For decades, the undisputed “bishop” of disability ministries has been Joni Tada.  Paralyzed from the neck down at 19 years old, Mrs. Tada has been simply called Joni (pronounced Johnnie)  for decades.  My first recollection of her was from the early 1960’s when we received a set of Christmas cards and we were introduced to this young woman who was a gifted artist who painted holding her brush between her teeth.

Later, she authored a book telling her story.  The title of her book was Joni.  When a movie was made based on the book, Joni played herself in the movie.  Amazingly gifted, perhaps her greatest gift to the church has been to champion the needs of persons with disabilities worldwide.  Her organization endeavors to minister to the whole family by running family camps in the summer.  She aggressively works to deliver wheelchairs and walker to people with disabilities around the world.  Her program “Wheels for the World” has meant accessibility for people who had no hope of ever having any access to the world outside their doors.

On Monday, June 28, Joni underwent breast cancer surgery.  There was cancer had also effected some of the lymph nodes.  Chemotherapy will follow the surgery.  She is home from the hospital, recovering and trusting God for what He plans for her.  Remember her in prayer.  For information and updates, visit “Joni’s Corner” at www.joniandfriends.org.

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