Sat | Dec 10, 2016

Blisseth leaves to answer God's call

Published:Saturday | September 6, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Motivational speaker and founder of the Canaan Foundation, Blisseth Bonner, lived the life of a rebel before answering God's call.-Photo by Tamara Bailey

Tamara Bailey, Gleaner Writer

Christiana, Manchester:She grew up in a Christian home with a firm evangelist as a mother. She was given a solid education and treated well, but somehow, the secular life appealed to her and she wanted to try every bit of it.

Twenty-three-year-old Blisseth Bonner was what one would consider a parent's worst nightmare before being saved. At the age of 15, Bonner dropped out of high school, snuck out of the house at nights, jumped walls to be with her boyfriend and smoked marijuana and cigarettes intensely.

Her mother, who could handle her rebellious child no longer, decided to do something about it and sought external help.

"One day, while I was at home, my mother told me to get ready. Not knowing where I was going, I put on my short shorts, belly-skin blouse and at the time, I had about six piercings in one ear alone - that was how I dressed. When I reached Mandeville, I realised my mother was taking me to court."

She continued, "Why she was taking me to court, I couldn't say, but I went along with her because I was already there."

That day, the judge ordered that Bonner be sent to the Homestead Place of Safety located in Stony Hill, St Andrew, for six months. The rebel in her subsided, but not for long.

"I was in isolation, so I started behaving, I was asked numerous times why I was there because I wasn't as bad as some of the other girls, and fortunately, was sent home before the six months (was up), but it wasn't long before I went back to my old ways."

Turn for the worst

Bonner, upon arriving home, soon found herself back with the boyfriend from which her mother had tried so hard to keep her, and the cycle began again - she dropped out of the school she had enrolled in.

"By this time, I was 16, I enrolled in HEART and dropped out as I, in my confused state, felt I needed something else. I started working at a gas station in Christiana and after a while, left the guy I was with."

With her charm, personality, and physique, Bonner soon met another man who she thought would be a breath of fresh air but, yet again, she was wrong.

"After being with this man for about two years, I got married to him at age 19. Though I went to, and completed nursing school, I felt trapped, but I stayed in the relationship. It got abusive on both ends: I verbally abused him and he physically abused me, I cried out to God and asked for a way out, but my nightmares were not over because I loved my own way."

Having been able to get away from her husband at the time, Bonner started what could be deemed as her round of bartending jobs.

"I started working in a bar in St Elizabeth to get away from my husband. While there, I started smoking ... I was promiscuous and my life was just all over the place ... but God was preparing me.

"I worked at about five different bars and each time I moved, I was running from my problems ... it wasn't until my last two bar jobs that I really heard the voice of God."

Bonner, after having been confronted by a stranger, who prophesied over her life, gave her the shock she claims she needed to move.

Damascus Road

One August, while at a party, Bonner said she heard a loud call from God and literally ran home and told her mother she had to be baptised. Bonner gave her life to the Lord on August 15, 2013, and two weeks later started the Canaan Foundation with her friend Tanisha Lawrence.

"This foundation offers Christian guidance and counselling, health-care counselling, and education to those who need motivation ... we have, so far, been to schools and children's home and we are seeing great things for this movement ... anyone willing to come on board can contact us."

She ended, "I have been through so much, I just want to inspire others with my life because there's not one broken vessel God can't mend."

Those who want to contact the Canaan Foundation may call 508-6213 or email: blissethbonner91@gmail.com.

rural@gleanerjm.com