Is it her birthday?  A wedding anniversary?  Well, no. We might not think it’s such a good reason for a celebration—but she does….

Fifty years—in a wheelchair!

How could that be good????

Let’s find out….


Diving was fun for Joni. But this time it turned tragic as she hit the bottom of the lake. It was fifty years ago. That was before you were even born. It was probably before your parents were born.  But I remember hearing about the terrible diving accident of this teenage girl. She was seventeen and was suddenly a quadriplegic. That means she was paralyzed from the neck down.

Unhappy  and afraid, she lay strapped to a hospital bed, wondering if it was even worthwhile to live.

What if you loved horseback riding, swimming, painting—and suddenly you couldn’t do any of it—and were pretty sure you never would again?

But God had some incredible plans for Joni. Though He chose not to heal her, He has helped Joni do things that she never thought possible. She sings, she reaches out to people all around the world, she speaks to  large and small groups, she writes books and has a short radio program.


Many around the world have learned about God through her—and yes, she paints beautiful pictures.  In the difficult times just after the accident, when she was learning new things and also having to let people do everything for her—from brushing her teeth to combing her hair, she also discovered that her talent for art had not left her.

She learned to write, draw, and paint with a pencil or brush in her teeth.

Others who have no hands or no way to use their hands do the same.  I can hardly write with my left hand, never mind with my mouth—how about you? But like everything, it takes a lot of practice.

In spite of the terrible thing that happened to her fifty years ago, Joni looks back to see the incredible way God has worked in her life and the people He’s allowed her to help.


Check out Joni and Friends online (with your parent’s permission of course) Click on the Kid’s Corner for lots of interesting and fun things to see and do.

Also find out about Wheels for the World in which Joni helps people here and in other countries get the wheelchairs they need..


Let’s celebrate with Joni—50 years of God’s faithfulness.




Photos from Joni and Friends or public domain. Used by permission.

Some of Joni Earecson Tada’s artwork is also in Kid’s Corner.