House of Hope Testimonials
Marta is a widow who was living in a home constructed of pieces of tin and plywood. She had never lived in a home made with block walls.
Some years ago, Marta came to her son-in-law's home and showed her daughter, (a Pastor's wife) a drawing of a house she believed the Lord would one day provide for her. The Pastor says he kind of laughed about it because he didn't have faith that the Lord was going to give her a nice house like in her drawing.
In February of 2015, House of Hope provided funds for construction materials, and volunteers built Marta a home that was almost identical to her drawing - having no idea such a drawing existed. After the home was built, Pastor Melvin shared the story of Marta's journey of faith with Henry Leiva. For Marta, her home is a tangible expression of God's love for her.
... volunteers built Marta a home that was almost identical to her drawing - having no idea such a drawing existed.
House of Hope retains the services of a lawyer in Honduras to ensure that land homes are built on are free from liens, etc. The lawyer's sister told him about a very poor couple in her church that needed a home. When House of Hope interviewed the couple, they did not quality for a home - but they mentioned Flora, a fellow church member, as being someone who desperately needed a home.
Flora once had a husband and three sons. Sadly, one son became involved with a local gang - stealing, smoking, using drugs and fighting. He died during a gang war. The next son died in an attempt to take revenge for his brother's death. After this, the gang killed the father of the home, leaving Flora with only one son, a daughter-in-law and two grandsons. Her only remaining son attempted to avenge his Father and two brother's deaths and also died in the attempt. Flora's daughter-in-law was unable to cope with the loss and, leaving her two sons in Flora's care, she deserted them and chose a life of drugs and prostitution.
Flora survives by making tortillas and walking through the streets selling them. She also picks up trash at a local school, where two teachers pay her a small amount in an attempt to make her life a little more bearable.
Building Flora's home was a unique challenge for the House of Hope volunteers because it was situated high in the mountains of Tulian and the path leading to the building site was very steep. There was no vehicle access to the building site. This meant all the blocks, rocks, and cement had to be carried approximately a quarter mile by volunteers to the building site.
Flora will always be grateful for the generosity of donors and volunteers who built her this home. Amazingly, although her home is finished, she refuses to move into it, but says that she will wait until there is a formal dedication with House of Hope board members, in which they pray and bless her home. We anticipate this special event to be held during the month of April 2015.
Flora will always be grateful for the generosity of donors and volunteers who built her this home.
In 2013, Henry met the woman he fondly calls "Sister Rosa" while visiting the homes of those in need of assistance with Pastor Alfonso. When the two of them came to Rosa's home, Pastor Alfonso told Henry this woman was a member of their church and very faithful.
Approximately seven years ago a man from San Pedro Sula was kidnapped and brought to a remote area to be assassinated. Rosa's husband was simply an innocent witness to the murder as he was passing by - then he too was murdered because of what he had witnessed. This left Rosa a widow and the sole caregiver of her daughter Lolita, a beautiful young girl.
Initially Rosa washed laundry for people to support herself and Lolita. Gradually her eyesight faded and her clients no longer trusted her with their laundry and she had no source of income. She has two daughters who are older than Lolita, but they are very poor and unable to help their mother.
Nothing could have prepared Henry for the horror he felt when he witnessed her appalling living conditions. Her home contained very little food and a twin metal bed frame with no mattress. Lolita often slept on the bed frame while Rosa would sleep on rags placed on the bare concrete floor. When it rained the water would run through their house and Rosa's bed was a sodden collection of dirty, damp rags. The average annual rainfall in Cuyamel where Rosa lives is 74 inches. In other words, it rains a lot!
Rosa loves Jesus and while she didn't have the comforts of coffee, a stable home and a good bed - she was faithful and attending the church services was of great importance. That evening, she walked to church with Lolita in the middle of a thunderstorm where streams of water rushed through the streets. After the service it was decided that Rosa needed immediate assistance.
The next day a bed, coffee and food were delivered to Rosa's home. After the evening services Henry found her and said, "Sister Rosa, tomorrow morning it will be raining. You don't even need to get out of bed. You can just stay in your bed and sleep late." She quickly replied, "Oh no, Brother Henry. Tomorrow I'm going to get up and drink my little cup of coffee because for months I haven't even seen coffee." This is particularly heartbreaking if you understand what an integral part of the Honduran culture coffee is.
House of Hope built Rosa a home and there was a beautiful ceremony of dedication complete with a cutting of the ribbon. This presented a problem as Rosa tried over and over to cut the ribbon but could not see well enough to do so. Finally Lolita took the scissors and cut the ribbon, giving way to a new hope, a new future. When Rosa was asked what she likes the most about her new home, she replied, "The porch!" The porch is approximately 4'X3'.
"Tomorrow I'm going to get up and drink my little cup of coffee because for months I haven't even seen coffee."
John & Brenda's Story
John and Brenda Gonzalez Mejia are a special couple who attend the same church Rosa Castula attends. One day Brenda overheard a conversation between Rosa and Pastor Alfonso in which he was explaining to Rosa that House of Hope was not able to build her a home because the land they planned to build her home on could not be secured with a clear deed. Of course this news was a huge disappointment to Rosa.
Brenda's heart was so touched by Rosa's sadness that she went home and discussed the matter with her husband. They decided to offer House of Hope land they owned so Rosa could have a home. In exchange, they would ask House of Hope to agree to also build them a home free of charge. (While John and Brenda have a son with a severe cleft palette - they did not meet the qualifications for a new home built by House of Hope). But since the land they were offering to donate was large enough to build four homes on it, House of Hope agreed to build them a home in exchange for the land. John and Brenda are delighted with their new home and thankful they were given the opportunity to help a sister in the church.
"Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again." - Luke 6:38
Edgardo & Yani's Story
While walking through the streets with brothers from a local church, Henry saw a very poor house made with sticks and two little boys playing in the mud surrounding the house. He decided to talk to the family and see if they would meet the qualifications for a new home. The father, Edgardo, was not at home but his wife told Henry that he repaired sewing machines and she altered clothing. A few days later during a meeting with the local pastors, Edgardo and Yani's name was mentioned as a family in need of a home.
Since their names were submitted as needing a home, Henry visited them again. During the visit he was disappointed to learn that they were not married and since they had a small income, he explained that they did not meet the qualifications for a new home and he didn't think House of Hope would build them one. In a surprising turn of events, Yani's mother, (a widow), later qualified for a home. Instead of accepting it - she pleaded with House of Hope to build it for her daughter instead. Henry told Edgardo that the home was from God - because Edgardo did not meet the House of Hope qualifications, but God through his mother-in-law gave him a house. Both Edgardo and Yani are deeply touched by the love and generosity of the volunteers. Pray that this gift would lead their family to an even deeper relationship with Jesus.
Henry told Edgardo that the home was from God - because Edgardo did not meet the House of Hope qualifications, but God through his mother-in-law gave him a house.