Heart for the Disabled

  • Feb. 9, 2018
  • #9335

Valentine's Day is almost here! Learn how you can encourage families affected by disability with the love of Christ by sending cards and notes of encouragement.

children opening Heart for the Disabled cards and lettersIt’s almost Valentines; a special day if you have a Heart for the Disabled.

Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada and if you’ll recall, not long ago I did a whole week on families with special needs, and remember I asked you to write notes of encouragement to them. And, oh, my goodness, you people are amazing… you responded so beautifully! I wish you could have seen the stacks of mail – and even some of you sent in a couple of small gifts – which you sent in to these five families with disabilities. In fact, you know what? You can see this. We took a photo of those piles of letters, and I’m going to ask our team here to post it on our radio web page today, okay? Because you’ve got to see, you friends listening, you must see these photos.

And I want to assure those of you who sent in cash gifts (you really didn’t have to do that, but bless you anyway for caring so much); I want to assure you that, yes, each cash gift was tucked carefully into the package and sent off yesterday. We are making sure that each package will reach every family’s mail box in time for Valentine’s Day this weekend.

I remember when we sent a Heart for the Disabled package to a couple named Steve and Kathy some years ago. Kathy has MS, and their two disabled teenaged daughters ... both of them have some developmental delays. My goodness, talk about disability in the family, wow! Well, Steve is the only one in the whole family who is able-bodied, bless his heart. And because of Kathy’s multiple sclerosis, Steve is not only the bread winner, but the chief cook and bottle washer.

Well, I’ll tell you what… when he opened their mail box that Valentine’s Day and saw that big package, he was absolutely stymied. He opened it up when he got inside the house and realized, right away, he needed to call together the entire family. So, everybody gathered in the living room where Steve proceeded to pour out onto the carpet this big pile of letters, cards, notes, gift certificates – a couple of teddy bears, and someone sent Kathy a necklace. The whole family got so excited – Kathy drew close in her wheelchair and the girls sat on the floor spreading their hands over the pile just gasping in amazement. And one by one, Steve, with tears in his eyes, began reading the words of encouragement (words written by you, you listening friends) … he read each note and scripture and poem and hymn.

He told me later that the best part was, learning that so many people were praying for them, and he said, “Joni, it was the best Valentine’s day we had ever had. So often, we feel alone and so separated from normal life and it gets so hard; but with these cards and notes from all these wonderful people, it shows us that Christians really do care. I tell you, we were flying high for weeks afterward and we kept reading those Valentine notes over to remind us that people were indeed praying.”

Friend, that’s the difference you’re making because of your participation in our Heart for the Disabled outreach. You’re such a great example of Galatians 6:10 where it says, “…as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” So, from my heart, for all of you who wrote notes and sent them in, thank you, thank you for taking the opportunity to do good to families like Steve and Kathy’s. And don’t forget, please be praying for the people you wrote to because in just a couple of days, they, too, will open their mail box to get a big surprise. And remember, you really need to see this snapshot we took of all your letters – it’s posted on the “Listen Now” page on joniandfriendsradio.org. I’ll be looking for you on joniandfriendsradio.org.

Previously aired as Program #7249 on: 2/11/10

© Joni and Friends



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