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Joni and Friends Blog

Mother and Son Shine for Jesus Through Service

“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 son who has Down syndrome) come in to volunteer during the summer.

I simply must drop by their work table to give greetings, sing a song, or get a hug from my handsome young friend who loves to roll up his sleeves and help. Christian so enjoys his humble work of folding newsletters and putting stamps and labels on envelopes. It’s simple labor, but it’s needed and valued.

What thrills me most about Irma and her son is that they not only volunteer at our home office in California, they also serve at Family Retreats, helping other families like themselves.

As a 21-year-old, Christian knows he has a responsibility to reach out to other young people with disabilities…I love that about him! This young man with intellectual disabilities told me, “I like volunteering. It’s special because I get to help other people and tell them about Joni and Friends.” I always say, “It isn’t disability ministry until the disabled are ministering!” It’s exactly what Irma and Christian are doing – they are great examples of Colossians 3:23-24 as they work with all their hearts for the Lord Jesus.

There are all kinds of ways you can serve too! You can pray and give financially. But you can also volunteer with us, whether at a Family Retreat, on a Wheels for the World outreach, or at your nearest Joni and Friends’ area ministry office. As you do, be encouraged by Colossians again, for “you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward, for it is the Lord Christ you are serving.” There’s no greater incentive to volunteer than that!

Volunteer in the United States

Volunteer Around the World