Joni and Friends Blog

At Joni’s House, Special Needs Families Find Hope and Dignity

“My God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4:19

At Joni’s House El Salvador, we are providing special needs families with complete spiritual, physical, social, and economic care. No longer will people with disabilities get leftover scraps of attention. At Joni’s House, children and adults have access to top-notch doctors, therapists, counselors, and pastors as we strive to set a new standard of care. It’s a safe haven for what the world considers the least of these, and a place where our brothers and sisters with disabilities find the exact opposite of what they’re used to elsewhere.

At Joni’s House, people living with disability are treated with love and respect. At Joni’s House, special needs families find hope.

That’s exactly what Andy and his family discovered at Joni’s House El Salvador. Andy is 11 years old. He was born without arms yet has remained a very social and active boy who loves to paint with his feet, practice karate and swim. That is, until COVID-19 took away his opportunities to interact with others and propelled Andy into severe depression. And that depression took a huge toll on Andy’s mental health.

Andy’s desperate cries were heartbreaking.

“I don’t want to be locked up. I can’t stand this confinement anymore.”

Andy had been a good student up until the global pandemic hit home, but he quickly started failing his classes and losing sight of his purpose in life.

But all that changed once Andy walked into Joni’s House. “Joni’s House has made us improve spiritually as well as emotionally because they’ve helped us as a family,” explains Andy’s mom, Angela. At Joni’s House El Salvador, Andy receives occupational therapy, physical therapy, and emotional therapy. Through Joni’s House, God brought Andy out of his depression and renewed his zeal for life.

“My favorite part of Joni’s House is to meet kids like me – to meet friends with disabilities,” explains Andy with a huge smile on his face. At Joni’s House, Andy has been able to form new relationships, develop his gifts and build up his confidence.

Andy’s dad, Wilfredo, has been especially blessed by the financial burdens lifted through Joni’s House. He explains, “Joni’s House is a great help to us economically. Therapies are the most expensive thing, but Andy will be able to have it because of Joni’s House.”

Without Joni’s House, Andy wouldn’t have access to the various therapies he needs to live life successfully. Those therapies are just too expensive for families living below the poverty line. Without Joni’s House, Andy would still be battling depression and wondering if life had any meaning. Without Joni’s House, Andy – and his parents – would be lost and without hope. Joni’s House brought Andy from feeling like he had nothing, to know that – because of Jesus – he has everything!

“In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”

Romans 8:37

Andy’s parents once feared what the future would entail for their son as he struggled with depression and disability.

But now, because of God’s great love and the support of generous people like you, they smile at the thought of everything Jesus has in store for their little boy.

His mother sums up their family’s experiences best when she says, “At Joni’s House, we learned that everything is possible!”

“With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”

Mark 10:27

When you support all the Christ-centered programs at Joni and Friends – like Family Retreat, Wheels for the World, Respite at Home and Joni’s House – you bring families struggling under the strain of depression and disability out of the darkness and into the glorious light of Jesus. Through your prayers and generous giving, you help transform more and more children like Andy from having nothing to having everything!

Your Partnership Makes All the Differance!

Your prayers and financial support make it possible to reach families navigating the challenges of disability. Help us share the hope and love of Jesus!