2021 ANNUAL REPORT
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.
2021 was another difficult year during the Covid Pandemic. The Province of La Union was often in lockdown due to increases in cases of Covid. As a result LAMA House no longer operates as a Residential Care Home. When back to normal, with no further restrictions, we hope to re-open as a Worship Centre for Youth.
Here is a summary of the year’s accomplishments:
Renovation work continued, the roof was fixed and bats evicted. Most of the original windows from 1990 were changed – the wood was destroyed by termites – aluminum windows fitted. The walls re-painted.
Nicole, now living with her Mother was baptized at the Fishers of Men Baptist Church where she is an active member with her sister and Aunt’s family. They did well with home schooling during the pandemic. LAMA Ministries continues to give financial help to them and others in need.
At the former Girls House new windows were put in and the exterior given a new coat of paint.
LAMA Ministries gave financial help for medical costs for John Mark Manaol who became ill and needed hemodialysis treatment. He died, age 33 in hospital. We also helped with finances for the funeral. John Mark lived at LAMA House during college and led worship with Michael, Ana and Simon at CCP church. His mother, Alejandra pioneered LAMA Ministries in 1986 with Lesley.
Also in May our Social Worker Lineth resigned as she had no more cases to manage with us. She believes God led her to LAMA House and continues to lead her as she worked at Field Office DSWD in the Fostering Department. She had done a great job!
Joshua graduated High School. A great achievement.
We held meetings of the Board of Trustees in UK and Philippines via Zoom as we were not allowed to gather in person. We discussed changes to the mission when restrictions are lifted as the residential programs and services have not continued since May 2020 after the pandemic hit.
It is a good time to begin to hand over leadership of LAMA House to Peter and Lesley’s grown-up children; Michael and Jeli, Ana and Simon. Their vision is for a Worship Centre for Youth, Peter and Lesley continue to lead the Board of Trustees.
Changes will be made when Amendments are finalized at Securities and Exchange Commission.
We informed the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) that we will no longer provide Residential Care, to focus instead on our religious objectives of the Charity. You can view our Charity details at the Charity Commission UK website – registration number 1008940.
We plan to bring worship and the Gospel to other government-run homes for children and youth in our area. We did this before the pandemic at the nearby Regional Rehabilitation Centre for Youth where around 150 boys are detained on criminal charges. The Presence of God was tangible at Chapel Services led by Michael, many boys responded to the Gospel. Michael plans to continue this when allowed and expand to other Government-run Homes/Centers in the Region. We also plan to train young people in prayer ministry, worship and street evangelism so our mission continues in the future, including a yearly Worship Festival for Youth on the campus.
LAMA Ministries sold farm land in nearby Ambaracao which we bought years ago for an independent living program for boys aged 18 and over. With the tithes from this we made donations to Church Army UK, Teen Challenge, Belfast and SAT-7 UK, working in the Middle East and North Africa.
We continued to assist former boys/ girls and their families financially. Still restricted from gathering and from going out into the community. We meet together for prayer and worship as a family, staying connected to God during this difficult time and Michael shares worship sessions on YouTube and Facebook.
Cases of Covid continue to rise around us but Peter was allowed to travel to Tarlac where he could stay with his sister while supervising renovations to Wowie’s family house, (with check points, tests and permits). Gomez family are all vaccinated (Jansen) except Peter. Typhoon season, Wowie’s house was in desperate need of re-building with funds donated previously. Peter began Bible Studies in their barrio and assigned a local Pastor to continue church there, with no church presence and families living in poverty. We continue to help Wowie financially and with used clothing and grocery packages.
Lesley and Simon were in hospital mid-September with Dengue fever. While there our dear friend Temmy Patacsil (Secretary for the Philippine Board of Trustees) arrived at Emergency with chest pains. He waited for the result of a Covid test before being admitted but went into Cardiac Arrest and died. We helped the family with funeral costs. It was a terrible shock, Ana, Simon and Michael were with him outside the Emergency Department at the time.
The Board of Trustees elected Miss Faith Tarlit as Trustee and Pastor Domingo Capias took on the office of Secretary in Temmy ’s place. Faith Tarlit is a Worship leader and Head of the Science Department in Vigan. Pastor Capias is Director of Youth With A Mission in San Fernando, La Union.
We planned to visit former boys and girls before Christmas to give groceries and gifts but were not allowed to travel. We found a good second-hand car and bought to make travel easier when allowed – Mazda 2.
We received a letter from Attorney A Sanglay to inform us she was working on the land Title for LAMA House campus, as our own Attorney could not be contacted. We began the lengthy process of trying to get the plot segregated and the Title put in the name of Life And More Abundant Ministries inc. This is on-going.
TONY remains with us at LAMA House, the DSWD are deciding what to do with him as we have no other wards, although he is 25 they base their decision on his mental age, much younger. We hoped he could stay with us as an employee (Janitor). They suggested we become Foster parents for him but Peter thought that unnecessary. We await their decision.
Arnold, and team (Erwin, Judy) who have renovated LAMA House, began further renovations on our house in San Fernando – extensive work needed (not paid for by LAMA Ministries). He is also cultivating the farm land at LAMA House to provide vegetables.
This season of Covid-19 has changed a lot of things for a lot of people. Here at LAMA House we have been stuck for almost 2 years unable to travel much outside the city. Not being productive is frustrating but we have a plan for the future and that gives us hope that we will be more effective. We are uncomfortable with a lack of activity but there was a need for prolonged rest to prepare us for what will happen later. We have had to down-size and cut back but we have finally been able to renovate LAMA House and Peter and Lesley’s home and cultivate the land so it can be more fruitful.
Our goal is the be more fruitful!