But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9-10 NIV)
This year was the 3rd year (equaling 5 weeks so far), that I volunteered as a short-term missionary (STM), at Joni and Friends Family Retreat.
I was probably seven or eight when I first started listening to Joni Eareckson Tada on the radio. It happened that she was after some of my favorite Saturday morning kids’ radio dramas, and I loved hearing her voice! There was (and still is), something so calm and tranquil about her. I remember my mom telling me the story of Joni’s diving accident, and explaining what quadriplegia was. I was moved by the testimony of this woman of God, and she became a role model of mine.
By the time I was in my late teens, our family had moved twice, been through the fire, and gone through some MAJOR changes. I was ripe to follow God in other channels of ministry, so when a friend told me of her most recent experience as an STM at JAF Family Retreat, I was excited! My friend had gone with her brother this last time, and she wished that he had come with her the first time, just so that she had the added stability of knowing someone there. I thought that was a great idea! So I excitedly but apprehensively approached Dad & Mom about it. I mentioned that maybe Daniel could go with me, and they thought that was a swell plan, so I signed up and started sending out support letters. I didn’t really know exactly how Daniel felt… Until we got enough support for both of us to serve as STMs for BOTH weeks!
Anyway, Daniel went back the following year by himself, with his own money, and for both weeks. [God is amazing, is He not?]
Personally, God taught me that He is sufficient. No matter what. That actually seems to be a common theme in a lot of the lives of these families. Whether I am physically weak, or mentally exhausted, God is there. In my weakness, He is made STRONG!
[As a side note, a bunch of my JAF Maranatha friends went to MN as STMs for a Joni Camp there this year, and Joni herself showed up! Boy, I wish I had gone to that one too!]
Seriously guys, check out Joni and Friends and their many ministry outreaches that God may be calling you to serve with… Rest assured — you will never be the same!