It is done!

Friends & Family…

It is done!!!! Janely’s adoption is completed!!!!!!!

None of this would be possible without how GOD has used each of YOU!! From multiple surgeries, hospitalizations, failed visa attempts, mounds of paperwork, overwhelming medical costs/bills/medicines, endless fees and translations, countless and priceless prayers, many tears, and almost 3 years of getting to enjoy our precious princessita Janely she is ADOPTED!!!!

We share the joy through these photos of a recent celebration our church family planned for us as a HUGE THANK YOU!!!!!!! While Janely was ours the day we brought her home from the hospital and sealed in our hearts…now its legal too…her new name is


For GOD has shown himself so big, he has brought so. much. hope through our baby girl! We love you all and we will be keeping you updated. Would you join us in giving GOD the glory and rejoicing…

We love you all!

In DEEP Gratitude…

Your Partners in Christ,

Juan Manuel, Shawna, & Janely Hope

2016 Year Landázuri Update

JESUS Rescues Update Dec. 2016

Hello family and friends! Finally bringing you a little update from the Landázuris in img_5983Quito. We started this year out with a month in the hospital that began with a visit to ER and literally watching the life leave our baby girl. One of the most difficult and heart-wrenching experiences of our lives, if not THE MOST difficult. So we are certainly ending this year in a much better place…and with a whole lot of gratitude!

Juan Manuel…

After the economy here taking a hard hit in the last 2 years, Juan Ma’ watched over half his department be laid off and yet GOD has showed us grace and protected his position. img_6239Though this change has meant taking on a heavier work load our thankfulness has grown as we know or meet so many that are jobless here and struggling to provide for the families.

We recently found out Juan Manuel needs another knee surgery, currently his meniscus looks like its almost in three pieces plus additional damage to other areas. We definitely would appreciate prayers over this as we are hoping for his

Signing the petition for the Declaration of Janely’s adoption

surgery end of January to early February. It will be quite a physical load on us without his help lifting and moving Janely throughout the days and nights for a time so we would appreciate your prayers for GOD’s provision of physical strength and endurance for that time. However, a blessing in this is our medical insurance will be covering the cost nearly 100%! PTL!!


We have been through many ups and downs and a few hospitalizations this year so looking back we are so grateful. Janely’s health and many medical challenges constantly challenge us to truly place Janely in GOD’s hands…each moment of each day. It has also shown me (Shawna) new areas GOD wants to work on …like worry and the desire to control as if I could change the outcome. GOD has also shown himself to be so real, present and compassionate. Nothing like begging GOD for your child’s life or just for the pain to cease for her in a hospital room, while at the point of utter exhaustion on every level and still be able to find Him and trust Him in this new trial. Oh goodness how GOD uses Janely Belly toimg_3030 work on me…us! (Thanks Janely ; )

I often struggle how to answer when people ask how she is doing because there is usually a mix of victories, areas where she may have regressed, areas of concern and just plain beautiful moments we share daily as we enjoy her. Having said that she really is doing well right now. (HALLELUJAH!!!) GOD sent us a new place for her therapy that has all proved to be a miracle itself. Not only did the director reduce the cost to even make it possible for us but the therapists are patient and tender with Janely yet also know when to push. We are img_6243learning always and seriously rejoicing over this little therapy center that is bringing our family so much encouragement.

As many of you know, we are within a few weeks (or so we are being told ; ) of completing Janely’s adoption and then a couple months later making the mega-move-transition to the US. This is really exciting for us in many ways (more advanced medical care for Janely, specialized handicap equipment, reuniting with family and friends, etc…) yet bittersweet as we will be saying goodbye to many friends and family, and a church-body that has been beside us now for years…loved us, supported us, accepted us, helped us, prayed for us and all in all been with us through the really/super/crazy hard times and the awesome ones. We really are asking for your prayers on all these upcoming decisions. We need GOD’s wisdom and discernment…we really desire His will above all. We are asking GOD for a job for Juan Manuel before we leave Ecuador. And lastly, for the financial strain, for our relationships, img_3029img_6029
our spiritual and emotional health as we desire very much to finish here well, and then return to a country that has not been “home” for either of us in quite some time.

As for me (Shawna), I am always happy and grateful (for each of you and your support) to share img_3008that the counseling ministry continues. It is SUCH A PRIVILEGE and blessing to me to get to take a break from motherhood and therapy and doctors and housework (as wonderful as all that is)…and head to the church where I get to sit with women or children and walk with them through pain, struggles, questions and hopefully be a tool in GOD’s hands to point them to him and find healing. We both decided it was the right time to begin closing out with my clients this month, and that alone was a difficult decision but one we needed to step forward with out of faith. This will allow me several more sessions, Lord willing, with each client to honor the time we had and end well.

After closing out with all of my clients, we need to begin the process of seeing all of Janely’s doctors one more time, sell all our things, begin saying “see you later” to friends and family and all the other steps necessary to prepare us for the transition back to the US. In this I will also be trying to follow up on some health challenges I’ve had lately that will likely include at least some physical therapy on my neck and hip. To explain a bit here, Janely is now almost 30 pounds so sometimes just an average day can be difficult. Again, prayers much appreciated for our health and physical strength in this season.

It really feels like our biggest “ministry” here is our friendships with several different ones that we’ve been privileged enough to get to know and walk with. Very hard to think img_6095img_3009about saying goodbye to them but we must trust in His sovereignty and again pray that in this seemingly little time we have left in Ecuador GOD will work and move in and through us in the lives of those we love and especially with those that are hungry for Jesus but haven’t yet committed their lives to him.

We recently watched a message from a series on Hebrews by JD Greear, in which he teaches about inner rest that is found in Christ. It has been just the reminder and teaching we need to re-focus our hearts on Christ is our righteousness, Christ is our priority, Christ is our security, and Christ is our identity…and in this we can be in the midst of hard work, chaos, emotional or relational challenges and still find rest in HIM. So that is our prayer especially at what seems like the beginning of a crazy season ahimg_6249ead. Please pray we will honor GOD in our walk, love others well and give ourselves grace.

We love you each, thank GOD for you and hope we get to connect with you soon someway somehow : ) We always so enjoy hearing from each of you …so if you have the time give us a call, skype or shoot us an email.

This CHRISTmas we can look at all He has done and give Him praise and glory for being a King that came and got in our mess and has given us a never changing hope!

In Gratitude and Love!

Your Partners In Christ,

Juan Manuel, Shawna, and Janely

Janely says “Gracias”!!

Coming Out of the Storm

Friends and Family,

(Read highlighted area for the short version : )

Hello and sending hugs… it has been awhile. We miss being in contact more with you all but,“Wow!” we are coming out of a very hard season and so look forward to catching up! I’d like to attempt to catch you up a bit so here we go…



As many of you know we spent about a month in the hospital starting the very end of January. What started out as what we thought to be a normal day turned very quickly into Janely being rushed into emergency surgery! We almost lost our baby girl. The crying out to GOD,praying, diving into His Word for every ounce of strength, comfort and encouragement was daily…moment by moment! I believe we both felt pushed passed our capacity. After 5 days completely sedated and paralyzed by meds while medicine and machines kept Janely alive, she started to wake up and be weaned off for a total of 8 days in ICU. Then seven more to follow in a regular room for her to continue to heal and learn to eat again. We had a small handful of days at home until secondary effects and complications caused her to worsenVersion 2 photo 4IMG_1461and we were then back in the hospital again for over 2 weeks.

Due to Janely’s Hydrocephalus she has a valve in her head that takes liquid out of her brain and then drains it to her tummy. A block had developed from tissue in her tummy that caused a rapid block, brain pressure to rise to a dangerous level and her heart, lungs, and block pressure to lower to a life threatening level. Because her condition

Hospital bed encouragement
Hospital bed encouragement

IMG_3964was so bad surgery was not good and though the block was found quickly and fixed in her tummy her body worsened during surgery and her body went into shock causing infection (likely pneumonia) in her lungs to spread and Janely to aspirate (when liquid, blood or food goes into your lungs instead of down your esophagus). As Janely began to recover we found out she had developed really bad acid reflux and continues to aspirate which is where her second surgery came in called a gastrostomy.

Now Janely receives food through a tube in her tummy until she can gain enough IMG_1561 IMG_4050 strength and learning to maybe eat again by mouth without aspirating and allow her acid reflux to heal. Due to Janely’s limited ability to move she is more susceptible to any type of infection and problems like acid reflux because her body doesn’t’ move, process, heat, digest, etc…the same as another child her age.

Janely gets to meet her Aunt Debbie

A special visitor brings encouragement and help… my sister Debbie!

We’ve been home for over a month now and still feel we are trying to find our new normal and how that includes sufficient rest, etc… We’ve been learning how to use her tummy tube for feedings and use the pump (like what the nurses used in the hospital). It is not possible for us now to give Janely more than one session of feeding therapy and one session of physical therapy a week – so I (Shawna) ask a lot of questions and get trained as best as I can so that Juan Manuel and I can do it all at home the other 6 days of the week. Overall we stay pretty busy managing Janely’s care, feedings, therapies, medicines, etc…We are so grateful we have our baby girl back but many days are still overwhelming or just require more IMG_4141IMG_4143adjustment time for us all.

As Janely is healing, growing stronger and having continual adjustments made to her medicines to find a new balance we see her doing really well. Her epileptic seizures now seem to be under control with only two medicines and she is more alert and eyes open than before! We are just so thrilled to be home and be enjoying our baby girl again free of pain!

GOD greatly used the time in the hospital we believe to really teach us a lot! My how suffering is a great teacher! We both see how much we need to be humbled…to live lives and have hearts less selfish,IMG_1640 Version 2more focused on loving others as Jesus has loved us, and to die to our pride and comfort driven desires. Many days were rough where we didn’t know physically how we could keep going but GOD was faithful and so were many of you in praying that His supernatural strength IMG_1668brought us through! We found comfort, encouragement and conviction in the Word of GOD daily and teachings on suffering from John Piper and RC Sproul Jr. in “The Suffering & Sovereignty of GOD” so if your going through a season of suffering, gosh, we say “check ‘em out”!

Despite us GOD opened so many, many doors to share about Jesus with nurses, a few doctors and many families that we got to know sleeping nights in the waiting rooms. GOD continues to keep us connected to many families and nurses and we believe has clearly opened the dooIMG_4170r IMG_4160for us to start a support group for families with children that have medical and special needs. We hope this group can be a safe place to walk this journey together, support each other by sharing of resources/referrals etc…and above all to lean on Jesus and share His truth with many families that don’t’ know Him!

BIG NEWS! We will be staying in Ecuador for about another year as we did not get the green flag from the US to move yet with Janely. We really both feel peace about this and hope and pray GOD can use us here in Quito to keep trying to spread His truth. IMG_4177 IMG_4186 IMG_1685After almost a year of no couch, we decided to finally make that purchase and GOD sent us a great used deal on a couch that suits our needs! Staying in Ecuador will allow us to complete the adoption here so we have already began collecting all the necessary documentation until we are allowed to submit our packet on our 3 year marriage anniversary in August, yay!!!

Rockin tummy time!

Hanging out with Daddy

Now that we are finding our new normal and schedule that goes with it I am able to start back up with counseling and am looking forward to opening the door to starting a therapy group again…if GOD wills. Janely keeps me very busy and I am constantly trying to learn more about anything I can to help her whether it is new therapy techniques for her feeding and neck strength or medicines to help her Epilepsy with less side effects. If any of you have experience with some of Janely’s diagnosis or disabilities we sure would love to hear from you and/or any tips you might have? : )

If you are interested in praying for us and coming beside us for what specific needs we have we’d like to share that with you as well:

  • Financial support to help specifically with Janely’s …
    • Substantial Medical bills
    • Daily/monthly medical costs and appointments
    • Anti-Convulsant medicines
    • Feeding and Physcial therapy
    • Adoption process
    • Seating, Car seat, bed, etc… for Janely, as she out grows what we currently have and now requires specialized equipment/furniture for her size and disability
  • Donating Airline Miles – Juan Ma’ must travel to the US every 6 months to keep his US residency until we are able to move together as a family. Shawna will also likely need to travel to the US for documentation specific to Janely’s adoption that requires her to be there in person and to take her licensing exam for counseling or to become an LCSW.
  • Prayers for strength in Janely’s care, learning when and how to rest when all of it seems overwhelming or our bodies are saying “enough”, continued growth, trust and obedience to Jesus and to be a tool in His hands here in Quito in every day life.

    Celebrating Jesus on Easter!
    Celebrating Jesus on Easter!

Thank you all for the many encouraging messages and prayers that have meant so much to us in these past months! We do not lose hope though our physical bodies our

wasting away we are being renewed day by day (2 Cor. 4: 16-18). And we pray that for you, wherever you may be in life right now…do not lose hope! We have an amazing eternal reward waiting for us …to share together in Jesus our Lord!

In LOVE and Gratitude,

Juan Manuel, Shawna and Janely



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


Giving GOD the Glory

Family and Friends…

A quick update here to let you know GOD has been moving and we want to share with you to praise Him and thank you all for your prayers and support!

A few weeks ago a client of mine (Shawna) in the Christian Counseling ministry made a big decision to be baptized! Yay GOD!! This was huge for her as a new believer and being from a family and culture with a ton of shame attached to any attention brought to one’s self. The Spirit guided her beautifully as she shared her testimony with our entire church and how GOD has given her the power to forgive a family member that hurt her deeply. Lots of tears of joy and hugs afterward. GOD gets the glory as he has moved and worked in her life in such precious and powerful ways and I’ve been so blessed to be on the sidelines as a little part of her journey to the Cross!

Please continue to keep the ministry in your prayers as GOD puts it on your heart. I have another client that is seriously praying and thinking about baptism that is also a new Christian/Believer. I have a few other clients that are battling some serious strongholds, fears, and one in particular that is still in an abusive relationship and seeking the strength in Christ to find help, His will and a way to safety. Please battle with us…there is a war waging that we often forget about that wants to stop at all costs Christ Jesus taking new ground in their and our lives.

Sending love, hugs, and so much gratitude from Ecuador! Thank you!More updates to follow soon…

Your Partners In Christ,

Juan Manuel, Shawna, & Janely

Family time

For “Baby J”

Friends and Family,

We are excited to share a little something new with you all. We’ve recently created a Facebook page called “For Baby J” which can be found at <>. We are required to protect her identity and confidentiality for now and likely until the adoption is final so our angel is simply “Baby J” for a time.

This page is for a couple reasons…1. to help us fundraise for the significant medical costs, For Baby J FB pagetherapies, medicines, etc…Baby J needs as well as her adoption (we are happy to provide answers to any questions one might have about all the her medical and adoption costs and where the donations are going), 2. to have a place for others that want to follow in her journey to access easily and be a part of our journey and what GOD is doing, 3. along with that, give GOD the glory for the continual miracles, gifts, trials, and precious moments he gives the 3 of us. and 4. to make it easy for anyone who wants to help to donate or help us spread the word.

Please, if you would join us by liking and following our page and please feel free to join us in the conversation as well by commenting whenever you are prompted. This will also be a place where you can receive more up to date information on our Baby J than you will likely find here on our blog…as I’m still slow to bloggin’ ; )

GOD bless you all for continuing to walk beside us and support us in so many ways…and make our beautiful family of 3 possible. We excitedly anticipate the day when we can freely share all the little details (and photos) that just make it so evident the power and hand of GOD moving in Baby J and our lives!! Thank YOU!

Your Thankful Partners In Christ,

Juan Manuel, Shawna & Baby J

A Change on Our Blog

Friends, Family…Partners in Christ,

We want to let you know that we have had to make a few little changes on our blog. In an effort to share some of the intimate details of our lives and Baby J we have made our blog public but password protected all the blogs that share pictures and stories about Baby J, as well as other ministry updates. If you would like to read an old post, simply send me an email at <> and I can provide the password for your access. Otherwise, for now and until the adoption is final you will only see the blogs from May 2014 and before. From here on we will try to make this easier by protecting Baby J’s info and eyes in the picture so that we can still share our journey with you in an easy to access way but  not compromise her confidentiality. Thank you so much for being a part of our lives and all the awesome twist and turns it includes. Sending hugs and blessings!

Your Partners In Christ,

Juan Manuel & Shawna

April Update – 2015

Many times I sit down to give you all an update and think “Gosh, don’t justIMG_2198 tell them all IMG_1898the awesome stuff GOD has been doing but tell them also about the struggles, hardships, etc…too”. Yet when I go to write about what GOD has truly done there are so many awesome things the hard times pale in comparison and quickly become so “light and momentary” as Paul says. So let me tell you please what has been going on here for the Landázuri family in Quito Ecuador:

Janely – Janely has recovered from hip surgery and ¨Wow!¨ how life has changed…it is so nice to change a diaper with just one

The plate in Janely's hip
The plate in Janely’s hip

person! GOD also totally put in our path a non-profit organization here that does many types of therapy. We are now able to give Janely physical therapy four times a week!!! This is huge for her…for us…AND made possible by GOD touching the hearts also of two very special friends that made unexpected donations to Janely’s care! Oh GOD how faithful and good you are!!!!

Christian Counseling – GOD has continued to have his awesome hand on this ministry. I am honored to continue doing Christian counseling several times a week with a very full schedule of women, children and families. GOD has also opened the door for group therapy. Several weeks ago I started a group focused on serving those suffering from anxiety, abuse (past or present), traumatic experiences, and anger. We are calling it “Relaxation and Coping in CHRIST”. Each group a character of GOD is presented along with a key quality of our identity in Christ as the theme of the session. I also teach techniques to calm our bodies (all GOD given and only possible because of Him). Then we walk through a structured journal the members are learning to use that helps them capture negative thoughts (2 Corinthians 2:5) and replace them with healthy thoughts that are embedded completely in GOD’s Word and what He says about them.

She loves her Daddy
She loves her Daddy

Janely getting a breathing treatment
Janely getting a breathing treatment

It has been a dream of mine to do this work centered in Christ and that I am so passionate about also in a group setting. GOD brought 3 wonderful women each with different needs and experiences that has been such a blessing to be a part of. Now they are asking to continue this group regularly versus the original time-limited group of 5 weeks. So we plan to continue every few weeks and open the door to more women. If GOD puts in on your heart please pray over these women, myself and this group. GOD IS breaking chains, bringing new thinking centered on Him and more freedom and so I know the enemy doesn’t like that as well as I know I can do nothing without Him so prayers greatly appreciated as I continue to approach facilitating this group in awe of the responsibility I have been given.

Dunamis – GOD continues to allow myself and those on the Board of Directors for Dunamis, to keep working on building a foundation. We are currently defining the logo, have a test website built as we prepare for launch, and continually working on operational and organizational matters to assist Dunamis in day to day functioning and preparing for growth in the future. IMG_2232Dunamis oIMG_2072n average serves about 9 girls, three times a week through Bible Studies and a variety of workshops teaching skills from making jewelry to learning to read. I am so thankful GOD has allowed me to help in the background with the privilege of knowing all the work benefits these girls that have been rescued from various abusive or trafficking situations and bring glory to Him.

So as you can see as a family we are feeling really blessed! Yes, we do have hard times and seasons, especially with always needing to learn more about how to parent our baby girl. And we struggle with many of the day-to-day challenges in living in this culture where GOD is teaching us more patience, acceptance and dying to self. I am working always on my Spanish and Juan Manuel is fighting the good fight in the work force and how to be a light and aroma of Christ each day in a worldly business setting while being aIMG_2068 IMG_2217wonderful, giving father to Janely. GOD is constantly at work on us here : )

So as this update comes to an end we thank you for your loving and faithful support that without we could not do all that GOD has called us to do here! We would love to hear from you and truthfully treasure our relationships and hearing from you!

Your Partners In CHRIST,

Juan Manuel, Shawna, & Janely Landázuri

P.S. As we recently learned, photos of Janely and her information can not be shared publicly so please we ask that if you do choose to share about Janely with others her information and photos will remain very private, thank you kindly!

Happy THANKsgiving!

Dear Friends & Family,

As the season of Holidays approaches we hope you are all finding joy in all the awesome ways GOD moves and reminds of His love for us, especially with Christmas! They don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in Ecuador…but we will, and Juan Manuel is very much looking forward to the feast! : )

 We have been enjoying a brief break from surgeries since our last update as Janely has continued to show stability with her new valve, yay GOD! We go to physical therapy weekly and try to do as much as we can too at home. Janely has learned to move both her arms and at times she is able to make them touch a specific target (our faces : ). Last week though, the cold season caught up with us and we ended up spending 8 days in the hospital as Janely fought a nasty virus that had her in a lot of pain. IMG_1005We are happy to say now that very difficult time is over, she is recuperated and we were blessed with some really caring and attentive nurses that made all the difference.

During this time we have also followed up on other concerns some of Janely’s doctors have had and recently found out that her left hip is displaced…meaning it is growing out of the socket. Because it was not caught before she was 6 months old, it is too late to correct with a brace or other methods. We are being told that she must have surgery to correct it and that even though they do not know if she will walk or not one day we certainly want to give her the chance…plus if it is not corrected it will result in less and less mobility and more pain for her even for the simple things of changing her diaper. It looks like we will move forward but likely not be able to get in for surgery until January. This is sad news for us just because of the thought of her going through more pain and hospital stays; however, IMG-20140722-WA0020 grateful that it is caught now so the surgery will be less invasive and Janely will at least have the chance to walk and avoid more pain. Please pray that the cost for her surgery will be approved by the orphanage and all will go smooth in that regard.

Over these months of caring for Janely, it became very clear early on that she wouldn’t survive in the jungle and has no living relatives able to care for her. So Juan Manuel and I dove into very, very deep discussions about all the realities of Janely and what our life would look like if we were to adopt her. We prayed…and prayed some more. Sought counsel. And now we’ve decided to move forward with adoption! We are excited – we want Janely to be officially our daughter and we love her so very much! Yet, there are many challenges – some from the government and laws here that could cause us to be shut down and some from our own situation that makes it a little scary (just to be completely honest). We know Janely’s life (without a miraculous intervention from GOD) will continue to be filled with lots of intensive medical care and treatment that will likely be a large financial burden…of which we are not set up for now or prepared for. Our biggest reason for deciding “yes” despite just how unbelievably cute she is and how much we so enjoy her…is really when we continued to come to the verse that says “Whoever losses their life for my sake will find it” (Matt. 10:39). To us, in this situation, it is saying…forget about your dreams of financial security and being debt free, forget about buying a home, having kids, etc…put Janely first in my name and you will find your life…joy, freedom, and surrender to me, Jesus Christ your Savior. So here we go : ) We are asking GOD to move and to make His will clear as we embark on this journey that though there are scary and overwhelming moments…we are choosing to trust Him and watch Him show Himself in a mighty way!

GOD has been gracious enough to let me continue to do counseling through the counseling ministry. GOD has brought even a few new clients over the past 2 months. I just enjoy it so much and it always pays back by reminding and encourging me to follow Him more too! If you would, please join me in praying for the women I am counseling and specifically for their struggles of shame, worthlessness and trauma and that GOD would use me as a vessel to bring freedom and help them step into the light…His light! One last thing here, I have had to turn some clients down or have not been able to see them as frequently as would be best because I have been unable to find more babysitting. Please also join me in praying that GOD would send help if it His will for me to do more…thank you!

About a month ago we had a new crew of volunteers come to the orphanage (Hogar Para Sus Ninos), from the US and England. It has been an awesome mix of ages and cultures and GOD has allowed me to facilitate a Bible study with all 8 of them through some of Bill Hybels work. I am always impressed at their bravery to come visit another country and just jump right in. So exciting to get to be a little part of their journey. A few just went home but there are still a large handful here that I plan to continue doing Bible Study and growth time with. They’ve already been so open about how they are seeking GOD and where they need help. Please join me in praying for all these young men and women, their relationships and intimacy with GOD to grow deeper, and for GOD to speak big into their lives during their time in Ecuador as many of them go home to a lot of uncertainty about their future.

Lastly, GOD has opened up some very exciting opportunities lately. One I want to share with you is the possibility of being on the Board of Directors of an organization called “Dunamis Ecuador.” Dunamis is a ministry that helps very young women who have been sex trafficked, abused, labor trafficked and/or raped, by providing workshops to teach them life skills and ways to earn money in a healthy way. Dunamis has been growing a lot lately and their goal one day is to actually have a home where they could also offer these women refuge. I received a call a last week when the request was presented so I am praying about this opportunity and excited at the idea of getting to be any kind of help towards these women’s safety, recovery, and coming to know Jesus. I will attend the next board meeting this week and keep you all updated as the next steps come and GOD makes His will clear.

Juan Manuel continues to enjoy his work and learn more balance and joy in the midst of a high-pressure setting. He completed all his physical therapy a while ago for the rehabilitation of his knee but still continues to feel that same pinching pain occasionally and is not quite able to return to soccer yet. We are hoping and praying maybe there is still more healing going on and he doesn’t have to face another surgery. He is so amazing with helping me in everything from Spanish to changing Janely’s diapers and caring for her in everyway…especially during that 8 day hospital stay. So blessed to be beside him and be the team GOD made us to be.

As I close, if I could ask that if any of you have experience with some of the things we are facing with Janely or know of any doctors or Neurosurgeons that might be willing to consult with us….we would sure love to hear from you and/or any advice you have?

We send you all very big hugs for your continued and faithful support of us and what GOD has called us to do! We so appreciate your prayers for the adoption, Janely’s health, GOD’s guidance in all the ministries we are involved in and just wisdom and peace as we walk this beautiful journey. Thank you for taking the time to read and catch up with us! Always love hearing from each and every one of you and what GOD is doing in your lives! Have a very Happy Thanksgiving Day on the selected day to thank our Lord for all He does for us!

Your Partners in Christ,

Juan Manuel, Shawna, & Janely

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