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Joni and Friends®— Family Retreats

When you're dealing with something hard, it can feel at times that no one else in the world is going through the same thing you are. No one understands, there is no one else out there like me, I'm alone and set apart.

Family at Joni and Friends® Family RetreatI felt that way the most when it came to physical and occupational therapy. I was young and learning how to use my prosthetic arm to accomplish every day tasks was daunting. It was hard. It hurt. I wasn't doing it right. I felt so alone and I'm sure my parents were distressed in seeing their little girl struggle to tie her shoes and pick up building blocks.

But when we would pack up the car for a few days at the Shriners Hospital for Children up in Los Angeles, I knew that I would see other kids with missing limbs struggling with the same issues I was facing. And, my parents would meet other parents, all of them trying to raise their children the best way they knew how.

That's why Joni's Family Retreats are so amazing! Families afflicted with disabilities can get away from the whispers of society's sometimes cruel observations and come together to form a safe and fun community.

Joni and Friends® is celebrating 20 years of bringing families together through these volunteer-led retreat experiences.

For a week, these kids and parents can focus on the joy of living and become truly refreshed. There is such a divine peace that washes over you when you realize that you are not alone in the daily walk of life. There are others who deal with the same struggles, the same fears, the same whispers.

And even more, having the availability at Family Retreat to connect with the One who understands suffering more than we'll ever know - our Savior - is beyond words.

Because, isn't that what we all ultimately long for? Acceptance, love, relationship.

Oh, and tightly tied shoes.

 

Anna Sinclair

Ambassador Advertising

We Connect. Ministry and Media.

PS - Check out all the activity happening this summer with Family Retreats and learn how you can volunteer! And, explore the newest addition to the Joni and Friends® website - Kids Corner!

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