How Casa Emanuel was born

Back in 1993, when  Isabel Johanning Mora, a Costarican dentist and missionary, answered the God’s call to go to  Guinea Bissau, West Africa, in order to help the poor with her profession while preaching the love of Jesus Christ to them.

For four months she was working in the capital city and Gabú, one of the country’s eight regions.

However, due to cerebral malaria that threatened her life, Isabel was forced to return to Costa Rica to get proper treatment, and took her a year and a half to fully recover.

Although she was advised by her doctors not to return to Africa, she was determined to go back to Guinea Bissau.  In 1995 she organized a missionary team and return to Guinea, this time to stay there permanently.


In 1993, Isabel Johanning, Eugenia Castro, César Herrera, all from Costa Rica, and Henrique Adas, from Brazil, arrived to Guinea Bissau to accomplish the mission to help the most needed with their day to day struggle and spiritual needs.

While on duty, a 7 months baby girl came to Isabel’s life. With severe malnutrition, full of mange and with just 1.5 Kgs of weight, the possibilities to survive there were not that many. But the Divine purpose will convert  Mariama  the symbol of God’s Mercy for all orphans, boys and girls, in Guinea Bissau. Since she became the first child of many , that through the years, will become part of the large family of  Casa Emmanuel.

In late June 1998, started the civil war in  Guinea Bissau, which took away the life of hundreds of people. Many foreigners as well as locals abandoned the country. lsabel and Eugenia did have the chance to be evacuated, but without the nine children that they already have.

In spite of the great danger, they decided to stay and trust the Lord their lives...  A miracle happened and in the middle of constant bombing, that was destroying everything around, the missionaries and their children were contacted by reporters of the Portuguese Television RTP, who provided the required assistance, and they were embarked in frigates that took them live and safe to Portugal. In this country they found shelter in Casa de Misericordia (Mercy House) in Barreiro City.

Almost a year later, in 1999, they were able to return to Guinea Bissau, to continue the missionary work. In a short period of time the number of children increased as well as the challenges they faced. For example, the lack of a proper building for the children, a well and electro generator, among others. All these needs, with time,  were fulfilled.

Once again, thanks to God’s intervention, Casa Emmanuel in 2004 was able to have its own building in Hafia district, as well as enough land for other projects like: Community School Emanuel, Community High School EmanuelMedical Center Emanuel, Shelter Bombo, Shelter Casulo and School of Business, Science and Arts  (ECOACI).



Asociación Casa Emanuel (ASOCE)

Bissau - Barrio Hafia
Guinea Bissau
África Ocidental

Apartado Postal:

Tel: (245) 66722110