Special Needs Families are Anchored on Jesus at Family Retreat

By |Published On: October 11, 2022|Categories: Family Retreats|
A group photo of the Badeaux family and two Joni and Friends volunteers.

“We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain.”

Hebrews 6:19

The concept of Christ as a living anchor of the soul was most tangible for the family of Adam and Ashley Badeaux when they adopted their son Robbie, who lives with autism spectrum disorder.

As they traveled to Texas to bring their son home, they clung to their anchor.

Fast forward years four later, God has used Joni and Friends and their local church to continue to point the Badeaux family to their anchor of the soul.

Our Joni and Friends Louisiana team had the pleasure of first meeting Adam, Ashley, and Robbie at the 2021 Splash Day hosted by Fellowship Church. A thirteen-year-old living with autism, Robbie loved the opportunity to spend the day in the water as he went down the slip-n-slide and played underneath the sprinkling water.

Robbie being pulled on a floaty down the slip and slide at Splash Day with Fellowship church.

Adam and Ashley enjoyed connecting with new friends and learning more about the local church of Fellowship.

The following Sunday morning, the Badeaux family showed up at Fellowship Church to worship alongside those they had met at Splash Day.

Since the Splash Day, the Badeaux family has been eager to attend all other community events in their area. They joined Joni and Friends at the Barnyard Dance in October, received Christmas Deliveries in December, and went to the Marriage Getaway in March.

“Joni and Friends means the world to our family. We feel like we have found true community.”


Ashley, Adam, and Robbie have quickly become fast friends of Joni and Friends Louisiana. This summer, the Badeaux attended their first 5-day Family Retreat at Camp McDowell in Alabama.

“We have been to many local events, but we attended our first family retreat this year, and it was an absolutely incredible experience! So much love and support!”

Robbie loved so many aspects of Family Retreat.

His two buddies strolled him around the camp, took him on golf cart rides, swam in the pool, and participated in a Luke 5 Adventures hike.

Adam and Ashley joined in the morning bible studies alongside other parents, experienced rare time alone as a couple, and watched Robbie enjoy camp activities with his new friends. The Badeaux family shared a lodge with other families from Louisiana and enjoyed late-night porch conversations with each other.

One of Robbie's buddies is holding him up as he lifts a colorful parachute, his other buddy standing behind watching and holding Robbie's wheelchair.

Since returning home from Family Retreat, the Badeaux family jumped right back into their local church and community.

They were welcomed back with open arms by Fellowship’s volunteers, who are excited to care for Robbie each Sunday morning. Many leaders at Fellowship Church also attended the Family Retreat and enjoyed getting to know the Badeaux family even better. Ashley and Adam are also looking forward to bringing Robbie back to the annual Splash Day in just a couple of weeks.

Robbie lives with communication, personal care needs, and stereotypic behaviors. Before Family Retreat, Adam and Ashley were concerned about how Robbie would respond to the new environment. Robbie arrived at Camp McDowell with a smile and immediately felt comfortable with his buddies. Robbie’s disability was overlooked at Family Retreat, and his buddies cared foremost for his abilities.

This care did not end at Family Retreat, however.

The Badeaux family is getting another glimpse of this through the opportunity to worship weekly at their local church. In daily hardships, God provides his people to guide us in holding onto the anchor of our souls. Through Joni and Friends Louisiana and Fellowship Church, the Badeaux family has been encouraged to find hope and strength in Christ alone!

Support Joni and Friends Louisiana!

There are many more families like the Badeaux’s who need Christ-centered encouragement and support. Let’s come around them!

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