“The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy!”
Penny, a single mom in North Carolina, knows first-hand that the emotional impact of caring for a child with disabilities is enormous. Her son, Christian, was a healthy thirteen-year-old boy when he began to have severe headaches. After a day at a local theme park that included a ride on a roller coaster, Christian suffered a stroke resulting in a traumatic brain injury, paralysis is his right arm, and an initial loss of speech.
In an instant Penny became the mother of a child with disabilities.
Caring for Christian alongside her other son, Braxton, and doing it alone has greatly intensified Penny’s emotional and financial burdens. And the impact of COVID-19 has significantly increased the loneliness and isolation Penny and her sons feel on a daily basis.
But at Family Retreat and the Single Parent Getaway put on by Joni and Friends North Carolina, Penny has been thoroughly refreshed physically, spiritually and relationally.
“The times of refreshing were life-giving and restorative” for Penny and her two sons. Family Retreat brings families like Penny’s closer to each other and closer to the heart of God. As Penny explained, “The love and people at Family Retreat make you never want to leave.”
And for Penny, the Single Parent Getaway is a very special time to rest, fellowship with other parents who understand the unique challenges of caring for children with disabilities on their own, and spend focused time getting closer to Jesus. “Everything was fantastic!” declared Penny, her voice and heart full of joy.
Not long ago, Penny and Christian attended the Joni and Friends North Carolina Family Fun Drive-Thru – a socially distanced event with prayer and encouragement, activities, crafts, gifts, and curbside fun for the entire family! During the event, families remained in their cars except for an optional safely constructed family photo station. Both Penny and Christian smiled brightly and beamed with the joy of the Lord as they stopped at each station. It’s just one more way that Joni and Friends North Carolina served this very special family and numerous others like them.
Joni and Friends North Carolina
You can be part of all that God is doing through Joni and Friends North Carolina, too! Show your generous support today and let families like Penny’s know that they can find new hope in this new year!