These partnerships, between artisan, organization, and/or donor, and Chronic Joy, are integral to our mission and ministry. Simply put, we couldn’t do what we do without the vital investment of our deeply appreciated Ministry Partners.
Click here to learn more about our Ministry Partners.
Introducing Shelly Esser
Shelly first learned about Chronic Joy Ministry through a co-worker who had stumbled across a “chronic illness ministry” link on a local church’s website and shared it with her the day before the website was relaunched and the link removed. Shelly immediately reached out to us and has been an invaluable resource and advocate ever since.
Shelly has shared several excellent blog posts with us, and has connected us with a host of outstanding writers, articles, and books. She also wrote and published a beautiful feature article about Chronic Joy in Just Between Us Magazine. Shelly’s partnership is an incredible gift.
Shelly has been editor of Just Between Us Magazine for 25 years, is an author and active member of women’s ministries, and has served on the Board of the Pastoral Leadership Institute. She and her husband have four daughters and a son-in-law, and live in Wisconsin.
Read Shelly’s posts:
Introducing Emily J.M.
Emily created the website, Called to Watch, for family members, friends, spouses, neighbors, and co-workers of those who live with chronic illness. She says, “There is nothing easy about watching, for in watching, we suffer too.” Two of Emily’s close family members have chronic illnesses. She writes about life as a watcher, what it looks like, and how to find hope.
Emily says there are two important focuses for watchers, “one is community, the other is God.” Called to Watch beautifully speaks to both.
Read Emily’s posts:
Introducing Mark Mallwitz
Mark was president of BASICS in Milwaukee, when he first learned about Chronic Joy in February, 2016. He immediately welcomed us under BASICS’ non-profit umbrella, and while we were thrilled with the invitation, God had other plans, for Chronic Joy received its own 501(c)3 non-profit status just a few months later.
Later that year, Mark faced significant health challenges and stepped down as president, to become a Servant to Leaders, tasked with equipping leaders in both the BASICS organization and the community at-large through encouragement, prayer, listening, and guidance.
Mark not only has a wealth of experience to share, but also a passion for prayer and a deep understanding of Scripture, equipping local leaders through the power of God’s Word.
Introducing Laurie Miller
Laurie is a wife of 20 years, mom of two teens, nurse educator, and a patient with fibromyalgia for a dozen years. Laurie has a strong desire to help others live well with chronic illness, because she knows first-hand how difficult that can be.
Laurie hopes to provide on-going guest posts to Chronic Joy, and to guide those in her community to our many and growing resources. In addition, she is working on plans to pilot a virtual small group via Facebook Video.
We’re excited to partner with God-Living Girls and look forward to how God will grow this partnership.
Introducing Terry Powell
Chronic Joy connected with Terry through an email introduction from Shelly Esser. He’s written several excellent articles for Just Between Us Magazine, and has offered to share those posts with us. Terry writes from personal experience about both depression and leadership.
His blog, Penetrating the Darkness, is shaped by the questions: Can vibrant Christian faith and depression coexist? What are the myths about depression still prevalent in the church? What information, resources, and coping strategies alleviate the burden of chronic depression and instill resiliency as a Christ-follower and servant?
While not a psychologist or physician, Terry is familiar with depression. During his decades in ministry and as a university professor, he has experienced recurring bouts of deep despondency. Terry describes himself as a fragile, desperate, and bloodied soldier of Christ, who marches with a limp, and who by God’s grace, is still engaged in the battle.
Read Terry’s posts:
- Though I Sit in Darkness – Keeping Faith in the Midst Depression
- A Reason Not to Take My Own Life
- What I’ve Seen in the Darkness
- 3 Things Not to Say to a Depressed Person
- 6 Benefits of Leader’s Transparency
- How Can You Tell When Someone is Suicidal?
(Terry blessed me with a copy of his book, Serve Strong: Biblical Encouragement to Sustain God’s Servants, immediately after we connected. This book is now a valuable resource listed on our Leaders page.)
Introducing Esther Smith
Chronic Joy Ministry is pleased to announce the our ministry partnership with Esther Smith.
We met Esther in October, 2016. Serving Out of a Poverty of Health was among our first guest posts. Esther’s second post, 21 Ways to Cope with a Chronic Pain Flare, ran this past November. Watch for more posts from Esther, who will also be part of Chronic Joy’s curation team when we unveil our Pass It On program in the new year.
Esther started her blog, Life in Slow Motion, in November, 2012, to process her chronic pain and connect with others in similar situations. Meeting others with chronic pain changed Esther’s life. She no longer felt so isolated and alone and it opened her eyes to a community of people who were supporting and encouraging one another.
Over the years, Esther’s blog has grown to be less about her personal experience with pain and more about helping those in pain to connect with one another. She draws on her professional experience as a licensed counselor to develop resources to address the physical, spiritual, and emotional impact of chronic pain.
In 2016, she published two booklets, But God, Wouldn’t I Be More Useful to You If I Were Healthy? and When Chronic Pain & Illness Take Everything Away: How to Mourn Our Losses, to help those living with chronic pain to work through their grief and address the topics of work and service.
Recently, Esther has developed classes for people with chronic illness and pain and has started a Facebook support group. In addition, she offers in-person Biblical counseling to people near Baltimore, Maryland.
Esther’s heart for people, her willingness to serve, and her expertise are a great addition to the Chronic Joy community as together we sow seeds of hope, purpose, worth, and joy.
More Posts From Pamela
Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am in distress; my eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and body with grief. My life is consumed by anguish and my years by groaning;my strength fails because of my affliction, and my bones grow weak. I am the utter contempt of my neighborsand an...
WE ARE WIRED TO SERVE. While culture and tradition may narrow the framework of options, the Holy Spirit splits it wide open, inspiring creative and accessible opportunities for every single member of the Body of Christ to serve. Perhaps we view serving as big acts, significant time commitments,...
Executive Director and Co-Founder of Chronic Joy®
Pamela is a leader and a visionary following God's call to inspire those affected by chronic illness to discover hope, find purpose, embrace worth and encounter joy. She believes that every precious life affected by chronic illness is both vital and purposed.
Pamela is the mom of three married children, grandma of two sweet granddaughters and a wife of more than 30 years. She is diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos, chronic migraines and a host of other chronic conditions.
Pamela enjoys hot tea, reading -- almost always more than one book at a time -- and walking her teddy bear dog, Cocoa.