Joni and Friends Blog

Giving Back to Warriors Who Gave So Much!

“Encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”

1 Thessalonians 5:11

Peter and Christy Strauch are true American heroes in every sense of the word. Peter is a double Purple Heart recipient who served in the Army from 2004 – 2012. A paratrooper and combat veteran, Peter was deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan, and now lives with Post Traumatic Stress, Traumatic Brain Injuries, and stroke-like symptoms as a result of his service to his country. His wife, Christy, serves as his full-time caregiver while also caring for their three daughters, Neima (13), Neelah (7) and Olivia (6), who has autism. 

The transition from war to civilian life can be excruciating, as combat zones have a way of traveling home with our servicemen and women. And while Peter and Christy have learned to navigate through their “new normal,” they’ve had to endure incredible hardships – especially over the past year. 

Both Peter and little Olivia have lost access to their daily therapy sessions due to COVID-19 restraintsadding to Christy’s burden as their primary caregiver, and creating feelings of isolation and loneliness for the whole family. Christy’s own health issues have been put on the back burner while she carries the load of caring for her family. And on top of everything associated with disability and coronavirus, the Strauchs lost half their house when it caught on fire after a propane tank exploded. Peter suffered third degree burns in his effort to rescue the family’s animals during that fire, and they’ve since had to live in the remains of that home without electricity due to insurance complications. 

Joni and Friends is dedicated to helping this incredible family through two of our flagship programs: our Texas Warrior Getaways and Hearts for the Disabled. 

“Warrior Getaway is the best respite, healing, fellowship and fun we’ve had together as a family in years,” shared Christy. It’s where Peter has been able to find friendship, hope and healing.

And Christy received new hope at the Warrior Getaway, too! At the Warrior Getaway, Christy realized she’s not aloneThe Bible teaching, worship, support groups and encouragement from other Warrior families pointed her – and her whole family – to the Lord and gave Christy the strength she needed to continue serving her family despite the many challenges that come from disability.  

“I learned how to rely on the Lord,” explained Christy. “And that our strength doesn’t come from ourselves. My strength comes from the Lord.”

The Strauch family – and other Warrior families like theirs  get the much needed opportunity to connect with each other and connect with Jesus at our Warrior Getaways!

But Warrior Getaways aren’t the only way Peter, Christy and their beautiful daughters can receive strength, joy and hope. Our Heart for the Disabled outreach sends the love of Christo families like the Strauchs who so desperately need encouragement. And we’re inviting you to send your heartfelt Christian encouragement to Peter, Christy and their beautiful daughters, too! 

Please pick up a pen and write a Valentine’s card or a note, send a poem or a Bible verse or two, or maybe a short letter to this exceptional family and let them know that God is on their side! That’s right, pour out your love on them through your cards and letters, and please send them soon so we can deliver your notes in time for Valentine’s Day!

You can send your cards to:

Joni and Friends Heart for the Disabled/Strauch Family
PO Box 3333
Agoura Hills, CA 91376

Thank you for having a Heart for the Disabled!