A Lifeline of Joy and Restoration

  • By: Joni and Friends
  • Oct. 17, 2012
  • Family Retreats

Moore familyAna and her dad Richard

Richard and Simone Moore have three young children that keep them running—especially 6-year-old Ana, who has Down syndrome. “We are ‘on’ all the time,” says Simone. “We live exhausted all year.” Under that kind of pressure, the fabric of even the strongest marriage is worn thin. “We can be so stressed that we sometimes turn on each other,” Richard shares. It’s a story every family with disability understands. The Moores arrived at Family Retreat not knowing what to expect. “I was sold the minute we crossed the bridge and saw people waving welcome signs with our name on them,” says Richard, “We had to pull over and cry.” In one joyous moment, the isolation that is part of everyday life for families with disabilities was broken by God’s love. “We are often outsiders because of Ana’s disability,” explains Simone. “To be celebrated because of her is overwhelming. Family Retreat gives us true rest in Christ and reconnects us as a family,” explains Richard. “We have a chance to worship and hear God’s word together, to finish a conversation. Maybe for the first time all year we can look each other in the eyes. I tell other families with special needs kids, ‘If you feel overwhelmed and need to find God’s rest, come to Family Retreat. If you need to be reconnected to your child or your wife, come to Family Retreat!’” Thank you for your love and commitment to families. Through you, God is using Family Retreat as a lifeline of joy and restoration, strengthening homes and marriages to last a lifetime.


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This is a wonderful testimony to the power of the love of God in action. In my role as Head of Middle School I see so many families struggling to manage all the pressures and expectations involved in raising children, especially pre-teens and teens! : ) I cant imagine the extra demands on a family with a child with significant special needs. The picture in my mind of them being celebrated because of their daughter is a little glimpse of heaven. What a wonderful, healing, hope-filled ministry...God's love in action.
  • Oct. 21, 2012
  • 8:24 p.m.
  • Bronwyn Rappeneker
Dear Joni congratz with your 63 birthay and also Ted. Wauw I have in 1980 read your book and you still make my heart warm. I just take you in my pray. May the almighty bless you and your dearest and bless the work you do Love you. XXX from Holland
  • Oct. 18, 2012
  • 10:47 a.m.
  • Heidi Holle
So thrilled to see this family's story highlighted. I remember joyfully watching them experience their first Family Retreat when I was a STM. The love those dedicated parents have for their kids is evident...I'm so glad Family Retreat gets to fill THEM up!
  • Oct. 18, 2012
  • 10:04 a.m.
  • Katie