Jodi and Her Family Love the Joy and Friendship They Experience at Family Retreat

By |Published On: September 18, 2023|Categories: Family Retreats|
Jodi seated in her wheelchair with her Joni and Friends buddy pushing her wheelchair.

When Jodi was eleven years old, she was severely injured in a car accident. After being cut out of the car and airlifted to the hospital, the flight nurse told Jodi’s mother that Jodi had no blood pressure. While doctors saved Jodi’s life, she remained in a coma for a month.

Now, more than thirty years after the accident, Jodi lives with the permanent disabilities it caused. She uses a wheelchair and is visually impaired. Jodi has known from a young age that Jesus is her Savior and that he has seen her through every hardship. She loves to boldly share about the importance of faith and resilience.

“How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!’”

Romans 10:14–15

A Powerful Testimony

As part of the Joni and Friends community for decades, Jodi and her family love the joy and friendship they experience at Family Retreat. At a recent Family Retreat in Minnesota, Jodi took part in the talent show. But her talent was not an act—not a song, a dance, or a joke—but authentic words of truth and Good News.

Jodi on stage as she's seated in her wheelchair with a crown on, her Joni and Friends buddy holding a mic up to Jodi's mouth as she shares her testimony.

“I met Jesus and so should you!” Jodi proclaimed on stage.

Jodi’s testimony impacted everyone who heard it, leaving few dry eyes in the room.

“We all could tell Jodi spends time with Jesus! Our faith was strengthened as we reflected on how Jesus is fearless, and so we also can be fearless!” said Connie, Jodi’s volunteer buddy.

“What a treasure to have Jodi witness to us all. There is no greater gift, no greater talent, than to clearly share the love of Jesus,” said Kurtis Smith, our Joni and Friends Minnesota Area Director.

Ongoing Impact

Jodi’s mother, Linda, expressed her gratefulness to God and everyone who makes Family Retreat happen.

Jodi seated in her wheelchair with her parents standing behind her, all three smiling at the camera.

“We thank God for Joni and Friends and how it has helped us and others. Family Retreat is an amazing blessing for each of us. Thank you so much!”


You can make it possible to touch more families like Jodi’s through Family Retreat and other Christ-centered Joni and Friends programs. At home and around the world, Joni and Friends brings the Gospel and hands-on help to people living with disability.

Through your prayers, time, and donations, you can help Joni and Friends bring our kingdom vision to reality: a world where every person with a disability finds hope, dignity, and their place in the body of Christ.

Support Joni and Friends Minnesota

You can make immediate and eternal impact for people living with disability. Join us to bring hands-on help and Gospel hope to people with disabilities, at home and across the globe.

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