justin-a much needed reminder

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]

evan- teaching us how to love

evan Written by Evan's mom, Nancy In the past several months God has been showing me the contrast between my current circumstances and those of my friends with teens.  So many friends and family have teens who cause them such heartache and act unkind and disrespectful.  These teens cause their parents such sadness and fear.  Drugs, alcohol, sex, diseases, emotional destruction etc... They love their kids and yet, they have to stand by and watch them make life altering decisions, maybe even to death.  The dreams and expectations of these parents, for their kids, are dashed and they ...[Read more]

Where It All Began

In the summer of 2004, I attended my very first Joni and Friends Family Retreat. I went as a  volunteer, also known as a Short Term Missionary (STM), being a buddy to a person touched by disability at a camp which served the entire family for five days. I had written on my application that I was active and energetic. When I read the profile of my camper, whose diagnosis read like  a page from Webster's Dictionary, I was filled with nerves and excitement. I had come to this camp, thinking that being able bodied, I would be a blessing to others. But what ended up happening was that I grew to ...[Read more]