Priscilla's Friends
Joni Erickson Tada is the president of JET ministries, a ministry which
aims to serve the disabled. She is herself a quadraplegic. A few years
ago she was a spectator at the Los Angeles Special Olympics. Her husband
Ken was an official, coordinator for track and field events. Joni was
among a large crowd watching the participants prepare for the 50 metres
running race.

After some time lining up the starters gun fired and off the contestant
raced. As they rushed toward the finish line one boy left the track and
started running toward his friends standing in the infield. Ken blew his
whistle, trying to get the boy to come back to the track, but all to no

Then one of the other competitors noticed, a down syndrome girl with
thick bottle glasses. She stopped just short of the finish line and
called out to the boy, "Stop, come back, this is the way."  Hearing the
voice of her friend the boy stopped and looked. "Come back, this is the
way" she called. The boy stood there, confused. His friend, realising he
was confused, left the track and ran over to him. She linked arms with
him and together they ran back to the track and finished the race. They
were the last to cross the line, but were greeted by hugs from their
fellow competitors and a standing ovation from the crowd.

The downs syndrome girl with the bottle glasses taught everyone present
that day an important life lesson, that it's important to take time out
form our own goals in life to help others find their way. Reflecting on
the episode afterwards Ken was reminded of some verses from Romans 15:

We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to
please ourselves. Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to
build him up . . . May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give
you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus.

 Source: Adapted from Joni Erickson Tada,
"It's Called Unity". Found at

rowland @ johnmarkministries . org
Email Jan and Rowland