Stories to Tell…Part 1

Friends and Family,

We have wanted to share with you all for some time now about a few people GOD has put in our lives. We are so sure that GOD put us together to shine His light in their lives and we are praying for their salvation. We hope their stories and lives will compel your hearts as they have ours and you will join us in praying for their salvation, changed lives and for us as we pursue them and hope to minister to them!

Jhanela and Santy…

Jhanela, Janely and I met when Jhanela was filling in for Janely’s regular physical IMG_0995therapist a few months ago. I learned right away from our therapist at the time that Jhanela has a son with severe disabilites. That really peaked my curiosity so I began asking questions, we began sharing tips with each other and it was a beautiful open door to share what a gift Janely is to us.

See Janely opens conversations all the time for us to tell people about Jesus. Others see she doesn’t look like me/us and/or can tell she has some kind of disability and start asking questions. We praise GOD for this privilege!

Over the course of the last several months Jhanela has joined us at church twice, shared our home with us and even deep conversation and tears about all GOD has done in our lives with Janely as well as the hardships. Jhanela knows because she is raising her son Santy (age 7) on her own. Santy was born with a rare disability were he has only two parts or very, very little brain. SantyIMG_0978 is severely disabled and she daily feeds him by spoon only. Santy’s hands are withdrawn and his whole body rigid. Santy cannot sit on his own but can hold his head for a short time. Santy has many complications healthwise as a result of having very little brain and being very sedentary.

Jhanela recently completed her degree in Physical Therapy to learn to how to best help her son and as of now he is not able to leave the home for any other therapies. Santy’s father comes to visit maybe once every several months and contributes a very, very small amount that barely covers Santy’s Pediasure each month (his main source of nutrition as he cannot chew).

Jhanela was born in the jungle region but lives in Quito with her sister. Her family is also experiencing hard times due to the declining economy; her father hasn’t received a paycheck in months at the palm farm he works at.

Jhanela is humble, has not asked for help and (we can only hope and pray) is enjoying a growing friendship with us as much as we are with her and her son Santy. We believe Jhanela’s heart is open to the Lord. She seemed to really enjoy and be engaged at church…which was the first time she’d been in church in many years and her first IMG_3261experience in a Christian church. She does have her own Bible and we were just able to give one to her sister.

Jhanela’s kind heart, humility, and tenderness with Janely and her son Santy have just really compelled us. She has opened up to me/us many times and admits she needs encouragement many days just to keep going with her job, all the care Santy needs and surviving in the public health care system that we can attest to is simply put…awful and depressing.

We are excited for our next hangout time with Jhanela, Santy, and her sister this weekend to share Thanksgiving with them. We will continue to give her as much of our hearts and friendship as GOD allows, share Jesus with her and pray! As she is willingwe really have a strong desire to see if there are other tangible ways we can help her so we will keep you posted. Please join us in praying for Jhanela’s salvation and her finding her lasting hope in Christ.

IMG_3327IMG_0974We have more to share in Part 2 & 3 in the weeks to come of other people and relationships GOD has divinely placed in our lives so…to be continued…

IMG_0939This Thanksgiving we have so much to be thankful for (as always : ) but we want to  especially thank YOU! Thank you for giving faithfully to allow us to continue with the Christian Counseling ministry, caring for Janely and just living life on mission here in Ecuador. If you’d like to get more updates on Janely and her health please join our facebook page at

With Hearts Full of Love and Thanks…

Your Partners in Christ,

Juan Manuel, Shawna, & Janely


4 thoughts on “Stories to Tell…Part 1

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