Bonita had never heard it before. Jesus died for her. God loved her, deeply, passionately and forever. And that love could transform her life.
For the first time in her life, Bonita had hope. For 27 years, she lived in the darkness of unimaginable abuse no child should have to endure. Born to a mother struggling with drugs in Chicago, Bonita was 4 years old when she was placed in the home of a family friend. “But putting me in that home was worse than keeping me with my biological mother,” she recalls.
The abuse she experienced there was so bad, she was eventually placed in foster care — home after home after home. She got pregnant at age 15 and was then placed in a group home until she turned 18. The abuse continued with the men she fell in love with. “No one ever told me I didn't deserve this, that it wasn't supposed to happen to me,” she says. By the age of 25, Bonita was homeless with four children. She moved to Milwaukee to start over. When things didn't work out, she came to the Milwaukee Rescue Mission's Joy House.
When she arrived she “felt alone, miserable, scared and lost,” she says. But that's when she learned of God's extravagant love for her. “No one ever taught me that before. When I heard it, I gave my life to Jesus. The Holy Spirit came and my past was gone. I felt clean, loved and brand-new.
“I'm already a better person and a better mother. I take all my problems to God and ask Him to give me the knowledge, power and strength to deal with whatever problem I have. Thanks to Joy House, I know the Lord and I'm turning my life around.”