5 Questions With Joni Eareckson Tada

Welcome to 5 Questions With.....

Today's Guest is Joni Eareckson Tada.

Joni Eareckson Tada is the founder of Joni and Friends, an organization accelerating Christian outreach in the disability community that numbers 610 million people worldwide. This organization operates out of the new Joni and Friends International Disability Center located in Agoura Hills, California. Joni is not only an international disability advocate but an artist and the author of numerous bestselling books.

And now without further delay, on to the questions:

Hello Joni,

For those not familiar with your organization, what are some of the ministry arms of Joni and Friends?

I started Joni and Friends in 1979 in response to the many people who were reading the Joni book and seeing the Joni movie – when I saw their questions, I wanted to create a response mechanism to address their issues of depression, disability, and understanding the goodness of God. Now, more than 30 years later, Joni and Friends delivers thousands of wheelchairs to needy disabled children and adults in developing nations, holds Family Retreats for special needs families here in the U.S. and in less-developed nations, and designs disability ministry courses of study for undergraduate programs in Christian colleges and seminaries around the world.

2. With your busy schedule of writing, recording and public speaking, how do you balance family, faith and fun?

I once heard someone say that if you enjoy what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. And that’s true for me! I feel so blessed by God (what other quadriplegic enjoys the health I do after 45 years in a wheelchair? What other quadriplegic enjoys the opportunities for Christian service that I do?). I’ve been so blessed, that I feel a strong urgency to simply ‘pass on the blessing’ to others less fortunate – and it’s why I so love not only the work at Joni and Friends, but the opportunities to travel with my husband on behalf of the ministry.

3. Everyone battles discouragement at times. How do you handle the discouragements (physical, spiritual, emotional) in your life?

After so many years living as a quadriplegic, there are still mornings I wake up and think, I can’t go on; I don’t have the strength. But then I pray, “But, Lord, you have strength; please let me borrow your perspective and power on this difficult day!” And He gives just that and more. So waking up needing God desperately and urgently is not such a bad thing. It’s the way the apostle Paul felt in 2 Corinthians 1:8-9 when he said, “... We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life...” But then I love the next verse, “But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.” It seems the weaker we are, the harder we must lean on Jesus; and the harder we lean on Him, the stronger we discover Him to be. It’s a great lesson to live by.

4. What book of the Bible has God been speaking to you through the most right now?

Ken and I are just finishing up reading through the Bible in a year, and we are in Revelation. I am astounded that soon and very soon all these things Jesus talks about in that mysterious book will happen – and it’s all about to break on the horizon. I’ve been asking God to drive home to me this heavenly point of view so that I might live with a greater sense of urgency.

5. Are there any specific projects coming up that you would like to mention?

Through the Joni and Friends’ Christian Institute on Disability, Ken and I are spending most of our trips visiting Christian colleges and universities where I speak at chapel services and at the disability ministry classes we help design. Nothing gives me greater joy than to impart my passion to a new generation of believers, striking the match in their hearts to reach the world’s one billion people with disabilities with the practical help and heavenly hope of Jesus!

Thanks so much Joni!

Thanks for inviting me to participate in this interview.

Well there you go. I would encourage you to check out the Joni and Friends website where you can find training opportunities, books, devotionals and a wealth of other resources. Just got to Joni and Friends.

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