“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”
I will never forget when the seed idea for Joni and Friends was planted in my heart. It was a few years after my accident, and I was living on our family farm in Maryland.
Our farmhouse had become a beehive of activity with friends—people like you—who studied the Bible with me late into the night. Thanks to these dear Christians, I began taking a real interest in God’s plan to give me hope and a future.
Obviously, his plan didn’t include healing me of paralysis. But if not that, then what? Well, how about a Spirit-energized plan that would transform a very hard thing into something beautiful—something life-changing and glorifying to God. And why not give that same Good News to other people with disabilities, too?
That’s when God’s glorious plan for my life began to take shape. My wheelchair would be the vehicle that would carry the hope of Jesus to families like mine.
It’s been costly and difficult to sit in this wheelchair for 56 years, but it’s also been a blessing…for me and for others.
God took something that harmed my body (namely, my accident) and used it to not only give me Christ-centered hope and a future in eternity with Jesus—he also used it to give birth to Joni and Friends! And if sitting in this wheelchair all this time gives God more glory—if it advances the Gospel more quickly—then I am all for it!
This wheelchair has taken me to truly amazing places over the decades, but the most wonderful destination has been at the foot of the cross.
It’s why we “do” Joni and Friends—so that people with disabilities and their families can draw nearer to the One who has hope-filled plans for them. Because of you, countless people struggling under the strain of disability have their names written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Be it through Retreats & Getaways, Joni’s House, or Wheels for the World™, your prayers and generosity make it possible for thousands of disabled people around the world to embrace Jesus Christ.
It’s been an astounding year. And we couldn’t have done it without you! God bless you for being a big part of God’s plan at Joni and Friends!