still days I need to call upon the Lord for Godly reminders of who I am in Him, how much He loves me, or discernment and wisdom to rebuke a harassing evil spirit. My personal growth in the Lord doesn’t stop here, nor does my desire for the ongoing work and empowerment of the Holy Spirit. I still seek to walk in the fruit of the Spirit, His healing power, and to set the captives free. May my life be an ongoing testimony of His great love, faithfulness, freedom, and the joy and peace we have in Christ Jesus.
In Summer 2013 after Bridget Shank retired, she and her husband Brian left their long-time home and church community of friends in California. They felt called to move to Wilsonville to be by their son, his wife, and their 3 grandsons. Bridget found a new season in life, new adventures, and new purposes into which God leads her. They have been at Grace Chapel for 2 and 1/2 years and believe they are in the right place for this season of their life.