New Vision News
May 25, 2018
Hello, and welcome to the newsletter of New Vision Ministries for the Blind and Challenged! My husband Timothy and I believe that even though we are all disabled by sin, Jesus Christ enables us to do anything according to His will. Thank you for reading our quarterly letter, and thank you so much for supporting us as we continue to reach out to others.
We continue to add new devotions to our blog on www.mynvm.com every Saturday. We hope you'll be entertained and inspired by our website and our devotions.
Speaking of our website, we believe the redesign work is finally nearing completion. Earlier this month our site went down for 2 days while we sorted out some issues with WordPress, but we're back in business now. Thank you all for your patience with us, and we hope you'll continue to enjoy My NVM!
Our nursing-home and care-center business, New Vision Entertainment, continues to go well. On several days each month, Timothy and I visit nursing homes in the Maricopa County, AZ area. I play piano, while Tim serves as my emcee. Tim will occasionally deliver a short Bible message, so that we can minister to the residents. Based on the reactions of residents and staff alike, we're doing a pretty good job!
If you know about any nursing homes in Maricopa County which could use some great musical entertainment, please let us know about them. If not, we'd really appreciate your prayers for the continued success of New Vision Entertainment. Thank you!
Would you like to join one of Tim's Bible studies? Each weekly study is conducted by telephone on a conference line. A new study takes place on Mondays at 5:30 PM Arizona Time. Our audience currently contains a few people from New York, and we go over what the Bible has to teach us about living the Christian life. Each study session lasts about 1 hour. We are currently in 1 Corinthians, Chapter 3.
Instead of a Bible study, would you rather participate in a prayer meeting? A couple months ago, Tim and I started just such a meeting, which is conducted on Tuesdays at the same time (5:30 Arizona time), using the same conference line. Tim will start off each meeting with a short scripture, and then we'll tell God what we're thankful for and bring our needs to Him in prayer. We hope you'll join us and add your own contributions to these meetings.
If you'd like to join either the Bible study or prayer meeting, please call our conference line number (712-775-7031, meeting ID 607518748). We hope to see you there!
Would you like to become a prayer partner with us? If you'd like to help us pray for others, or you would like to involve your church or another Christian organization in New Vision Ministries, please send an email to email@example.com.
A Call to Prayer
Each quarter, we'll be featuring different people or things in this section, and we encourage you to pray for them.
First, we'd like you to pray for our good friends, Michael and Annie. They are a married couple who usually live in the assisted-living facility where we put on church services. Unfortunately, both of them are in poor health. Annie is in a rehab center for dialysis, and Michael is feeling rather lonely without her. Please pray that God will heal both of them, and that He will bring them back together soon.
Second, we would love some prayer help from you. We may be getting involved in a few outreach projects, which we hope to tell you about in our next issue. Please pray that God will do His will concerning these projects.
Finally, please pray that our website will keep growing, and that people will keep coming back to read more devotions and listen to our podcast episodes.
The Online Chaplain
Along with our assisted-living and hospital outreaches, we started something new last quarter that I would like to ask you to pray about. It is called the Online Chaplain, and it is designed to reach out to those who might never darken the door of a church. People who have spiritual questions and those who are involved in crisis situations may benefit as well. The Online Chaplain is also meant to support the body of Christ in general.
If you have recently gone through the pain of a great loss, or you just need to talk with someone, I hope that you will feel free to let me know. People who contact me can give as much or as little information as they like. Everything that we discuss will remain confidential.
You can contact me by calling 507.369.6861, or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
Finally, here's our feature article by Timothy Burdick!
On April 23, 2018, it was our privilege to hear Joni Eareckson Tada speak at our annual chaplain conference, and I would like to share some of the highlights with you. But first, if you are not familiar with her testimony, I'll share a few facts that will whet your appetite.
Joni became a quadriplegic after a diving accident, prompting a radical change in her life. She likened her post-accident life to a puzzle which had been upset, with pieces that wouldn’t come together again.
“We all want to be normal,” she said. In pursuit of familiarity's return, she fought depression with the help of hymns, which assured her of God’s love.
In the hospital, she thought a lot about the pool of Bethesda, which was described in John 5. This story had been read to her by friends during her recuperation. Joni said that she would imagine Jesus walking by the pool and healing others, but He never seemed to make it to her corner.
After attempts to receive faith healing failed, she became bitter and withdrawn. After about 2 weeks she cried out to God, admitting that she didn’t know how to live as a quadriplegic.
She told us how her sister would wheel her into the living room, where there was a big family Bible. She would turn the pages with her mouth stick, trying to find answers in God's Word.
One day, she stumbled on Mark 1:38. There, Mark wrote about many sick and disabled people who were coming in droves, demanding that Jesus heal them. But after He had healed several people, Jesus told His disciples that He needed to go and preach to the people in the nearby villages. As He said, “that is why I came.”
Jesus' words hit Joni in a new way that day. Jesus truly did care about her, but His primary mission was to preach a gospel which still changes people's hearts. Joni realized that she had gone to Jesus only with her physical needs, but her soul was the most important thing to God. While Jesus spent most of His life relieving suffering, Joni now understood that His focus was eternal.
Mrs. Tada's ongoing pain and suffering has only deepened her faith in Jesus, and she is an inspiration to all. The world once deemed her case hopeless, but now Joni has become a beacon of hope to millions.
She is now an accomplished artist, controling her paintbrush with her mouth. She is also the author of several books, and she has a radio program which is broadcast around the country. Her organization, Joni and Friends, hosts family retreats and many other inspirational programs. None of these accomplishments would have been possible without the support of the caregivers who accompany her.
Joni's greatest source of earthly strength is her husband, Ken. He does not have any physical disabilities, and he spoke before Joni at the conference.
Ken revealed some of the grueling details of his wife's daily routine, which most people don’t like bringing to mind. Caring for his wife is a 24-hour job, and it requires him to help Joni use the bathroom and turn her body over in bed a few times a night, among other things. Ken was honest about many moments of discouragement brought on by this full-time caregiving job, but he found his strength in Christ, and he said Joni was and continues to be his greatest blessing.
As incredible as Joni and Ken's speeches were to hear, we got to meet them as well. We were even able to have dinner with them on the first night of our conference, and we carried on a light-hearted conversation with both of them. I briefly spoke with Joni about New Vision Ministries, and about my own vision of people in wheelchairs teaming up with blind chaplains to facilitate visitation. She was very encouraging, since she completely understands the challenges Stephanie and I face when it comes to getting around.
Now I turn to you, as our obedience to Christ is critical in this matter. This kind of visitation cannot be done without your prayers and support. I have worked as a hospital chaplain for 6 years, and in nursing homes for about 20 years. I believe that people with special needs have a real advantage when comforting others, since our worlds are not far apart. But getting around can be hard, for there are a lot of nooks and crannies inside buildings, not to mention hallways. Also, obstacles like computers and beds make it difficult.
I am asking you to really think about suffering and dying patients, and ask God what He would have you do. While blind chaplains are still an anomaly, Jesus said that when we visit people in need, we visit Him. In other words, when we have done it to the least, we have also done it to Him.
And on that note, our latest newsletter comes to a close. Once again, don't forget to check out our devotions at www.mynvm.com whenever you need some spiritual encouragement.
We would love to hear from you. This is your ministry, and we want you to share with us how we can improve. If you have any questions, please call 507-369-6861, or write to us at email@example.com (my email) or firstname.lastname@example.org (Timothy's email).
Thank you for reading this!
Stephanie and Timothy Burdick