Sharing the Hands-On Love of Jesus with People with Disabilities

By |Published On: February 7, 2023|Categories: Family Retreats, Internships|

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.”

2 Corinthians 1:3–5
Rachel when she was just a few years old with her glasses on.

Rachel was born with congenital cataracts that required two eye surgeries before she was two months old. During surgery, doctors discovered that Rachel has a rare ocular disorder.

Throughout her childhood, and to this day, Rachel has struggled with ongoing complications with her eyes.

All the while she has leaned on Jesus, receiving his comfort and growing in faith.

Knowing firsthand what it’s like to spend time in the hospital as a child, in college Rachel felt called by God to a career path that would allow her to work with children, especially those who have disabilities and serious medical conditions. Rachel has also followed her call by serving with Joni and Friends, both as an intern and as a dedicated volunteer.

As Rachel says, “My whole family has been impacted by disability because of my own life. But at the same time my needs are not life-dominating for us anymore. That puts us in a unique position to serve others living with disability. We understand their experience and have the heart to help. We also have the time and ability to serve.”

Rachel’s gifts shine through clearly at Joni and Friends Family Retreat.

In 2021 she served at two Family Retreats. She enjoyed the experience so much that she signed up to volunteer at both local Family Retreats the following summer, this time as the Family Needs Coordinator.

Rachel and her buddy at Family Retreat sitting together.

This coming summer, Rachel will volunteer at Family Retreat again, in the same role. And this time, Rachel’s parents and sister plan to attend as volunteers too!

Rachel and her sibling all lined up along a banister smiling at the camera.

In addition to recruiting her family members as Joni and Friends volunteers, Rachel has shared her passion and vision for disability ministry with her pastor.

She has even helped her church begin to provide respite events for families in the congregation living with disability.

Through Joni and Friends, Rachel has used the gifts and experiences God has given her to purposefully share the hands-on love of Jesus with children and families navigating disability. By following God’s call, Rachel is transforming the lives of others.

When you give to Joni and Friends Ohio, you make Family Retreats, respite events, and other forms of disability ministry possible.

Like Rachel, you can be part of bringing Gospel hope, respite, and genuine connection to children and families living with disability.

A young woman with a disability smiling.

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Give today to bring Christ’s love to people with disabilities at home and around the world!

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