Molded by parents whose pioneer lifestyle embodied defiance of the word “impossible,” Leanna’s world pulsed with continuous adventure. Leanna’s Dad was an aeronautical genius. He taught her to fly a plane at age nine. Had she soloed, she would have been the youngest pilot. By age twelve she’d roped a porcupine and stayed astride pigs, goats and bucking horses.
The Cinquanta’s front yard in the remote Wisconsin woods was filled with airplanes under construction.
Getting the Christmas tree with pony and sleigh.
Almost every springtime found the Cinquantas piling everything they owned into a cut-out Dodge Dart and a U-Haul truck. They trekked across the US with ponies in the trailer, dog in the back seat and dismantled airplane strapped to the roof.
By age fourteen Leanna had helped her parents design and build four homes while living in a twelve-foot camper usually without electricity or running water.
The grand equestrian center took Leanna’s Dad and Mom five years to build. Leanna gave it all up to go to India in 1996 to serve the poor.
Between ages nine and thirteen Leanna experienced a near-out-of-body adventure. Almost each night when she lay down to go to bed, she was taken into another episode of an ongoing drama, the bizarre climax and conclusion of which left Leanna pondering the deep mystery it surely held.
By fifteen Leanna had become an equestrian champion with sights fixed on riding in the Olympics. She also had become arrogant and rebellious.
Leanna with her horse Alpenglow. At age 16, Leanna was the youngest rider to win the regional championship.
Then in the wee hours of March 28, 1986 she experienced a dramatic spiritual encounter that revolutionized her life.
Soon afterward two powerful dreams led her to abandon everything and set out to fulfill a long-dormant prophecy. After taking a tailspin that nearly cost her life, Leanna embarked for north India in September 1996 with a one-way ticket. Her mission was “to rescue the people trapped in darkness.”
1997 – Leanna with native leaders in an Indian village.
Living directly with the natives, she subjected herself to the rigors of a developing country including drinking putrid water from village wells and surviving on rice and lentils. In appreciation of the love and encouragement she brought to their hard lives, the natives named her Jyoti which means “Light.”
In 1997 Leanna founded TellAsia Ministries with the help of her mom Kathy. The first significant purchase made by TellAsia – a jeep for native Indian leaders to reach distant villages – Leanna funded by selling her last horse.
Over the years that followed she and TellAsia’s native leaders initiated many humanitarian and educational projects for the rural communities of northern India. These included tuition centers and orphanages for needy and at-risk children, Christian leadership programs, vocational training for young adults and well drilling projects. Today TellAsia is bringing light and hope to tens of thousands of needy people.
In March 2011 Leanna received the “Outstanding Graduate” award in completion of her Doctoral degree from Regent University. As TellAsia continued to grow and expand, Leanna discovered another way to “invade dark places” – using her research and writing skills to promote Judeo-Christian principles through the internet. Currently Leanna’s internet ministry alone impacts an average of 300,000 people every month.
Leanna travels and speaks in churches and conferences, teaching her series “Kingdom Impact” and mobilizing others to “invade dark places” with God’s love and liberty. She also enjoys horses once again and is working on several books.