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Juan Manuel Suarez
January 1, 1938 ~ December 6, 2023 (age 85) 85 Years Old
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A member of the Cuban Resistance, Juan Manuel Suárez was arrested on the day of the Bay of Pigs invasion and imprisoned in the fort of El Morro. He escaped execution and immigrated to the United States, only to return during the Camarioca Exodus to try and rescue his family from the worsening conditions in Cuba. When his boat ran out of fuel in the Atlantic, he was buffeted for hours in high waves in the open ocean, and Juan was picked up by a Russian freighter. At this time, he had no idea that his life was being protected by an all powerful God who would later totally transform his life and send him as a missionary into the dangerous Guatemalan jungle in the midst of the civil war. Through a series of miracles, God used Juan to start seven churches in remote northern Guatemalan villages. The man who had been an atheist for fifty years was changed into a Spirit-filled soul seeker, actively telling everyone he met about his Savior and asking them to join him in a relationship with God. Juan began a new adventure his life in 2004 when he married Deborah (Ellis) Suárez. Together they ministered all over the globe and in the United States. Juan has spiritual children whom he won to Jesus in fourteen countries located in North America, Central America, South America, and Europe. In 2011 Juan and Debbie became the In-House Hispanic Missionaries for Reynolda Church and started the Spanish ministry there. Juan radiated love and poured joy into the hearts of all who encountered him. On any given day, Juan could be found in the grocery and hardware stores of town, praying with and over groups of people. His genuine spirituality drew even the most hardened hearts to listen to his words. In the later part of his life, Juan enjoyed raising chickens and goats, and he trained the goldfish in the pond to eat out of his hand. His kind, gentle spirit was a magnet for children and animals. Juan Manuel Suárez was born on January 1, 1938, in Caibarién, Cuba into a bustling household where he was one of ten siblings. He was preceded in death by his parents: Manuel Suárez and Josefina Pérez in Cuba. Also preceding him in death in Cuba were his brothers and sisters: Manolito, Ana, and Arnaldo,. His brother Hector, whom he was able to bring to Miami through his Camarioca Exodus ordeal, died in the US. Still surviving in Cuba are his sisters Eulalia, Antonia, and Ondina and his brother Ramiro. Still surviving in Miami is his sister Josefa. Juan has three children from his previous marriage to Isora Suárez: Juan Carlos Suárez (wife Viviana), Betty Suárez Patterson (husband Robert), and Alex Suárez (wife Kelli). He has seven grandchildren: Melissa Suárez, Josh Suárez, Hannah Suárez Shifflett (husband Stinton), Luke Suárez, Trey Keene (wife Chrissy), Robert Patterson Jr., and Garrett Patterson. He has five great-grandchildren: Havanah Shifflett, Raleigh Shifflett, Luke Keene, David Keene, and River Patterson. In his current marriage he proudly acquired two sons: Senior Chief Nathan A. Moore, USN (wife Alaina) and Nicholas David Moore. He has two grandchildren: Olivia Moore and David Moore. Now Juan is rejoicing in Heaven, likely enjoying the company of many he helped bring there with him. His family and friends on earth feel the separation and loss. His body will be interred in Highland Lawn Cemetery in Terre Haute, Indiana in a family plot along with four generations of his wife Debbie’s family. The cemetery is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and with Juan’s incredible history, it is fitting. A funeral service will be held at 1:30 PM on Friday, December 15, 2023, at Reynolda Church, Main Village Campus with Pastor Alan Wright officiating.