Joni and Friends Blog

Meet Cause 4 Life Intern, Adriana

  • By: Joni and Friends
  • Aug. 11, 2014
  • 3 Comments
  • Christian Institute on Disability, Cause 4 Life

Adriana with her husband and sonAdriana is a vocational intern with Joni and Friends. Born in Costa Rica, she and her husband serve as missionaries to Bosnia. This is their story... "Looking back 10 years, or even a year ago, I would have never imagined finding myself in the U.S. as a Cause 4 Life intern with Joni and Friends. I always thought that my life was right on track, exactly what God wanted for me; living in other countries and sharing the love of Christ with those who don’t know Him. And all of that was fine… But it wasn’t until I experienced the worst loss of my life that I realized God wanted more from me and my family. Dani and Sofi are the two precious children that the Lord gave my husband and me; both with a disability but each with a beautiful story. Sofi left us to be with the Lord last year, April 18, 2013. I thought I couldn’t go on without her, and it has been, without a doubt, the most...

Your Prayers are Changing Lives, and Villages! 

  • By: Joni and Friends
  • Aug. 7, 2014
  • 0 Comments
  • Christian Institute on Disability, Wheels For The World

Joakim and his mother, RosaRosa and her husband never expected their baby boy Joakim to be born with a disability. But because of their faith in Christ, they accepted him and loved him right from the start. “Without the Lord, we could not do this,” Rosa admits – for in developing nations like Peru, a disabled child is a source of shame, and resources for help are scarce. These parents asked God to help them care for and raise Joakim. Unbeknownst to them, God was already working to answer their prayers, through an upcoming visit from Joni and Friends. Just before its local Wheels for the World outreach, Joni and Friends hosted a pastor’s training on disability ministry, using its groundbreaking curriculum, Beyond Suffering. Word spread quickly among the pastors of this small Peruvian mountain town. By mid-week, the training room was full of pastors curious and eager to know God’s heart for those who suffer. Rosa’s pastor was one of them. Later that week, at the encouragement of their newly-trained pastor, Rosa brought Joakim to receive his first wheelchair. “Our pastor wants our church to understand and support us as we raise Joakim, so he has come to Joni and Friends’ training,” said Rosa, “We see the heart of God at work in all of us through Joni and...

A Changed Heart

  • By: Joni and Friends
  • Aug. 4, 2014
  • 3 Comments
  • Christian Institute on Disability, Cause 4 Life

Naomi serving a special needs child in ChinaToday’s post was written by Cause 4 Life Global Missions Intern, Naomi. "I’m Naomi, an ordinary 22-year-old who thought she knew the plan for her life. Two years ago, if you had told me that I would be serving the Lord in China, I would have said, 'impossible.' My story is one that illustrates God’s awesomeness and His love for us no matter where we are in life. I grew up with two loving Christian parents who taught me to love Jesus with my whole heart. As a teen and into my college years, I gradually pulled away from the church and the Christian faith all together. Sadly, I spent time seeking my own desires when and with whomever I wanted. In March 2013, I was approached by a dear friend who asked me to accompany her on a Joni and Friends Cause 4 Life internship and serve orphans with disabilities in China. Although the idea of using my degree in sports medicine and pediatric rehabilitation was appealing, I turned...

F.U.S.E. 2014

  • By: Joni and Friends
  • July 31, 2014
  • 0 Comments
  • In the Media

FUSE Conference 2014Join us September 12-13 for F.U.S.E. 2014! This premier regional conference in Ohio is dedicated to building bridges in disability ministry to churches, those working in the disability or mental health fields, and anyone touched by disability. You won’t want to miss this year’s presenters: Kathy McReynolds, Ph.D., Director of Academic Studies at the Christian Institute on Disability and Cynthia Berry, MATM, Manager Joni and Friends U.S. Area Ministries... plus we’re hosting a number of breakout sessions featuring topics relevant for you and your church. Learn more about F.U.S.E. 2014 ...

The Day That Changed Everything

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • July 30, 2014
  • 103 Comments
  • Joni's Posts, In the Media

Joni on a stryker frameJoni: An Unforgettable Story

Today, 47 years ago, I took a reckless dive into shallow water – it was a fateful dive which completely altered my life. At first, when doctors told me I would be a quadriplegic, I sank into a deep depression. Thankfully, Christian friends were praying and, eventually, I began to take a closer look at the Bible to see what God had to say about my plight. I learned that the God of the Bible is not sometimes sovereign. He does not occupy the throne one day and vacate it the next. He is supremely in charge (often for purposes we cannot understand the side of eternity). But as we trust Him, some of those purposes can become plain. And for me, His purpose has meant giving the love of Christ to...

Are You A Blogger? Joni and Friends Wants You!

Joni and Friends 35th Anniversary Blog ContestBloggers, here’s your chance to win fun prizes and share your support of Joni and Friends! This month we’re hosting our 35th Anniversary Blog Contest to celebrate the past 35 years of ministry to people affected by disability. You’re invited to join the celebration by sharing how Joni and Friends has impacted you! To enter this special blog contest, all you need to do is follow these simple steps…

Another Kind of Courage in Africa

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • July 24, 2014
  • 1 Comment
  • Joni's Posts, Family Retreats

Father at International Family Retreat in Ghana reading Another Kind of CourageNo matter where you travel in the world, caring parents of kids with disabilities share a common bond: they want the best for their children. But it takes great courage to raise a child with special-needs. It's why I was especially touched by this father-and-son photo taken at our recent International Family Retreat in Ghana, West Africa. While his little boy naps, Dad gleans wisdom from our book Another Kind of Courage, authored by Joni and Friends President Doug Mazza, and Vice President, Steve Bundy (both are fathers of kids with severe disabilities). If you know a dad who is raising a special-needs child, tell him about this extraordinary book (or order a copy for him today) – it'll inspire, refresh, and bless his heart!

Leave a Rich Legacy!

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • July 22, 2014
  • 1 Comment
  • Joni's Posts, Wheels For The World

Wheels for the World LegacyMy heart aches for the children of the world who are disabled. And Joni and Friends is setting an unprecedented goal to deliver 3500 pediatric wheelchairs to needy disabled children in one year! We are calling this campaign the Wheels for the World Legacy Gift. The plight of boys and girls with disabilities in the developing world is desperate (just take a minute and watch this video). So I invite you to join my husband Ken and me in giving a Legacy Gift (we're giving in honor of a friend of ours who is disabled). Spread the news to your Facebook friends about our Legacy Gift opportunity – it's a wonderful way to leave a legacy, as well as bless some of the world's neediest children in the name of Jesus!

Joni's Parents' Reflections

  • By: Joni and Friends
  • July 21, 2014
  • 12 Comments
  • Radio, Video Archives

Lindy EarecksonCan you imagine what it would be like to be told your daughter will live the rest of her life in a wheelchair? For Joni’s parents, those first few years of Joni’s paralysis were filled with questions, doubts, and fears aimed at doctors and God. After all, quadriplegia was something completely new and unknown to this family. So, how did they make it through? In this short video clip, you’ll hear Lindy and John Eareckson talk about...

Meet Cause 4 Life Intern, Lauren – Part 2

  • By: Joni and Friends
  • July 18, 2014
  • 5 Comments
  • Cause 4 Life

Lauren with Cause 4 Life internsRead Part 1
(Today's post was written by Danielle Ledoux, Joni and Friends Cause 4 Life Vocational Intern.) Despite her cerebral palsy and wheelchair, Lauren Compere enrolled in Mississippi College to study psychology and follow her desire to minister to others. But she wanted to do something big during the summer—an internship. “I don’t know if that was a God thing or a Lauren thing,” she commented. At first, it may have appeared to be a “Lauren thing” because when she tried to go to Haiti with a church, the door slammed shut in her face. Disappointed, she settled for studying Spanish in Spain, not knowing that God had other plans. In the middle of a hectic spring semester, Lauren decided to skip a conference which she had planned on attending. But her best friend and caregiver insisted that she go to hear speaker Joni Eareckson Tada. That night as she hung on Joni’s every word, Lauren realized, “This lady completely gets it. I knew that conference—that talk—would change my life. I knew...

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