Friends & Family,
We have a new update we are excited to share with you all about and her name is Janely. Janely is a 7 month old baby from the amazon region here in Ecuador that we have been fostering now for about a week and a half. So much for no babies in the first year of marriage : ) GOD had other plans!
Janely’s story is…Her mother (of 14 years) was infected with toxoplasmosis, and committed suicide. Janely’s family also lives in the amazon or jungle and are Quechua, indigenous of Ecuador. Janely has hydrocephalus and was brought by her Grandmother to the closest hospital to the amazon region for treatment from the swelling and filling of her brain with liquid and I believe some type of infection as well. The hospital in Puyol utilized an interpreter, as her family does not speak Spanish, only Quechua. The hospital did not have the ability to treat her and called “Casa De Fe” and orphanage in Shell, a small city in the amazon region. Casa De Fe is a fairly large ophanage that also cares for special needs children. Casa De Fe worked with the hospital and the grandma agreeing to help and seek medical care for Janely with the agreement they would do their best to return Janely to the rest of her family that does want her!
Soon after Casa De Fe (who has been wonderful!) took over Janely was rushed to Quito for care. Since being hospitalized in Quito around 3 months of age Janely has had 3-4 surgeries to put a shunt or valve in her brain to regulate the liquid and keep her brain from filling up and causing other problems. Janely has survived all this and a staff infection.
We heard about Janely through our church one Sunday morning. The request was for a home to foster Janely for 2-3 months following her last surgery to put in a self-regulating valve, in order for Janely to be close to the hospital for her medical needs and many appointments. The hope is that Janely will recover and grow strong enough to be able to go back to her Grandmother and be able to live in the amazon with them.
For those of you that remember baby Silvana, who also had hydrocephalus, you can imagine my response was very strong. We were approached about it by our pastor and agreed to take it to prayer and see what GOD says. Well that day we had a brief discussion and both agreed to pray about it…so I did…and then I left it alone because I knew there was no way we could move forward with this unless Juan Manuel and I were totally together in the decision. About a week later Juan Ma’ brought it up to me and said he had been praying and felt convicted that GOD would want us to open our home to her…we were SO on the same page so we moved forward with making the call and here we are! I spent about 2 and half days in the hospital with Janely before we brought her home and now we have had her here for about a week and a half. I cannot even begin to tell you how much we love loving all over her! GOD has provided so big through other mothers in our church and Casa De Fe we went from having zero baby gear to just about all we need!
Unfortunately, as I take a break to write this I am doing preparations to go stay in the hospital with Janely for another surgery. She has been sleeping excessively and grown less and less responsive in the past week so we just found out that her shunt is blocked again and she needs another surgery to replace it. Of course our hearts are broken over thinking of her enduring another surgery and slowing her recovery process, yet it has been so clear all along that this is where GOD has us and HE is in this so I can say even though there are difficult times…I have an amazing peace about it all! We are also now being told it is possible it could take more like 4-5 months for Janely to get where she needs to be so she can be reunited with her family. However long it may be we are committed to Janely for however long GOD calls it!
In the midst of rearranging life and the missions we are already on, we want to let you know that I have had to step back some from the other missions. However, during this time with Janely I will continue to write the script for the puppet shows each week to deliver the message of Jesus to the orphans at Hogar Para Sus Niños and the other volunteers that come to serve will be doing it in my place. I have also offered my home as a meeting place for the Bible studies with the volunteers when they are able to come into Quito. I have cut back my hours doing the Christian Counseling ministry but are maintaining my clients, just not adding currently, and thanks to GOD’s grace and faithfulness we have had a volunteer to babysit Janely so that I have been able to sneak away for a few hours 2 days a week to continue that ministry. Lastly, I plan to go into the prison once a week as Janely’s health and doctor’s appointments allow to begin doing Christ-centered counseling for English speaking prisoners with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder from various traumas prior to their incarcerations (which seems to primarily be sexual assault). I have a volunteer for the month of June for the day I need to go to the women’s prison so please join me in praying that GOD will send volunteers to help us care for Janely. I do not want to be away from her more than those 3 half days but do feel a duty and responsibility to continue serving in the places I am already committed as much as GOD allows.
Janely is such a blessing to us. Having a baby to love all over in our home is really just precious …but…Our greatest hope in this is that GOD will use Janely’s life and our part in it to bring glory to HIM! Nothing more. When we are asked why we are doing this (as fostering is not near as accepted or done in Ecudaor) we have already gotten to share it is because of what Christ did for us! HE loves us so much HE gave His life for us and loves us so much that we can only hope to show others that kind of love and especially baby Janely, His daughter, that we know is near and dear to His heart! And it doesn’t matter where she came from or what she is battling – she and her family deserve to be loved without bounds. So we would so appreciate if you would keep Janely and her health and recovery in your prayers. And again that GOD will use her story and life to just show off and bring glory to Him and that more would come to know Him as their Savior.
“And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,you did it to me.’ Matt. 25:40
Bless you for taking the time to read. I will plan to do more day-to-day or regular updates on facebook about Janely so if you would like we can also connect there. I thank GOD for a tender, supportive, Godly husband that is right with me in this, leading us well, and fantastic at cuddling and loving all over baby Janely.
Well we love you all and are touched by the support from YOU that allows us to do His work down here in Quito. GOD Bless you and please don’t hesitate to let us know what we can be praying for you or if you would like to skype to catch up or meet baby Janely.
Your Partners In CHRIST,
Juan Manuel & Shawna Landázuri