Honduras Missions

The Ritchie Family / Children's Lighthouse

Friday, October 31, 2008

Just Redistributing wealth...

Just redistributing wealth… Trying to convert that which we are providentially blessed with, into heavenly treasure before Ceaser renders it as his to distribute. The church and missionaries, the true redistributors of wealth as it should be. From a cheerful free will as unto the LORD, through those you trust, to help those you desire to help. We have been having issues with importing our container and those in authority are redistributing our woefully lacking wealth. So far it has cost $200 for paperwork, $500 for trucking and $640 for inspection. Not including the $4500 for “door to door” shipping and were not done Another container is coming in 20 days with food and Christmas Shoeboxes AAmen!
(Added)The container arrived! And with our small army was unloaded in 2 .5 hours. The truck driver took one of the Books of John to read. We now have 200 folding chairs, and round folding tables, 103,000 Books of John, a mower, risograph, bicycles, 2 pianos and corn Amen! One pallet weighed 1500lbs and I had to hook to it and drag it out... I was done working after that. The children's many small hands made easy work of the Bibles and corn. We tried to get Carlos to help but he just sat around...haha. For those that do not know he is in a wheelchair but is invaluable to the ministry. A true blessing and friend.

Iris is sick but doing ok. She is in a battle with amebic dysentery we think she got it visiting her mom. Thankfully the meds seem to be working and we caught it early.

Before the container arrives we had to put 4 loads of fill in the driveway of crushed stone…without a machine to crush it. We went to a quarry and picked axed it out, and loaded it in the kia. Then used a 12lb sled hammer to break it up in the driveway. It is much heavier than sand. The kia’s whopping 83hp motor almost did not want to move on flat ground in 4wd low(the men needed to push to get us going). It had to be near 10,000lbs of crushed stone in each load, the front tires floated off the ground when I backed down the drive and stopped. Good thing I am a big guy sitting over the front wheels, wee. And of course we cut one of the new tires on the sharp rocks. Welcome to Honduras. Would you do that with your Ford Ranger, S10 or Toyota in the USA? Even a 400hp super duty Ford would struggle. “I think I can I think I can” has become the kia’s motto…hmm wonder if I can move the 40’ empty container we have with it?

The office walls in the Children’s Lighthouse are up and the men are putting a stucco coating that gives a finished look. The pila for washing outdoors is also starting to take shape. Still waiting for the LORD to provide doors, windows, well, tile, toilets ect. so we can move in. We are getting overwhelmed with ants that eat wood and bite the kids. They even began to eat our Bibles in the bodega so we found it necessary to buy a quality sprayer and chemicals to fight back…

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Do lawyers make good piñatas?

When we get more children I think we need to teach them how to make piñatas… Or just use the multitude of lawyers here as piñatas. (just kidding). We have a string of birthdays coming. It is a nice time to make the children feel a little extra special. Bessy’s birthday was this week. Lisa went all out... again. We have been making inroads with Bessy and Iris’s mom over the last weeks and it seems to be working. How could we not try, when every chance Iris gets to pray she asks the LORD to save her mom. So we invited her to church and the birthday after. She came late and skipped church but is beginning to see the real worth of her daughters. Far cry difference than when she tried to sell them, and was threatening Lisa’s life at our gate last year. At the end she gave us all hugs thanked us. With Bessy and Iris leaning against me she began weeping she said to me “Thank you Papi for caring for them”. (All the children use papi like the word dad or Abba). Then the girls hugged me. I think the best witness has, and will continue to be, Iris. She may very well be the one who leads her mom to Christ Jesus.

The church service in Colonia was canciled again this week due to the roads are impassible. I was talking to a friend yesterday who worked 2 hours with us to get 5 km up a road while he was here. He said if we give up trying to get there its got to be really bad…it is. Had to weld 7 holes in the AC condenser of the truck from the last attempt…But it blows cold again. Steering is still off though.

It was a week of lawyers, hence the joke.

First 2 laywers: The court is deciding a property line dispute for the La Cruz church this week. The Columbian man next door walled in a 30’x80’ section and tore down ½ of the house on the church property and began to build what looks like a nightcub with a mini hotel…ie brothel. Pray the decision is just.
The 3rd The container lawyer is working the paperwork (customs ect) for the container that is due in port today, so we have been working with her. Our road to the capital was cut with rock/mudslide. We had to send Omar with paperwork to that point, walk across, and catch another bus.
The 4th Our visa/corporation Lawyer called and said a new law is in effect. We now must report to the government all of the names of people in our churches and their ID numbers. Plus we must give a report on all income and show what we did with it all. Both tithes and donations from the USA.
This must all be verified by a 5th Lawyer/accountant and be turned in on their special law paper by Dec 1st.
6th We need a lawyer to close on property for the church in Lenaca. Up to our necks in lawyers when we struggle to put food on the table. But the LORD still blesses. Like having someone make a beautiful dress for a precious little girl…Amen.

We are again coming to a stop point on the Children’s Lighthouse. The cement floor is poured over the indoor regular kitchen and the walls are going up. It will be roughed in this week. That will end progress till the LORD opens another door. We picked more bananas, corn, and lemons from the property and Lisa made muffins and cupcake with them.. yum.
Pressing toward the mark

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

10 Days of Rain

Rain is a blessing but as with most blessings they bring more work. We have had some blessing in the last 10 days along with trials. The rain cools the temp and makes crops grow and supplies us with water for the coming months…but it also makes things muddy and roads unusable. Our small corn crop on the property is already near time to harvest. The fruits are also ripening. The bananas we ate yesterday were some of the sweetest I have tasted. None of the food grown on the property is enough to sustain our family in any way, but it is definately a nice treat and blessing. But the rain makes other things much more difficult like outdoor church services in Choluteca and Colonia. I got a late night phone call from Pastor Santo's wife that he needed to get to the hospital right away. I got dressed and rushed up the mountain in the rain. He was fine after the emergency room visit and the meds we purchased for him. The road up was as bad as I have ever seen it. So bad in fact I tore up the radiator, A/C condenser and fan on the truck sliding off of muddy rocks. Not to mention the steering wheel now sets 90 degrees off center and it has a few more noises. Just cleaned off the mud today to inspect the problems… Honduras is rough on vehicles, several more hundreds in repairs. We ended up canceling church service in Colonia for the first time, because we did not have a vehicle that could make it up there with the road so bad.

Another mixed blessing. Daisy, one of the young girls in our church that we had put in christian school, ran away from home a few months back. She returned this past week and began to open up to us and explain what she had been doing… None of which was good, so bad in fact we are trying to convince her to be aids tested. Pray for her and her family as she returns to the right path. As with most of us, the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.

We poured the cement roof for the outdoor kitchen yesterday. Hoping to get it ready for Christmas and use it for the big church outreach. Last year we had 250 people there. The inner service table was poured this week as well.

Carlos preached yet another strong message Sunday and the husband of one of our ladies near the river finally came to church and fell under conviction. At the invitation time he stood up and said with a loud voice “I need Jesus to save me”. We had the men come forward and we all prayed. It was heartwarming and the whole church rejoiced.

Math quiz... How much can a 4000lb payload kia really hold on 14 inch tires? How much does 2 cubic meters of wet sand weigh?

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Pressing toward the trumpet

Another week here in Honduras storing up treasures in heaven for ministering saints. Several blessings to share.

This week was Jenny’s 13th birthday and Lisa went out a little special and made a 3 layer cake like she used to bake. She found a dress to match the topper. A ministering saint sent the supplies to to decorate the cake. Now the ladies of the church want her to teach them how. Jenny’s piñata was a cake as well, loaded with little whistling trumpets... (they did not look that loud). It is the most smiles we have seen in Jenny in a long time, She was just bubbling over. Her choice was to celebrate in church verses school or just family. She said she wanted the whole church to enjoy it….as long as Ermita (our Ladies teacher) hit the piñata first. She agreed. I still do not understand the lure of a piñata but it is fun to watch the uh hum “mature”(ie over 60) Christians wrestle a child for a candy… I think God calls us “children of God” for many a good reason.

Several new folks returned from last weeks visitation. Even sick Carlos preached fervently, and 3 came forward for salvation and 3 for reconciliation. Alba took the toddlers and even attempted a lesson, while Julie helped by reading a lesson to the youngsters. Between Barry Jr and Tonio setting up the tents, the other kids putting all the chairs out along with pulpit and supplies, others helping teach….I could not do this without the help of the children in our home…Amen!

Without a vision… The back wall is nearing completion, the stairs look like a mini ampitheater and will be good for teaching lessons or feeding 100 or so outdoors. I took the boys from church to the property for boys ministry; a Bible lesson, some hard work, then play by cooling off in the river nearby. The first lesson in our ampitheater/stairs. They had been moving the heavy things in the bodega to allow room for a container going out the 9th from Coolville , OH. It will have a risograph, old riding mower, food, Bibles, and miscellaneous building supplies that have been donated. Amen!

Nancy’s birthday was this week as well. Lisa put together some clothes and things to be dropped off. Alba and Jenny wanted to go and see her. Her only request was for a Bible which was fulfilled.

Unworthy servant to a Worthy Saviour,

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