Personal Joni and Friends Stories

Inspiring real life stories about what God is doing in and through the lives of people blessed by the ministry of Joni and Friends. iamviable.org

Peru- Loving Families Touched by Disability

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Reflecting on my trip to Peru with Joni and Friends to volunteer for a Family Retreat for families touched by disability, I am once again amazed at the way we saw God move among us, answering prayers, changing hearts, providing all that we could ever ask for and more. This is something that never seems to grow old, never loses the incredible impact that it has on my life each time I am able to participate in a Joni and Friends Family Retreat. Our time began with an Architects Conference at the University in Lima. About 40 students gathered to listen to local speakers as well as those ...[Read more]

Twin Rocks Family Retreat-for such a time as this

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Cars began arriving to the cheers of the awaiting crowd of volunteers, also known as Short Term Missionaries or STMs. Each family who drove into the conference center was coming for five days of rest, refreshment and restoration. Each person who had a disability as well as young children would be given an STM, making the week a relaxing and enjoyable time for all and a week that would challenge, shape and change the lives of the STMs. Lorraine, who was new to Joni and Friends Retreats as well as the role of STM Coordinator, had spent hour upon hour matching the family members to their STMs. ...[Read more]

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]

dorothy-God had another plan

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Story Submitted by Dorothy "Congratulations, it's a beautiful, healthy, baby girl!"  My parents held me with pride on that November day in 1957.  Only a short 8 months later, their little girl was barely hanging onto life, her body being consumed by a virus called polio. Prayers from a devoted grandmother are why I am alive today.  I was the 23rd child to be afflicted with the virus secondary to a defective injection.  How many came after me, I don't know.  80% of the 23 died from the virus, but for my life God had another plan... The virus left me without the usage of my lower ...[Read more]

justin-a much needed reminder

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When our families come to Joni and Friends camp, they are given a buddy for each person with a disability.  That buddy is called a, Short Term Missionary or STM for short.  The second time Justin, his mother and sister came, we partnered Justin with an STM who had come to camp several times with his own family, his mother having childhood onset polio.  Walter now a teenager, often came to serve another family on his own as an STM. Walter is very quiet and shy with a tender heart for the Lord.  The first year that he came as an STM, we had given him a pretty easy camper but now, we felt that ...[Read more]

bryce is viable

Ben, Cheryl and Bryce

As I sat in a local coffee shop with this family from Joni and Friends Family Retreats, this is the story that I was told that so moved me, I felt it must be shared. I had heard too many others like it. Each time I would hear from a family, how the doctor's had pushed them toward the option of abortion of a child we had all grown to love, I felt the familiar mixture of anger and sadness welling up from my soul. Prenatal testing may reveal the presence of Spina Bifida, but I wish it could also reveal, the presence of a life which has the potential to bring so much joy, love, laughter, ...[Read more]

God’s Garden

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the LORD will guide you always: he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. you will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. Isaiah 58:11 God's garden Each morning at Joni and Friends Family Retreats, as I head out the door of my cabin, I grab my camera.  I can't wait to see the flowers that are blooming.  New flowers seem to appear over night!  I marvel as the morning sun hits their intense colors, brilliant and breath taking.  Every day, they grow more beautiful than the day before, I can't resist ...[Read more]