Ministering to the community
Meeting authors is always a thrill for me. One day, I hope to join their ranks, but I don’t have a topic yet, much less a manuscript. When I “met” with Bridgett Henson, we had actually known each other for years. She and I both live in the Frankville community and we met years ago when we were both volunteers at a Vacation Bible School in the community. Our children are the same age and I am privileged to call Bridgett my friend.
“I always knew I wanted to write. I don’t recall a time when I didn’t feel the need to put stories on paper.” Henson penned her first book, aptly titled, “Are we there yet?” when she was in the first grade. At that age, children are reading picture books, so Henson fully illustrated her story.
As a student in Choctaw County schools, Henson excelled in reading and writing. These school tasks became a way for Henson to escape the dark reality of an unhappy home life. To protect her mind from the problems in her environment, Henson read vivaciously, studying the style and rhetoric of her favorite authors. The longing to become an author never waned, but it did take the backseat to being a wife, a mother, a church leader and a community volunteer.
In 2010, Henson decided to put the story that had been in her heart and mind for so long on paper. A devout Christian and a women’s ministry leader, Henson knew that one of the main struggles that individuals had expressed to her was this question, “Can the Lord really help me through real, tough life problems?” She wanted the women that she ministered to and even her friends to know that the answer to this question is a most definite, “Yes.” Henson set to work on her first novel, “Whatever He Wants” that same year. She says that she wrote 90,000 words for the novel over a period of 30 days. Pleased with her work and believing that God had entrusted her with this manuscripts, she began to seek a publisher.
The frustration came immediately following the elation of finishing and submitting a manuscript to several different editors and publishers. None of the publishers that read her manuscript was willing to publish it because of its references to Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
Henson was unwilling to compromise on this and began to pray about her options, never doubting that the dream to write had been given by God. “It was during revival and I told God that I needed a publisher. Instead of giving me one, He made me one.” Henson began researching what she would need to do to become a publisher. Henson’s desire was to remain true to her Christian convictions and publish not only her writings, but the writings of other Christian authors.
Thus, Empowered Publications was born and in 2012, Whatever He Wants was published. It is the first in the “Whatever” series and tells the story of alcoholism, drug abuse, physical and emotional abuse and the effects these have on individuals and their families. While tackling these heavy issues, Henson brilliantly weaves into the story the redemptive power of God’s grace and His ability to restore individuals and families. “For me, these books are an extension of ministry, they remind the reader that no matter what you have done or what’s been done to you, God can forgive and restore and He wants to do that for His children.” Empowered Publications has published more than 50 books presently.
While Henson’s books are works of fiction, she has seen the devastation of alcoholism and abuse during her own life and in the lives of the many women that she counsels through her work at Mission of Hope and as co-director of Camp Beno for Girls.
Henson is the founder of Broken Bow Ministries, a resource that is expected to become a part of the Clarke County landscape in the near future. Broken Bow Ministries has established a board of directors and is developing programming for what will be the first transitional housing program for women in need in the area.
The mission of Broken Bow Ministries is to provide a safe, controlled environment where clients have access to better themselves spiritually and financially with the hopes of becoming an independent, productive member of society. The program includes five phases that will assist women as they overcome addictions or abusive relationships and re-establish their independence. More information can be found at https:// brokenbowministries.com/.
While she has accomplished many things and continues to look for ways that she can invest in the lives of others, Bridgett Henson never remembers a time that she wanted to be anything, but a writer. Like most young girls, she had hopes of being married and becoming a mother, but professionally she wanted to write. Fortunately, both her personal and professional goals have been met.
Bridgett is married to Ernie Henson and is called “Mama” by Adam, Nick and Holly. This wife, mom, speaker, teacher, author, ministry founder and publisher still finds time to be involved in the ministries of Midway Assembly of God and in her community.
More information about Henson and Empowered Publications can be obtained from bridgetthenson.com.
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