Joni and Friends Blog

Meet Cause 4 Life Intern, Lauren – Part 1

  • By: Joni and Friends
  • July 17, 2014
  • 0 Comments
  • Cause 4 Life

Eric and Lauren(Today's post was written by Danielle Ledoux, Joni and Friends Cause 4 Life Vocational Intern.) If she can do it, you can do it. “The Lord opens doors that no man can shut.” Eric’s eyes, warm and glossy like melted chocolate, peered into Lauren’s face. He proclaimed again unsteadily, “The Lord opens doors that no man can shut.” Lost in Eric’s eyes, Lauren felt the sweetness enveloping this man. His black hair and stubbly beard covered a dear face that framed “sweet little expressions,” as Lauren said. Though his quirks and expressions indicated some disability, Lauren didn’t care. Holding Eric’s hand, she heard once more that quivery voice: “The Lord opens doors that no man can shut.” And she cried. Remembering that night, Lauren proudly showed a picture of her and Eric from the Friendship Club—a gathering of adults with disabilities and volunteers to talk, worship, and learn together. Lauren only wished that she could touch those dear...

Watch Joni Go On a Giant Swing!

  • By: Joni and Friends
  • July 14, 2014
  • 11 Comments
  • Radio, Video Archives

Giant SwingAt Joni and Friends Family Retreats there’s Biblical encouragement, counseling, worship—and fun! And when we say fun, we mean it! From horseback riding, to swimming in the pool, to zip-lining, special needs families partake in all sorts of great activities. Well, last summer, at our Family Retreat in in Texas, everyone was getting on the “Giant Swing”—even kids with disabilities! As Joni saw each person, one-by-one...

When You Send a Wheelchair, Lives are Changed!

  • By: Joni and Friends
  • July 11, 2014
  • 2 Comments
  • Wheels For The World

Valentin in his new Regency Pediatric WheelchairWhen he was three years old, Valentin was adopted by a loving older lady named Elena. “Valentin captured my heart,” she said. “God gave me the desire to adopt him – this beautiful little boy that nobody wanted.” Across the world, thousands of babies like Valentin are abandoned because they are born with a disability. Stigma, shame, poverty and desperation had driven his parents to leave him on the doorstep of an orphanage when he was only days old. But God had great plans for Valentin … plans that included you. For eight years, Elena did her very best for Valentin – but the wheelchair he desperately needed cost many times more than she earned in a year. So God used you to do the impossible. At a recent Wheels for the World outreach in Romania, Valentin was carefully fitted into his first wheelchair. “When I heard about Joni and Friends, it was like news from heaven!” Elena said. “This wheelchair will give Valentin dignity and help him show the world who he is inside. I thank God because He sent...

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...

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