Joni and Friends Ministry Podcast

Joni and Friends Ministry Podcast

Joni and Friends shares encouraging conversations about finding hope through your hardships, along with practical ways to include people with disabilities in your church and community. We've wrapped season 5, but we'll return with new conversations in 2024!

Episodes

October 26, 2023 21 mins

In our final episode of season 5, we hear from Joni and Friends team member Wilame Leal Silva. He and his wife Erica Leal were overjoyed to hear they were pregnant with their second child. Then doctors gave a diagnosis that sent them reeling. Their son, they were told, had trisomy 13, a condition likely to end the baby’s life soon after birth. Even if Daniel survived, doctors said, he would be severely disabled and not live long. G...

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Across the United States nearly 53 million people serve as caregivers to family members, friends, and others in need of care. On call around the clock, often without pay, caregivers can experience discouragement and burnout. Rebekah Dowhy knows the rigors of caregiving. After years of caring for her mother with multiple sclerosis (MS) Rebekah founded the Caregiving Support Network to provide caregivers with Christ-centered respite,...

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Cami Lundt didn’t expect any surprises with her fourth pregnancy… until the doctor broke the shocking news. Baby Grace was diagnosed with trisomy 13 and a Dandy-Walker brain malformation—conditions that doctors considered “incompatible with life.” The baby, they said, had a 99.9% chance of dying just minutes after her birth. But God had a different plan. For almost five years, Cami and her family got to love and care for Grace, wal...

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“When disability ministry starts to take hold in the heart of a church, it’s like hitting the refresh button on the Gospel in that church.”

Have you considered how including people with disabilities might positively impact your church’s culture? Stephanie Hubach is on the podcast to share the importance and value of including everyone in ministry.

Stephanie is a research fellow in disability ministries at Covenant Theological Seminar...

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Jeb Beauchamp joins the podcast to talk about expanding the reach of the Gospel to people living with disability in the North Carolina area. As an Area Director with Joni and Friends and an ordained pastor, Jeb talks about shifting culture and overcoming barriers in churches to help people with disabilities experience true belonging. Jeb also shares about biblical counseling, and how the Word of God can speak to every person, regar...

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J.D. Kim’s life changed forever when he broke his neck in a snowboarding accident and became paralyzed. At first J.D. wanted to die. Then Jesus reached into his life, gave him hope, and sent him on a purposeful journey. Tune in to hear J.D.’s story of finding hope through hardship.

J.D. is an ordained teaching elder from the Evangelical Presbyterian Church and holds a PhD in systematic theology from the University of Aberdeen. He se...

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Laura and her husband have three children, one of whom has a rare genetic condition that causes global developmental delays. She is the cofounder and Executive Director for Risen Motherhood, a nonprofit that brings Gospel hope to moms. She is also the coauthor of Risen Motherhood: Gospel Hope for Everyday Moments, and a fellow author in the T5 series with Any Time, Any Place, Any Prayer.

 

Learn more about Laura 

 

Key Questions:

  • Ho...
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Darby Strickland is a Christian Counselor who works with individuals, families, and couples, facing a variety of issues. She was trained at Westminster Theological Seminary where she obtained a Masters of Divinity specialized in Counseling. As a specialist in counseling people in abusive marriages, Darby provides a biblical response to domestic abuse and other forms of oppression. In her own counseling practice, and through speakin...

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August 31, 2023 29 mins

Darby Strickland is a Christian Counselor who works with individuals, families, and couples, facing a variety of issues. She was trained at Westminster Theological Seminary where she obtained a Masters of Divinity specialized in Counseling. 

 

Learn more about Darby and her work.

 

Books and resources by Darby: 

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Kay Toombs is associate professor emerita of philosophy at Baylor University in Texas. In her work she explores the ways in which contemporary values and the context in which we live our lives impact our efforts to develop a sustainable culture and to form caring communities. In her work related to illness, disability and healthcare, she combines her training in philosophy with her experience of living with neurological disease to ...

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Kay Toombs is associate professor emerita of philosophy at Baylor University in Texas. In her work she explores the ways in which contemporary values and the context in which we live our lives impact our efforts to develop a sustainable culture and to form caring communities. In her work related to illness, disability and healthcare, she combines her training in philosophy with her experience of living with neurological disease to ...

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Laura Hernandez and her husband, Tony, are raising their ten children in the Dallas area. Over less than five years, their family grew from six to twelve, adding three biological children and three adopted children. Struggling to maintain a peaceful home and learning to care for children living with invisible disabilities, Laura developed practices to turn her family into a peaceful team, relying on the Lord.

Laura works as a coach,...

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“It is not the experience of loss that becomes the defining moment of our lives, but how we respond to loss that matters.”

Loss came suddenly for Jerry Sittser. In an instant, a tragic car accident claimed three generations of his family: his mother, his wife of 20 years, and his four-year-old daughter. Left as a single father to care for his three surviving children, Jerry was nearly overcome by the tremendous weight of grief.

While...

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In 2011 Cameron Horner survived a spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed and in a wheelchair. Like many others who have endured life-changing injuries, Cameron never imagined he would live without the full use of his hands and legs. He joins the podcast to talk about how God has filled him with strength and grace amid his suffering, which has led people to know Jesus and displayed God's power through trials.

Cameron Horner Minis...

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Larry Randolph, author of Finding Grace: the Inspiring True Story of Therapy Dogs Bringing Comfort, Hope, and Love to a Hurting World, joins the podcast to share the story of how God called him to start Canines for Christ, an organization spreading the Good News of Christ through therapy dogs and their owners. 

Larry, a board-certified crisis response specialist, rapid response chaplain, and graduate of the Billy Graham School of Ev...

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July 13, 2023 18 mins

When Becky Ellis first served at a Joni and Friends Family Retreat in 1999, she discovered God’s call on her life. Every summer Becky returned to Family Retreat to serve. Now a Regional Operations Director for Joni and Friends, Becky wants to inspire the next generation to love, serve, and advocate for people with disabilities. She joins the podcast to talk about bringing the love of Christ to individuals and families living with d...

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July 6, 2023 34 mins

Disability. Illness. Loneliness. Heartache. It’s a broken world and suffering comes at us in many shapes and sizes. Joni Eareckson Tada who has lived through more than 5 decades of quadriplegia, two rounds of breast cancer, and daily chronic pain, is well-acquainted with hardship. But she also knows about perseverance! Listen as Joni explains where she finds strength to continue on in the midst of new challenges and what she has le...

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Christopher Davison has faced many difficulties because of his Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a progressive, terminal illness that has led to quadriplegia. Diagnosed at age 6 and in a wheelchair by 8, Christopher didn’t expect to live past his 20s. Now in his 30s, he lives to serve God and help others to find hope and truth in their difficulties. He joins the podcast to talk about living with a progressive disability, his experience ...

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June 22, 2023 27 mins

At age 14 Sarah Willoughby's world turned upside down when she fell seriously ill. Sarah went from trail running and adventuring to spending her days sick in bed. Doctors struggled to diagnose her condition until they finally discovered the culprit: toxic mold. Facing the severity of her condition, Sarah sought the Lord. She joins the podcast to share how her faith in Christ has sustained her through the trials of chronic illness a...

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Joni and Friends Nashville Area Director Larea Kwakye joins the podcast to talk about being called into ministry serving people living with disabilities, especially those struggling with poverty and in under-resourced communities. For more than twenty years Larea has followed God’s call on her life to share the Gospel with people from Tennessee to Europe to Africa. A lifelong learner who holds a doctorate in Christian counseling, L...

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