Our Founders ... Joe and Clara Pent
Joe & Clara Pent, Sr. Founders Our much-loved Founders, Joe Pent Sr. founded LAMA with his wife Clara. With a quick laugh, a generous heart, and a passion for the youth of Latin America, he continues his direction over the LAMA office in North America and his oversight over camp fundraising and expansion projects in Costa Rica, spending the year in both locations. Born in Pucallpa, Peru in 1935 of missionary parents, he was born again of the Spirit at the age of 8. He spent his first 13 years in Iquitos, one of the main port cities on the Amazon River. He graduated from Moody Bible Institute with a major in Bible in 1957 and received a B.A. degree from Trinity International University in 1963. He married his wife Clara in 1959. After serving as Youth Pastor and Christian Education Director in a Chicago church for two years they were appointed by the Latin America Mission to Costa Rica in 1963 for ministry in youth evangelism and discipleship. Latin America Assistance was founded 1976 with Joe as Executive Director. He returned to Costa Rica in 1979 and co-founded an innovative Christian youth movement JUVENTUD NUEVA, a barrio outreach ministry promoting aggressive evangelism and radical discipleship among teens, which continues under national leadership today. In 1998 construction of La Montana Christian Camps began and in 2001 the camp initiated its ministry to the youth of Costa Rica.