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. 

Executive Director - Joe & Lori Pent, Jr.

Our passionate Executive Director for LAMA and General Director of La Montaña Christian camps in Costa Rica, is Joe Pent Jr., along with his wife Lori, have been carrying the Pent legacy of bringing the gospel to the youth of Latin America. With energy, leadership, and an ease with youth, he provides both organizational and spiritual guidance to the camp, its campers, and staff. Known for his quick-wit and doggedness to see the Kingdom expand, he has been co-laboring with local and international Latin American pastoral staff in inviting them to learn about La Montaña Christian Camps ministry model. Born into ministry in Costa Rica, he was schooled in the US, knowing that he would always return to help reach youth with the gospel. After graduating in aviation from Le Tourneau University, Joe realized that he didn't want to fly missionaries into their field of service, but instead wanted to be the missionary on the ground. He returned to study and eventually graduated from Masters College with a degree in Biblical Studies with minors in Youth Ministry and Biblical Counseling. Joe married the woman of his dreams, Lori on July 22, 1989 and has 3 children (Matthew, Lindsey and Joshua). Joe worked in youth ministry for 12 years in California before receiving the call with his wife, Lori to move to Costa Rica to direct La Montaña Christian Camps. Joe's email is ... jpentjr@yahoo.com

Ray & Marjie Schwartz, Awareness & North American director

Ray joined our staff in 2012. With 20+ years of experience as a former missions organization executive director, Ray is in charge of LAMA’s outreach as well as providing organizational expertise to LAMA’s growth. He also oversees Short Term Ministry Teams and our Intern Ministry.  He speaks at churches, with missions committees, colleges, and individuals to establish partnerships in what God is doing through our ministry. Born and raised in Southern California, Ray Schwartz attended Biola College where he graduated from in 1976. He is also a graduate (Master of Divinity degree) of Talbot Theological Seminary. He and his wife Marjie began their ministry career in 1976 to youth, whom they served for fifteen years, along with conference and camp speaking for over a decade at Hume Lake. Ray has also served in churches in Southern California, Arizona, and Colorado as a Senior Pastor. He has served most recently too on LAMA's Board of Directors before accepting the call to represent LAMA in North America. Ray and Marjie live in Colorado (SE Denver), and have three grown sons who live along the west coast. Ray's email is ray@lama4youth.org