Semajia’s Story

Some gifts come and go — but sometimes a gift can change a life.Semajia is an 18-year-old youth who lives with her mother at the Milwaukee Rescue Mission’s Joy House — an experience that has given her a second chance at life. That’s a gift, she says, and she’s determined to make the most of it.

The Bottom Drops Out

Up until three years ago, Semajia admits that her life was good. “Growing up, it was just me, my brother and my mom. I always got everything I wanted — I was spoiled!” she laughs. But when her mom lost her job in 2009, their world collapsed. They tried living with other family members for a year, but when that didn’t work out, Semajia’s mom came to Joy House to get her life backon track.“At first, it was horrible,” Semajia recalls. “I’d never been homeless before. I was embarrassed, stressed out and crying. I didn’t want any of my friends to know. I wanted to fall apart, but I couldn’t show it to anyone.”

Unwrapping a Better Future

But as the months went by, Semajia started participating in Bible studies and learned how to pray. She prayed for a new and better life for herself and her mom — and God answered, she says. “God is helping us move forward one step at a time. I’m not embarrassed about anything, anymore,” she adds. Last spring, Semajia graduated from high school and is now planning to go to nursing school.“Today, I am a strong young lady because of everything I’ve gone through,” she says. “Thanks to the Milwaukee Rescue Mission, I know now I can do anything I put my mind to — with God’s love on my side and as long as I keep praying!”

Thank you for giving Semajia and her mom a real Christmas present that has changed their lives forever.