Thursday, May 29, 2008

Woman in Iron Lung for Almost 60 Years Dies

I saw the most incredible story on the news last night about a woman in Tennessee who was diagnosed with Polio at three years of age. She spent her entire life (from three years old until 61) in an iron lung. She died recently due to a power outage at her home, caused by a tree that fell down on a power line.

To read more about her amazing life, go to:

Or do a Google search for "Dianne Odell."

Thursday, May 15, 2008

2008 Joni and Friends Family Retreats

It's that time of the year again - summer family retreats sponsored by Joni and Friends!

This year, instead of the Oakwood retreat in Indiana, I will be attending the retreat in Minnesota.

Many of the retreats are still in need of STMs (i.e. volunteers!) Depending on which camp you attend, the STM registration fee is anywhere from $250-$350 (this covers cost of room, board, and materials -- it does not include any necessary travel or commute expenses). However, because you are considered a "short-term missionary" you can raise the funds as tax-deductible donations through family, friends, or your church's missions department.

If you would like more information, log on to and click on the "Get Involved" link on the left hand side of the home page. From there, click on "Family Retreats" under the Volunteer section. Included in that link are locations of each camp, prices, maps, photos of the retreat grounds, and contact and registration information.

Family retreat is by far the absolute highlight of my entire year. It is exhilarating being a part of such an amazing ministry. Being among the disabled is an inspiring experience. They display such remarkable faith, strength, resolve, and joy. And because these retreats are designed to give mom and dad a week of respite, you are also providing a massive gift to these kids and their families.

Do it!

New Blog & Possible Podcast

Hi. I'd like to introduce all of you to my new blog: I plan to continue maintaining the About Face blog as well as each blog has its own unique audience.

The Save the Date blog is for girls between the ages of 12 and 16. I originally was going to focus just on an audience made up of girls with disabilities, but after much thought and prayer realized that the struggles that girls with disabilities face, while a bit more complex, at the core are very much the same issues all girls face.

The mission of Save the Date is to encourage girls to set aside dating until they have firmly rooted their self-confidence and identity in who they are in Christ. The pursuit of who we are in Christ is the first tier of the pursuit of holiness. Relationships, namely the pursuit of who we, together with another person, are in Christ, is the second tier in the pursuit of holiness. Much of what we see in today's culture is the result of girls jumping to tier two before tier one has been addressed.

Save the Date will have some very special guest bloggers, a possible accompanying podcast, as well as a variety of surveys, poetry, a bulletin board, a mailbag, bios, and much more!