A Beautiful Heart of Service

  • By: Joni and Friends
  • Sept. 27, 2016
  • Family Retreats, Ways to Serve

CelesteThe desire to serve can awaken unexpectedly and even burst into full-fledged passion. One afternoon at work, as Celeste Sharpe greeted movie-goers, a surprise visit jostled her routine and nudged her into a life of service. Among the theater custom­ers were two familiar faces, Joni and Ken Tada! Their friendly greeting perked up her evening, but it was a conversation after the movie that warmed her spirit. “I was so moved by that encouraging visit,” said Celeste, who has cere­bral palsy. She had long admired “what Joni and Friends does to help people with disabilities.” Out of her love for Jesus and her compassionate spirit, Celeste became a Joni and Friends volun­teer. “I wanted to give back,” she said.

Celeste sends thank you notes to our donors and is training to become a tour guide at the Joni and Friends home office, located in Southern California. Rarely is she without an encouragement, a word of praise, or a smile on her face. “It’s amazing how God has changed my life and given me such joy in serving others.” Her joy is genuine and her trust is sure. “You just have to take one step of faith and it changes the whole course of your life.”

This past summer, a volunteer was moved by Celeste’s gentle heart and sponsored her to become a Short Term Missionary at a Family Retreat. Celeste was a first time STM and she was over­joyed! “I’m so humbled God gave me the oppor­tunity to serve. To serve another person is truly such a wonderful thing.” The wish to serve that began with an encouraging visit with Joni and Ken, has matured into a determination to ease suffering. With her unfailing smile and endur­ing trust, Celeste knows she’s onto something good. “I’ve grown in my faith because I took this step, and I can truly say that the joy of the Lord is my strength.”


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Hooray to Celeste! We are tour docents together at Joni and Friends and she is a joy to work with. No one had a bigger smile and a more positive than beautiful Celeste! She is a true inspiration and blessing to be around.
  • Oct. 4, 2016
  • 8:58 p.m.
  • Darcy
My son Chris and I had the pleasure of meeting Celeste, her family, and other families. As new attendees or former attendees, Celeste and Chris have trained at t lOh ed Pathways job program of New Horizons in North Hills. She is a successful worker at a major movie theater for over five years, and he is working as a stock clerk lo and Also retrieves grocery store carts. I pray he is as successful in securing employment as Celeste has, for they both are Christ filled and beautiful people to Iove and appreciate.
  • Oct. 1, 2016
  • 7:30 p.m.
  • Michelle
I was one of the fortunate STM's who had the privilege of serving alongside Celeste at family camp this past summer. Just want to give a shout out to Celeste as God did an amazing work in her and through her. What a joy it was to get to know her and her family! Her service was inspiring to say the least! I remember in particular Celeste and her camper were going to go swimming one afternoon... after getting their suits on (which is no easy task being in a wheelchair), and making their way to the pool, they realized they couldn't use the pool as the brand new handicapped-hoist wasn't operable as of yet. Celeste smiled and praised God...and proceeded back to her room to change again...all with that beautiful smile...and then went back the next day when the hoist was put into use. Keep on keepin' on Celeste, God is so mighty in you! Praising God for you!
  • Oct. 1, 2016
  • 8:41 a.m.
  • Vicki Baldwin
This helps me to remember that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Being an epileptic I sometimes focas on just the downside of epilepsy, but God has showed me that even that can be used for His glory to show that He is strong. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" is a favorite verse of mine.
  • Sept. 25, 2016
  • 5:06 p.m.
  • Brianna