June 2012

Heading for Haiti

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • June 29, 2012
  • 4 Comments
  • Joni's Posts, Cause 4 Life

MMA Interns in ClassJoni praying with MMA Interns
Ten of our interns are heading to Haiti today after spending nearly 2 weeks studying disability ministry and the Word of God – their classroom text was Life in the Balance which covers a biblical perspective on the sanctity of life, autism, challenges of special needs families, healthcare, and the genocide of unborn infants with disabilities. This week I had the pleasure of joining the Joni and Friends leadership in 'praying over' these...

Mikayla Scales the Climbing Wall at Family Retreat! 

  • By: Joni and Friends
  • June 28, 2012
  • 2 Comments
  • Family Retreats

Mikayla Scales the Climbing Wall at Family Retreat! “There’s something at Family Retreat you can’t get anyplace else,” says Wanda Robinson, mom of 13-year old Mikayla, who uses prosthetic legs. “It’s God’s peace reviving my spirit and inspiring me to continue. It’s a place of safety and unconditional love.” “We’ve tried other camps,” says dad, Michael. “But the only thing Mikayla got to do was crafts—while the other kids did outdoor stuff.” Not at Joni and Friends Family Retreat! “This week I’m climbing the rock wall, zip-lining, paintballing, and MORE!” says Mikayla. For Mikayla, being a teenager with a disability is an uphill climb. People stare. Even her friends don’t understand how hard it is for her to keep up with them. But it’s different at Family Retreat. “I don’t feel alone anymore,” says Mikayla. “Family Retreat gives me more confidence to go back out in the world and be strong in Jesus!” Thank you for sending special needs families to Family...

A Wheelchair from You – Now, Forgive is Sharing the Gospel!

  • By: Joni and Friends
  • June 26, 2012
  • 1 Comment
  • Video Archives, Wheels For The World

Seventeen-year-old Forgive is bright and passionate about Jesus, and she loves to share the Gospel with others. For ten years, she has crawled to school, determined to become a teacher someday. Recently, because of your generous giving, Forgive received her first wheelchair at a Wheels for the World outreach in Ghana, West Africa.  The first thing she did in her new wheelchair? With the Wheels team translator and therapist...

10 Ways to Reach Out to People with Disability in Your Community

Mother hugging son with disabilityPeople with disability often face a higher risk of being excluded in their churches and community, but you can make a difference! Here are 10 easy ways for you to start reaching out to people affected by disability in your community:

1. If you are able-bodied, don’t park in handicap accessible parking spaces – not even for a moment.
2. Make an effort to include people with disabilities in church and community gatherings. Isolation is a health hazard.
3. If you think assistance might be needed, don’t hesitate to ask a person with disability how you might help. That person can tell you the easiest and safest way.
4. Ask your local library to increase their selection of large print books...

Join Us in Sharing the Gospel through Wheels for the World

  • By: Joni and Friends
  • June 19, 2012
  • 2 Comments
  • Wheels For The World

Kids in Honduras Receiving Gospel BraceletsThe mobility a wheelchair provides really does change life for someone with a disability. But Wheels for the World is much more than just delivering wheelchairs. It’s about sharing Jesus Christ! A Bible and the message of the Gospel are shared with every wheelchair recipient. With you as ministry partners, our Wheels for the World teams are helping send the message of hope in Christ to this generation and the next. Children at churches and Christian schools all over America are helping with evangelism. As part of our On A Roll for Jesus! disability awareness program, boys and girls make Gospel bracelets. Our Wheels teams use the bracelets to tell the story of Jesus, using colorful beads...

From Attending to Serving at Family Retreat

  • By: Joni and Friends
  • June 15, 2012
  • 3 Comments
  • Family Retreats

Sarah Meets with Family Retreat Dads to Ask Their Prayer RequestsSarah came to Family Retreat for the first time when she was only 12. At that time, she and her mother Kathy felt broken and discouraged. Today, with the support and encouragement they’ve received at Family Retreat, Sarah and Kathy are now joyfully pouring God’s love out on others, giving freely what they had been given. “Seeing Sarah’s giftedness in prayer, encouragement and mercy, we asked Sarah to be our prayer ambassador at Family Retreat,” explains Retreat Director Cheryl. “She was so excited to give back what she received so many years ago!” Every day at Family Retreat, Sarah prays with the prayer team. During the day, she finds a way to meet just about everyone – asking how they are and how she can pray for them. “I love to pray for people,” says Sarah with her infectious smile. “Knowing God is the best thing possible. He’s just incredible!” Sarah is growing leaps and bounds as she uses the gifts God has given her to bless...

Cause 4 Life: Ministry & Missions Academy

  • By: Joni and Friends
  • June 12, 2012
  • 13 Comments
  • Cause 4 Life

Cause 4 Life MMA InternsThis week, students from around the world are arriving at the Joni and Friends International Disability Center to attend the Cause 4 Life: Ministry & Missions Academy. This internship program is designed to educate and activate the next generation of Christian leaders for work in ministry, social justice and advocacy for individuals and families affected by disability all over the world. During their 8 week internship they’ll attend classes with disability experts and get hands-on ministry service at Joni and Friends as well as by serving alongside disability ministry leaders at local churches. They’ll also have the opportunity to minister to families affected by disability as short-term missionaries at a Joni and Friends Family Retreat before flying to Haiti to serve children with special needs...

Kicking Off Family Retreat Season!

  • By: Joni and Friends
  • June 8, 2012
  • 4 Comments
  • Family Retreats

Brill Family at Family RetreatFamily Retreat is encouragement, hope, and strength we don’t get anywhere else,” say David and Tracy Brill, who attended with their three sons. “When you have a disability in the family, these things aren’t found in the world.” June marks the kick-off of 24 Joni and Friends Family Retreats this summer. Families will be given the blessed opportunity to rest from their usual routine, to drink in life-changing truth from God’s word, to worship and share God’s love in the embrace of others who truly understand. Family bonds are joyfully strengthened as moms, dads, and kids who live with disability build beautiful family memories to last a lifetime. “At Family Retreat, we grow closer together as a family and closer to God,” says Tracy. “Other families show us God’s love and encourage us to press on.” As a young father, David shoulders heavy burdens all year long that he can’t share anywhere else but at Family...

Total Access: Bringing Accessibility to Guatemala

  • By: Joni and Friends
  • June 5, 2012
  • 2 Comments
  • International

Cutting the ribbon at the Municipal BuildingWheeling up the Municipal ramp for the first time
In 1994, a handful of dedicated workers, most of them with disabilites, opened a wheelchair repair shop in Guatemala named Bethel Ministries International. But repairing wheelchairs was just the beginning... In their community, access to public buildings was sorely lacking! So the team dedicated themselves to raising awarneness about the importance of accessibility. This year they celebrated a milestone as a result of their...

Now Victoria Can Attend School!

  • By: Joni and Friends
  • June 1, 2012
  • 2 Comments
  • Wheels For The World

Regina and Victoria with Victoria's new wheelchairEvery day, Regina lifts her 6-year-old daughter Victoria onto her back and heads for the local roadside stand where she sells salt, onions, and peppers in Ghana. Victoria has cerebral palsy and is unable to walk on her own. But Regina can’t afford a wheelchair for Victoria – such a thing costs more money than Regina earns in a year. If Victoria had a wheelchair, she could go to a local school, but instead she sits by the road as her mother sells what she can to keep them going another day. But on a recent Wheels for the World outreach, Regina’s prayers were answered. Victoria received a new pediatric wheelchair that will make it possible for her to attend school. “Jesus tells us that He will not leave us or forsake us,” said Regina. “Today this wheelchair you have given us is a manifestation of His love and His word...