7654 Conservation Road, Guelph,ON 519-836-8141
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Lakeside Missions is focused on working globally and locally in partnership with local leaders and missionaries to help make a difference in lives in our community and third world countries.
By Alan Garrett
If you head south about 4,000 miles you will eventually come to Puerto Maldonado, a small city of about 45,000 people located deep in the jungles of Peru. Ten kilometres outside of town, nestled among tall trees and lush vegetation you will find the Lakeside Girls Refuge, a home for abused and pregnant teenage girls.
The home is run by Joel and Patty Labajos, a loving couple who have overseen the project from the beginning and who will be the primary caregivers for girls coming into the home. The vision for the home is that it will be a place where girls can come to find restoration from life’s hurts. Many of the girls will come to the home pregnant and will have the opportunity to raise their babies in a loving and caring community. Others will be victims of abuse who need a safe place to find healing. The home will care for the physical, emotional, educational and spiritual needs of the girls as they prepare to return to society.
The home was named after Lakeside as recognition for the exceptional support the church has given in seeing the home come to fruition. Construction of the home began in April 2009 when land was cleared and a well was drilled. Since then several buildings have been completed including the kitchen, a dining room and bedrooms. Work is ongoing on what will eventually become a daycare. A perimeter wall is also under construction to provide safety for the girls from predators, both human and otherwise. On completion the home will house up to 60 people.
There is still much work to do at the refuge and Lakeside has committed to continue its support by sending both finances to support the work and by sending teams to help with ongoing construction.