Homeschooled by law-defying pioneer parents, Leanna’s life was a continuous adventure. She roped a porcupine, rode pigs, goats and wild horses and learned to fly an airplane at age nine. Almost every springtime found the Cinquantas piling everything they owned into an old Dodge Dart and a U-Haul truck. They trekked across the US with horses 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.
By fifteen Leanna had become an equestrian champion and also an arrogant rebellious atheist headed in the wrong direction. But 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. In September 1996 she embarked for north India with a one-way ticket. Living directly with the natives, she subjected herself to the hardships 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 gave her the name “Jyoti” meaning “Light.”
In 1997 Leanna founded TellAsia Ministries. Over the years that followed she and her 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. In March 2011 she received the “Outstanding Graduate” award in completion of her Doctoral degree from Regent University.
Today Leanna spends half of each year in India with her “kids” who include native teammates, orphan children and her informally adopted son Lakshman. When not in India she travels and speaks in churches and conferences. She also tries to find time to train her Friesian horses and to promote moral issues.
Leanna is currently working on several books and movie ideas.