by Joni Eareckson Tada
In April 1995, a domestic terrorist bombed the Federal office building in Oklahoma City, leaving hundreds dead or trapped in the rubble. A pastor-friend of mine asked me to join a counseling team that would be ministering among the families who were awaiting news of loved ones.
After I flew into the city airport—and before I could see and serve the families—I was escorted to an American Red Cross center to be cleared and credentialed. Read more
by Stephen J. Tracey
Many Orthodox Presbyterian churches warmly welcome, encourage, and disciple people and families with disabilities. At Lakeview OPC in Rockport, Maine, we are learning that to minister to families with disabilities, you don’t need to be an expert; you just need a teachable and willing heart.
There is plenty of reading material on disability and the church, with interesting titles like “How Wide Is Your Door?” or “Through the Roof” or “The Inclusive Church.” But it was not reading any of these that set me thinking, or that pushed Lakeview OPC to learn. It was Finley. Read more
by Pamela Hughes
For years, I watched a former student volunteer every summer as a short-term missionary at the Joni and Friends Family Retreat. Each year, when this young man shared his experiences with our church, I would think, “Oh, I want to do that someday!” But caring for my aging parent and other responsibilities prevented me—until last summer. My responsibilities covered by others, I was finally able to go.
Even though I am a professional educator, I still entered my week as a Joni and Friends volunteer with uncertainty. What type of needs would my camper have? I know about learning differences, but what if my camper’s needs were more profound than those with which I had experience? I was sixty years old; would I have the stamina to keep up with my camper? Would I be in over my head? I held tightly to the God of the impossible, trusting that he would, indeed, display his faithfulness during this week, for my good and for his own glory. Read more
by Esther Vannoy
“Oh no! I forgot Finley’s medicine!”
The singing in the back of the van stopped. Three of my kids and I were on our way to our first Joni and Friends Family Retreat, full of excited anticipation as we drove down the highway that sunny morning in August. Read more