A Faithful Servant of The Lord
Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada and welcome to "Joni and Friends."
Sarah loves her work as a physical therapist, and she works hard at it. But because she knows Jesus, there was always this, um… I don’t know, drive in her to somehow, someway, use her physical therapy skills in ministry. Now, it’s pretty hard to do that in a church setting or in a Bible study, but Sarah just knew there was a niche for her to do ministry somewhere as a physical therapist. And that’s when she decided to go on-line and start exploring. After typing in ‘international mission organizations,’ she found out about Joni and Friends. Aha! As she explored our website, Sarah found all kinds of ways to use her physical therapy skills in ministry. In a short time, the Lord led her to serve at our International Family Retreats in Guatemala and Peru. In those developing countries, rarely do special-needs families connect with a healthcare professional like Sarah. And so, this young woman did double-duty in helping moms and dads get better trained in assisting their son or daughter in a wheelchair. From there, though, Sarah went on. She went on to serve on a Wheels for the World outreach. And when she came home from that, she decided to sign up as a Chair Corps volunteer, collecting wheelchairs and walkers to be refurbished and used on Wheels’ trips. Sarah was hooked, and before long, she and her husband were leading a Beyond Suffering small group at her local church.
‘Man, thank you Jesus,’ she prayed. ‘I'm really using my physical therapy skills to do ministry for you.’ Well, Sarah was about to see just how much ministry, because in 2016, when she was in Peru, it all came together. She was leading a Bible study for mothers of special-needs children. And after the Gospel was shared, for some reason she just felt led, felt compelled to stand up and sing “In Christ Alone” and she did it in her halting Spanish. When she finished the song, all the mothers were silent; they were dabbing their eyes. Sarah’s co-leader asked in Spanish if any of the women would like to receive Christ as their Savior. “Salvation,” she said, “is not about doing things Christ wants us to do; salvation is about Christ and Christ alone.” That was a different slant for these special-needs moms, and all of them – not just four or five – but all of them stood up and gave their lives to the Lord Jesus. Sarah said it was beautiful, there were hugs and tears, and over the next few days, every woman gave her testimony of how God had changed her life. “And it wouldn’t have happened without this Family Retreat in our nation,” they all chimed in and said that. Not one of those mothers had ever considered that their child with a disability could be a blessing; could be made in the image of God. All those moms went away from retreat amazed that their children were a gift from God, disability or not.
Yes, Sarah loves her job as a physical therapist, but she really loves the ministry that it affords her through Joni and Friends. And, um, I don’t know; if you’re a physical therapist, maybe you’d say the same. In fact, if you are a physical therapist, Sarah would say: “Come and serve with Joni and Friends.” Just go on joniradio.org for all the details. And while you’re on my radio page, I posted a wonderful video that shows up close and personal how much fun and fellowship can be found at an International Family Retreat. So please today check out the video at joniradio.org, and visit our International Family Retreat page to learn more how you can get involved – just like Sarah. God bless you today and thanks for listening to Joni and Friends.
By: Joni Eareckson Tada
© Joni and Friends