Amy is the single mother of two children: thirteen-year-old Isaiah, who has autism, ADHD, and obsessive-compulsive disorder, and eleven-year-old Esther who has a learning disability. When Amy received news that she had colorectal cancer in July 2015, her first concern was for her children.
One month later, she and her children found refuge at their very first Family Retreat.
Amy appreciates getting to know other moms of children with disabilities and dedicating time to seeking the Lord, while her children enjoy group games, worship, and learning biblical truth.
Amy has now been through years of treatment and surgeries. The stress of the illness and its effects on Isaiah and Esther weigh heavily on the whole family.
But God has met them amid their difficulties.
Through Family Retreat, Single Parent Getaway, Halftime Respite, and the Joni and Friends community, Amy and her children have experienced spiritual encouragement, fellowship, and even joy amidst the hardships of disability and cancer.
“You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. Lord my God, I will praise you forever.”
Joni and Friends understands the daily difficulties families living with disability face.
We also know how adding cancer to the mix can intensify struggles and cause uncertainty. Our own founder, Joni Eareckson Tada, has dealt with two rounds of cancer, on top of her quadriplegia and chronic pain.
In her own suffering, Joni has leaned on the strength of Jesus—the harder things get, the harder she leans on Jesus, as she says. And the harder she leans on Jesus, the stronger she finds him to be. One key passage she clings to comes from the book of Hebrews:
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
Verses 15–16 (ESV)
Here in North Carolina and across the globe, Joni and Friends wants to reach people dealing with disability and suffering, offering the comfort, hope, and joy of the Gospel. You can help deliver hands-on help and eternal healing and hope to families who need to find hope amid their hardships.