Joni and Friends Blog

A Talent For Hugs

  • By: Joni and Friends
  • July 28, 2015
  • 0 Comments
  • Cause 4 Life

Anna Kate with AndrewFor Anna Kate, spending time with Andrew was easy — even if communication was challenging. As an STM volunteer at the Murrieta Family Retreat, she was paired with Andrew, a 14-year-old boy who has autism and is non-verbal. Even though he struggled with physical pain and understanding at times, he exhibited incredible joy. Whether with water play, music, or at the playhouse, Andrew’s joyful screams, “Whoa, whoa, whoa,” could be heard across the Retreat campus. And this happy boy loved to hug everyone… even the tall, intimidating man who was helping take family portraits. When Andrew ran up and gave him a tight hug, the man was so touched that he broke down in tears! This set off a chain reaction bringing everyone to tears, including Anna Kate as she looked on. At that moment, she realized that it didn’t matter if Andrew understood everything that was said or all of the activities that went on at Family Retreat; Andrew had love for everyone. And at the talent show on the final night of Retreat, Andrew shared his incredible talent for hugs. As he hugged and jumped up and down with another camper, Anna Kate was amazed. Despite his struggles and pain, he loved so much… and gave a hug to show it!

Climbing Mt. Everest with Down Syndrome

  • By: Joni and Friends
  • July 27, 2015
  • 1 Comment
  • Radio

Climbing Mt. EverestThe next time anyone tells you that you can’t do something, remind him or her that with God, all things are possible... then tell them Elisha’s incredible story! Eli Reimer has Down syndrome. He’s already an amazing teen, but he accomplished something most adults can only dream of: two years ago, at the age of 15, Eli climbed Mount Everest! This young man walked 17,600 feet up the side of...

Every Month You Can Send Help and Hope

young girl receives a pediatric wheelchairDid you know? You can provide monthly support for the ministry work of Joni and Friends. Simply enroll in convenient automatic monthly giving. Every month, your donation will help send the Gospel to people affected by disability and change lives with the love of Jesus. Automatic monthly donations help us reduce administrative expenses while making donating faster, easier, and more secure for you! Join us in helping more people with disabilities hear the Gospel of Christ… Sign up today!

Building Bridges of Communication at Family Retreat

  • By: Joni and Friends
  • July 21, 2015
  • 1 Comment
  • Family Retreats, Cause 4 Life

Katelyn and Beaudy serving the Fass Family“It’s important to know that people with disabilities can communicate like anyone else. God made them that way for a reason,” said Cause 4 Life intern Katelyn Casey as she shared about her time at Bison Ranch Family Retreat. For her, no one illustrated this principle better than the Fass family. When Jeremy Fass was a little boy, his parents dropped him off at the Tucson Deaf School and didn’t return. Despite this heartbreaking beginning, Jeremy is an energetic husband and father of three children. This year when their family arrived at Family Retreat, Jeremy was the only deaf person. But he took it upon himself to build bridges of communication: he taught deaf culture classes, addressing the common misconceptions people have and also shared stories of when people saw his family using sign language and thought that they were all deaf. After clearing up any misconceptions about his disability, Jeremy began building...

New Music From Joni: Let God Be God CD

  • By: Joni and Friends
  • July 20, 2015
  • 0 Comments
  • What's New in Our Store

Let God Be God CDNeed an encouraging moment in your day? You’ll be blessed by these songs of worship and praise, performed by Joni Eareckson Tada. Available only from Joni and Friends, this is CD is a perfect addition to any music library collection. 10 tracks include, “Strength of the Lord,” “Just to Know,” “I’ve Never Been Out of His Care,” and more! Supplies are limited, so order your copy today!

Now Available! Beyond Suffering for the Next Generation

  • By: Joni and Friends
  • July 16, 2015
  • 0 Comments
  • Christian Institute on Disability

Beyond Suffering for the Next GenerationWe love young people at Joni and Friends and are grateful for the important roles they play in our ministry. From those volunteering as Short Term Missionaries for Family Retreats to those serving as Cause 4 Life interns, these passionate teens live out Jesus’ model of ministry to the marginalized, including those with disabilities! That’s why we’re so excited to announce that our new course, Beyond Suffering for the Next Generation, is now available! This youth edition is based on our groundbreaking course Beyond Suffering: A Christian View on Disability Ministry, which has been translated into several languages and is being taught at universities around the world. We at the Joni and Friends’ Christian Institute on Disability believe that lasting change happens when younger generations are equipped with a biblical foundation of God’s plan for suffering and disability. Beyond Suffering for the Next Generation will prepare young leaders for life-long service in education, medicine and science...

Joni and Friends TV Special

  • By: Joni and Friends
  • July 16, 2015
  • 0 Comments
  • In the Media

Joni Eareckson TadaTune in to TBN’s Church Channel on Friday, July 17th and Friday, July 31st at 12 noon (PST) for a two hour Joni and Friends special. This personal, behind the scenes look at Joni Eareckson Tada’s life will reveal some of the challenges she faces every day, and give you the opportunity to meet people in her life who inspire and encourage her to keep on going. The Church Channel can be viewed wherever TBN is broadcast throughout the world, including on DirecTV, Dish Network, and online. Please consult your local listings for more information. Thank you for watching! 

A Slice of Heaven

  • By: Joni and Friends
  • July 15, 2015
  • 0 Comments
  • Cause 4 Life

Cause 4 Life interns serving at Family Retreat
For days, the suspense has been building. Our Cause 4 Life interns are eager to experience a “slice of heaven,” a week of fellowship and ministry that they’ll never forget. Three of our teams are serving at Family Retreat this week—the West Coast and Arizona Academies at Bison Ranch in Arizona, and the Bootcamp at Murrieta in California. They’ve driven hours, even days to get there and have finally found out which family they’ll be serving for the week. But while setting up the retreat and preparing the activities, our interns are also developing servant hearts. For two...

Global Access Conference 2015 Advances the Worldwide Disability Ministry Movement

  • By: Joni and Friends
  • July 12, 2015
  • 1 Comment
  • Christian Institute on Disability, International

Joni Eareckson Tada speaking at Global Access Conference 2015Conference attendees at Global Access 2015
In February, Joni and Friends hosted the first Global Access Conference, with 1,000 attendees traveling to southern California from 54 countries and 39 states. Speakers Joni Eareckson Tada, Nick Vujicic, Lon Solomon, and Dr. Charles Ware set the tone for a joyful, Spirit-filled week. Pastors, educators, and lay people from all around the world attended workshops and round table discussions. Together, they forged ...

The CA Assisted Suicide Bill Is Put On Hold

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • July 9, 2015
  • 0 Comments
  • Joni's Posts, In the Media

Against Assisted SuicideNot long ago I asked you to pray with me against the advancement of the “End of Life Option Act” (SB128). Well, recent news report that this proposal to allow physicians to prescribe lethal doses of drugs to terminally ill patients in California has been put on hold. Thanks to...

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