Sustainable Housing Project

Friday, March 13, 2015

My heart is breaking though I never even knew Luis.

On Thursday, Luis was heading to work in the morning on his motorcycle just as he had many times before. This time making that seemingly routine last turn in the trip was different in one respect. A bus was traveling behind Luis and never slowed down, running over Luis just as he came within a few feet of arriving at his work destination. He died a few hours later on the way to the hospital.

Veronica, second from right.
Though I never knew Luis personally, my life has been intertwined with his because of our network of common friends. His mother, Veronica was the first person we met in the community of  "7 de Mayo" several years ago when we were looking for an area to expand our health education program. His wife is a respected leader among the women of the community. His children attend the activities that our team leads on Sunday afternoons. Luis was well respected by everyone. When I learned of the accident, I immediately began to think of all those who would be feeling such great pain.

The tragedy of Luis' death seemed even greater when we thought about how close Luis had come to realizing a long-time goal of building his own dream house. We had been planning over the past year to help Luis and his family build a new house this May. Luis had settled up all of his other financial obligations so that he would qualify for a loan through the credit union. The credit union had agreed to make its very first home loan ever. Money was being raised to set up a rotating fund that would be used for building more houses in the future.

A multi-discipline team of students from The Ohio State University had been working out the details
of the construction plans. The house was being planned as a model for maximizing the use of local materials in order to reduce the construction costs. Engineering students were collaborating with professors to come up with the ideal design. Business students have been setting up a construction budget and considering options for Luis to take out a loan and figuring out a schedule to repay the costs for the materials. Construction Systems Management students were considering how to build a house in Honduras.
Esperanza (Hope) and her three children.
On Thursday afternoon, after Luis had died, Esperanza his wife sat on the pile of sand that had been brought up from the river to use for the construction of the house. She reflected on how much Luis had looked forward to have a new house for the family. He had often talked to her at length about how this was going to be a special house.

The dream will continue for Luis' family. The team of students from Ohio State is still planning to come down and work alongside community members in the construction of the house. Locally available materials, such as sand and gravel, are still be collected. We will continue to go over design ideas with the family.

If you would like to be a part of the dream, you can make an online donation to the cost of the materials for the house.

Donations may also be sent to World Gospel Mission, PO Box 948, Marion, Indiana 46952-0948 (account #255-25492)


  1. Praying daily for your ministries, prayed for Luis' family when I heard about the accident. Will add them to my daily prayer list.

  2. Thanks, we will keep updating progress with the family and the house.