Honduras Missions

The Ritchie Family / Children's Lighthouse

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Butterfly burdens

Been a long month. Lisa is stateside visiting one of our kids. Ermita's son Jorge is still fighting to be alive. Ermita's family has mortgaged their home and sold their car doing what they can for him. The hospital wants to send him home but needed a machine to breath. The also installed a chip that stimulates nerves and with a brainwave machine were able to move an arm showing there are still nerves connected to the brain.
Mariana fell and broke her collar bone and needed to be pinned, and this week
 After a great day Saturday(see below) got kids safely home in bed and sleeping. 60 seconds after the kids left the dorms this morning our little Isai comes in my room. "Papi, I have axdent". He ran by where the guys had been fixing a roof and cut his leg on the sheetmetal. Yikes. Tape him together, call a Honduran surgeon friend. He says bring him by in 4 hours... uh ok. A few moments later get a text to bring him now, sorry didn't understand your need... so we rush to his house/office and he does his skill like a master.
Not a single tear with this poor little guy. Likely very little scaring because of the stitching mastery inside and out. Then off to church. Thank you Lord... and remember we still need a tire... :) ministry run on faith in the LORD.
Sat. promised drive with family. Morning drive up the mountain on the paved road to the more northern border crossing to find a humble waterfall (20meters) and the beginning of Rio Coco. It is the frontier river that runs from us in the South near the Pacific but empties hundreds of miles north into the Atlantic as a great river basin like the Amazon. Little over an hour and 2800 feet climb only to turn off the road through a farmers field and an hour straight down the mountain on a rocky, steep, narrow, curvy, cliff hanging, paint scraping, loaded with all the kids and lunch, straddling a single desolate cow path crossing several private farms.... without a spare(blew tire on way up mountain). So I am in the middle of the tropics, with all the kids and babies, 2 hours from the nearest civilization, in a former border war zone, with no spare, sitting at the headwaters of the second largest amazonian river basin in the world, cooking hotdogs on a hotplate in the kia for the kids playing in the water... simply beautiful with plantlife blooming and butterflies everywhere... and I have internet? And faith... welcome to Honduras...
 You know you are strange and off the beaten path when the border police you asked directions from come looking for you after a few hours to make sure you are ok... only problem was had to use matches instead of kia to cook for a house of 20... the hot plate was not up to task. Beautiful there on the mountain divide of Honduras. One side of the mt goes to the pacific the other atlantic and we straddled it. Kids had a great time... cost? Half a tank of fuel, flat tire lunch and made priceless memories... one side of river Nicaragua the other
Honduras... kids fed the policemen as a thank you..

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

prayer...

Have a heavy hearted prayer request. Ermita, one of our long time church members in the city needs urgent prayers on several fronts. Her husband was diagnosed with cancer and they were to go for their first chemo in the Capital today. Last night her son Jorge was carjacked by one of the worst gangs in Tegu and shot. He is in critical care in the hospital and are not sure if he will make it. She is in great need of prayer by those who know her faithfulness...

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Dunkin and divin

We had three of our churches at the  Lighthouse property last week for baptisms. Ten adults baptized in believers baptism. One was from the gang outreach the New Jerusalem Baptist church is doing. They have led several members to the Lord by befriending them and showing them another way. Inviting them for sleepovers at the pastors home and outings for times of teaching. How invested are you in soul winning? Short video of the young people doing much of the outreaching...
As always the cost for the day was the water pump burned up at the Lighthouse. The week following was spent pulling the pump and finding new parts. The boys did a wonderful job without extra issues or complaint for the hard work. Was expensive, but the Lord provided and it was a blessing. It worked one day before we had some disgruntled thief cut the waterline to the tank with a machete... easy fix but a headache none the less.
Also had the monkey escape. We don't chase them anymore just wait till they get hungry and return to eat.... but went out in the morning to find the monkey had played with a big box of matches on the roof of the kia... my first thought? Which little boy taught them that?
God gives little glimpses into how maybe he sees us, often in how we see our kids or grand kids, others in our care ect. On the way to church for baptism Sunday with a load of folks from the city I drive by a house near ours. The ice cream push cart man ringing his bell is in front by the road. There is a butt naked little boy arms and head divin deep upside down in the cart selecting a treat. I laugh at the Norman Rockwell moment along with all the passengers... then realize its one of ours and we are already late for church.... and have a confused moment on how I should feel as contrary feelings and thoughts all meet at the crossroads of my mind... wee. Catching monkeys is easy... ministry on the other hand needs divine intervention...

Monday, September 19, 2016

Rain on the just and the unjust...

Winding down our month long Children's day. Alberto took Julie and Lenin to our mountain church for the event. Jenny and baby were not up for the ride. As it turns out that was a good thing because I sent them 4 hours early by mistake... without enough money for drinks or food... my bad. But they were troopers and found a way. Julie and Alberto sang, Alberto preached, Lenin set up and ran equipment, Julie kept order. Worked out well. Near 200 kids arrived. More than 2000 kids have had candy rain down and were under preaching this month. Amen. The greatest blessing for me has been our Lighthouse family, ie our kids, did most of it solo. Amen. Went to our city church for pulpit fill. Was a good service. Then pick up a few folks on way back for church at Lighthouse right afterwards. Busy day but a good day. Good service at the Lighthouse as well. The institute grads have been reaching out to some hardened gang members. For a few months they have invited them to sleep in their home and church and they stay with them and "talk". They also take the half dozen out on outings away from other influences to "talk" and influence their thoughts. To show them there is another way. Are you secure enough in Christ to invite latino gang members over for a sleep over with your family to win souls? Minor led one of the most hardened to the Lord about 2 months ago. And he has been in every service since. They had 2 other members with them one night and Minor was witnessing, but thought he had pushed as hard as he dared and backed off. To his surprise his new convert stepped in and preached hard at his old gang friends... and led not one but both to the Lord. Minor was open jawed in silence. Keep in mind these are latino gang members. Some of the most murderous, thieving, drug influenced souls you can meet. But the LORD is greater and died for them too.  Amen. Minor was asking me if I had any extra 25 dollar mattresses so they could invite more of them. They need 6 to 8 so they can sleep in the church building at night... anyone want to buy a bed or two for a gang outreach ministry?  What is the price of a soul?

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Busy...

Keeping busy. Julie is our first complete HS graduate. She got her national diploma this past week. Three different tv news crews were there and out her class of 36 she was the first graduate of the first class of this program with the government. She received the same diploma as all other public and private schools here. The same day she had to rush and get all her certification to the university so she can start her medical school training in Jan. Her desire is to be a medical missionary.
Amen. Lisa was asked to "cater" (iè will you do it and pay for it, hard to say no when it is for Julie) the event and her wedding quality cake made the evening news and as the backdrop for many photos. Julie needs transportation in Tegu. She will be close the university but it is too dangerous to walk at certain times. And the bus requires over an hour and a swap (ie more costly and timely than a motorcycle) I have been looking for just the right thing and finally found it. A Yamaha Crypton new. Super high mileage, low maint, a girls motorcycle and had a price cheaper than the cheap chinese motorcycles... too good to pass up. So we bought it. Not sure what to do at the end of the month but it was very needed.
The 10th of this month was Honduras' national children's day. A big celebration time here. This year we were to be in 13 different (locations schools and churches)ministering to well over 1600 children. All heard the gospel. To give a scale each candy cannon shot launches 10lbs of candy 100 feet in the air... and the fuel getting to the locations is more than candy...weee. look on the kids faces when it rains candy...priceless... price for the look on the pastor's face when a few boys climbed up on the church roof to get a few stray candies... was cheap...free even..
Another little thing happening in our part of the world. Haitians have arrived. A large group caught a ship to Brazil and have been working their way to the USA by land.
Hundreds are now in Our church neighborhood. And Hondurans are willing to help... for a fee. Seems a place to rest your head out of the rain at night is $10 and a bank transaction from USA to Haitians cost $20. They are traveling as families and some have been coming to our city church. Beautiful families.
I was talking to our Nicaraguan preacher and his desire to visit Cuba. We have been pondering the idea of sending him for a while. He would take as much as he could and street preach where Americans cannot in a way few now days are willing. No hotel or restaurants, just knock doors and street preach till a new convert gives you rest and food, like he does here. He hopes to plant a new church in his month stay. His military training was in Cuba as a contra. His teacher and old friend is now a Cuban general. We would like to also bring in enough bibles for the active military in Cuba which is about 15,000. The general is willing to help with customs to bring in bibles. While at Julie's graduation I got promises of 15,000 J/R and another group commited 3000 whole Bibles. We have enough tracts at the moment. We are praying the Lord makes a way to send the preacher in Jan or Feb for the first wave, preaching and planting. Also firm up the decades old friendship and commitment from the general for sending Bibles.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Mountain vision

Already a busy week. Honduras celebrates a national children's day and most schools and churches do something special that day.
It is a single day for most but when you are wanted in more than a dozen locations...it takes a week or more to deal with over 1500 children. Jenny and Alberto have taken on much of this duty this week. The old kia had to be pushed out of the mud at one church, on another mountain it overheated and lost brakes coming down the mountain... but have already ministered to hundreds of kids 1-12 grade and week is not over yet. Our institute grades are sacrificing much to minister in 6 public schools. They have made themselves a wonderful ministry.
They give the schools the needed help they want and the schools in turn let them teach full time bible classes to all grades, to all students. They have seen many come to Christ and the church is growing a lot. Amen! Julie officially graduates high school Friday and has a gov issued graduation. They asked Lisa to "cater" it. Cake ect. The same day she graduates at 10 am she reports to the university the same afternoon last day to turn in her graduation papers...  talk about just under the wire. Amen!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Little is much...

Our school year ended and is almost ready to start up again. Lisa and Julie are getting next school year ready while closing this one. Been raining hard as of late. This Sunday taking church folks home in the city during a storm the kia took an unexpected muddy dive in a 3 foot deep flooded area of the paved road. It has a 5ft working snorkel kit and a quick switch to 4wd kept us going. But now it needs a deep cleaning and lubricant change in the transfer case, trans, differentials ect. Wee. 
Managed to weld the frame on the old kia back together for the 18th time and put tires on it. This will allow Alberto and Jenny to visit churches for me and do some construction oversight. Hoping to break ground and do a foundation for a church building near the border. They will also help this month for our national "Children's day". Currently reb
uilding some of our old vbs equipment to do activities. Alberto was asked by one of our pastors to do a lesson in a house outreach. He did fine. They also dedicated their new baby to the Lord promising to raise him for Christ. Amen. We tend to hold tight to the sweet moments in ministry because if not the heartaches can be overwhelming. In ministry one must guard their heart, not let it harden, nor break and fail. Found out two things this week about kids that used to be with us. One had left in rebellion years ago and called begging for help to fix the mess they had made of their life. The second even more tragic. A young boy who was removed against our recommendation and placed with family, is now one of the half crazed young men here wondering the streets sniffing glue and paint. Children's ministry is often like being a lifeguard on a busy shark infested beach, who is required to work with both hands tied behind their back, and tape on their mouth...heartbreaking.  (btw the photo is not the same young man. I just took the photo earlier the same day I heard the news).
 Our support is always a surprise every month. By the time the 3rd and 4th week of the month come around money is tight. Yet God always provides, 10 years of providing. I received a surprise email from an old school friend who used to babysit me 40 years ago. We have had very little contact and nothing for 39yrs till they had a school reunion.  The Lord laid on her heart a love offering. The second was an out of work Honduran business man. He texted me and said he had something for me... humbling. Those 2 allowed us to buy food and finish the month once again... The LORD proves through those close enough to Him to hear His desires.... after a decade of this, I am in as much awe of God monthly as one seeing the grand canyon for the first time. Thank you to each one of our ministering saints for listening to the heart of God. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Planting and weeding

Went almost 3 days this time with no electric. Thankful water lasted. Called the electric company and they told me it could be up to a month with no electric. Post a plea online then prepped to go to town and get needed parts to do a high voltage line swap. (half our neighborhood still had power on 2nd line. We installed the poles and transformer ourselves when we built the Lighthouse.) Then presto electric came back on... Should have asked prayer sooner.. someone had a direct line... now we can buy food. Need to clean our water storage and install new filters since system has been down.
Jenny and Alberto had their baby. It was several weeks premature but only minor issues that are passing. Mom and baby are well. They named him Alan Jose after Alberto and me.. humbling. Alberto is asking to do more ministry hoping to send him out on a monthly to visit the churches, but need to fix the old kia first.
Visited with several national pastors this week to talk about issues. All have worrisome medical problems weighing on them, but the work continues and we were able to help in various ways; Meds, exams, ect.
Institute grads are now in 6 public schools preaching and teaching full time. Their church is in need of 50 more chairs just for adults. Amen.
The church building in Nic. is up and roof half on, maybe finish roof this month. Our Lighthouse school shop is being built by us and ours. Foundation is in have all the blocks. Also have 1000 of the 3000 blocks here to start a much needed transition house.
Julie is prepping to leave for medical school. She is studying hard for entrance exams. Our Lighthouse school kids are taking finals this week and school begins for some of them in just 2 weeks.
Always something to do here even in "down" time,.. like sharping a machete...found some ghost chili seeds...so I want to do a gardening trial with the kids and grow hot chili peppers to make salsa as a business school project.. or sermon illustration.
Thank you for ever prayer, remembrance and provision.
Barry

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Is there a Doctor in the house?

What a wonderful day Monday. Left out a 4am to p/u a police transit commandant (old friend) and head to capital to renew drivers lic. Got there and all said no at first until we got to the chief. He said no problem presto 5m later lic in hand. Amen.
After, we went to meet with the ministry that runs the children's cancer center less than a mile from the medical University. They offered Julie a nice private room w/bath and board in a 24hr gated and guarded security area. It is a beautiful quiet place. Cost "0", all they asked was that she live there like a daughter... ie just like with us, and help as needed. She also has a church to attend near the university that has several medical students in it as well. As a dad I could not have asked for better. God working out every detail and rewarding her faithfulness. Five minutes after arriving she began working with a sick child and the mother thought she worked there. Beautiful to watch.
One of their desires was a person who would be able to witness and minister to the children and family of the sick kids. Right up Julie's alley. We also went to the university and found she needs to start the admissions quickly and take all the tests in 2 weeks for a Jan. start. The costs are going to vary, having a hard time nailing it down exactly, will know more in detail after admission, but min. class cost of $100 up to $500 per month the depending on courses load, books, labs ect. It can change monthly as requirements change. Plus a few living expenses, transportation ect. Cheap for a national medical school but a lot for us. Many are praying for her and a few are even considering helping her. Praying the LORD makes a way. Her end goal is some type of medical missions.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Harvest time

We had a wonderful week harvesting the Lord's field in June. Faith Baptist in Mo has been one of our biggest supporters since we began ministering in Honduras. They have a new pastor and wanted to come see us again. They chose to come with Truth for Today missions and make it a medical outreach as well.  The Lord blessed in many ways. I got to know the pastor personally, they saw the ministry needs and fulfilled some of them. We celebrated the 10th anniversary of the La Cruz Baptist church (Faith helped lay the foundation years ago). Doors may have opened for 2 more church plants and full
time bible teaching in another public school. Hundreds were helped by Drs, medicine and glasses, and 319 souls harvested for Christ.
The last day of the medical mission was on the border of Nicaragua. The church plant there got military permission and came across to the outreach to meet everyone in Honduras. Amen.


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