Joni and Friends Ministry Podcast

Joni and Friends Ministry Podcast

www.joniandfriends.org/podcast
We’re answering real questions about disability and sharing hope through hardship. Whether you are personally impacted or you‘re looking for practical ways to include someone with special needs in your community or church, you are not alone! Join Crystal Keating as she sits down each week with one or two special guests who have encountered real challenges and persevered. Hear honest stories of hope, find encouragement for your own challenges, and learn how you can better embrace people impacted by disability and other chronic conditions. Subscribe and be inspired! Find all resources mentioned on the podcast at www.joniandfriends.org/podcast Joni and Friends was founded in 1979 by Joni Eareckson Tada who in a diving accident was left a quadriplegic at 17 years old. Ministry began as Tada, joined by friends around her kitchen table, responded to letters she received from people with disabilities in search of support. Over the past 40 years, the ministry has grown to serve thousands of people impacted by dis


Inclusion for Individuals with Special Needs – Dr. Rebekah Dyer
May 28 • 26 min
“Many families of children with disabilities seek support from a faith community more than anything else in their community. Their priority in seeking a church is not always a place where they feel they can grow spiritually, but rather a place that will…
The Ups and Downs of Marriage Through Disability and Loss – John and Sue Meyer
May 21 • 45 min
“Why us? We don’t know what the future holds, but to know that we as a couple have been there and lost a child, and are we’re still functioning… to carry that with us is not just Rachel’s legacy, but it’s a legacy of God’s ministry in our lives.”…
A Quarantined Caregiver – Sib Charles
May 14 • 25 min
“The Lord is teaching me so much. I feel like this is a chance for a reset on so many levels… What really matters is being at peace with my husband, myself, and most importantly my God.” As we continue in this time of unexpected isolation and social…
National Day of Prayer
May 7 • 26 min
Today is National Day of Prayer. During this unprecedented time, aren’t we recognizing our dependence on God and how important it is cry out to Him in our time of need? The theme for this year’s observance is taken from Habakkuk 2:14, “For the earth will…
Coping in Community Instead of Suffering in Silence – Daryl McKillian
Apr 30 • 37 min
As we continue into this unprecedented time of shelter at home, isolation and loneliness have become a common experience. But the past few weeks have also offered a new understanding of what it means for someone to be homebound and feel disconnected. Now,…
Dealing with Isolation When You Family is Impacted by Autism – Dr Rebekah Dyer
Apr 23 • 24 min
As the coronavirus outbreak keeps parents and children at home, everyone is facing a disruptive new normal. But for many families impacted by autism, the loneliness of increased isolation and lack of routine presents additional challenges. So how do…
A Mother’s Perspective on Caring for a Child with Autism – Diane Dokko Kim
Apr 16 • 44 min
“Don’t feel pressured to learn everything about autism. Just get to know the one person God brings into your life. Find out what works for them…just like you would in any other relationship. Become a master in loving one person, one family well.” Today on…
Grandparenting a Child with Special Needs – Liz Babbitt
Apr 9 • 28 min
For a number of years, Liz Babbitt had worked in special needs ministry providing training for churches and supporting families impacted by disability. But when Liz’s grandson was diagnosed with autism, she gained a whole new perspective on the challenges…
Raising Three Sons with Autism – Greg and Gina Hubert
Apr 2 • 44 min
As people shelter in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19, many are experiencing the loneliness of isolation for the first time. But for special needs families, isolation is not just a seasonal challenge, it is often a daily reality. This week as we…
Spiritual Abuse – Darby Strickland
Mar 26 • 28 min
Do you know someone who has been wounded by the misuse of Scripture? Or excluded from the life of the church because they haven’t been miraculously healed? Crystal Keating is talking again with counselor Darby Strickland who teaches at Christian…
God’s Sovereignty During a Pandemic – Joni Eareckson Tada
Mar 19 • 22 min
Over the past few weeks and even days, the world has changed rapidly. As we come to grips with the effects of a global pandemic, it can be easy to allow fear or anxiety to creep in. But in times like these, it’s important to remind ourselves of the…
Understanding Trauma – Darby Strickland
Mar 12 • 31 min
When someone goes through a deeply distressing or disturbing experience, their wounds can last long after the initial encounter. The trauma of a physical, emotional, or even spiritual wound can have a deep impact and often has a messy way of expressing…
Spiritual Recovery for a Special Needs Mom – Diane Dokko Kim
Mar 5 • 35 min
When parents first learn that their child has a disability, their hearts and hopes are often broken. But their faith doesn’t have to be. On this episode of the podcast, Crystal Keating is sitting down with Diane Dokko Kim. Diane is the mother of two sons,…
Creating an Inclusive Environment – Greg Greer and Jamia Cinelli
Feb 27 • 33 min
Everyone is indispensable to the body of Christ, regardless of our abilities or gifting. So how can we create an inclusive environment where all people are welcomed and embraced into the fabric of the church, home life, and community? Is there anything…
Hope Through Hardship: Walking with Your Loved One through Cancer – Randy Alcorn
Feb 20 • 32 min
When you receive the unexpected news that your loved one has cancer, how do you hold on to hope? This week on the podcast, Crystal is talking with Randy Alcorn, founder of Eternal Perspective Ministries and author of more than 50 books including The…
Keeping Love Alive Through Seasons of Disability – Greg and Gina Hubert
Feb 13 • 35 min
In the midst of challenging circumstances, how can you have a thriving marriage? Are there practical ways to strengthen your love for your spouse? This week on a special Valentine’s episode of the podcast, Crystal is chatting with Greg and Gina Hubert, a…
A Community Approach to Inclusion – Ashley Hall
Feb 6 • 39 min
The Joni and Friends Ministry Podcast has returned for a second season, bringing you real conversations about disability and sharing hope through hardship! Today, Crystal Keating is kicking off season two with Ashley Hall, a Joni and Friends ministry…
We All Have Gifts to Share – Emily Colson
Dec 18, 2019 • 31 min
Every person has important gifts that need to be shared with others and the church, but many families face real challenges with finding acceptance and a place to serve. Today on the podcast, Crystal is sharing a powerful message of hope from Emily Colson,…
A Response to Depression – Dr. Todd Stryd
Dec 11, 2019 • 33 min
With Christmas around the corner, does it seem like everyone else is oozing holiday cheer? While the rest of the world is wrapped in red and green, you’re the only one feeling blue? December is presented as a month of celebration and belonging – a time of…
The Impact of a Wheelchair – Jasmine and Joey Tell
Dec 4, 2019 • 26 min
Last week on the podcast, Crystal talked with Jasmine and Joey Tell, a young couple who is working to transform the lives of people impacted by disability in Thailand. Today, Jasmine and Joey are back on the show to share more about their ministry and the…
Following God’s Call in Thailand – Jasmine and Joey Tell
Nov 28, 2019 • 39 min
It’s remarkable to see how God will use our experiences and challenges to reveal His plan and move our hearts toward His purpose. This week on the podcast, Crystal is sitting down with Jasmine and Joey Tell, a young couple with an incredible story of…
For Better or Worse: When Disability Challenges Your Marriage – Ken and Joni Eareckson Tada
Nov 21, 2019 • 46 min
After 37 years of marriage, Ken and Joni Eareckson Tada know firsthand the challenges that a married couple can face when disability involved. Today on the podcast, listen as they share stories from their own relationship and how they live out their…
Schizophrenia – A Personal Story
Nov 18, 2019 • 13 min
Following Crystal’s last podcast episode featuring a conversation with Dr. Todd Stryd about caring for someone with schizophrenia, we’re sharing the personal story of a Christian woman who lives with schizophrenia. Her testimony was originally given at…
Caring for Someone with Schizophrenia – Dr. Todd Stryd
Nov 14, 2019 • 31 min
November is National Family Caregivers Month and this week on the podcast we’re continuing the conversation about caregiving with a focus on how to care for someone with schizophrenia. If you have a loved one afflicted with schizophrenia, you may have…
Encouragement for Caregivers – Peter Rosenberger
Nov 6, 2019 • 37 min
November is National Family Caregiver’s Month, a time to recognize the dedication of family members who provide around the clock care to their loved ones. Today on the podcast, Crystal is chatting with Peter Rosenberger, a dedicated husband and caregiver…
Part 2: The Scars That Have Shaped Me – Vaneetha Rendall Risner
Oct 31, 2019 • 28 min
This week, Crystal is continuing her conversation with Vaneetha Risner, a special guest who has experienced the powerful presence of God through a lifetime of suffering. If you missed last week’s episode with Vaneetha, you can listen to part 1 to hear her…
Part 1: The Scars that Have Shaped Me – Vaneetha Rendall Risner
Oct 24, 2019 • 24 min
This week on the podcast, Crystal is talking with a special guest who understands suffering. With the diagnosis of a debilitating disease that led to 21 surgeries by the time she was 13, years in the hospital, and bullying from classmates, Vaneetha Risner…
Discovering a New Community Through Disability – Nicole Pollastrini
Oct 16, 2019 • 36 min
Nicole Pollastrini is back to the podcast! Last episode, Nicole shared how her daughter’s unexpected diagnosis of Down syndrome impacted her family. Today she’s talking about the community she found through her daughter’s special needs. The diagnosis of…
My Baby Has Down Syndrome – Nicole Pollastrini
Oct 9, 2019 • 30 min
In honor of Down Syndrome Awareness Month, Crystal is talking with Nicole Pollastrini, a wonderful mama to three kids. When Nicole and her husband first decided to grow their family, it wasn’t on their radar that their daughter Sage might be born with a…
When You Hear the Words “You Have Cancer” – Amy Brands
Oct 2, 2019 • 36 min
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and according to the American Cancer Society, 1 in 8 women will develop invasive breast cancer sometime during her lifetime.* Today Crystal is talking with Amy Brands, a young woman for whom this topic hits very…
A Life-Changing Internship – Kristin Hamer
Sep 25, 2019 • 29 min
Kristin Hamer is back on the podcast this week to talk about what it means to incorporate all people in the body of Christ. In a previous conversation, Kristin shared about her disability and her journey of finding contentment and purpose in her visual…
Sensory Processing Challenges – Jeannie Wronski
Sep 18, 2019 • 27 min
This week, occupational therapist Jeannie Wronski is back on the podcast to continue our conversation about helping individuals with disabilities thrive. Jeannie will tell you that sometimes when children appear to have a behavioral issues, they may…
Making the Gospel Accessible – Carrie Jones and Gina Spivey
Sep 11, 2019 • 30 min
“All people can and should learn the Scriptures. The Bible matters to everybody. We owe it to our friends, no matter what the disability, to open up the Word of God for them and help them be able to receive it.” –Gina Spivey This week on the podcast…
Why I Love Being An Occupational Therapist – Jeannie Wronski
Sep 4, 2019 • 33 min
This week on the podcast, Crystal is speaking with Jeannie Wronski who has a fascinating career as a pediatric occupational therapist. Although her work is centered on the physical aspects of a child’s development, Jeannie loves building relationships…
Sharing Love Abundantly – Jolene Philo
Aug 28, 2019 • 40 min
“When we speak of children with special needs, we know there is great diversity in the needs and abilities… But nothing is more important than meeting the emotional need for love. Just as the child’s body craves food, so the child’s spirit craves love.…
The 5 Love Languages for Parents Raising Children with Special Needs – Dr. Gary Chapman
Aug 21, 2019 • 29 min
Raising kids is daunting but raising children with special needs often brings a new set of challenges. With days regularly filled with doctor’s appointments, meetings with teachers, handling outside caregivers and therapists, and caring for other…
Depression and Anxiety When Life Is Going Well / Fostering and Adopting When Disability is Involved – Chris and Emily Norton
Aug 14, 2019 • 38 min
“I went through a time where I lost who I was – a deep depression where everything felt so hard. It was a struggle just to get through the day and I was at a point where I was wishing that I wasn’t here anymore… because of how hard days felt, even though…
The Seven Longest Yards – Chris and Emily Norton
Aug 7, 2019 • 49 min
Chris and Emily Norton are no ordinary couple… For Chris and Emily, walking across the stage at his college graduation seemed like an impossible goal. Paralyzed in a football game his freshman year, Chris was given a three percent chance of moving…
Perseverance in Suffering – Joni Eareckson Tada
Jul 31, 2019 • 40 min
“Suffering is intended to make our souls brave.” It’s a broken world. We all have weaknesses and limitations. Disability. Illness. Loneliness. Heartache. Suffering comes at us in different shapes and sizes. Living through 52 years of quadriplegia,…
When You Discover Your Calling – Adam Rinehart
Jul 24, 2019 • 32 min
God may use unexpected situations or experiences in your life to reveal His purpose for you – sometimes even giving you a new calling. Today on the podcast, Crystal is chatting with Adam Rinehart who serves as Associate Director, Special Needs Ministry at…
Losing Sight, Gaining Vision – Kristin Hamer
Jul 17, 2019 • 41 min
When disability strikes, it can be easy for someone to wonder, Why me? What’s the purpose of my disability? At 8 years old, Kristin Hamer received the diagnosis of a genetic eye disease. And as her sight grew progressively worse, she did her best to hide…
Battling Chronic Pain and Insomnia – Jimmy Peña
Jul 11, 2019 • 35 min
“Pain is disorienting. It changes you in ways that you never saw coming. Chronic pain, the kind that you think about all the time, becomes a part of who you are… There’s not always a smile behind the smile, but there’s a reason for my smile.” Dealing with…
Who Am I? Rediscovering Your Identity After Loss – Jimmy Peña
Jul 3, 2019 • 33 min
“It was kind of a shock… I had been training 4-5 days a week since I was 18. Fitness, lifting, activity… that was it for me. My identity was all wrapped up in physicality, training, and ability.” When someone is talented and works hard, it can be pretty…
Sharing the Gospel with Teenagers Living with Disability – Tobias Haglund
Jun 26, 2019 • 43 min
How do you communicate the love of Christ to students who have special needs? Don’t miss this week’s episode of the podcast as Crystal chats with Tobias Haglund about his ministry with teens and young adults living with disability through Young Life…
Typical Siblings: When Your Sister or Brother Has a Disability – Dennis Spivey and Jessica Johnson
Jun 20, 2019 • 34 min
Typical Siblings: Joys and Challenges We know that disability impacts the entire family, but sometimes we can miss the impact that it has on the typical siblings of a brother or sister with special needs. Today Crystal talks with Dennis Spivey and Jessica…
An Even Better Identity – Doug Mazza
Jun 13, 2019 • 34 min
No father is ever prepared to hear that his child will be born with a disability. This unexpected reality can lead to confusion or even anger, but it can also change the direction of a father’s life and his family. This week on a special Father’s Day…
Coping with Grief and Loss – Halley Mastrolonardo
Jun 6, 2019 • 46 min
Whether it’s the result of an unexpected diagnosis, a life-changing disability, the end of a marriage, or the loss of a loved one, grief can arrive suddenly… and it can take up residence without an invitation. Although we will all encounter loss and grief…
Tourette Syndrome Awareness Month – Chris Pearson
May 30, 2019 • 26 min
Did you know that Tourette Syndrome Awareness Month is May 15 - June 15? Tourette syndrome is a neurological disorder characterized by involuntary tics and vocalizations… and it’s a disability that’s not always discussed. This week, Crystal has invited…
Bringing Hope to Haiti - Mike Gaura and Chris Pearson
May 23, 2019 • 39 min
In Luke 14, we are called to go out quickly into the streets and alleys to bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame. Sometimes that can mean stepping far outside of your comfort zone to reach people with disabilities living in extreme…
“Don’t Miss This Slice of Heaven” - Arielle Mitchell and Jase Magarifuji
May 16, 2019 • 40 min
Many weeks of the year, families impacted by disability can struggle with isolation and acceptance, they can feel worn down by routine appointments and the daily needs of life with a disability. But each summer, there is a place for families with special…
The Importance of Community - Cynthia Berry
May 9, 2019 • 34 min
No one is an island. We all need community. And for a family impacted by disability, having a community of support to share encouragement and help meet real needs can change everything. On today’s Mother’s Day episode of the Joni and Friends Ministry…
The Lionheart Spirit: Redemption and Hope - David Francisco and Kristi Platillero
May 2, 2019 • 34 min
When disability strikes unexpectedly and the plans you’ve made for your life are suddenly interrupted, how do you hold on to hope? Where do you find courage to face your new reality? Three years ago, while musician David Francisco was riding his bike, he…
Starting a Buddy Ministry - Candy Nixon and Sib Charles
Apr 25, 2019 • 24 min
If you are looking for how to welcome families impacted by disability in your church, creating a buddy ministry is one of the best ways to begin! A buddy ministry is more than a program, it’s about building relationships. And serving as a buddy to an…
Engaging Volunteers at Your Church – Bret Welshymer and Lauren Garner
Apr 18, 2019 • 24 min
“People are people and everybody has a place in the church family. When you get to know somebody, you can help them to be a part of the family. If you never take the time to get to know them, that’s not going to happen.” -Bret Welshymer Everyone who comes…
Invisible Disabilities: Fibromyalgia - Hallie Sheaffer
Apr 11, 2019 • 40 min
“For a lot of people who deal with chronic pain it’s like constantly walking in a state of storm… and for someone who only sees sunshine and clear skies, they can’t even comprehend that it’s storming.” Not all disabilities are visible. While on the…
Finding Courage When There Are No Answers: A Father’s Perspective - Steve Bundy
Apr 4, 2019 • 49 min
Like most parents, Steve Bundy was not expecting his child to be born with a disability. Following Caleb’s diagnosis of partial chromosome deletion, Steve felt so alone – he didn’t know where to turn or who would understand. On this week’s episode, he…
How to Plan a Respite Event for Families Impacted by Disability - Gina Spivey and Bret Welshymer
Mar 28, 2019 • 34 min
“Respite is for the parents and for the kids. It’s for the whole family to really have an opportunity to just come to a church and know that the church genuinely wants them to be there.” -Gina Spivey, Disability Ministry Leader Families or caregivers who…
An Unexpected Diagnosis: Moving from Fear to Hope - World Down Syndrome Day with Shauna Amick
Mar 21, 2019 • 51 min
When Shauna arrived at the doctor’s office for her four-month ultrasound, the question on her mind was what color to paint the nursery. But after an unexpected diagnosis of Down syndrome, she and her husband left with more questions than answers. “I…
Steps You Can Take to Include People with Disabilities in Your Church - Liz Babbitt and Lauren Garner
Mar 14, 2019 • 32 min
One of the places where families impacted by disability should feel most welcomed is at church. But when it comes to building an inclusive environment, people and churches often struggle with where to begin. Today on the podcast, Crystal talks with two…
You Can Help Solve the Global Mobility Crisis Right from Your Community - Wheelchair Collection Month with Elizabeth Kelly
Mar 7, 2019 • 22 min
More than 70 million people around the world are in need of a wheelchair, but only 10% have access to one.* During March, Joni and Friends is celebrating Wheelchair Collection Month to bring awareness to this need and help solve the global mobility…
Mutual Friendship When Disability is Involved - How to move from just ministering to someone to doing life together
Feb 28, 2019 • 29 min
There’s a difference between ministering to someone who has a disability and really doing life with them. While barriers like staircases and narrow doorways may keep someone with a physical disability from entering a space, there are other barriers that…
How Disability Impacts Everyone in the Family - Sib Charles and Candy Nixon share practical ways you can provide support
Feb 21, 2019 • 29 min
You don’t really know a person until you’ve heard their story. For so many families impacted by disability, that story includes unique challenges and demands that can be exhausting and relentless. Responsibilities are often 24/7 in order to meet the needs…
Love, Marriage, and Disability - Real conversation with Kevin and Jamie Stark
Feb 14, 2019 • 54 min
In the middle of his successful career in the biotech industry, Kevin Stark unexpectedly became a quadriplegic. A few years later, he met his lovely wife, Jamie, and they fell in love. On this special Valentine’s Day episode of the Joni and Friends…
Disability Etiquette with Tracey Motoda and Scott Bankhead (Part 2) - Breaking down visible and invisible barriers
Feb 7, 2019 • 26 min
Walking a mile in someone’s shoes is a great way to understand their personal struggles and perspectives. While Tracey Motoda and Scott Bankhead don’t put that much wear on their actual shoes (they are both wheelchair users), we can certainly gain a lot…
Disability Etiquette with Tracey Motoda and Scott Bankhead (Part 1) - How to build genuine friendships with people impacted by disability
Jan 31, 2019 • 28 min
Do you have questions about disability etiquette? You may have heard the “do’s and don’ts” of communication and interaction, but what is someone with a disability really looking for? In part 1 of our Crystal’s conversation about disability etiquette, she…
Bonus - Joni Eareckson Tada, Nick Vujicic, and Katherine Wolf on sanctity of life and what determines a person’s value
Jan 29, 2019 • 36 min
How do you respond to those who believe some lives are just not worth living? In this bonus episode, Joni Eareckson Tada, Founder of Joni and Friends and a 51-year veteran of life in a wheelchair joins Nick Vujicic, Founder of Life Without Limbs, and…
Joni Eareckson Tada, Founder of Joni and Friends, on 40 years of ministry, cancer, and creative ways the church can include all people regardless of ability
Jan 24, 2019 • 31 min
For our first episode, host Crystal Keating sits down with Joni Eareckson Tada, Founder and CEO of Joni and Friends, to talk about insights Joni’s gained from 51 years as a quadriplegic in a wheelchair and 40 years of leading a growing ministry for people…
Joni and Friends Ministry Podcast Teaser
Jan 23, 2019 • 3 min
On the new Joni and Friends Ministry Podcast, we’re answering real questions about disability. Each week, host Crystal Keating is sitting down with a special guest or ministry expert to explore creative and practical ways to embrace and include people…