Jena (Genoveva Aguilar Ramirez) born January 3, 1992

Jena came to the Mission on April 8th, 1995. It was only supposed to be for a couple of weeks, but she is still with us to this day. Jena was born normal to a poor Oaxacan family from San Quintin, which is a couple of hours south of Ensenada. She suffered some kind of trauma when she was an infant, but it is unclear what specifically caused her brain damage. Her family says that she had been sick with a high fever, but she had also suffered a fall from her mothers baby sling.

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Her family were migrant workers, indigenous from the state of Oaxaca. They are often discriminated against and have to settle for low paying jobs, such as field and orchard work. They were not able to provide for her special needs and therefore surrendered her to DIF. Her family loves her very very much, proven by their faithful visits that they make at least twice a year for the last 20 years. They had hoped for a long time to be able to take her back home, but now that she in her mid 20’s it has become clear that this will remain her home. It is a great sacrifice for her family (mother, brothers, sisters, and in-laws) to make the three to four hour journey just to see her for a few hours. They are Christians and her brother wanted to be a pastor.

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When Jena came to the Mission she was just a tiny thing and we took to calling her Jena Bug, a name that has stuck with her to this day. Her first summer here she (being tiny) developed a close bond with a student in the School of Discipleship who just happened to be the biggest guy around. He used to swing her around and she loved him for it. Her best buddy, Mike Whitman, just recently visited this summer and the bond is still there.

Ever since she was a baby, Jena has been known for her drastic mood swings. We would be holding her in our laps and she would be laughing and giggling hysterically one minute and then arch her whole body and be screaming made a second later without any reason at all. These days her moods just change from one day to the next, but still to the extremes of laughing uncontrollably or weeping and crying sad.

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Apart from feeding herself and scribbling with markers there isn’t much more she can do for herself. She used to love to mimic the things that the staff do. She would try brushing her hair or wiping the table. She also used to “army crawl” around the house, but as she has moved out of her teens her mobility and interest has diminished a little.

Please pray for Jena’s family, that our Father in heaven will continue to provide for them and they will be able to visit more frequently. She will also be getting fit for a new chair with the extra money that was raised from the “Make Sela Smile” fundraiser. Pray that it may be an answer to some leg discomfort that we suspect might be a source of some of her fussing. We aren’t always sure because she isn’t able to communicate with us.

Thank you, and may our Lord richly bless you.