Joni and Friends Ministry Podcast

Joni and Friends Ministry Podcast

We're answering real questions about disability and sharing hope through hardship. Whether you are personally impacted or you‘re looking for practical ways to include someone with special needs in your community or church, you are not alone! Join Crystal Keating as she sits down each week with one or two special guests who have encountered real challenges and persevered. Hear honest stories of hope, find encouragement for your own challenges, and learn how you can better embrace people impacted by disability and other chronic conditions. Subscribe and be inspired! Find all resources mentioned on the podcast at www.joniandfriends.org/podcast Joni and Friends was founded in 1979 by Joni Eareckson Tada who in a diving accident was left a quadriplegic at 17 years old. Ministry began as Tada, joined by friends around her kitchen table, responded to letters she received from people with disabilities in search of support. Over the past 40 years, the ministry has grown to serve thousands of people impacted by disability worldwide: Joni and Friends has delivered 150,000 wheelchairs and Bibles through Wheels for the World and provided Christian care to 63,000 special needs family members through Family Retreats. The organization also equips individuals and churches with disability ministry training and provides higher education courses through the Christian Institute on Disability. www.joniandfriends.org... Show More

Episodes

July 2, 2020 29 min

“The fight for time for each other was almost impossible to win. And it just kept getting more difficult with time.” –Jim Achilles

How do you prioritize your marriage when you're managing the life and death care of a terminally ill child?

Last week on the podcast, Crystal talked with Jim and Deanna Achilles about raising Ryn, their daughter who has lived with a terminal diagnosis of A-T for 20 years. As Ryn has faced diabetes, ca...

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When Jim and Deanna Achilles’ daughter was diagnosed with the progressive disease Ataxia-Telangiectasia (A-T) at 8 years old, they received heartbreaking news: there is no cure. With no way to stop degeneration, Jim and Deanna were introduced to disability and left walking the line between life and death.

Two decades later, Ryn Achilles has outlived doctors’ predictions and is now 28 years old. But A-T has been unrelenting. Today on...

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“Dads really need men to walk shoulder to shoulder with them and say, ‘I am here for you. You can be vulnerable with me. It’s ok to not always be strong. I am here to help.’”

This week on the podcast, David Smith is joining Crystal to share his story and a powerful word of encouragement to other special needs dads. As a dedicated pastor and husband, David – like many men – saw himself as a ‘fixer.’ When he and his wife Heather decid...

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“A great definition of justice is love in action… Real love takes action. Real love touches hurting people.”

What does the Bible have to say about God’s heart for the oppressed? Is there instruction for how we should respond in the face of injustice? 

In Micah 6:8 we read, “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Today on t...

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“Many families of children with disabilities seek support from a faith community more than anything else in their community. Their priority in seeking a church is not always a place where they feel they can grow spiritually, but rather a place that will accept their child.” –Dr. Rebekah Dyer

As regions of the United States begin lifting social distancing restrictions, we all have an opportunity to rethink how we connect with one ano...

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“Why us? We don’t know what the future holds, but to know that we as a couple have been there and lost a child, and are we’re still functioning… to carry that with us is not just Rachel’s legacy, but it’s a legacy of God’s ministry in our lives.”

Journeying together through ministry, disability and loss, John and Sue Meyer have found themselves in a “new normal” at different points of their marriage. But with each new challenge, the...

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“The Lord is teaching me so much. I feel like this is a chance for a reset on so many levels… What really matters is being at peace with my husband, myself, and most importantly my God.”

As we continue in this time of unexpected isolation and social distancing, many people who serve in caregiving roles are feeling a new weight of responsibility. To protect the health of their loved ones, family caregivers who typically rely on help ...

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May 7, 2020 26 min

Today is National Day of Prayer. During this unprecedented time, aren’t we recognizing our dependence on God and how important it is cry out to Him in our time of need? The theme for this year’s observance is taken from Habakkuk 2:14, “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” With so many people facing fear and isolation, we have an opportunity to join our voices togethe...

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“In order to bear God’s image, we need relationships and community.”

As we continue into this unprecedented time of shelter at home, isolation and loneliness have become a common experience. But the past few weeks have also offered a new understanding of what it means for someone to be homebound and feel disconnected. Now, more than ever, we are recognizing how vital it is to cope in community instead of suffer in silence. So what a...

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As the coronavirus outbreak keeps parents and children at home, everyone is facing a disruptive new normal. But for many families impacted by autism, the loneliness of increased isolation and lack of routine presents additional challenges. So how do special needs families cope? Are there creative ways that you can encourage someone while still maintaining physical distance? Today on the podcast, Crystal is speaking with Dr. Rebekah...

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“Don’t feel pressured to learn everything about autism. Just get to know the one person God brings into your life. Find out what works for them…just like you would in any other relationship. Become a master in loving one person, one family well.”

Today on the podcast, Crystal has invited Diane Dokko Kim back to share her perspective on caring for a child with autism. As the mother of two sons, one of whom is on the autism spectrum, ...

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For a number of years, Liz Babbitt had worked in special needs ministry providing training for churches and supporting families impacted by disability. But when Liz’s grandson was diagnosed with autism, she gained a whole new perspective on the challenges that many special needs families can face. Today on the podcast, Liz is sharing her experience as the grandmother to a child with autism and the special role she plays in providin...

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During this time of "safer at home," many people are experiencing the loneliness of isolation for the first time. But for special needs families, isolation is not just a seasonal challenge, it is often a daily reality.

This week as we kick off Autism Awareness Month on the podcast, Crystal Keating is talking with Greg and Gina Hubert, a couple who personally understands the impact of autism on a family. Listen as this hope-f...

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March 26, 2020 28 min

Do you know someone who has been wounded by the misuse of Scripture? Or excluded from the life of the church because they haven’t been miraculously healed? Crystal Keating is talking again with counselor Darby Strickland who teaches at Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation's online School of Biblical Counseling and trains churches to care well for those affected by abuse. 

Darby recently shared about trauma and how t...

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Over the past few weeks and even days, the world has changed rapidly. As we come to grips with the effects of a global pandemic, it can be easy to allow fear or anxiety to creep in. But in times like these, it’s important to remind ourselves of the sovereignty of our God who rules over everything, including the coronavirus. This week on the podcast, Crystal Keating is sitting down with Joni Eareckson Tada (with appropriate social d...

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When someone goes through a deeply distressing or disturbing experience, their wounds can last long after the initial encounter. The trauma of a physical, emotional, or even spiritual wound can have a deep impact and often has a messy way of expressing itself. So how can someone carrying a deep wound find hope and healing? 

Today Crystal is talking with Christian Counselor Darby Strickland about understanding trauma. Darby, who spec...

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When parents first learn that their child has a disability, their hearts and hopes are often broken. But their faith doesn’t have to be. On this episode of the podcast, Crystal Keating is sitting down with Diane Dokko Kim. Diane is the mother of two sons, one of whom is on the autism spectrum, and author of the book Unbroken Faith: Spiritual Recovery for the Special Needs Parent. She’s sharing her journey as a special mom, the pers...

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Everyone is indispensable to the body of Christ, regardless of our abilities or giftings. So how can we create an inclusive environment where all people are welcomed and embraced into the fabric of the church, home life, and community? Is there anything that you can do to bridge the gap between the isolation that is often created because of disability and the community of a vibrant, inclusive church? Today, Crystal Keating is sitti...

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When you receive the unexpected news that your loved one has cancer, how do you hold on to hope? This week on the podcast, Crystal is talking with Randy Alcorn, founder of Eternal Perspective Ministries and author of more than 50 books including The Treasure Principle and New York Times Best Seller Heaven. For this conversation, Randy is sharing candidly as the loving husband to his wife, Nanci, who has been battling significant co...

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In the midst of challenging circumstances, how can you have a thriving marriage? Are there practical ways to strengthen your love for your spouse? This week on a special Valentine’s episode of the podcast, Crystal is chatting with Greg and Gina Hubert, a couple who’s been married for more than 30 years. 

When Greg and Gina first said “I do,” they didn’t expect that their family would be impacted by disability… that all three of thei...

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