Shiv was born with cerebral palsy, a brain injury, and a seizure disorder. He is medically fragile and needs a feeding tube. Shiv’s parents, Boopathy and Kavita, moved their family to Arizona from India eight years ago, leaving behind their extended family and support systems.
During one of Shiv’s hospital stays, Kavita learned about the Joni and Friends Halftime Respite program, which gives parents and caregivers a break from the routines of disability while their loved one in need of care enjoys Christ-centered crafts, music, games, and meaningful connection with trained staff and volunteers.
Grateful for the opportunity for a much-needed break, Kavita signed up to have Shiv attend Halftime Respite with his eight-year-old brother, Uday.
Uday was thrilled for the chance to accompany Shiv and experience the fun, welcoming Joni and Friends community.
Shiv’s family now participates in Halftime Respite regularly. And they have attended their first Family Retreatwhere they found a new sense of belonging, refreshment, and lots of joy. Shiv even got to swim in a pool for the first time!
Kavita said: “We do not have any friends or family here in Arizona, we left everyone in India. But through Joni and Friends, we have many friends. We have people praying for us and it mean so much to our family.”
Joni and Friends understands that families living with disability need respite.
In fact, a recent Joni and Friends survey identified respite care as the number one unmet need among special needs families. By providing respite, belonging, and Gospel hope, Joni and Friends brings families like Shiv’s into God’s house! You can help Joni and Friends carry out the call of Jesus found in Luke 14:
“Go out quickly in the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame…. Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full.” (Verses 21, 23, NIV)
When you give to Joni and Friends Arizona, you make it possible for families living with disability to enjoy respite, attend Family Retreat and other Retreats & Getaways, and experience belonging in the local body of Christ. Your generosity also stretches to other parts of the globe through programs like Wheels for the World™ and Joni’s House.