Born and raised in sunny Southern California, Juliana comes from a long line of ministers to the Hispanic community. She is the middle child of three and her parents are still active full time ministers in Los Angeles County. Having been raised in the church with multiple family members being pastors or worship leaders, Juliana knew exactly how she needed to act to give the appearance of a “good Christian girl.” Little did everyone know that she struggled with being accepted and longed to be like the “normal” kids at school. Throughout middle school and most of high school, she became skilled at living two lives, her “church & home life” and her “school life,” but as with all lies, it catches up with you! It became more of a burden and instead of fulfilling the desire to be accepted and to belong, she felt more rejection, more loneliness, and unloved. By the end of her senior year in high school, she knew something had to change. Seeking answers anywhere she could, she agreed to lead a group to a Youth Retreat that spring. The year was 2004, she was 17, when the God of the Bible revealed Himself to her in a way she had never experienced. For the first time in her life, she understood who Jesus was, what He did for Her and why it mattered. The things she longed for in other people were the things she found in Him: acceptance and belonging, she was loved. The resentment she felt toward her parents for following after Jesus was no more. She gave up her life and control to Christ that year.
Through God’s grace and the Holy Spirit’s guidance, Juliana has not only grown in her walk with Jesus, but has been able to accomplish much more than she could have ever imagined. She received a BA in Sociology and a minor in Biblical Studies in 2008, has traveled to different parts of Latin America on missions trips, moved to Kauai, Hawaii in 2014 to work for a small Bible College, and has developed skills in administration, communication, and community service. Following after Jesus’ plan for her life, she left Kauai and moved to Portland, Oregon in August of 2015 (not something she wanted to do). She knew she was called to this city to bring Life to the people of Portland, however, she did what she could to “run away” from working full-time in ministry (it is, after all, the exact thing she said she would never do!). She received her MA in Business Administration at the end of 2017 and found the “perfect job” right after graduation. However, God being the gentle, merciful God that He is, He gave her another opportunity to be obedient to what He had called her to do in Portland originally. “You are my hands, my feet, my mouth. Speak, love, and fulfill the mission I have called you to. I AM your provider, I AM your source of joy, I AM your guide…I AM” is what God spoke to her in November of 2018. Breaking the spirit of fear that entrapped her, she made the necessary steps to follow her calling…to be a missionary to Portland.
Having left her full-time job, she has partnered with her home church, The Bridge, and A Jesus Mission to fulfill what God has spoken. She is being equipped even more and is serving the local Lents community in SE Portland. She is being His hands, His feet, and speaking Love to this community that so desperately needs Jesus.
Juliana loves to travel, experience different cultures and foods, being outdoors, dancing, fitness, hiphop, big trucks, and tiny houses.