sat at a table with a few men and another woman and they talked about
remodeling bathrooms for their children (both young and adult) who lived
with disabilities and needed a variety of lifts and so forth to be able
to get in and out of the tub. "Normal" looking people yet,
joy and a sense of humor just oozed out of them. They didn't appear
stressed, despite all of them traveling across the country just hours
before to attend this Joni and Friends Area Director meeting. I couldn't
imagine what they had experienced in this lifetime. I went back to my
hotel room where my husband was giving my 3-year-old son a bath. "Yeah..."
I said, "I didn't say anything about my kid having 'food issues.'"
And yes, even.
. . problems.
John 16:33 says,
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.
In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome
the world." And we cling to the belief that "Though you have
made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again;
from the depths of the earth you will again bring me, up" (Psalm
71:20). Because Jesus promised us, "Peace I leave with you; my
peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let
your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid" (John 14:27).
And that's why you
may hear me talking more than usual in future months about Joni and
Friends. If you're not familiar with Joni Eareckson Tada's story (pronounced
"Johnny"), do yourself a favor and read
a book about her life or visit her ministry's
web site. You will be enriched!
Ten years ago I
sat in my church's office of the associate pastor and he said, "Lisa,
what is it you want to do?" I took a deep breath and said, "Well,
I want to do for people with chronic illness what Joni has done for
disability." He told me to go for it. He thought it would reach
far outside of our own chuch. (Thanks, Ken, I still remember that conversation.)
I've got a few decades
to go and I can hardly begin to fathom reaching the millions as Joni
has but because of your encouragement and support we're off to a good
start. And now, as we've joined Joni as an affiliate in ministry, I
am eager to see what God will do.
photo below is a tangible answered prayer. The new 33,700 square foot
Joni and Friends International Disability Center is being built in Agoura
Hills, California. They hope to be open by Sept 2006.
me in praying for all disability and chronic illness ministries! This
step in having this building above and the expanding resources it will
provide will impact us all as we can more cohesively join together in
serving those that Luke
14 commands us to.
building will also be the home of the "Christian Institute on
Disability, offering a biblical response on critical issue that
impact the disability community. The Institute will develop curriculum
on disability-related topics as well as offer internships, fellowships,
and scholarships to students at Christian institutions of higher learning."
(JAF web site)
you see the possibilities? The passion? Yes, Perhaps you've got goosebumps
just thinking about it. But a better question may be... Can you see
the problems? The pain? And... its purpose?
the root of every ministry I've come into contact with, where people
are being ministered to, there is pain or some kind of problem. A need
not being met in the best way that it could be perhaps. But usually,
someone is hurting, and someone wants to help. That is ministry.
Friend, I want to assure you of 2 things:
Despite how exciting it is to see the building above, ministry happens
in the most humble of places. Sometimes it's the play area at McDonald's,
sometimes it's the waiting room of a hospital. . . It can be with one
of your best of friends, or a total stranger. We cling to 2 Corinthians
1:3-5: "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 have received from God. For just as the sufferings
of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort
If you're in a lot of pain right now, whether spiritually, emotionally,
physically or all three, know that God DOES have a purpose and He has
not forgotten or forsaken you, despite the fact that it may feel that
prayer for you would be "May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and
God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement
and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good
deed and word" (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17).
with someone here at Rest Ministries, send
in a prayer request, seek
out a pen pal, sign up for daily
devotionals. We have loads of ways that you can have a friend along
this journey. I know it's not easy. This ministry exists because of
my own pain. I'm proud to be able to share in yours as you reach out
to someone too.
Founder, Director Rest Ministries
Editor, hopekeepers Magazine
We have over 30 new
book titles on the way that should arrive within a week or two! Watch
for an email annoucement when they are up on the web site. There are
some wonderful titles such as When It Pours, He Reigns: Overcoming
Life's Storms, When God Weeps (large print), Hope: The Anchor for Your
Soul (from Women of Faith), The Healing Power of Faith, and The
owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, 'Go out quickly
into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled,
the blind and the lame.'
the servant said, 'what you ordered has been done, but there is still
the master told his servant, 'Go out to the roads and country lanes
and make them come in, so that my house will be full.