A Family Retreat Story

  • Feb. 25, 2008
  • #6736

Joni tells about Jill's wonderful experience at Family Retreat and invites other families to join.

"Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's and render unto God what is God's."  That verse can spark lots of different pictures in our minds... maybe even tax season coming up.  But when I hear this verse, I think of Jill, mother of nine-year-old Gage, and ten-year-old Gavin in his wheelchair.  You see, Jill has a heart to help other families like hers... she wants to see change... she wants to improve things for Gavin... and part of making that happen means sitting on the Georgia Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities.  I mean, when it comes to helping other families and implementing change, go to Caesar, right?  Sit on a government council.  Meet with the movers and shakers. 

Well, there are other, perhaps more significant ways to bring about change because you see last summer Jill and her husband and boys attended our 'Joni and Friends' Family Retreat in Alabama for the first time and, oh my goodness, what a difference that made in their family life...  what help, what refreshment, what hope!  During the middle of the week, Jill confessed that usually she has to guard Gavin from the world, and the world from Gavin, but at Family Retreat their family felt so safe, so well taken care of, so open around everyone else.  In fact, 9-year-old Gage noticed that no one treated his older brother funny or different.  He even told us, "It makes me feel a whole lot better to see Gavin having so much fun." 

From their youngest son, all the way up to Dad himself, Jill began to see that this is the way lives are changed... this is the way families are helped... this is the way things are improved.  Touching lives through the love of Jesus Christ.  And so, Jill who sits on a state council on developmental disabilities, this woman who works with the Governor's committee, decided to accelerate change in things.  She brought her pastor's wife to one of our training summits to learn how to start disability ministry and make a difference in their church and their community. 

Jill and her church and her family are believing that God will bring about real improvement for disabled people in her state, yes, through her work on the government council, but more so through the preserving influence of the love of Christ through the church impacting the community.  And it's already happening.  Nine-year-old Gage told his mother at the end of Family Retreat that he thinks God wants him to become a preacher. 

Friend, you may know a family like Jill's.  If so, I'd love to see that family come to one of our retreats this summer.  We will have 20 across the nation this year, and four more we will hold overseas.  Render to God what is God's and tell a family that has a disabled child about this year's Family Retreats!

 ©  Joni and Friends

Have You Been Encouraged?

  • Your email address will not be published with your comment or be displayed anywhere on our website.
  • We do not rent or sell your personal information to other companies or individuals.
  • For more information please see our privacy policy.