News March-May 2016
Lesley Gomez left England at 22 to serve as a missionary in the Philippines. Today she and her husband Peter run LAMA, a charity and safe house for the abandoned boys of the streets.
LAMA House: Residential Care and Crisis Intervention for boys aged 9 – 19. UK Registered Charity: 1008940
April and May are the busiest months for LAMA House, with 18 teenage boys at home in the very hot summer months when school is out. Michael organized Zumba classes, a LAMA talent show, basketball and volley-ball, and baking lessons. Jose helped them plant a vegetable garden – we now have green beans, okra, tomatoes, aubergine, squash and petchay. Last week they cleaned up the local beach – which we will be doing regularly as part of our community service. We also started extra group sessions with our older boys, discussing subjects like “Realistic ideas about love,” “Respect for others,” “Respect for yourself,” “Car maintenance,” “Time management,” “Self control,” “Money management.”
The boys love studying God’s Word, worship and prayer. Michael has developed a wonderful talent for this most important part of our ministry. There are often tears as the Holy Spirit fixes broken and bruised places and sets them free from terrible memories. It is why Jesus came.
They wake up singing at 6am and happily go about doing their chores, there is always singing and laughter. I often think it must be one of the happiest homes anywhere!
Last month Asnar went home to his family in Cebu. We were able to find his mother. He had been lost for six years. They are a Muslim family, so it is a difficult re-adjustment for Asnar. We stay in touch through facebook and will of course continue to follow him up.
LAMA House works closely with Sunflower Center in Baguio where Father Costa, a Catholic priest from Brazil is a psychologist. The team of therapists help us with difficult cases of extreme abuse or neglect. Jordan was one of the worst cases we have come across. He was unsure of his first name and did not have a family name, having been passed from one person to another. As is often the case, the information about him was confusing, and mostly incorrect. He had serious rejection issues, did not respect anyone and was uncontrolable.
But at his last session, the therapist was very pleased to interpret the drawing he had made. The children often reveal themselves through play and in their drawings. It is very interesting. Usually houses have no windows, trees no roots, they use dark colors and people don’t have faces, or no adults present at all. Often there are demons or dark images in the pictures, often a sexual theme. The previous week, Gina, our Social Worker had been able to register Jordan with a family name. This time his picture showed a nice house with lots of windows, the tree had roots, the sun was shining and had a smiley face, there were birds in the sky, children were standing hand in hand and flowers in the garden. At the top of the page in big bold colorful letters he had written his first name – middle name – last name! No more demons!
GIRLS and LITTLE ONES
We are in talks this week with the Girls Home nearby, a government-run temporary care facility providing up to 6 months stay. We are partnering with Christian Praise Fellowship, Ray Duclayan’s home – in order to place the sister of 2 of our boys for long-term care. He is already taking care of 2 little girls found homeless on the street. We are partnering with him temporarily until we can possibly provide a Girls Home on campus, as our “Little LAMA” project that we planned some years ago. We’re hoping to place three younger sibling of another two of our boys. We believe the brothers and sisters should be kept together if possible – we’re trying to make a way. The best option is to find foster parents nearby but there are very few registered foster parents. There are several little children between the ages of 3 – 9 in need or homeless who we cannot place at LAMA House. Also helping tiny newborn twins in the barrio. Lack of finances is our only obstacle in helping more children.
Peter and I attended the Chinese Baptist Church in the city – a small group of businessmen and their families hungry for God’s Word and worship. They are looking for a Chinese pastor. It was very meaningful for us as LAMA Ministries began in 1980’s in a rented bungalow belonging to the parents of Bella, who invited us. Her brother was the first to become a Christian, followed by many others. One brother is now a pastor in New Zealand. Bella told Peter how her mother used to attend a missionary’s Sunday School as a child in China, and how her husband had been miraculously healed of cancer. They long to reach the entire Chinese community with the good news of Jesus. Peter told them how in 1985 I hosted Bible Studies where many from the Chinese community came to find answers to problems and get prayed for. We prayed for Mariano, who seemed to be drifting. After church we went to eat lunch at his restaurant as he had unexpectedly called her during the sermon to invite her. After eating we sat down together, the very busy restaurant began to empty. I could see Bella’s heart was heavy for her brother to know the joy of his salvation again. Suddenly, it was like Jesus sat down at the table with us. Mariano began singing with tears in his eyes…”Amazing grace, how sweet the sound…” We all joined in loudly “that saved a wretch like ME! I once was lost but now I’M FOUND! Was BLIND…but now I see!” Everyone around the table was crying. When Jesus walks into the room (or restaurant) everything changes!
Thank you for supporting us, we need your monthly support to help us continue and expand our reach to hurting children with the hope and love of Jesus. Introduce us to your friends! Contact me at the email below for further details. See our website or facebook page. Or write: Esther Keenan, Rosedene, Southdown Road, Seaford, East Sussex. BN25 4JS. UK. Telephone: 01323 899507.
Blessings! Lesley, Peter and family and all at LAMA House x