sarah-dancing in the rain

sarah-horse

Like any other expectant parents, in the early morning hours of that April Spring day in 1983, Kathy and Terry were eagerly waiting the birth of their first child. In a very brief moment, their lives were changed forever. Little Sarah was born with numerous life threatening health problems as well as several physical "defects" or  anomalies. When faced with so many very serious issues, the doctors gave the same prognosis that seems to be so often given to the family of a tiny newborn baby, clinging to life, "She may not survive beyond the first 24 hours." Immediately, Kathy and Terry looked ...[Read more]

jeffrey-he’s my son

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Editor-  I sat in the kitchen one morning, glued to the computer watching a video that I knew I needed to share on the iamviable fan page.  It was a video by singer Mark Schultz in which he shared the story behind the song, "What it Means to be Loved."  The video moved me to tears.  Mark's wife is a nurse and she had come home from work one day and told him a story about a couple at work.  The Lord then dropped a song into his lap, it was about a doctor telling a brand new pregnant mom the news, that her baby won't live very long, asking her what she wanted to do, and she responds, "I want to ...[Read more]

abby-beautiful butterfly

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abby's story Written by: Tammy (her lucky Mama) The doctor performing the routine ultra sound during my fifth pregnancy 7 years ago, was quietly studying the screen while I lay there watching his face and my husband sat eagerly waiting. Finally he said, "Do you want to know the sex?" to which we said, "Yes." He replied,"It's a girl." We smiled and made comments about how our other children would react to the news. Then, quietly, he stood up and said, "I'll be right back." As we sat there for what seemed like forever, my husband said, "He was sure studying her intently.  I ...[Read more]

a family’s story of turning tragedy into triumph

The Brock Family

From Tragedy to Triumph By: Jodi When I gave birth to my first child I was barely eighteen years old, single, and wondering how I was going to make it. Erika was a beautiful baby with a lot of energy from the start. She hardly napped, had trouble sleeping at night, and got sick constantly. I worried about her health often, and became exhausted after multiple trips to the emergency room for varied illnesses ranging from pneumonia to ruptured ear drums. When she began having seizures following her routine vaccinations, I knew something was seriously wrong. The medical community had few ...[Read more]

Break the Barriers

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The largest inclusion center in the world that serves all people with various abilities! Focusing on what people can do rather then what they can't. ...[Read more]

sheila- unwrapping the gift

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My job at Joni and Friends Family Retreat is to coordinate the volunteers (Short Term Missionaries, STMs) and oversee many of the activities.  On the second to last day at camp in June of 2008, it was crazy hair day and a young teenager girl, Gabriella had hair that was amazing, she had put silk flowers in it and those metallic fuzzy wires, we used to call pipe cleaners.  She had them sticking out of her hair, twisted into the shape of hearts. The day was a very busy one and suddenly, about 3 p.m., I saw Gabriel, sitting on a bench, eating a bowl of ice cream. "Oh!  Gabriella, I almost ...[Read more]

deby hergenrader-breaking barriers

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In 2005, Break the Barriers came to perform at Joni and Friends Family Retreat at Mission Springs, CA.  Deby Hergenrader had previously served at camp for many years as the Short Term Missionary Coordinator, bringing groups of young people from her gym in Fresno, CA volunteering to serve as Short Term Missionaries (STMs), working one on one with a family touched by disability in order to give the parents a much needed rest and time of refreshment.  It was the first night that the families had arrived and Deby's team, "Barrier Breakers" were the opening performance, welcoming our families.  The ...[Read more]