Joni and Friends Blog

Half Dead—Actually Alive and Well, Part 2

  • By: Joni and Friends
  • July 9, 2014
  • 2 Comments
  • Cause 4 Life

Michael with Cause 4 Life Interns(Today's post, One Sudanese Man Finds Life in a Wheelchair, is Part 2 of a story written by Danielle Ledoux, Joni and Friends Cause 4 Life Vocational Intern. Read Part 1.) "...As Michael Panther recovered from spine surgery, the fifteen-year-old wrestled with depression as he faced life in a wheelchair. Neither he nor his family saw any future for him—someone that Africans labeled as “half dead.” But one day, a woman who regularly visited the Kenyan hospital to counsel and play with the children approached Michael. She wheeled him into the playroom—a simple room filled with only a small table and chairs, some scattered toys, and a television. Positioning him toward the television, she introduced Michael to the movie Joni. Joni Eareckson Tada’s journey through...

Half Dead—Actually Alive and Well, Part 1

  • By: Joni and Friends
  • July 8, 2014
  • 0 Comments
  • Cause 4 Life

Michael Panther, Cause 4 Life InternMichael with fellow Cause 4 Life Interns
(Today's post, One Sudanese Man Finds Life in a Wheelchair, was written by Danielle Ledoux, Joni and Friends Cause 4 Life Vocational Intern.)
"Handicapped. Special needs. Disabled. Impaired. In Africa, people use the term 'half dead.' But that term couldn’t be further from the truth for Michael Panther, a young man using a wheelchair for seven years now. While his countrymen consider him half dead, he is more active and alive than he has ever been. Not only are his days full as an economic student at Louisiana State University (LSU), but he is also the president of LSU’s International Student Assembly and the director of LSU’s Student Outreach, just to name a few. Recently, his activities center on a Cause 4 Life Internship with Joni...

It's Radio Recording Day...

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • July 7, 2014
  • 1 Comment
  • Joni's Posts, Radio

Joni and Rainey in the Recording StudioAnd that means I'll need your prayers, friend – it'll be a full day starting at 10 AM and running through 4:30 PM. So please pray for a clear voice, strong lungs, physical stamina, happy spirits, and anointed messages. As you know, the point behind all these radio programs is to convey the life-transforming power of the Word of God through every hardship. And nothing would please me more than to help build the faith of those who hear my daily messages. After all, Romans 10:17 says that "Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ." If you're in need of a 'word of faith' today, don't forget to visit my radio page here at Joni and Friends!

Global Access Conference

  • By: Joni and Friends
  • July 3, 2014
  • 0 Comments
  • Christian Institute on Disability, Video Archives

You are the key to an accessible world! Join us for Global Access Conference 2015 as we bring together disability leaders, ministers, educators and practitioners from around the world. Taking place February 17-20 in Southern California, this is an unprecedented opportunity to share experiences, forge strong working relationships, and learn how to practically and effectively promote disability ministry in the Christian community. Be...

How Does the Gift of a Wheelchair Lead a Family to Christ?

  • By: Joni and Friends
  • June 25, 2014
  • 0 Comments
  • Wheels For The World

Wheelchair Therapist speaking with PaolaWhat happens when you send a wheelchair? It opens the door to education and empowerment – but in God’s hands, it becomes a vehicle to share the Gospel! To see how it happens, meet Paola and her mother in Peru… Local Outreach: Paola and her mother arrive at a Wheels for the World outreach taking place in their neighborhood in Peru. “I want to be a teacher!” Paola tells us, with a gleam in her eye. “I’m very smart too,” she adds. And no one would argue...

Families Arrive Today!

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • June 23, 2014
  • 1 Comment
  • Joni's Posts, Family Retreats

Mission Springs Family RetreatWe are here at Spruce Lake Family Retreat up in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania – and families are arriving all day long! Plus, special-needs families are arriving at lots of other Family Retreats. I'm astounded at all the ministry that's happening just this week – JAF interns are serving in Haiti and Uganda, plus Wheels for the World teams are in Poland, and International Family Retreats are being held in Serbia, Ghana, and Romania. Please join me in praying that the Holy Spirit will revive disabled people and their families who are weary. Most of all, pray that children and adults will invite Christ to sit on the throne of their hearts. After all, it's what Joni and Friends is all about!

Greetings from Family Retreat!

  • By: Joni and Friends
  • June 20, 2014
  • 3 Comments
  • Cause 4 Life

Cause 4 Life intern BethMy name is Beth Massengale, and this summer, I am serving as an intern with Joni and Friends’ Cause 4 Life. As part of my internship, I had the privilege of being an STM (short-term missionary) at the Mission Springs Family Retreat, near Santa Cruz, California. I was curious about who I would be serving, but God had the perfect person in mind when He paired me with Sarah. Sarah is a 31-year-old lady with several birth anomalies, which causes her to have slight developmental delay, shortened limbs, and some difficulty speaking. This was her 20th time attending Family Retreat, and she easily introduced me to everyone! Sarah doesn’t let her physical disabilities hinder her from using her spiritual gifts of encouragement and prayer. She does not give in to fear of what others might think of her. She joyfully approached...

Thank You For Helping A New Generation Share The Gospel

  • By: Joni and Friends
  • June 19, 2014
  • 1 Comment
  • Wheels For The World

Luis showing his new wheelchair and Gospel braceletsRecently, your support gave Luis a brand new life— inside and out! At a Wheels for the World outreach in El Salvador, Luis received a beautiful, sporty little wheelchair … and the story of Jesus! Luis touched every colored bead of the Gospel bracelet that was given to him, repeating the message of each one. He understood the message of salvation completely and prayed with the simplicity of a child. Soon a huge grin spread over Luis’s face. “May I have Gospel bracelets to share with all my friends?” he asked. His first thought was to share this Good News, even with those who had forgotten him! With a bagful of Gospel bracelets, Luis will go back to school, sharing the love of Jesus with his friends, teachers and anyone who asks. Thank you for your heart to share the Good News – through the gift of a wheelchair, a Bible, and a Gospel bracelet. You have empowered a joyful little boy to spread the love of Jesus. For Luis and thousands of other children with disabilities, it’s the best news ever!

Change Lives through Wheels for the World Legacy

  • By: Joni and Friends
  • June 16, 2014
  • 0 Comments
  • In the Media, Wheels For The World

Wheels for the World Legacy - Change a Life... Leave a LegacyThis summer, Joni and Friends is inviting you to build a WHEELS FOR THE WORLD LEGACY with us. Our goal is to send 3,500 pediatric wheelchairs to children ─ and we need your help! A wheelchair enables a child to go to school, attend church, and become an active part of their community. It changes lives! 

But many disabled children around the world are growing up with little hope for their future, simply because their families have no means to provide a wheelchair. 

You can help change this - by giving a Legacy gift! 

What your Legacy gift will do:

  • Send 5 brand-new pediatric wheelchairs to disabled children around the world.
  • With each wheelchair, every child receives a Bible in their own language, and the Gospel of Christ is shared with them and their family. 

To commemorate your Legacy gift, your name or the name of a loved one will be inscribed on the Wheels for the World Legacy Wall, located at the Joni and Friends International Disability Center. 

Find out more about this life-changing opportunity, click here.

Another Kind of Courage: A Message for Special-Needs Dads

  • By: Joni and Friends
  • June 15, 2014
  • 0 Comments
  • Radio, Video Archives

football in front of framed family photoEvery father has dreams for his children—dreams of sports, graduations, first dates, and careers for their son or daughter. But what happens when a father hears the words of a physician, “Your son has Down syndrome,” or “I am sorry, but your daughter has only months to live”? For many men, parenting a child with a disability is a tremendous challenge—maybe the biggest challenge they’ve ever had to face. Doug Mazza and Steve Bundy know this well. As fathers of children with severe disabilities, they know what it’s like to go from one doctor’s appointment to the next, to wrestle to keep a marriage intact in the midst of emotional turmoil, and to go before the throne of God with a heavy heart. It’s why they wish to open their hearts and share with you their insights through their...

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