"...with God all things are possible..."

“…with God all things are possible…” was the theme for Joni and Friends Family Retreat this year.  My family and I volunteered the first week of July with families who are affected by disabilities.

"Blue Glasses team" after the "Amazing Race" Scavenger Hunt

"Blue Glasses team" after the "Amazing Race" Scavenger Hunt

For these families, everyday brings challenges:

getting a full night’s sleep,

dressing a paralyzed adult,

feeding lips unable to move,

lifting in and out bed or wheelchair or car

listening to a voice garbled by throat restrictions

“with God all things are possible”

Being matched with my camper, Heather (my camper, not her real name) was enlightening. Heather is a 24 year old young woman in a wheel chair who has limited use of her hands.  Being with her for the week at camp, I caught a glimpse of Heather’s life.

From 7:30am to 8:30pm over the span of the week, we experienced camp together.  Eating meals together, I experienced the struggle to reach the cafeteria counters, the challenge of balancing the food tray, the frustration of not being able to take the stairs…and that was just breakfast.

Esther and camper

Esther and camper

Each day, we studied Bible lessons together, did crafts, sang praise songs and navigated her wheelchair over the grass for the outdoor chicken BBQ -- these normal camp activities took on whole new meaning when I experienced them with Heather.

Nothing deterred Heather…not the cafeteria counters, steep sloping driveways, grassy knolls around the BBQ, nor the room entrance steps. Nothing deterred her.

Her love of the outdoors and for wheeling around camp, demonstrated her desire to use her God-given abilities to their full potential.  Committed to not allow her disability hold her back, during the year, she co-teaches a second grade class and started a candy business to local stores in her hometown.

“…with God all things are possible…”

Phoebe, camper, Leslie

Phoebe, camper, Leslie

The last night of camp, the campers participated in a talent show.  Heather chose to sing the song “I am a promise, I am a possibility.”  Seeing Heather sing this song from her wheelchair truly confirmed that “with God all things possible.”

That is a truth we can claim, knowing God has the victory over whatever disability or brokenness we are experiencing in our life.

“…with God all things are possible…”

Sebby and friend as "Secret Agents"

Sebby and friend as "Secret Agents"

Would you consider joining us in July 2016 to volunteer with Joni and Friends Family Retreat Camp?   If you might be interested, pray about being part of what God's doing in the midst of the brokenness of the world, specifically by engaging with people with disabilities. 

Are you willing to believe ‘with God all things are possible?”

Please consider believing ‘with God all things are possible’ and join us as we respond to His call to be willing to serve the families at Joni and Friends Family Retreat Camp 2016.

1st Place team-Amazing Scavenger Hunt-Wally,jr and his camper friend

1st Place team-Amazing Scavenger Hunt-Wally,jr and his camper friend

Marcia with camper

Marcia with camper

Wallace making new friends

Wallace making new friends

 Esther Larson, 2015