Meet Cause 4 Life Intern Rachele!

  • By: Joni and Friends
  • Sept. 28, 2017
  • 1 Comment
  • Cause 4 Life

Meet Cause 4 Life Intern Rachele!

In this three-part series, our corporate intern, Grace Shaffer, gives you an inside look at why and how some of our other interns came to serve in our Cause 4 Life internship program. Learn about our other interns, Kait and Samantha.

Sometimes we as Christians feel like we have to do big things in order to serve God. But sometimes, serving God begins with the little decisions we make every day. Rachele Delvecchio, an intern with Joni and Friends this past summer, discovered that it was the little choices she made in life that led her toward something so much bigger—opportunities to serve God in disability ministry. 

When she agreed to babysit a little boy with a hearing disability, she didn’t realize that one little action would spark her interest in disability ministry. Rachele quickly fell in love with the little boy, and her heart was softened when she witnessed the grueling challenges that people with disabilities face on a daily basis. Like a domino effect, she began to reach out to other families affected by disability from her church and desperately longed for ways to serve them more effectively, especially the children. “I didn’t realize it,” she reflected, “but God has been preparing my heart for kids with disabilities for the last three years.” 

Upon discovering the Joni and Friends Cause 4 Life internships, Rachele immediately jumped on the opportunity. With her willing heart and fun-loving spirit, she dove into her four-week internship, determined to commit all of herself to what Christ had in store for her. Her internship unlocked several opportunities to refine her skills and train her how to practically apply her experiences to promote disability ministry. 

Though sometimes Rachele felt a little intimidated by the posing challenges, she watched in awe as God used her willing heart to powerfully touch the lives of people affected by disabilities. Her quirky, energetic personality blessed the family she was paired with at a Joni and Friend’s Family Retreat, while her sensitive heart touched the lives of teachers and interpreters during her trip to the Dominican Republic. In the Dominican Republic, she was excited to use her sign language skills to communicate and connect with teachers—just another experience that proved to her that God equipped her for this ministry. “Entering this internship was a little bit intimidating at first,” Rachele admitted, “but so rewarding by the end.”

Perhaps, the aspect of her internship that Rachele appreciated the most was the personal training she received at the Joni and Friends home office. During her week-long training at the international disability center, she absorbed the training on a biblical view of disability and a theology of suffering and considered ways to integrate what she learned to her church back home.

“I hope I will be able to take the training I’ve learned back to my church,” Rachele determined. “Maybe we won’t start a disability ministry, but at least, I can give families more awareness about people who are affected by disabilities.” As Rachele returns home, she expectantly waits to see what other opportunities the Lord is going to open in her future. She is currently majoring in early childhood education in hopes of working with children with disabilities. She already has plans to serve at another Family Retreat in Oregon.

Rachele encourages everyone to consider getting involved in disability ministry. She prompts people to, “Pray. Don’t give up. Rely on and trust in God no matter how hard it is or may seem in the moment. Disability ministry is a little bit intimidating, but it is so rewarding at the end.”

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1 Comment

Thank you, Rachele! Your attitude and personality is awesome to read about! I had a similar experience at a Family Retreat in Charlotte, NC where like you I am feeling the excitement and desire to reach out to please the Lord by going after a permanent mission in disability ministries! I LOVE Joni and Friend's mission to 'extend love and the message of Jesus Christ to people who are affected by disabilities' as I'm a young man in a wheelchair! It's awesome that you are going after it! It sounds like God has been really using your obedience as your excitement is BEAMING off the pages! The harvest is so plentiful like it sounds like you're experiencing! Thank you as this article is encouraging! God Bless you as our family is encouraged and excited for you!!
  • Oct. 4, 2017
  • 12:41 p.m.
  • Chris Skinner