This family with special-needs children and special-needs parents would love to receive encouraging cards, letters, scriptures or gift cards in time for Valentine’s Day.
It’s “Heart for the Disabled” week here at Joni and Friends!
That’s right, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada and this week I am asking you to help me give real Christian encouragement to disabled people and their families who have attended our Family Retreats. It’s mid-winter, the skies are gray, and these families are in need of a lift, what with all the disability routines day after day. So I’m asking you (as I’ve been doing all week) to pick up a pen and jot a Valentine’s card or a note, send a poem, maybe a scripture or two, or a brief letter telling a special needs family that you’re praying for them.
Today I want to tell you about Roger and Emem (spelled E-M-E-M). They have a daughter and two teenaged sons who have severe autism. Both boys, Roger Jr. and Joshua, can be pretty aggressive; with their autism—they are a handful! Now that would be challenging enough, but the real challenge is that Roger and Emem are deaf. Oh my goodness, their 13-year-old daughter Moriah is the only one in the family without a disability. Life for Roger and Emem is not easy, although two summers ago they were scholarshipped to come to our Family Retreat. They had a wonderful time, and we were even able to provide assistance with sign language interpretation for this deaf couple. Like I said, life is not easy, and this past summer there wasn’t scholarship funding available. Last Christmas, Roger and Emem didn’t even have the resources to purchase Christmas gifts for their children. Believe me, this family lives on the edge and yet they have such a lively faith in Christ. Their smiles are contagious, and they really display James chapter 2, verse 5 where it says that the poor of this world are rich in faith. Roger and Emem, with their deafness, and their children, Moriah, Joshua and Roger Jr. with autism have so little. Yet they remind me of II Corinthians 6:10 where it says, “Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything.” When it comes to Roger and Emem who are both deaf and their little family with all those disabilities, that’s the truth! But, oh, this family thrives on Christian encouragement.
I know they would drink in any uplifting words. So would you please join me in writing a note to them? And if you can, say a few words to Roger Jr., Moriah, and Joshua (and you can get the spelling for these names on my radio page today at joniandfriends.org). Maybe you’ll want to share a favorite scripture about the way God has our future in His hands. Or send a poem, or the words to a much-loved hymn. And if you happen to be the parent of a special- needs child like Roger Jr. and Joshua, then offer words of encouragement from your experience. And knowing their few resources, I tell you this family would definitely appreciate maybe a gift card to McDonald’s or Subway or Baskin-Robbins. I know they will appreciate anything.
Just send your card to Roger and Emem – that’s spelled E-M-E-M. Mail it to Joni and Friends at P.O. Box 3333, Agoura Hills, California 91376. And send it soon so that your card or note will arrive in time for Valentine's Day. And if you didn’t get the address or if you need to be reminded of the details of this family, and the spelling of names, you can always get the scoop on my radio page at joniandfriends.org. Thank you so much for having a “Heart for the Disabled.” and a heart for Roger and Emem. Hey, you can see a photo of them today at joniandfriends.org/radio.
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