Lauren's Story

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • Dec. 2, 2011
  • Joni's Posts

Thank you SO much -- I'm really grateful to God for your prayers this week when I spoke at Dallas Theological Seminary and Dallas Baptist University to promote their disability ministry classes which Joni and Friends helped design. It's so exciting to see those classes maxed out every semester :-). While at DBU, I was approached by Lauren, a senior student who has been volunteering at our Family Retreats for six years (she is showing me one of our Joni and Friends newsletters whose cover photo features her with little Isaiah who has Down syndrome)! "Oh, Joni," she said, "serving with your ministry really opened my heart and eyes and I'm happy to tell you I'm soon to graduate with a major in special education!" NOTHING could please me more, than to see a young, passionate sister in Christ heaven-bent on reaching kids with disabilities and their families with the Gospel of Jesus. And the best thing? Lauren's story is being repeated a hundredfold in Christian colleges all across the country. Want to join her? Visit our Christian Institute on Disability and Family Retreat pages to learn more!


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Happy Birthday Ken. You have reached a milestone (65 years), what a witness you are to me. I thank God for the partner- ship you & Joni have with God. You both have touched so many lives. I also deal with a SCI & know how hard the day to day issues are but God is so good. Won't heaven be awesome. No more pain or tears. God bless you!!
  • Dec. 12, 2011
  • 10:56 a.m.
  • Colleen Cozzo
Joni, I have enjoyed your music so much over the years. Not knowing that there was a connection I was thrilled when I found out that you had worked with my Aunt who was Dr. Elizabeth Sherrill. Nice to reconnect with you, I had lost track of you. Have a blessed holiday!
  • Dec. 6, 2011
  • 7:42 a.m.
  • Freelove Sherrill Knott
im struggling really hard to get through christmas this year. my oldest son born with congenital heart defects, died at age 21, 5 years ago. -this year, my husband of 28 years, just told me last month that he wants a divorce. i feel like Job. any advice or prayers are so welcome to me, thanks.
  • Dec. 5, 2011
  • 6:42 p.m.
  • christine redwine
May God the almighty bless all you do for the disabilities!!!
  • Dec. 4, 2011
  • 12:29 p.m.
  • Messele Abebe
Dear Joni, Our Lord has a special interest for the vulnerable of our society.And His heart goes out to those who can not defend themselves.And He cares esp. for little children.It is encouraging that JAF take this point of view.We have to learn to look at children and adults with the eyes of how Jesus looks at us.If we would do that,there would be less violence and hate among people.What does God ask of us? Love the Lord and the people.The law of love is to be put into effect against the hate and cruelty of this world.The Spirit which lives in us is more than the spirit which is in the world.
  • Dec. 3, 2011
  • 9:43 a.m.
  • San Tjoa
Five years ago, I became ill. As I lay in my hospital bed as a quadraplegic, after therapy, Joni, your movie came on, 3 different times! You became such an inspiration for me to push myself and not give up. I kept saying, 'The joy of the Lord is my strength.' Your ability to adapt kept me going, working! I'm in a nursing home now, as a paraplegic, learning to adapt! Whatever the Lord wants me to do, I want to do it! I attended Rhema Bible Training Center 30 yrs. ago and I'm ready to put that training to work! Thank you for your inspiring example! God bless you!
  • Dec. 2, 2011
  • 10:12 p.m.
  • Janelle P LeBlanc
So thankful for this article. I pray that OUR LORD continue to bless you as you ministry to these special children of God. Trisha
  • Dec. 2, 2011
  • 8:35 p.m.
  • Trisha Vestall
Love this story! Congratulations Lauren! I served in special education classes as a teacher and also as a speech therapist for 26+ years. I learned so much as God blessed me every step of the Way (+:
  • Dec. 2, 2011
  • 6:59 p.m.
  • Daniel Hale
That's one of my favorite things about Family Retreats, seeing the STMs whose lives are so impacted by the families. God does amazing things in the hearts of those who get to know the wonderful person behind the disability and lives are changed forever! YAY God!
  • Dec. 2, 2011
  • 6:19 p.m.
  • Kara
I have a precious grandson with Down syndrome. He absolutely blesses everyone he meets. Lauren is opening the door for God to blesss her immensely. Prayers for her and for your ministry. When I tell his teachers what a blessing they are to us, they tell me they are the ones blessed!!!!!
  • Dec. 2, 2011
  • 4:17 p.m.
  • Rebecca Hunt