Honduras Missions

The Ritchie Family / Children's Lighthouse

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Mountain Photos

The kids are back from the mountains. They were a little in awe, so not a lot of photos. But they learned a lot, bathed in the river and washed clothes, sang and ministered in church, went visiting with Santos to families who did not come Sunday. In general had a taste of how to live on near nothing but the joy of the LORD. The church had a 2nd special service on Monday just because the kids were up there and about 80 people showed up inside and more crowded the doors and windows to see and hear. On visitation Cami was led to give her Bible away to a man who did not have one. The girls told of visiting a 14 year old blind girl, who rarely went out to play or anything, because it was too dangerous and there was no one to guide her because everyone worked. It was humbling enough that the girl voices held back tears as they shared it. Another home was lady who lost her husband and daughter when their house collapsed during the same storms that damaged the Children’s Lighthouse a month or so ago. She asked them to pray for her that the LORD would restore the Joy of her salvation…Our ministry has been helping feed them and send supplies. Pastor Santos was using this to help rebuild her home.
Welcome to Honduras

Monday, July 28, 2008

Just a few addons to the post below

The 3 New Hampshire kids and Sasha are up on the mountain staying with Pastor Santos. Sasha called last night to say things are going well. They are now learning of the real Honduras. And their hearts seem softer. She told of a few things like they went visiting in-between church to some poor families. The girls are still in awe. With questions like 'do they do this every morning?' in reference to getting up real early to walk a mile away to have your corn ground to make the days tortias. (if you work 2 hours away and work is 7 am and mom makes the family breakfast from scratch...when does she get up?) 'Or where’s the forks?' Sasha had to explain only rich people have silverware and how to eat using the tortias as your spoon, Or 'Where do I change clothes?' Is everyone suppose to go outside (in the rain) for you to change? No you put on a dress and change clothes under it. Tomm they will be at the river washing clothes and Stephen will be helping pastor Santos.(no photos till they return). The kids will return worn out phy, mentally and spiritually...maybe even broken.

One story from Lisa. Pastor Santos' wife was in the ladies meeting and her group won an event and elected her to go up for a prize. Lisa had put out some of the things donated in the boxes sent down as prizes, stuff animals ect. Amazingly we had a regular unused(in our house?) tonka truck on the prize table. She looked at Lisa and said this too? Yes it is available you may take it as the prize. She picked it up and began to weep. She never thought she could give Angel(ann-heel) a toy like that.(Cynthia and Angel are the orphans they took in, their parents both died of aids 2 years ago members of their church)
On the Christian road carrying our cross, when we falter under the pressure and cry out "LORD I cant" sometimes the LORD gives us the drink of water needed, but sometimes he just lets us see someone else much smaller pass us carrying a much bigger cross having received much less from the LORD with a cheerful heart glorifying the LORD. We can lower our head in shame and either quit...or repent and let the hurt be our sting of a whip that tightens the muscles of this weak flesh to realize we can and must continue the path set before us. Amen
Unworthy Barry

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Dia De Mujers

Dia De Mujers…Day of the Women. The Ladies of the church planned a special day at the Children’s Lighthouse facility. A time and break from motherly duties (the youth and men cared for the children) to listened to an “uninterrupted” message, fellowship, eat play games ect. They invited 5 churches to participate and ladies from around the property to come. The weather was perfect, 80 were present at the time of the teaching by Lisa. Her lesson on what’s in your purse changed the hearts of 2 ladies who trusted Christ Jesus as Saviour. Amen! Lisa’s new unfinished outdoor kitchen was tested as they fed everyone. The children/babies and men watching them for the 5 hour event numbered 55 more mouths to feed, water and change. Most of the men did fine…(with the young girls help). Only a few men hid out(Carlos) and were conveniently too busy doing other things to help with the babies:) The 3 New Hampshire kids visiting from Bethel Baptist did great even though Sasha and Cami felt ill most of the day. At the end of the day after the second truck breaks down... How do you pack 30+ women plus children plus 4 American kids plus their stuff into a 6 passenger Kia for a long rough mountain road trip? The picture shows how. Just like when the Church group was here a few months ago, we loaded them first real cozy like till they all said “there is no more room!” Then I told our family to get on…18 more! It took 3-4 hours of bounce bounce bounceto get everyone home in the mountains and we dropped the Bethel Baptist kids off to stay with Pastor Santos for a couple of days…yes they road up the moutain on top of the cab.
Think about this next time your pew feels uncomfortable or it is not the right temp in the church....They all want to come back for another Dia de Mujer... Amen.
Unworthy Servant to a Worthy Saviour
Barry Ritchie

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Life Lessons

The kids that are here visiting have been learning life lessons. Principles in the Bible are brought to life here, seen and felt here not just taught about in abstract principle. They thought about going to a youth camp in the USA. For sure it would have been more fun and likely heard more preaching, but I doubt the camp would allow the Holy Spirit to reach deeper or been more through than actually living it. In living with our church folks, they have been exposed to what much of the world is like. Where biblical principles like “if you don’t work you don’t eat” are very much working. They are finding that life is hard, no one owes you anything and what the real value of things are. It’s not the luxuries of this world that make for a wonderful life. The true joy of life can only be found in Christ…for the poor are rich in faith and blessed. For better or worse they are living with our church folks and experiencing true life outside their comfort zone. Sometime without bathrooms, running water, electric or other things we Americans call “basic necessities” which are not. It is amazing how little one needs to exist or how fragile and short the line is to destitute. Give us this day our daily bread means exactly that here, work all day to buy today’s meal.

The ladies fellowship is today. Afterward the kids will be walking up the mountains to live with pastor Santos for a couple of days and do Sunday school there….

Enemensio had finally gotten the hard wood for building the doors and windows for the church in Los Terreros. He was plaining the wood by hand with a back brace for his hurting back when I arrived with a donated joint plainer sent from the USA. He was joyful and it was an answer to prayer.

Thank you ministering saints of the LORD.

Monday, July 21, 2008

As Stephen Saw

A few shots from Stephens camera from Sunday services, plus a few extra as the kids begin to stay a day or two with some of our church families. Not sure who gets the bigger blessing the kids or our church. Prayerfully the lives of both glorify Christ a little brighter. The pictures say it best...

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Both hands on the wheel make for bad photos

Interesting trip.....
2:30am head out from Choluteca to San Pedro Sula. Literally driving across all Honduras from the south to the north and back again. The weather was ok in the am and it gets better as we go north to a beautiful day in San Pedro. The young people we are picking up arrive late enough they would have missed their bus ride back(we passed the bus on the trip back). But on the plane they all were put in the first class seats due to a mix up in seating. Beautiful drive back till ½ way, then it got worse and worse. The weather turned bad, 2 flats maybe more this morning haven’t looked, ruined at least 1 tire, saw 2 trucks turned over, one all the way across the road blocking it in the dark with nothing to warn it was there. And numerous other accidents. Many cars on the sides of the road with blown tires. Lots of vehicles driving without lights in the dark, hit many potholes, Could not dodge them because you cannot see them in the rain. Hit one big pothole so hard the truck spun sideways....into the oncoming lane of trucks. If I had 4 ply normal tires we would have blown them all. All most slid off the road in 2 curves because of a slime coating of mud flowing across from the hard rain.(only a 500 foot drop at the edge). Just like unexpeceted black ice in Alaska. Also had to swerve hard to just miss a 6 foot rock in the middle of the road at another curve from a landslide... I am sure someone last night hit that one it was in a bad location and very hard to miss. The rain, fog and mud flows were so bad I was driving in 4wd on the pavement with the flashers on just to keep enough control… We arrived back near 9pm. The girls now believe the things we write on the blog… Someone was praying. Steven… zzzzzzzzz slept through it all. His response “Ive been here before I know how it is, besides I prayed and went to sleep”… Somehow I think that would preach… just not last night.

Tough long drive 2am till 9pm driving in very dangerous conditions. yet there was a major blessing, our church here donated the money to pick them up, $150 in fuel, because we ran out of money before we ran out of month. We did not ask or even share the need with the church they just knew. It was a major giving effort on their part most only make $3-5 per day and the kids will be living with our church families while here. This morning they began by heling put up the church tent...without rain for now.... Keep praying!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Classroom Building

Just a brief update. The Lighthouse kitchen/
fellowship hall now has the steel installed for the concrete ceiling/floor. Lots yet to prep before cement though. The classroom section has begun with the front arches going up, all the rebar welded and the back footer is in. The 4th gutter also was installed on the far side of the dorms, so progress is still happening though I do not know how most days. More demands then we have means to meet but it has yet to stop forward progress.

We will have a multi church ladies fellowship in the Lighthouse on the 26th. Pray everyone brings visitors. It may start an annual ladies outreach. Amen.

Just got back from a funeral for the dad of a church member Ermita. She is our ladies teacher. It was rough on Ermita because she is the only one saved in the family and none would let us preach or anything. So about half the church showed up and we asked if we could pray…Amazing how much comfort and preaching you can squeeze into a prayer with dozens of unsaved around as a captive audience. Ermita was pleased. It was like Daniel she was able to please the LORD and not upset her family and they heard the gospel.
It has been a difficult week on Lisa as well. She got sick, then 3 kids got sick and she got news her younger brother died tragically in NH.
No news on the status of Nancy’s family except the judge was suppose to view everything today.Thank you all for your prayers

Unworthy servant to a Worthy Saviour


Monday, July 7, 2008

Good Bad and Ugly

The Good— The electric is all in the Children’s Lighthouse, all tested and even prepped for a few future things, just need electric company approval to put up the transformer and pay them the connection fee. The electrician said it would have cost $40-$60,000 in NY for the same job…all donated. Wow and amen the LORD is good. The driveway gutters are now complete all the way down with culverts, road tubes and all. Made a concrete upper drain across the driveway Friday, to collect the water between the buildings and roof. Started on the rest of the gutters for the building; and the classroom section plus the floor/ceiling over the kitchen Monday. Just keep working as the LORD provides. Dropped off Wellington, the electrician, at the airport early this morning. He was a major blessing for Barry Jr, Carlos and us. He worked from 530am to 6pm daily, got a foot fungus, bit by scorpions, got sick and never missed a moment working, witnessing, smiling, preaching or serving. I was amazed at his testimony and true servant’s heart. Thank you Wellington for your service to our wonderful Saviour.

The Bad—It rained again before services on Sunday and filled the tent with about 5 inches of water. One of our ladies grabbed a shovel and began digging a trench, but did not get a shovel full before others took over to try to drain water away. It rained so hard it collapse 2 corners of the tent. Bibles went into the water the pulpit was water logged, everyone and everything was drenched, church was late, yet 60 still came to a meaty preaching, teaching message by Carlos. Amen!
Wednesday amidst all the heartache told below in the “ugly”, we had a church email us telling us they were terminating our support for lack of communication (?) and too much reporting about the lighthouse and children and not about the church. My heart sank we are already living by faith month to month. And we share those things close to heart at the time. When it was the church plant in Los Tererros, that filled the blog, When the doctors and preaching outreach was here, that filled the blog. What ever the LORD is doing I share. The timing could not have been more painful. Wellington was taken aback, he saw a lot here and witnessed the struggles first hand. It was like kicking a seriously wounded soldier for not fighting hard enough. Not only do we have constant frontal battles, supply battles but some willing to kick your feet out from under you for some reason they think is just in the midst of the battle. My reply was lengthy and I will share it without names for those interested, but not in the blog.

The Ugly-- The last four children Nancy, Recardo, Mario, and Fernando are no longer with us. After the surprise in the court house last week things got ugly and dangerous. It was heartbreaking but had to be done. We poured so much of ourselves into them, they were changing for the good, then see it unravel in a week. In the courthouse the parents seperatly(they realy hate each other)huddled in corners with the children for about 10 minutes before the lawyers/clercs broke them up. The dad had told them to steal our identification and papers, Credit cards and anything they could pass to their cousin when they went to the school. Also to poo on the floors, walls and misbehave as much as possible…and they did. Even the school saw a big difference and complained. The cousin at school had also been telling all the children we have to steal from the Americans…good thing it is a “Christian” school. (if we could just afford our own school we are legal to do so) We caught Nancy stealing my all my ID, credit cards, money and Sasha’s gold School ring, to take to school for her dad. I wanted to scare her and took her to the police after talked with all the children to find out the story…. All said their parents told them to. We filed a report to be able to give to Child services. After several hours talking with the police she seemed sorry, we prayed and I did not sign to charge her or her father and took her home. The next morning I woke Nancy first and we talked for over an hour about everything, a really sweet sounding moment and she wept on my shoulder said she was sorry and we prayed a while…but an hour later she stole our second set of keys, told her brother to try again to steal our IDs, this time not just mine, but Lisa and Sasha’s as well, and all our credit/debit cards, passports, residency card and even more money from the church offerings and construction funds. It was during our tent set up time as we are going in and out of the house setting up for church in the rain. That was enough, I took them to the police filled the reports and left them. Then went to the Judge and gave a deposition about the dad and the children. It was ugly, Satan trying to attack and only the Grace of the LORD protecting. Please pray for the children and keep us near the throne….we need wisdom, protection and provision beyond measure.

Unworthy servant to a Worthy Saviour,


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Wired !

Still making progress! The men are about done wiring the Children’s Lighthouse. Still need to do the bodega and maybe even get to put up the new transformer that was donated. That was a major surprise and a heavy burden removed. I could not see how we were going to afford it then just as it is needed the LORD opens the doors of a ministering saint and blesses all around. Amen. The bathrooms in the dorms are now rough plumbed and should have the concrete floors by the end of the week. And the drainage ditches are now all the way down the driveway. They were put to the test last night even before all the cement hardened. It poured rain and they worked very well preventing the road and building from washing away. Just need to re-skim coat it where the water rinsed the wet cement. All that is lacking is fixtures, appliances, doors, windows, well, paving, second floor poured, stairs, beds n furniture, painting, tile, interior walls, fans, A/C and more..ops guess it still needs alot just getting excited to move. Amen

News about the children:

We were informed the last 4 children needed to have an interview with the court psychologist. So we scheduled a time at the Lighthouse at the last minute the court called and said they needed to have it in the court house. As we walked in the dad was in the waiting area and the mom came in a few minutes after. It was a little chaotic with the parents arguing and not wanting to be in the same room with each other. It was the first time I have seen the mom and it was easy to see her line of work from her clothing. She handed Nancy a cell phone with a unknown man on the other end who was asking here where we lived. She said nothing thankfully. It was the first time I ever saw the dad somewhat sober. It was very uncomfortable for everyone. The tension/confusion was revealed when Nancy asked me later “My mom kissed me does that mean I have aids too?” (time for comforting and a life lesson) Finally the clerk moved us to the office side so there was a counter between us and everyone else. It was tense, until the children starting spontaneously singing church songs that not only calmed everyone but brought smiles and a small crowd of parents, court workers ect. huddled around the counter to watch them. Out of the mouth of babes.. Amen! The Judge called me in later and asked when would I have time to talk with him. It will be tomorrow morning.

One of the days returning from the property a little early with the children I decided to explore the shrimp farm roads to see if there was access to the coast near the lighthouse. What we found was only private corporation property of the shrimp farms but the ride was beautiful because it is all a nature preserve of lagoons. Fishermen casting nets the way they have for 1000s of years, the flamingos arriving white before turning pink from eating shrimp. It made for a nice afternoon drive.

Wellington has preached 2x while here in 2 churches and both times folks were moved to walk with the LORD…amen.

Our LORD is longsuffering and our field is still white. Even with all the things in the world going on the work of the LORD is unchanged and there is much yet to do. Thank you all for your prayers to the Throne of Grace.

Unworthy Servant to a Worthy Saviour,
Barry Ritchie

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