Pushing Families Forward

  • By: Joni and Friends
  • Sept. 6, 2013
  • Family Retreats

Avery and his parents at Family RetreatWhat impact can you make in the life of a family struggling with autism? Meet 6-year-old Avery. He and his family are just back from Family Retreat and still glowing with the love of Jesus! Autism is the fastest growing disability today, making it one of the most represented disabilities at our Joni and Friends Family Retreats. Autism is often an “unseen disability” ─ yet its challenges are enormous, exhausting, and often misunderstood. Because of your partnership, Family Retreats are one of the few places in the U.S. where whole families affected by autism are welcomed with open arms by loving, trained volunteers. At Family Retreat, Avery finds a special kind of love that celebrates him as a child of God and focuses on his victories instead of his unique behaviors. “The Short Term Missionaries are here for love, willing to serve our family and attend to our child with God’s love and kindness,” says Avery’s mom, Sharvette. “That’s beyond special.” With your faithful support to Joni and Friends, God has provided a safe haven for Avery’s family and others with disabilities. “Family Retreat is a sanctuary,” explains Avery’s dad, Joseph.” It centers us spiritually – we learn to trust Christ through all the chaos.” Sharvette agrees. “Family Retreat is a sheltered zone where your size, your race or disability doesn’t matter,” she adds. “When we leave we’re peaceful, knowing our circumstances aren’t as big as we thought. Family Retreat pushes us forward with confidence in God!”

Watch as Avery's parents share about Family Retreat


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