Joni Eareckson Tada: Sharing Hope

Joni Eareckson Tada

Katherine Wolf

May 20, 2019
00:00 29:55

It’s National Stroke Awareness Month! And Hi! I’m Joni Eareckson Tada,

and I'm here with my friend Shauna Amick, who works with me at Joni and Friends where we are recognizing National Stroke Awareness Month, and we’re doing it with a little help from our friend, Katherine Wolf.

SHAUNA: Oh, and I was blown away the first time I heard Katherine’s story – I mean here she is, this young, successful model in the Los Angeles area. She’s married to Jay Wolf, who’s now going to Pepperdine for Law, and one afternoon, when her six- month- old baby’s asleep in the next room, she just yells out to her husband; crumbles to the floor, and what they found out is she has had a massive brain stem stroke. So, I can’t even imagine, Joni, one day her modeling career is taking off, and the next she’s undergoing neurosurgery where actually part of her brain was removed. To me, simply surviving a trauma like that would be inspirational enough, but here Katherine and her husband Jay, they’ve taught us how to thrive under these incredible circumstances, and I know if Katherine were here with us right now, she’d be saying Happy Stroke Awareness Month! (JONI: She is so happy.) Oh my goodness, these are words I would never put together! But here’s our friend Katherine, a woman who’s had a stroke, telling us that even after that massive life-altering trauma – life is good because God is good.

JONI: Well, Shauna, let me real quickly for our listeners play a clip, just a little clip, from a video that Katherine did for us.

KATHERINE: Everybody wants to think their story is over when they have a stroke. It’s the end of the line for them; life could never be good again. Nothing could be further from the truth. Guess what just happened when you had a stroke? Your life got really exciting, it got amped out. ‘Cause now the world is watching. You get to cling to Jesus and show other people what that looks like through your story. Your life is good, because guess what? God is good! And God is in your story. He is always at work.

SHAUNA: Oh, man, I just love her. She always puts a smile in my heart and that is why Katherine is such an encouragement to all of us. (JONI: Absolutely!) She reminds us that no matter what we’re going through, we can use that as a platform for making much out of Jesus. And Katherine, she states with both confidence and also great humility.

JONI: And you know, Shauna, she speaks with such authority (SHAUNA: She sure does.), and it’s not that she’s got a Bible degree; she’s no theologian, but this woman knows the Word of God. And what gives her authority is the platform that God has given her in her immense suffering. But when you look at her and listen to her, it’s all about the joy of the Lord.

SHAUNA: Oh, it just beams off her face and you hear it in her beautiful voice. Maybe it takes life being undeniably terrible before we can recognize its undeniable splendor.

JONI: Wow, that’s so true.

SHAUNA: It’s so much like Peter when he was walking on the water towards Jesus, we also we need to keep our eyes up looking at the face of our Savior, rather than down on those ugly details. That’s what Katherine and Jay do.

JONI: They do it every day. So, friend, go to today where you will find a personal video message from Katherine Wolf (you heard part of it just a second ago) but there is so much more that she says that will touch your heart; make you laugh and bring a lot of awareness to what it means to live with stroke and do it with confidence. So, I don’t know if you can say it with me, but “Happy Stroke Awareness Month!” And Katherine’s beautiful smile is right there for you at

© Joni and Friends

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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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