The Yellow House in Comayagüela
“Someone should do something” is a phrase that we commonly use when we see things in our community that need to change. Most of the time, we do wait for someone else to do something. This is not one of those stories.
The vision for Casa David has its roots in the 90s, when Marvina Hooper and her family created Centro Universitario Bautista, a discipleship program where college students from UNAH and UNITEC would come together to hang out, study together, and to study the Bible. The program also created opportunities for these young people to reach out to others in the community. Every Saturday at 10 am, the group paid visits to Hospital Escuela and took Bible stories for the children. They brought cookies along and would spend time with the kids leading a variety of activities. After some time, the group began visiting the hospital to bring coffee and bread during Friday evenings as well. During these visits they noticed a great need: a jam-packed emergency room lobby with people sleeping on the floor.
Casa David: A Piece of Heaven
Casa David was created to serve as a temporary home for the family members of hospitalized patients in the Instituto Hondureño de Seguridad Social (Honduran Social Security Institute, a public hospital) who come from all over the country. The Yellow House in Comayagüela is a dream which incubated for years, but that has now become a wonderful reality when the timing could not be better. Marvina shared details of how everything has fallen exactly into place for Casa David to come to be.
I wanted it to be bright; I wanted it to be yellow. I wanted it to be a place that people felt that our arms would be wide open for them and that they would feel like they were coming home. That this would be a place of refuge where they would receive warm meals, where they would receive a comfortable bed and feel safe. It would be somewhere they would receive hope and where God’s Word would be on every wall. A place where people could go and receive love.
To Marvina’s surprise, when they found it, the house was already painted a perfect shade of yellow. Friends and family have donated countless items to help the project, from blank stationery sets to a logo and other marketing materials for Casa David. A group of students has painted murals on the walls throughout the house as well.
Casa David will have coffee for its guests at all times. Each guest will receive their own bed and a locker in which they will store their personal belongings. There is a guard on the premises 24 hours a day, security cameras have been installed, and the doors will be locked at 8pm every night to ensure a safe environment for all guests.
There are three basic tenets that, as President of Fundación Casa David Harms, Marvina has requested of her Board Members and everyone involved in the project: that the gospel be shared with all guests, that the organization operate with total financial transparency, and that everything be done with excellence. It is also very important to note that one of the goals of this project is that within five years, it becomes a self-sustaining project and to get more Hondurans involved to help it along and take it over. Marvina hopes that eventually this project will be entirely in the hand of Hondurans.
What Can We Do to Help?
The house will run comfortably on about $7000 a month to cover rent, electricity, water, salaries, toilet paper and other basic needs. The project will survive on donations, which can be collected through the website. You can also donate directly to the organization’s bank account in Honduras. (Banco Ficohsa, 6720838, Fundación Casa David Harms.) Every little bit counts.
A typical Honduran professional could donate on a monthly basis, but what could a student do for Casa David?
They could come and serve dinner. They could bring dinner. “How many people do you have today? I’ll bring the dinner.” They can donate things like deodorant, toothpaste, toilet paper, juice, coffee and many more things. If everybody gives a little, we can do it! This is not that big a project.
Aside from material goods, Marvina points out that the people who will be staying at Casa David will need to be shown love. Having to hospitalize a family member for any reason can be a scary experience and knowing that someone is there to listen and to offer support can mean a world of difference.