Joni and Friends Blog

Justin... Our Ambassador of Smiles!

  • By: Joni and Friends
  • July 11, 2011
  • 8 Comments
  • Family Retreats, Wheels For The World

Justin and his family are ‘regulars’ at our Bonclarken Family Retreats led by our Joni and Friends/Charlotte team – Justin is non-verbal, but is exceptionally charismatic and smiles all the time. But their ministry extends beyond Family Retreats. Justin and his parents were part of our last Wheels for the World trip to the Dominican Republic. Dad came as a physician, and mom showed families how to make communication boards for their disabled children so they could ‘talk’ with them for the first time! And Justin? Well, he was the best ambassador for Christ, encouraging everyone with his smiles and high fives! Drop Justin a line on our blog!

justin and miajust and his dad serving in dominican republicjustin and michele hugging

Correspondence to the Rescue!

  • By: Joni and Friends
  • July 8, 2011
  • 1 Comment

woman in wheelchair making gospel braceletsSome time ago Anna wrote Joni and Friends about the plight of her sister, Christina, living in a nursing home – Christina was depressed and discouraged that she had no “real ministry.” Our coworkers in Correspondence alerted Anna of a Joni and Friends office in her region – we also planted the vision for Christina to make Gospel bracelets for our Wheels for the World outreach teams. Anna wrote, “I am so thankful I reached out to Joni and Friends and you so sweetly responded. Christina has completed her first 100 bracelets… God is so good! We are amazed at the way she has gotten engaged. She watches...

A Volunteer with a Big Heart!

  • By: Joni and Friends
  • July 7, 2011
  • 3 Comments
  • Family Retreats

two friends fishingThe Joni and Friends/Dallas-Ft. Worth team held a fantastic Family Retreat down in Camp Allen, Texas this week (they serve the best barbecue this side of El Paso, and have more fun than a rafter-ringing hoe-down). It was one busy, happy week -- at the "Fishing with Friends" activity at Camp Allen, the leaders issued a challenge to the campers with the coveted prize of a new rod and reel! Volunteer Brad...

Changing Hearts... the Luke 14 Way!

  • By: Joni and Friends
  • July 2, 2011
  • 3 Comments
  • Cause 4 Life

We received this e-mail from our Joni and Friends team serving this week in West Africa (where Islam is strong): "We just held our conference for 25 pastors representing 12 regions throughout this country. Here's a photo of the pastors studying Jesus' words in Luke 14 to 'Go out... find the disabled... and bring them in.' Mindsets are being changed!! The Spirit is convicting them to respond to the call!!" Join us in thanking God that the Gospel is making inroads deep into new and difficult territory, all for the praise of Jesus' name. Interested in serving God by helping people with disabilities overseas? Then sign up for one of our Cause4Life global internships!

group of west african pastors

It's 20 Years of Family Retreats and Counting!

  • By: Joni and Friends
  • June 29, 2011
  • 2 Comments
  • Family Retreats, Video Archives

This week marks the 20th anniversary of our Family Retreats – it was 1991 when we held our first retreat for disabled people and their families at Spruce Lake in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. Yesterday, Ken and I whipped out a fun video greeting, congratulating the group at Spruce Lake this week. Click on the video and pass on the link to your friends; it’s a celebration worth sharing far and wide as we praise God for His faithfulness over the years!

"Proclaim his Name among the nations!"

  • By: Joni and Friends
  • June 27, 2011
  • 2 Comments
  • Wheels For The World

evangelism in arabicWheels for the World is preparing to head to the nation of Jordan with 200 wheelchairs and Joni books in Arabic – and already, we're asking God for his favor over this unique outreach into the heart of the Middle East. The trip dates are November 9–November 19, 2011, and our good friend Gene Newman will be leading the team to the capital city of Amman and beyond. We have a need for more mechanics and seating specialists (physical and occupational therapists). If God is tapping on your heart to serve with us, contact Wheels for the World today!

Cause 4 Life in China!

  • By: Joni and Friends
  • June 23, 2011
  • 3 Comments
  • Cause 4 Life

Our Cause 4 Life summer interns are having a great time at an orphanage in China conducting evaluations, assessments, and specialized training for the teachers and caregivers. Four of our interns are graduate-level students studying Special Ed and Autism, and the others are disability specialists seeking to serve in disability missions...

cause 4 life team

volunteer holding a disabled=volunteer feeding a young chinese girl

Mike Leads the Way!

  • By: Joni and Friends
  • June 20, 2011
  • 12 Comments
  • Wheels For The World

When people with disabilities ‘wheel’ into leadership roles, it makes a Wheels for the World outreach even more powerful. Mike King, community resource coordinator for our Joni and Friends/Eastern Pennsylvania team, recently traveled to China to help deliver wheelchairs, Bibles, and the Joni book in Chinese. When those with disabilities in China were told that Mike was the team leader, they were shocked… then, came the tears. In China, it’s not often a person with a disability gets to lead others. Join us in praising God for the many people who came to Christ during the outreach – and drop Mike King a note of thanks through our blog!

wheels for the world team leader mike king evangelizes to a man in a wheelchair

Anatoli's Birthday Gift!

  • By: Joni and Friends
  • June 17, 2011
  • 7 Comments
  • Wheels For The World

ken, joni, and anatoliThis week was Anatoli Erickson’s 8th birthday and what did she want for presents? Rather than wrapped gifts, she asked friends and family to help her collect funds for one of our Regency pediatric wheelchairs.

Anatoli got the idea to support Wheels for the World when her school took a tour of our International Disability Center...

We’re off to Poland!

  • By: Joni and Friends
  • June 14, 2011
  • 5 Comments
  • Wheels For The World

Our Joni and Friends/Arizona team is leading a Wheels for the World team into Poland this week (June 13-28). Besides distributing several hundred Bibles and wheelchairs to disabled children and adults, we'll be conducting disability ministry training with pastors and introducing our new curriculum, "Beyond Suffering: Christian Perspectives on Disability Ministry.” We’re laying the foundation to train even more pastors next year – we want every evangelical church in Poland to welcome and embrace special needs families in the name of Jesus. The team will be checking in on our blog, so post them a note of encouragement and assure them of your prayers!

wheels for the world team in polanddelinda carr and a young boy in a wheelchair at a wheelchair distribution in Poland

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