Honduras Missions

The Ritchie Family / Children's Lighthouse

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Returned

Just spent whirlwind 10 days back in the USA. Have not been in the states for over a decade. One of our supporting churches called and it happened to be timed perfect. A canceled event here, right people to help here, ect, ect. They even twisted my arm a bit  wanting me and Lisa to come on short notice. Even buying 1st class tickets... that was a first for me. It worked out great, the late purchase 1st class tickets were only $100 more.... which is less than the cost of one overloaded or extra luggage.
We were allowed eight 70lbs bags between the 2 of us. Old school flying. And we needed it, bringing all that was donated to the children here. Another church met us at the airport with a caddy and a gas card allowing us to travel.
We stretched it to 10 days and were able to see 4 churches and visit with 2 pastors and a school chapel service while crossing back and forth the Mississippi River, and maybe a new supporting church. Our home church pastor drove 7 hours just to spend a 2hr breakfast with us. As I sat outside with a friend without a coat in 30s temps my body began to shake. Oh what's that? Wow a cold chill, haven't had one of those in a long time, almost forgot what they were. So sat freezing a little longer just to remember the experience. :)  All was great, emotional and needed fellowship good food and shared memories. The churches received us and treated us wonderfully. I found I was struggling some in English which made preaching much harder than I expected. Wobbly on the bike so to speak. We returned home to find all was well too. To a cleaned room and even a fixed a/c.
The kids did a really good job holding down the fort and keeping it all going... but were glad to put the keys in my hands. Thank you for every remembrance, care and prayer.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Honduras Missions

Update Eric... The prayers of many ministering saints have moved a mountain. The healing of Eric has been nothing short of a miracle.
His mind and memory have returned, his bones are almost healed. His eyesight not affected, and though still on crutches he is in school now and doing well. A few weeks ago we were not sure he would make it. Then no one was sure he would ever recover mentally. Now we nearly have our Eric back. Amen and thank you for every utterance to our LORD Jesus Christ, they have been answered. Eric wanted to write a thank you to all who were praying for him.

Cuba project... The first 3000 bibles arrived Monday. Tuesday our preacher from Nicaragua arrived so we could get them across the border. In Nic they will be  taken to a plane that will fly them to Cuba. We sent 3000 Bibles, 4000 J/R, 50,000 tracts, a bible institute course for 6 students, 110 children's shoebox/giftbags, our old faithful bouncehouse, and our preacher. All should be in Cuba next week.
Our preacher will stay in Cuba 3-4 month with a former teacher who is asking to be discipled along with his family. He will distribute bibles to Cuban soldiers, street preach and attempt to plant a church. A tall order. When he returns we hope to have 12,000 more bibles here to fly in. Enough for every soldier when he returns.

The Bible institute freshman classes began this month in St. Teresa. Former graduates are now teaching the institute classes. They are also pastoring in churches and teaching full time credited bible classes and English classes in public schools here.

Church and building projects... The first baptist church plant in Nicaragua now has a roof and electric.
The Honduran church near the border has the foundation in and blocks to build the walls.
The lighthouse shop/class building has walls up and a roof. Still need floor,  gates and electric.

Lisa and I will be visiting the USA for a few days for a supporting church's missions conference. Got my arm twisted just right. It is my first time back in a decade. Jenny and Alberto will hold the fort while we are away. Hard to get away for various reason. One example, Thursday we had a surprise gov. inspection of the Children's Lighthouse. Eight Lawyers, drs, inspectors ect. Wee, never fun. But if we were not here it could go bad quickly. We are trying to make the most of it and see a few supporters as we can. Need prayer and provision to make it happen.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Ministry Brochure

And  ministry brochure...

Prayer card

We have much to share and praise. But before I do I want to put up some new info and pics that have asked for

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Eric

Friday morning during school classes one of our young preachers showed up to try and fix his motorcycle that has been stored in our bodega due to lack of funds. Lenin went down to help get it out. After an hour Eric was sent to our bodega to fetch Lenin back to class. Lenin and the preacher were across the street at a repair shop. There were 6 tractor trailers illegally parked on the highway blocking access and view in front of the Lighthouse property. (We have a standing rule our kids are not allowed off property without permission.) Eric went looking for Lenin. When he stuck his head out around the semi to check traffic a pickup truck hit him in the head. Three vehicles wide on a 2 lane road. He lay lifeless in the road. Lenin, preacher and driver picked his lifeless body up and took off to the hospital. By the time we figure it out and get to correct hospital 30+ min had passed. The driver told them he was poor and didn't have much. I saw first hand the difference in care. When I arrived I began to question what and why, and finally called the hospital owner. When they realized whose kid he was things changed. This saddens me, but also shows why pure socialized care is not as effective... we went from taking one or two 1970s era xrays at a cost of $25... to an mri scan. We went from cleaning and stitching a few surface wounds on hands and feet to checking for blood and swelling in the brain and fractures in the scull.  He has broken eye sockets, nose, and jaw and missing teeth. Was still unresponsive, they were preparing us for bad news and we rushed him by ambulance to the capital for dr specialists.
The following morning a full mri scan also showed damage to his hand and foot, but all facial fractures have bones aligned and not in need of reconstruction surgery. Just bed rest and wait for the body to do its thing. Sunday he was moved out of intensive care for recuperation after he was able to eat a few bites of soft food. He has a cast on his leg and arm still can't speak due to swelling in mouth, jaw, face ect. He screams in pain when moved but this too is a blessing. The LORD's mighty hand through the prayers of His saints. Many were praying...

......and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. James

The LORD heard our ministering saints. After a full body ct scan they found a broken arm and foot, but now they are saying no surgery is needed for his face, and confirmed no bleeding in the brain. Just cast him and rest... Eric woke Saturday in a lot of pain, but not a single broken bone out of place. He is missing some teeth and will need dental work... a far cry from Friday seeing a lifeless boy in the highway. I have seen many die from lesser injuries.
In our time here in Honduras  I have seen first hand many times the power of God working through the prayers of His ministering saint... thank you Lord.
His healing will be long, and still needs much. And in reality not out of danger at all...it is only a couple of days after major head trauma. Much can still go wrong, but thankful for what has gone right. Please keep praying and following the Spirit's leading

Monday, January 9, 2017

Irons in the Fire

Irons in the fire... but need fuel for the fire.
Many things are already happening this year. Sunday we had our kids ministering in 3 churches. Jenny actually taught children in 3 different church ministry locations this week.
Lisa made up a craft coloring book for small gift bags with tracts, candy, crayons and a token gift. In her resourcefulness was able to make enough to give something to the kids in 7 of our churches. Alberto, Jenny and Japheth and all the gifts bags headed up the hour plus ride up the rough mountain road on a motorcycle( 3 people and supplies) to teach and distribute the coloring books gifts. And make it back to the Lighthouse to teach again. Julie is heading off for the University Tuesday of this week. She will leave a big hole to fill in many ways. She has shown herself faithful and the LORD is rewarding. To explain Julie's heart. See what she opts to do to help the day before leaving for college. She knows we have an inspection from the gov the day after she leaves.
Of her own will she just came in my office and got the cleaning supplies to clean all 10 toilets in our children's home. Then asks if she can go to help the city church in their VBS in the afternoon after the house is cleaned.... yeah a big hole to fill. She has been like one of David's mighty men to the family and ministry for a long time.
Last week she sat in the sun all week selling our great dane puppies. Why does a missionary sell great dane puppies? For money to send a national preacher to Cuba to witness to 2 Generals, street preach and prepare the way to distribute bibles to every Cuban soldier. Wanting to send 15,000 bibles and tracts, plant a church and maybe military ministry. 3000 bibles are beginning their move from the USA this week. Our Nicaraguan preacher now has the funds in hand to make the first trip.
Was talking to a well drilling ministry here and they are willing to drill maybe 3 wells for us in churches. The 1st one in April. Amen.
Still need more materials for the church construction on the border and deliver what we have... dont have enough vehicles running to be everywhere so has to wait till vbs is over... the old kia broke the rack n pinion and someone stole the battery. $1000 just in those 2 parts. Our preachers saw 4 trust the Lord in churches this Sunday. School is starting up soon and our bible institute students will be teaching again in public schools. And our Lighthouse school will begins soon as well. It has been 5 years on our current papers so now time to renew all our ministry and personal papers here. Always a great expense in time and money. Need prayer and provision on many fronts. Thank you for every remembrance.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Highlights

Highlights...
I was talking to our preachers who want to go to Cuba. An amazing turn of events. We have 3000 bibles coming our way to send to Cuba. We need 12,000 more. But...We now have a promise of central america to Cuba transportation.... free. I am not at liberty to share publicly all the details right now but the "who" is helping and "how" would be impossible just a few years ago.... need prayer it all works and prayers for funds to send our preacher there... amen

Lighthouse randoms...
Lenin working late under headlights on a motocarga 3 wheeled motorcycle we use for ministry. We have many who have a motorcycle lic and can use this but not drive a car. It hauls up to 12 people on a 200cc motorcycle. Though loaned it out Sunday to rescue one of our preachers broken motorcycles and they were hit by a tractor trailer. No one hurt but repairs were needed... Lenin has it under control. He is learning a lot.
I have always tried to teach our kids here to honor their fathers. To do it for the Lord not nec for the caliber of man they were. So one of our older kids when asked what she wanted for her birthday present?.... she wanted to make a grave marker for her father...
guess where I am?
Electric went out at the Lighthouse one morning and was a bit too warm without a/c or fans so took the kids to the river and let them cool off and expend energy...
lunch at river.

Oh fun... was time to take puppys to vet for vacs. Ie 12 great dane puppys we are trying to sell before Christmas...  take them to town, find a parking spot near vet, pull out the big dog cage and bottom falls out. 12 puppies running in the very busy main street and kids, me and vet chasing them all and stopping traffic.. and trying to hold them in a broken cage.... not a single horn blaring but lots of people laughing at us... weee,  welcome to Honduras...
Preaching....
We often allow a share time before preaching. An open floor time where anyone one can share testimony, scriptures, song or a short message. Yesterday I opted to use this time for an illustration. Our bible student/preachers had brought young men visitors. I called them all to the front and sat them down and told them I wanted to see who could read the rich man and Lazarus parable in Luke 16 for all the church to hear. But first I gave them a drop of ghost chili pepper extract. You know the stuff police pepper spray is made from. 10x hotter than the hottest habaƱero chilli peppers. Of course I drank a large bottle of water in front of them spilling a little after offering each a drink, but instead drinking it myself and telling them to reread that verse and saying "see, I cant give you any". As tears ran, snot ran, and sweat ran from red  suffering faces, each man began to run out side to the water hose for relief... except our young preacher... he managed through tears, sweat and a red face, to stand up and finish the verses and even turn it into a great short sermon plea. But then said excuse me and he too ran for the hose outside. I continued the message and plea until the men were able to to compose themselves and return. All enjoyed a memorable lesson and will never read Luke 16 the same again. So how are visitors welcomed in your church? Welcome to Honduras.... :)
Ministry work...
First load of blocks delivered to the church on the Nic. border this morning. Foundation almost complete. Four more loads to go for block... then 4-5 trips to the river to load sand and gravel then the church "kit" will be ready to assemble. Minus roof, doors ect...

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...


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