Raised in Richmond, Virginia, Juana Mikels graduated from Meredith College in 1980 and went to work for Xerox Corporation where she worked for fourteen years in sales and marketing; ten of those years she was in a marketing executive position. She was selected to work on a Governor’s task force in 1986 representing Xerox to the state in which she resided, and received the Governor’s highest award: The Order of the Longleaf Pine.
She initially learned to speak and sing publicly through two mediums. In 1976, she worked at King’s Dominion Family Entertainment Park in Live Shows as a singer in the Kings of Swing Band, where she performed in front of large live audiences five times daily. In 1978, she entered the “Miss Richmond Contest,” where she placed as a finalist after speaking and singing to a large live audience, winning 2nd runner-up and first place in the swimsuit competition.
She married her college sweetheart, Terry Mikels, in 1981. With parents that comprised several marriages and a father that struggled with alcoholism, she had no role modeling in her life for Christian marriage. She left her husband in 1984, knowing that something was “missing in her marriage,” thinking she had mistakenly married the wrong person. During her separation, she accepted Christ, and her marriage to Terry was reconciled in 1986. Seven years later, her husband accepted Christ.
They later had four children, Blair, John, Alex and Mary. Their fourth child, Mary, was born totally blind. Juana was befriended and mentored by Elisabeth Elliot in what began as a writing correspondence, after being a listener to her radio program. Juana resigned from Xerox leaving a little over six-figure income in 1994 to be a full time wife and stay-at-home mother, and taught her children at home for the next thirteen years.
Juana realized the dream of sharing her story, first in 1993, when the President of Church Initiative, asked to film her testimony for a dvd series on divorce care. She began speaking publicly in 1995, addressing women’s groups in churches by sharing her faith and story of hope in marriage, and leading seminars on order, home life, and time management for the Christian woman.
She was delighted to appear as a guest for three consecutive days on Elisabeth Elliot’s “Gateway to Joy,” Back to the Bible radio program in 1997 as she told how she got a second chance on the marriage, spoke on family life, and order in the home. In 2007, she was the featured guest on Haven Today for their Mother’s Day program. You can hear the soundtrack of the latter program that aired nationwide, by clicking “Listen” at the top of the page.
Juana and Terry have been married twenty-nine years and make their home in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Visit Juana at: http://www.juanamikels.com/