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Stories

Why I Chose Life

October 8, 2019

” Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward.” Psalm 127:3 When we travel to developing countries, it’s not uncommon to find entire communities believing the lie that disability is either a punishment or a curse. As Americans, we feel shocked when we hear that babies born with…

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Mother and Son Shine for Jesus Through Service

October 7, 2019

“God has given each of you a gift from His great variety of spiritual gifts.” 1 PETER 4:10 Every morning when I wheel up the ramp at our Joni and Friends International Disability Center (IDC), I bypass my office and head for the volunteer area. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday are when Irma and Christian (her…

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On The Brink Of Despair

October 5, 2019

Four-year-old Katya from El Salvador was born blind and with cerebral palsy. She, like other children in developing nations, was subjected to shame and rejection because she was born disabled. In her culture, many believe that a baby born with a disability is cursed. Feeling helpless and on the brink of despair, Katya’s parents, Wilfred…

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Strengthening Families with Jesus’ Love

September 23, 2019

“Family Retreat is like having another family.” The Hintz family recently came to one of our Joni and Friends Family Retreats in Northern California this summer. Rich and Joanne came with their sons, Jeremy and Cody (who has Down syndrome). It’s normal for parents to feel overwhelmed and alone when taking care of a child…

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Congratulations, Kodi Lee!

September 20, 2019

Last night, my husband ambled in from the living room with his iPad, wanting to show me “a precious video,” as he put it. I watched a clip of America’s Got Talent as Kodi Lee, a blind young man with significant autism sat at the piano – millions watched as he commanded the keyboard, giving…

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Running In The Halls

September 8, 2019

“Lateef’s family and his courageous community were blazing new trails far beyond the idea of mainstreaming.” In the fall of 1987, in Mrs. Malte’s second grade class at Monte Gardens Elementary School, an African-American boy named Lateef McCleod was pushed through the door in his wheelchair and parked next to my desk. The straps across…

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Giving the Joy of Jesus

September 6, 2019

Caring for a child with a disability in a country like El Salvador can often lead to feelings of isolation and hopelessness. The day to day realities of disability can be overwhelming. Medical and economic challenges can weigh down on parents and caretakers. But at International Family Retreat, families find Jesus’ love, hope, and acceptance! Meet Angie, who was diagnosed with…

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My Cause 4 Life: Uganda Experience

August 24, 2019

“If there was any phrase to describe the atmosphere it would be “literal heaven on earth”   My name is Tristen Udeh, and this was my first time being part of an internship program that involved a short term mission overseas and learning about disability ministry. In preparation for this trip, I was nervous, optimistic,…

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God Equips Us When We Call Upon Him

August 12, 2019

My name is Maggie and I had the opportunity to serve at Joni and Friends Family Retreat in New Mexico this summer. This is the third camp I have been able to attend. Although every time I have gone to camp it has been incredible, there was something special about this week that really impacted…

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A Story of Hope for Parents in the Midst of Hardship

July 27, 2019

The last few years presented my husband, Josh, and me with some of life’s greatest challenges: Loss, Infertility, Adoption, Prematurity, Raising a child with special needs… Through it all, we had full faith that God would BLESS us with great magnitude one day. To be able to share our story and use all of our…

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