Even though Luis died suddenly, the dream to build his own home and provide shelter for his family lives on. Larry and Angie Overholt, missionaries in Choluteca, Honduras, share how a partnership with The Ohio State University is helping this grieving family.
“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.
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.
To view photos and learn more about Larry and Angie’s ministry, visit their blog, Choluteca Ministries.
Here’s a quick video produced by OSU students about their project to build Luis’ family’s home.
Join the team to build Esperanza and her family a home by donating here.