In the Media

Sam, the Dancing Barista

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • April 19, 2016
  • 1 Comment
  • Joni's Posts, In the Media

Chris and SamIf you’re on Facebook, then you’ve probably come across the story of Sam “the dancing barista.” Sam is a 17-year-old who last year met Chris, a Starbucks store manager, at a camp for kids with autism. Sam shared with Chris that one of his dreams was to be a barista — but he wasn’t sure how he could work at a coffee shop. Well that’s when Chris had an idea … and after speaking with Sam’s parents, he extended a job offer to Sam. And now? Sam works as a barista at his local Starbucks! Because of his autism and movement disorder, Sam has to “dance” to help him focus on his work. But it’s his dancing — his need to be in constant movement — which has made him a social media sensation. And it’s a great reminder for you and me of 2 Corinthians 12: 9, where the Lord says, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So good on you Chris and Starbucks, for having a heart for the disabled! And in honor of National Autism Awareness Month, share this story with your friends!

Celebrating 25 Years of Family Retreats!

  • By: Joni and Friends
  • April 18, 2016
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  • In the Media, Family Retreats

Disability affects families 24/7. Relief is rarely available and daily hardships are made worse by isolation. But one week is different! For the Light family and so many others affected by disability, Family Retreat provides a week of acceptance, connection, and respite. And this year, Joni and Friends is celebrating 25 years of Family Retreats. Thank you for providing help and hope to families affected by disability for the past 25 years!

We've Got This!

  • By: Joni and Friends
  • April 2, 2016
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  • In the Media

We've Got This - Providing Respite for Families Affected by DisabilityFollowing last month’s release of Start With Hello, the second book in the Irresistible Church series is now available in online bookstores. “We’ve Got This!” explores the area of respite – a time of rest and refreshment desperately needed by family members of a loved one with special needs. “Whenever a family first faces disability, a dream has been altered. The loss of that dream or expectation leads to grief—grief that is every bit as real and challenging as the physical death of a loved one. As parents are grieving, they are simultaneously thrown into a world of intense discovery, uncertainty, added expense, long hours, and emotional exhaustion. Many find that it is no longer easy to be included in social and recreational activities and become increasingly isolated. Marriages grow fragile under the strain of new financial obligations, exhaustion, and the lack of time or energy to work on the marriage relationship. But when a church can step into this situation and give these parents a few hours ‘off,’ it is like offering a refreshing...

Today's "Culture of Death"

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • March 21, 2016
  • 2 Comments
  • Joni's Posts, In the Media

Today's "Culture of Death"Someone once said that “The health of a civilization depends on how its society treats the elderly, the newborn, the unborn, people with disabilities, the poor, and those who are homeless.” There is a culture of death that is sweeping this country, and it is turning our society into a people that are fearful of suffering...

My interview with Pastor Shawn Thornton

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • March 14, 2016
  • 1 Comment
  • Joni's Posts, In the Media

Pastor Shawn ThorntonPastor Shawn leads one of the most influential churches in Southern California, and it's just down the freeway from Joni and Friends — recently, I zipped over to his recording studio to do a 2-part interview on his program, “All Things New.” We talked about my accident...

5,000 wheelchairs restored Arizona State Prison!

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • Feb. 10, 2016
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  • Joni's Posts, In the Media

Arizona State PrisonEvery year, our Wheels for the World teams travel to countries like India, El Salvador, China and Ghana — providing wheelchairs and Bibles to adults and children with disabilities. Hundreds of thousands have received the gift of mobility and the hope of Jesus, but none of it could be done without the help of prisoners...

New "Irresistible Church" Book Series

  • By: Joni and Friends
  • Feb. 5, 2016
  • 0 Comments
  • In the Media

Start with Hello bookIs your church a place of belonging? Do you want your church to be irresistible? An Irresistible Church is an authentic community built on the hope of Christ that compels people affected by disability to fully belong. And with the goal of introducing and training churches on how to lead a special needs ministry, we’ve kicked off our brand new “Irresistible Church” book series with the first release, “Start with Hello.” Listed for free on Kindle, this powerful resource has already reached #1 in 2 different Amazon bestseller categories as it book meets a need of so many churches – how to become welcoming to all people, and especially those with special needs. Download this free book for practical advice on...

First-ever LEGO with a Disability!

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • Feb. 3, 2016
  • 9 Comments
  • Joni's Posts, In the Media

LEGO in a wheelchairMy nephews are grown now, but when they were kids one of their favorite toys were LEGO® bricks. The boys had so much fun interlocking the tiny, colorful bricks to build all kinds of things — including “ramps” like the ones their Aunt Joni used. Toys can create a wonderful opportunity for children to develop a more positive attitude towards people with disabilities. It’s why I’m so excited that LEGO® has announced its first-ever minifigure with a disabilityto go on sale this June — a figurine of a person in a...

When you feel like a "burden"

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • Jan. 5, 2016
  • 31 Comments
  • Joni's Posts, In the Media

When you feel like a "burden"Happy New Year! And no, I do not mean it as a cliché — I really do pray that this new year will be one of God’s abundant blessings for your life ... blessings of joy, peace, hope, and increased strength and trust in the Lord. I know I need it! With my age and almost 50 years spent sitting in a wheelchair, life isn’t getting any easier. And it’s likely you, too, struggle with your own challenges: arthritis that makes your work harder, a son who has drifted away from the Lord, a marriage that has more “lows” than “highs,” or...

A Fatwa Against Disabled Children

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • Dec. 15, 2015
  • 10 Comments
  • Joni's Posts, In the Media

A Fatwa Against DisabledRecently, an alarming report was posted on FoxNews — ISIS militants have reportedly authorized the terror group's members to kill newborn babies with Down syndrome, as well as other disabled children. Always, whenever I watch Fox News, I use what I’ve learned...

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