Heart for the Disabled Follow-Up

  • Jan. 14, 2013
  • #8011

Our words are never neutral — never! Every day we are using words that either build people up or tear them down. So today, use your words to encourage a family affected by disability. 

Heart for the Disabled Follow-Up

Hi, I'm Joni with one last word about “Heart for the Disabled”.

First, I want to say a big thank you to those of you who listened in last week to our heart for the disabled campaign — already the cards and notes are arriving at the Joni and Friends International Disability Center and we are so thrilled at your response. Thank you for caring about these special needs families in such a personal way. I can’t wait to collect all the letters, cards and all the little gifts and send them off to arrive on Valentine's Day.

I thought you’d like to hear what one couple said last year when they opened up their Heart for the Disabled box. Last year I told you about Chuck and Debbie who adopted seven children, four of them with special needs and significant needs, at that they were. Let me read this note they sent me after they received their Valentines. Chuck and Debbie write, “Joni, I can’t begin to tell you how overwhelmed we were when our Valentine box came. It took our breath away. We’ve never felt so much love in our whole lives. We loved Family Retreat last year, but raising so many children with so many physical and mental challenges, it is hard. Family Retreat means everything to us. Last fall, volunteers that we met from the Family Retreat in Ohio came and stayed with our children for three days so we could go away alone for the weekend. Someone from your Joni and Friends team in Ohio even donated their cabin for us to use. And these Valentines just underscore how much people care. We are so grateful to you and your organization. In Him, Chuck and Debbie.”

Proverbs 25 verse 11 underscores how encouraging our words can be. It says, “A word aptly spoken is as apples of gold in settings of silver.” And then Proverbs 18 tells us that “the tongue has the power of life and death ....” Oh, friend, every day we are using words that either build people up or tear them down. Our words are never neutral — never! Every day we are either nudging people closer to Christ with encouraging words, or we are pushing them away from Him. Well, people like Chuck and Debbie absolutely thrive on the smallest words of encouragement from Christians around them. So if you missed the stories that I shared last week, please know it’s not too late for you to pick up a pen and write an encouraging word to the special needs families — some of them are dealing with very significant disabilities, and they need to be reminded that God cares — that His people care!

All you have to do is visit my radio page today at joniandfriends.org. We have photos and details on all the disabled children I mentioned last week, including their moms and dads. Then, just let the Holy Spirit be your guide. Oh, and when you visit my page, I’d like to send you pamphlet called Bible Promises for Hope and Courage; maybe the verses on this pamphlet will inspire you as you write. So after we’re finished here, take a minute to go over to my radio page at joniandfriends.org and learn about these five families we’ve chosen to receive your “Heart for the Disabled” Valentines this year. But do it today, don’t put it off. I know you have a special word for these disabled people and their families so jot it down today and send it to Joni and Friends, P.O. Box 3333, Agoura Hills, CA 91376. Finally, remember how powerful your words are; today you will encounter many people in your path. You can either nudge them closer to Jesus or push them away with your words. The tongue is powerful and so is the pen. So offer words today that bring life!

© Joni and Friends


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