Ghana- April, 2010

Ghana

Greg and I had the privilege of traveling to Ghana in April in 2010 to work on three separate projects. The first portion of our trip was with a team from Joni and Friends, distributing wheelchairs, walkers, crutches and canes through the ministry of, Wheels for the World. We heard story after story of children who had not been able to attend school because of their disabilities. A wheelchair meant having the mobility to leave their homes, enter into society and quite possibly, get an education. Before leaving, each person also spent time with our Ghanaian pastors who shared with them about ...[Read more]

The Family That No One Expected

Janet and Kids

After spending 35 days in Ghana, it’s been difficult trying to figure out how to get my thoughts and feelings written into stories. Each night while in Africa, I would try to journal about our days activities  but with all that we were experiencing, it would literally take me hours to express what was churning around in my head and the exhaustion would overtake me and I’d surrender to sleep. I ended up writing down the bare minimum of details, knowing that my mind would retain the stories that had deeply touched my heart. The Family that No One Expected After two years of planning and ...[Read more]

robert-behind every facade

robert-and-bryce

The campers had gone home, our Joni and Friends staff had packed up our things, all traces of Family Retreat were put away until I walked into the office of the conference center the next morning.  My husband and I were staying on an extra week in the beautiful little RV park at Mission Springs in the Santa Cruz Mountains, tucked up against the hillside, surrounded by the statuesque redwoods.  I had gone in to speak to the office manager.  There on the counter was a Happy Graham that someone had anonymously left for the conference center staff.  Happy Grahams are something that is a long ...[Read more]

sheila- unwrapping the gift

sheila-copy

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]