Joni Eareckson Tada: Sharing Hope

Joni Eareckson Tada

Heart for the Disabled – The Robinson Family

January 10, 2019
00:00 3:59

I’m Joni Eareckson Tada; welcome to “Heart for the Disabled” week.

That’s right. All this week I’ve been mentioning the stories of families with special needs — moms and dads and disabled kids and their siblings, all of them bone-tired, weary people who really, really need the encouragement of Christ. And you are helping me give that encouragement as you’ve written notes, Valentine’s cards, and letters to the people I’ve mentioned each day. For those of you who haven’t yet written, I’ve got a family who really needs an uplifting word.

Kelly and Rebecca Robinson came to Family Retreat for the first time last summer. And they came with a car full of oxygen tanks. You see, when their own children grew up, and Kelly and Rebecca became empty-nesters, they adopted two children from an orphanage in China. Claire and Colton both of these have significant disabilities. Claire is 14 years old and has a heart and liver disease, pulmonary hypertension, and needs to be on oxygen 100% of the time. Claire also has some cognitive problems. But she is a happy little girl and she loves to smile. Colton, who is 11 years old, is blind in one eye, has an orthopedic impairment, and a heart defect. Well. Well, I tell you, when this little family came to retreat, Kelly and Rebecca already looked worn out. Claire is fragile, her medical condition was wearing on them – someone has to sleep with her at all times. At Family Retreat, 14-year-old Claire had one prayer – she wanted to make a friend (she doesn’t have friends back home; she’s always in and out of the hospital). But at Family Retreat she was not disappointed. This little teenager made many friends, especially a few girls her own age. And Colton? This guy was the hit at the talent show. His has a great voice. Claire even put together a little band with her new girlfriends and they sang all about Jesus being the light of the world.

Not long after retreat, however, Claire had to go into the hospital again. It was a surgery with lots of risks, but it had to be done. She could hardly breathe. Well, a few months ago, Claire was taken into surgery one more time. She did not make it; she went home to be with Jesus. And at Claire’s funeral Colton was brave and sang the song that he did at the Family Retreat talent show.

As you can imagine, Kelly and Rebecca are still reeling. This family would very much appreciate a couple of uplifting words in a note or a letter. I know that God can use your words, your favorite scriptures, maybe a favorite hymn or poem. I don’t need to tell you, just let the Holy Spirit tell you what to write. The important thing is, just write and when you do pray for Kelly, Rebecca, and little Colton. I know this special-needs family would appreciate hearing that there are brothers and sisters in Christ who are remembering to lift them up before Jesus Christ. So, please send this family true Christian encouragement. And then mail it off to Joni and Friends, P.O. Box 3333, Agoura Hills, California 91376. If you’ve missed any details, go to my radio page at for the full story where we’re even posted a photo on our Facebook page.

Thanks for coming alongside, praying for, writing a letter or note to bless this family who have gone through so much loss, so much expense, and have expended so much care and compassion. God bless you for caring for little Colton and of course for Kelly and Rebecca during this year’s Heart for the Disabled campaign! And if you need any details, get the whole scoop at Thanks for having a heart for the disabled.

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About Joni Eareckson Tada: Sharing Hope

Joni Eareckson Tada: Sharing Hope is a broadcast ministry of Joni and Friends committed to bringing the Gospel and practical help to people impacted by disability around the world. Joni and Friends has been advancing disability ministry for over 40 years. Their mission to glorify God, communicate the Gospel and mobilize the global church to evangelize, disciple and serve people living with disability answers the call found in Luke 14 to “bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame… so that my house will be full.”

About Joni Eareckson Tada

Paralyzed as the result of a diving accident at age 17, Joni Eareckson Tada envisions a world where every person with a disability finds hope, dignity, and their place in the body of Christ. As the Founder and CEO of Joni and Friends, she is known worldwide as an author, speaker, disability rights advocate and radio personality. Her 10,000 radio programs are broadcast across the country and around the world, inspiring listeners to realize that there is hope in every hardship.
Joni Eareckson Tada is an esteemed Christian stateswoman and respected global leader in disability advocacy. Although a 1967 diving accident left her a quadriplegic, she emerged from rehabilitation with a determination to help others with similar disabilities. Mrs. Tada serves as CEO of Joni and Friends, a Christian organization which provides programs and services for thousands of special-needs families around the world. President Reagan appointed Mrs. Tada to the National Council on Disability, then reappointed by President George H.W. Bush. During her tenure, the ADA was passed and signed into law. Mrs. Tada served as advisor to Condoleezza Rice on the Disability Advisory Committee to the U.S. State Department. She served as Senior Associate for Disability Concerns for the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization. The Colson Center on Christian Worldview awarded Joni Tada its prestigious William Wilberforce Award, and she was also inducted into
Indiana Wesleyan University’s Society of World Changers. 
Joni Eareckson Tada has been awarded several honorary degrees, including Doctor of Humanities from Gordon College and Doctor of Divinity from Westminster Theological Seminary. She is an effective communicator, sharing her inspirational message in books, through artwork, radio, and other media. Joni Tada served as General Editor of the Beyond Suffering Bible, a special edition published by Tyndale for people affected by disability. Joni and her husband Ken were married in 1982 and reside in Calabasas, California.

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Joni Eareckson Tada: Sharing Hope
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Agoura Hills, CA 91376-3333