Family Retreats

When Despair Takes Over

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • May 23, 2016
  • 2 Comments
  • Joni's Posts, Family Retreats

Bonnie LiltzRecently I read a heartbreaking story about Bonnie Liltz, a mother who thought she was dying of ovarian cancer - despairing over what might happen to her adopted daughter, Courtney, who had cognitive limitations and CP, she tragically took her daughter's life. Bonnie was afraid that, after she died, her 23-year ...

You've Strengthened Families with Christ's Love

  • By: Joni and Friends
  • April 28, 2016
  • 0 Comments
  • Family Retreats

The Griffeth family enjoying time together at Joni and Friends Family RetreatSteve and Michelle Griffeth came with their daughter, Jessica, and son, Austin, who has autism, to Family Retreat. It’s easy for these parents to feel exhausted and alone when taking care of a child with a disability. It’s hard work and many people simply don’t understand what life with autism really entails. Parents are often pushed to the limit when they arrive at Retreat and need hope. “Our family was embraced and we felt included when we arrived at Family Retreat. This whole experience has been an eye opener and we were encouraged,” explained Steve. Throughout the week, Steve watched as his son connected with...

Noah and Naomi at Family Retreat

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • April 21, 2016
  • 0 Comments
  • Joni's Posts, Family Retreats, Video Archives

Singing at Family RetreatUndoubtedly, one of the highlights of my year is attending a Family Retreat! And I especially enjoy watching all the little boys and girls with disabilities discover who they are in Christ — God’s wonderful and unique creation! Like little Noah, featured in this video. At Family Retreat, Noah loved his buddy Naomi. The two had all kinds of fun, including singing...

Celebrating 25 Years of Family Retreats!

  • By: Joni and Friends
  • April 18, 2016
  • 1 Comment
  • In the Media, Family Retreats, Video Archives

Disability affects families 24/7. Relief is rarely available and daily hardships are made worse by isolation. But one week is different! For the Light family and so many others affected by disability, Family Retreat provides a week of acceptance, connection, and respite. And this year, Joni and Friends is celebrating 25 years of Family Retreats. Thank you for providing help and hope to families affected by disability for the past 25 years!

We Need You!

  • By: Joni and Friends
  • April 14, 2016
  • 1 Comment
  • Family Retreats, Wheels For The World

We Need You: National Volunteer Week

It’s National Volunteer Week! At Joni and Friends, volunteers are at the heart and soul of all we do together to provide help and hope to people living with disability. They are lovers of Jesus, hard workers, people of prayer, and true visionaries – they understand that their contributions have a huge impact on people with disabilities and their families. If you’d like to get involved, we invite you to celebrate National Volunteer Week by signing up to serve at Family Retreat, International Family...

It's National Volunteer Week!

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • April 10, 2016
  • 1 Comment
  • Joni's Posts, Family Retreats

Getting ready to rock climb at Family RetreatWhen college student Scott signed up to volunteer with Family Retreats, he wasn’t sure what to expect. B.J. — a young man with multiple disabilities from church — had invited Scott, but the two had never really gotten to know each other … that is, until they got to spend one week together at Family Retreat. They had such...

Fun at Family Retreat!

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • April 7, 2016
  • 1 Comment
  • Joni's Posts, Family Retreats, Video Archives

Jacob at Family RetreatA few years back, I got to experience kayaking for the first time at one of our Joni and Friends Family Retreats. The team of accessible recreation experts and volunteers got me into a two-seater kayak, and Ken paddled me out onto the pristine waters of Otter Lake — it was so much FUN! And that’s the kind of fun and thrill that adults and kids with disabilities get to experience at Family Retreat...

Your Support Builds Strong Families at Family Retreat

  • By: Joni and Friends
  • April 5, 2016
  • 0 Comments
  • Family Retreats

Thomas family at Family RetreatMeet the Thomas family—Willie, Tarra, their daughter Emma and grandma Karen—who attended Family Retreat last summer.

YOU’RE STRENGTHENING FAMILIES AT FAMILY RETREAT Caring for a child with intellectual and developmental disabilities leaves little room for spontaneity or times to rest and recharge. “It’s comforting to be at a place where you’re with other families who under­stand the same kind of life you have,” Tarra told us. “It’s great to have that support from other fami­lies and reminds us that we’re never alone.”

YOU GIVE LOVE TO FAMILIES THROUGH FAMILY RETREAT “It’s hard to leave this place,” Willie told us. “You feel loved like family and...

Family Retreat: A "Slice of Heaven"

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • March 24, 2016
  • 0 Comments
  • Joni's Posts, Family Retreats, Video Archives

BobbieIt makes me smile to see young people serving at our Family Retreats — people like Bobbie featured in this video. Though there are many ways that she could spend her summers, for three years now, Bobbie has served as a volunteer at our camps for families affected by disability. That’s because for Bobbie...

Why we LOVE Family Retreats!

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • March 10, 2016
  • 1 Comment
  • Joni's Posts, Family Retreats, Video Archives

Matthew Short Term MissionaryI LOVE FAMILY RETREAT! I really do — and I’m not the only one. Matthew is what we at Joni and Friends like to call a “Short Term Missionary” (STM) and he’s been serving at our Family Retreats for 9 years! So, why does Matthew keep on coming back, summer after summer, to serve families affected by disability? Because in Matthew’s words, “Family Retreat is...

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