Just days after testing positive for coronavirus, Joni Eareckson Tada, the founder of a Christian ministry devoted to extending outreach to the disability community, shared an update on her condition, highlighting how “what COVID meant for evil, Christ meant for good.”
Tada, the founder of the Joni and Friends ministry, tested positive for coronavirus after experiencing flu-like symptoms, according to a Sunday post on the “Joni and Friends” Facebook page. Tada posted an update to her personal Facebook page Wednesday, indicating that she was in good spirits.
“What COVID meant for evil, Christ meant for good,” she declared in a Wednesday morning Facebook post. “My faith has widened, my hopes are higher, my love for Jesus has skyrocketed, my appreciation for others has deepened, and God’s promises are cemented further into my soul. This is how Christ meant COVID for my good.”
Tada added that “my lungs are clear and my temperature is down.” While she had to go to the emergency room so she could receive an antibody infusion, she took solace in the fact that her trip to the hospital enabled more people to experience the joy of the Gospel, which her husband, Ken, shared with hospital staff.
“He was constantly giving out Gospel tracts, blessing nurses and aides in the name of Jesus, stopping to pray for them, and speaking words of Spirit-based blessed encouragement,” she said. “He even did this at the pharmacy. But isn’t this what the Christmas season is all about? Using this season to share the Good News that Light has come into our darkness through Jesus Christ?!?”
As the Joni and Friends ministry noted in a separate Facebook post on Wednesday, “Joni says ‘I always go by a 20%/80% way of praying — 20% for physical stuff and 80% for increased faith, an embrace of Jesus and His promises, bright spirits, a singing heart, sure hope, the ability to endure, patience, concern for others in greater need, and thinking on things that are praiseworthy and true.’” Tada referenced the “20%/80% way of praying” in her Facebook update.
“What COVID meant for evil, Christ is using to spread His fame!” she wrote. Tada urged her followers to “keep spreading that wonderful word this week, and as you do, keep praying using that 80%/20% matrix.”
“Psalm 84:11 assures us that ‘No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly,’ and we are being showered with good courage, good endurance, good healing, good confidence in our great Savior, and really good opportunities to tell others about his great Name,” she added.
Tada, who was paralyzed in a diving accident more than a half-century ago, founded Joni and Friends 40 years ago in an effort to “present the hope of the Gospel to people affected by disability through programs and outreaches around the world.” The ministry believes that a relationship with Jesus Christ will enable those with disabilities and their families to cope with their feelings of “poverty, pain, and despair.”
Paralysis and coronavirus are not the only challenges Tada has experienced throughout her life. The disability rights advocate also survived two battles with breast cancer.
In addition to Tada, several other prominent figures in the Christian community have tested positive for coronavirus in recent weeks. Jentezen Franklin, the senior pastor of the Georgia-based multi-campus church Free Chapel, tested positive for coronavirus shortly after attending a White House Christmas party.
In October, California megachurch Pastor Greg Laurie tested positive for the virus after attending the White House ceremony announcing President Donald Trump’s nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to serve on the United States Supreme Court.
While Laurie recovered from the virus and Franklin and Tada look on track to do the same, others in the Christian community have not been as lucky. Earlier this month, eight Catholic nuns residing in a Wisconsin retirement home died from coronavirus in a timespan of just one week.