Joni and Friends Ministry Podcast

Joni and Friends Ministry Podcast

We're sharing hope through hardship as we answer real questions about disability. Join Crystal Keating each Thursday for honest stories and practical advice as she chats with a special guest who has persevered through real challenges. Subscribe to be encouraged! The podcast will return with new episodes in February 2021. Find all resources mentioned on the podcast at www.joniandfriends.org/podcast. Joni and Friends envisions a world where every person with a disability finds hope, dignity, and their place in the body of Christ. Founded by Joni Eareckson Tada who was left a quadriplegic in a diving accident at 17 years old, the ministry has grown to serve thousands of people impacted by disability worldwide through Wheels for the World, Family Retreats, the Christian Institute on Disability, and inspiring television and radio programs. Get involved at www.joniandfriends.org.

Episodes

May 6, 2021 26 min

"Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." – 2 Corinthians 3:17

Today marks the 70th annual National Day of Prayer. As people across the country set aside time to intercede for our nation, Joni and Friends is leading this special time of prayer under the theme “Lord Pour Out Your Love, Life, and Liberty.”

On this episode of the podcast, we invite you to pray along with Joni Eareckson ...

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"It might not be physical, but God has healing for you. Press into that healing journey and see what it looks like for you. Then surrender the results to God.”

On our last episode of the podcast, Tera Bradham DeNeui shared about how her swimming trajectory dramatically shifted after she suffered an undiagnosed shoulder injury. Instead of training to reach the Olympics, Tera walked through seven challenging years of chronic pain ...

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"God completely changed my life through pain. I ended up finding true freedom which is not being bound by the world’s circumstances… God doesn’t waste pain, but we have to give it to him."

This week on the podcast Crystal is talking with inspiring speaker and author Tera Bradham DeNeui. As one of the fastest 12-year-old swimmers in the country, Tera had her sights set on competing in the Olympics. But her swimming trajectory...

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“Dystonia is like being imprisoned in a body with a mind of its own… but I wouldn’t trade the hardest times for the deep relationship I have gained with the Lord.” 

This week Crystal is talking with Abigail Brown, a young woman who lives with joy in Christ as she faces the challenges and limitations of dystonia. As a 3-year-old, Abigail contracted Rocky Mountain spotted fever which was misdiagnosed by her doctors and caused brain da...

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“It’s been my hope and my desire for Max to be a mighty man of God... and that’s exactly what God has done."

How do family dynamics shift when a child with autism becomes an adult? For special needs parents, worry about your child’s future can begin at any age. What will happen when my child ages out of the school system? How will they transition to adult services, college, or work?

This week on the podcast Emily Colson is talkin...

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April is Autism Awareness Month and we’re celebrating with a special podcast conversation featuring author and speaker Emily Colson. 

Emily and her 30-year-old son Max who lives with autism are on a heart-filled mission for you! Like many families living with disability, their world shifted in an instant when the pandemic shut down all systems of support. But as they faced a new normal during a challenging quarantine, Emily prayed: ...

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How can the church best walk alongside someone living with a chronic illness?

Jennifer Ji-Hye Ko is a writer and poet who has remained tenacious amid her various physical and mental illnesses. She joined Crystal on season 2 of the podcast to talk about the healing process of lament, and is returning to share about her relationship with the church as she lives with chronic conditions.

The needs of someone living with a long-term illne...

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“I don’t understand why all these hard things keep happening, and sometimes I wonder why God doesn’t just fix it. But I have to trust that he is doing something bigger… and one day we’ll see it.”

When Vaneetha Risner’s infant son died due to a doctor’s error, she felt devoid of purpose and feeling. Hadn’t she suffered enough? Multiple childhood hospitalizations due to polio, years of being bullied, the heartache of her husband’s unf...

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March 11, 2021 61 min

It’s not that she’s not grieving, it’s that she’s put her hope in someone that won’t disappoint. Something greater is happening in her grief.

On our last episode of the podcast, Bekah Bowman shared about finding beauty and goodness in the middle of unthinkable loss. As a coach's wife and mother to two young boys, Titus and Ely, Bekah served as a children's pastor and teacher until Batten disease came knocking at her door. 

Th...

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How do you stay grounded when your life path takes an unexpected turn? Is it possible to hold pain in one hand and joy in the other? This week on the podcast, Bekah Bowman is sharing her journey of finding beauty and goodness amid unthinkable loss and grief.

Bekah is a coach's wife and mother to two boys, Titus and Ely. She served as a children's pastor and teacher until Batten disease came knocking at her door. Facing the h...

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More than one billion people live with disability worldwide, and COVID-19 has only aggravated their struggles. Hunger, unemployment, and lack of medical care have left many people in need of hope. This week on the podcast, we’re kicking off season 3 with a special conversation between Crystal Keating and Founder of Joni and Friends, Joni Eareckson Tada. Listen as they discuss the staggering needs of families with special needs and ...

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We’re so excited to kick off season 3 of the Joni and Friends Ministry Podcast! Over this past year, we’ve all faced unexpected changes, many leading to uncertainty about health, employment, and caregiving. And throughout the pandemic, Joni and Friends has heard from many struggling with loneliness, anxiety, and depression. Aren’t we all in need of real hope? 

This season on the podcast, Crystal Keating is sharing hope through hards...

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December 17, 2020 15 min

Around the world, one of the biggest challenges people living with disabilities are facing is access to services…they’re being left behind.”

While the global impact of COVID-19 has distressed communities around the world, people living with disability have been hit the hardest. Shutdowns have impacted workforces, transportation systems, and supply chains creating serious consequences, especially in developing countries where famili...

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“COVID-19 has not stopped us from sharing the love of Jesus.”

During the pandemic, Joni and Friends has been hard at work finding creative ways to serve families living with disability. In Louisiana where multiple hurricanes have pounded the state, our team has been able to support people who have faced critical challenges, even beyond the restrictions of COVID-19.

Today on the podcast, Leslie Dozier, Area Director of Joni and Friend...

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“Lament is simply pouring out your anxieties and pain to God…in the expectation that God hears you and He is willing to do something about it.”

2020 has been a year of heightened heartache. Unpredictable circumstances, isolation, and extreme loss have left many people wondering how to process their grief through the lens of Scripture, and in relationship to God’s goodness and sovereignty.  

This week on the podcast, Crystal has invit...

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"What God gives us in suffering is more than he takes away."

Vaneetha Risner contracted polio as an infant, was misdiagnosed, and lived with widespread paralysis. In and out of the hospital for ten years, she faced bullying after each hospital stay. When she became a Christian, Vaneetha thought things would get easier, and for a time they did: carefree college days, a dream job in Boston, and an MBA from Stanford where she m...

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“God is sovereign and still good. Even when I think we are in some sort of holding pattern, He always makes a way through.”

At just 18 years old, Mireille Blanchard developed a severe blood clotting disorder that was unknowingly triggered by her acne medication. When ER doctors discovered more than 36 blood clots lighting up the scan of her lungs, Mireille wasn’t sure if she would live to see the next morning.

Today on the podcast, s...

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“Troubled times causes great anxiety in our hearts... It reveals our weakness and false hopes. It can lead us to desperation, but it can also turn us toward God and teach us where to find real food for our souls.”

Has the isolation and anxiety of the past few months caused you to become COVID-weary? As we approach winter, many people are battling lethargy, malaise, and depression. During this prolonged season of isolation, it can be...

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“Be honest with your emotions. Ask for help. A diagnosis is a detour, a change in the map. It’s not the end of the map. It’s a new journey to a different destination.”

How do you cope when you are faced with an unexpected diagnosis or a sudden life-altering disability? What do friends and family members need to understand about how their loved ones might be feeling as they learn to live with a new normal?

This week on the podcast Cry...

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October 29, 2020 36 min

"When you’re not sure what to offer, your very presence can be a gift."

People of all abilities need community, a place to fully belong and share our gifts with others. But loneliness, especially exaggerated by the isolation of COVID-19, is one of the difficult realities faced by many adults with disabilities.

Today on the podcast, Crystal is talking with author and educator Jenny Hill. Born with mild spastic cerebral palsy, ...

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