JOY • PAST
January 1, 2022, will mark six years since God breathed life into Chronic Joy®. One of our first steps was to meet with our senior pastor, who offered a listening ear and some sage advice, which included a simple, but profound three-step plan for stepping into ministry:
- Start small.
- Start with what you have.
- Start now.
While he spoke wisdom, it also became a significant challenge. We had accepted a call to minister to a huge and completely underserved mission field.
In just 106 short days, we were holding our Letter of Determination. Chronic Joy® had become an official non-profit! By July, our board had held its inaugural meeting with seven seasoned and very wise board members, who all caught the vision of becoming a global resource ministry. Who knew that following God’s call would bring such ecstatic joy!?
JOY • PRESENT
2020 has been a particularly challenging year. So many precious people are experiencing overwhelming isolation and loneliness. Yet for Chronic Joy®, it’s been a year of recognizing God’s faithful preparation to be stewards of His joy in the messy midst of global suffering. This year’s highlights include:
#PENTOPAPER – 4000 STAMPS AND COUNTING – JOY IN A LETTER
This year, we found our rhythm with #PenToPaper mailings. Four mailings steeped in prayer, filled with beautiful postcards, bookmarks and hope-filled guides, and the opportunity for each recipient to send a little #PenToPaper encouragement of their own to friends and loved ones. Four mailings to almost 1,000 precious people – children, teens, young adults, and men and women across the US and around the world – equals 4000 envelopes of love, hope, and you guessed it….joy!
In addition to our #PenToPaper mailings, we continue to develop useful tools, resources, and hope-filled, printable guides. Today, there are dozens of at-your-finger-tip, print-from-home “How-To” guides for everything from writing your own #PenToPaper notes, to creatively expressing your story, to leaning into prayer, to living well in the midst of anxiety, depression, chronic illness— and so many more.
AUDIO – THE VOICES OF CHRONIC JOY
Mid-year, Chronic Joy® stepped into audio to make our resources even more accessible and inclusive. With our world feeling more isolated and lonelier than ever, a real person reading a post or webpage might be the only voice someone hears that day. Regardless of imperfections, it’s hearts that make these recordings real, extending hope one precious life at a time.
Our Voices of Chronic Joy® are a wonderful team of volunteers who selflessly give of their time, hearts, and voices to record posts for authors who are either unable or who would prefer not to record their own words. They are a blessing to our community and a joy to us!
We pray that each time you see a star, you are filled with the ecstatic joy of the Lord!
SPOTLIGHT ON COMMUNITY
We are blessed to link arms, hearts, and minds with some incredibly talented, Christ-led, and mission-hearted people. We are always #BetterTogether. Introducing our newest volunteer: Gayl Wright – Content Coordinator.
Lead image courtesy of Emerson Mertens.
Chronic Joy® Content Coordinator and Prayer Team
Gayl is a writer, poet, amateur photographer, artist, nature lover, crocheter, and seeker of truth and beauty. She and her husband, Steve, have 7 kids and 14 grandkids, some have chronic illness and one son is with Jesus. Gayl was a church pianist for years and homeschooled her children. She has published poems at Spillwords Press and an article in Five Minute Friday: A Collection of Stories Written in Five Minutes Flat. Her desire in life is to glorify God and encourage others. Check out her blog: Words, Photos, and Art.