Can you imagine having triplets? Add a disability to that and life becomes all the more challenging! That’s why Joni invites you to send a Valentine’s day note to Joffre, Kathy, and the kids.
Hey, it's Heart for the Disabled week here at Joni and Friends.
Thanks for joining me, Joni Eareckson Tada, as we begin one of my favorite weeks of the year. It’s when I ask you to take a few minutes to write a note of encouragement to disabled people who attended last summer's Family Retreats. Many of you have done this before (last year beat all records; you friends really responded) and it has meant the world to these special needs families who receive, well … Valentine's cards, letters, notes with scriptures, words of a hymn, inspirational poems. And today, I’m thinking that Joffre and Kathy are in need of your encouragement—they really need you.
This couple has been coming to Family Retreat for many years, and for good reasons — they have three children, all who have disabilities. Actually, these three are 18-year-old triplets who were born prematurely. This means that Jenay, Justin and Jasmyne all have cerebral palsy. Jenay and Jasmyne use wheelchairs, and Jasmyne has autism. Now, just let those facts sink in for a moment: three children, all the same age, who have significant disabilities … I mean, Joffre and Kathy have been their constant support, day and night, for 18 years. Now that is a family with special needs!
But lately, there’s another challenge. This family has been going through a very difficult time. You see, Kathy, the mother, well, her health has not been good over the last year and, of course, you can imagine how much those three disabled 18-year-olds rely on their mom. Thankfully, though, Kathy has help: Joyanna is their 16 year old daughter who doesn’t have a disability and, oh my, has this 16 year old had to grow up quickly, helping out with her three older siblings. Joyanna is a very mature young girl; she has to be, given her extra responsibilities as of late, helping her mom with housekeeping chores and all. And I won’t even take time to mention the other challenges; last year Jasmyne experienced a shunt failure and had to have brain surgery. Praise the Lord, though, this 18-year-old has recovered and is back to singing again — one of her favorite hobbies. Joffre and Kathy are so dedicated to their kids but, hey, right about now, they are in need of a lot of encouragement!
This is why I know Kathy and Joffre, as well as Jasmyne, Justin, Jenay, and Joyanna — that’s a lot of “Js” there — I know this family, especially the parents, would love a note of encouragement from you. They know nothing about our Heart for the Disabled program; but, with a card or note from you, you can assure Joffre and Kathy that you’ll be praying for them, even thank Joyanna for her gift of service as a big helper to her mom and dad. Share some uplifting scriptures or, ask your children or grandkids to crayon a picture for the four teenagers. Just send your note to “Joffre and Kathy”; it’s an unusual spelling; it’s J-o-f-f-r-e and Kathy is spelled with a ‘K.’ Send your note to them in care of Joni and Friends, P.O. Box 3333, Agoura Hills, CA 91376. If you missed any details, I’m posting this story today on our radio page at joniandfriends.org. Just know that we need you to send your note in right away to ensure it arrives in their mailbox in time for Valentine's Day. Again, write your card to “Joffre and Kathy” at Joni and Friends, P.O. Box 3333, Agoura Hills, CA 91376. Thanks for having a heart, a heart for the disabled like this incredible special needs family, and thank you for praying for Kathy as she works through her health problems.
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