Southwest Little Rock is home to the largest Hispanic population in the state of Arkansas, a population that has grown ten-fold over the past two decades. But many of Little Rock’s growing number of Hispanics are without health insurance. Esperanza Hope Health Clinic is a Christian Health Center Ministry designed to serve the uninsured and underinsured in Southwest Little Rock.
Serving the community since 2010, Esperanza Hope is staffed by volunteers—from the receptionist to the doctors. Since the clinic opened, community members of various licenses, backgrounds and walks of life—local doctors, medical students, retired professionals, nurses, pharmacists, translators, and laboratory and x-ray technicians—have donated over 15,000 hours to care for the patients of Esperanza Hope. Retired doctor David Neale has served on the Board of Esperanza Hope since 2014 and says that he views the Clinic’s patient population from a Biblical perspective “as ‘sojourners in the land’ (Leviticus 19:34)” and remarks, “from that perspective, they deserve to have the same compassion and care as the native born among us.”
The clinic is supported by Second Baptist Church on John Barrow Rd, St. Andrew’s Church, and Geyer Springs Baptist Church. This vital, cross-cultural ministry is located on one of the satellite campuses of Second Baptist Church at 6111 West 83rd Street and is open on Thursdays from 5:30-7:30 pm. Pastor Marco Diaz Velarde, the reception and records volunteer, says that at Esperanza Hope, people’s physical needs are met, but, more than that “people can trust in us and can see what God is doing in their lives.”
As a non-profit health clinic, all of Esperanza Hope’s supplies and equipment are purchased with the help of monetary donations. But their biggest need is for more volunteer doctors and nurses. Most volunteers work during the hours the clinic is open, currently every other week. It is a great opportunity for medical or nursing students to get more hands-on experience, for doctors and nurses to teach, and for retired doctors to keep their skills up.
Rev. Dustin Freeman, Associate Pastor at St. Andrew’s Church says, “We see clearly in Jesus’ earthly ministry that healing the sick was one of the signs that God’s kingdom was near. Esperanza is a way that our church can continue to be a part of that work in one of the communities where it is most needed. Esperanza is also an investment in the unity of the body of Christ, as this work is organized and provided both by and for people from a variety of racial, denominational, and socioeconomic backgrounds.”
Those who are interested in supporting Esperanza Hope Health Clinic can call the clinic at 501-562-1114 or donate on their website at http://esperanzahopeclinic.org/make-a-donation/.