The Cornerstone Foundation was begun in 1992 by Jefferson C. McKenney, M.D., and Rosanne Lillard McKenney, R.N. It was formed to serve the immediate need as the organizational framework to coordinate, administrate, and send out support to a planned mission hospital, Hospital Loma de Luz and to serve similar needs in the future. The vision for Hospital Loma de Luz was to provide modern medical care in an area where there was none, and in the process to give an ongoing present witness to the truth of the gospel of Christ to a people and a region which had neither medical care nor ongoing Christian witness. Through years of faith, hard work, and the generosity of many, and particularly through the evident grace of God, both the organization and the mission hospital have come to be a reality. Loma de Luz, with its bilingual school, Children’s Center, Sanctuary Housing, Agricultural Ministry, Church Planting, and Community Development, has come to be much more than just an excellent mission hospital. Though the Cornerstone Foundation and Loma de Luz are distinct entities, their history, operation, and personnel are inextricably intertwined.
After receiving encouragement, approval and direction for the planned mission hospital from the Honduran Ministry of Health in 1991, the McKenneys began a search for the specific site and for a charitable organization with which to partner in order to build. Ultimately, the location proved to be a more straightforward question to resolve than the organization. In short, no organization could be found that was interested in building a modern mission hospital, so the Cornerstone Foundation was formed. The Cornerstone Foundation was originally incorporated and registered as a 501(c)(3) in the State of Mississippi, but with board members living throughout all of the USA. They brought to the organization their experience and training in diverse fields: construction, engineering, medicine, nursing, education, Christian leadership, and career foreign missions. Although several of the original directors and officers have since retired, the Board has continued to be a stable, mature, committed, and sacrificial influence from diverse fields. More than half of the members of the Cornerstone Foundation Directors and Administrators have served for over 10 years.
With direction from the Honduran Ministry of Health regarding the part of the country where a mission hospital would be most useful, the property for Loma de Luz was purchased in 1993. In 1994, the Honduran non-profit organization, Asociación Piedra Angular de Honduras (the Cornerstone of Honduras) was formed in order to function as the legal framework for this work in Honduras. APAH continues to be the Honduran charitable organization through which all of the work at Loma de Luz is made possible. In 1994 full title to the land was completed and limited construction was begun on hospital support facilities. In 1995 construction was begun on a greater scale with completion of the first warehouse/workshop in 1996. Construction on the foundations of the hospital began in 1996, and it continued at a steady pace so that by 1998, the first major workshop/warehouse (bodega) was in service and the roof on the hospital was completed. In October of 1998 Honduras was struck by the full force of Hurricane Mitch, one of the most destructive hurricanes on record. Although the construction at Loma de Luz was remarkably spared, the rest of Honduras was gravely damaged. The Cornerstone Foundation/ APAH spent the next year very committed to the Hurricane Mitch relief effort. Still, construction continued and by 1999, the suspension bridges across the greater ravines and “El Hotel” (the Temporary Staff Housing facility) were completed. By 2000, much of the necessary infrastructure for the entire compound was in place with roads, potable water system, extensive storm water run-off, 3 phase electrical power to the hospital (which required building 15 miles of 3 phase power from the nearest source), and modern electrical power throughout the compound. In 2000 an out-patient clinic was opened, first one, then two, then three days a week on the ground floor of the Staff Housing building. By 2002, the hospital building itself was completed to the degree that the clinic was moved into the front half of the building, and by February 2003, the completed hospital was inaugurated. That same year, Rosanne McKenney began (and continues to direct) Escuela Bilingue El Camino, the bilingual school for both village children and missionary kids (MK’s) as the focus point of a greater educational outreach. Through 2003 and 2004, the hospital offered a 5-day-a-week out-patient clinic, out-patient surgery, and emergency services. In the beginning of 2005, the full hospital opened for in-patient services and in-patient surgery with 24 hour emergency care. In 2006, Sanctuary House Children’s Center opened, providing temporary housing for patients and patients families that needed prolonged housing near the hospital.
As the missionary staff continued to increase, 2003-2006 particularly emphasized housing construction. By 2007, 12 houses/apartments had been completed, (17 by 2010). In end of August, 2005, Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast of the USA, causing immense destruction (including the office of the Cornerstone Foundation and all of the surrounding towns and communities). For the next year the Cornerstone Foundation was heavily committed to the Hurricane Katrina relief and reconstruction effort (called the Nehemiah Project). In 2007, the primary construction for new ministry was directed toward the Sanctuary House Children’s Center. The Foster Children’s Center was opened in June of 2008. Since that time, under the direction and hard work of Iain & Liz Mckenzie it has continued to grow and to protect, care for, and develop children in need. In late 2007, some basic plans were laid and plantings were begun for a new agricultural aspect to Loma de Luz with the primary goal being to contribute commercially to the sustainability of the overall work. By 2009 with the dedicated & imaginative work of Brad Ward (and others), Finca Loma de Luz began to come into it’s own. Although community development has been an intentional part of the work from the beginning, it has become a coordinated effort to see this region transformed from a Mission Field to a Missionary Force through the energy and direction of Don Rumbaugh. By 2011, Loma de Luz has become an integrated work of many parts. There are currently 35 adult and 18 missionary children Loma de Luz Missionaries serving on long-term commitments. There are generally somewhere between 3 and 13 volunteers of intermediate-term commitment at any given time, and roughly 75 dedicated full-time employees and about 150 more part-time employees through the year. Loma de Luz is also greatly blessed by the short-term involvement of several hundred volunteers each year. Workers participate in vital areas such as Construction and Maintenance, Chaplaincy, Information Technology, Nursing, Laboratory, Pharmacy, Housekeeping, Operating Room and Medical Staff, Agriculture, Staff Housing and Children’s Center. Many of these missionaries are also dedicated to collateral ministry in the community. For specific details of these, please select “The Missionaries” and browse through their individual pages.
All of this outreach, all of the needs being met, all of the strides being taken for the Kingdom of Heaven at Loma de Luz, represent the energy, imagination, dedication, and sacrifice of many talented and committed saints. But, it isn’t enough. On any given day there are more reasons for this ministry to fail than there are reasons why it should succeed. Yet, here we are, 22 years since inception, more than 17 years on the ground, more than 12 years of constant growth, and we’re still here. And, at the end of every day we can say, we are here because Jehovah must want us here. We can see that He has made up the difference between the total and the sum of our parts. As it says on our front gate: “Dios Obra Aqui”, God is at work here.