Joni and Friends Blog

An Even Better Identity

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“God not only showed me the purpose for Ryan’s life, he showed me the purpose of mine. I asked Him to save my son Ryan’s life and He saved me.”

No father is ever prepared to hear that his child will be born with a disability. This unexpected reality can lead to confusion or even anger, but it can also change the direction of a father’s life and his family. This week on a special Father’s Day episode of the podcast, Crystal is sitting down with Doug Mazza who served as President and COO of Joni and Friends for 20 years. Doug had been a driven and very successful businessman in the automotive industry prior to the birth of his third son; learning that Ryan was born with profound physical and intellectual disabilities brought Doug into a season of confusion and loss of identity. But God has a lot to say about people with disabilities, and the direction of Doug’s life changed when he recognized that God had a better identity for him than what he had chosen for himself. Today, hear where Doug found the courage to step up and be the dad that he was called to be.


Another Kind of Courage

For parents, the realization that your child has a disability hits hard. But be encouraged – you are not alone! In Another Kind of Courage, authors Doug Mazza and Steve Bundy share their experiences as fathers of children with disability. Along with the encouragement and hope that they found in their walk with God.

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Volunteer at Family Retreat!

Are you interested in serving at a Family Retreat? Volunteers serve families affected by disability through encouragement and friendship. Learn more about volunteering at Family Retreat.

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How to Plan a Respite Event

Families or caregivers who have children with disabilities are often isolated, exhausted, and grieving. It is so invaluable when there is a place for kids to just be themselves, for caregivers to have a break, and for the church to serve well. Listen as Crystal Keating talks with ministry leaders Gina Spivey and Bret Welshymer about how they use respite events as an opportunity to minister to families impacted by disability in their church.

Listen to Episode 10