Honduras Missions

The Ritchie Family / Children's Lighthouse

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Sermon on the mount...

We finally got up to Pastor Santos’s church in the mountain. There were too many people to fit in the church building so they all sat on the hill outside. As I was watching the sea of people and children lined alone the bank I thought Jesus must have seen similar scenes 2000 years ago. A mob of people coming to see, hear and to get; and the Devil interjecting trouble wherever possible. It was a day filled with little frustrations nothing big, but each one aimed at weakening the work being done. As we set off I found out one of our children in the house stole a gift, in the village someone stole the toilet paper from the truck(real important on the mountain), a policemen wanting to take a gift ect ect. It became very clear in the mountain who was behind it. The lone bus that ventures daily up the mountain(a feat all by itself) passed by at the beginning of the sermon. He stopped to listen. Amen. His few passengers lined the fence to watch and listen. 40 minutes later as Carlos was starting the invitation, the attention of all was robbed when a second bus began blowing its horn to pass the parked bus. (keep in mind the 2 busses and our truck were the only vehicles up there all day) And the few men in the second bus made cat calls and bad comments to the young ladies in the service…Kinda hard to recover from that with 290 people sitting outside, yet once it calmed one mother trusted Christ as Saviour. Amen! We then began to hand out gifts and the people moved around making it hard to keep track and the crowd swelled to 350-400. Thankfully we had a list of names, but as darkness set in physically and spiritually, control became impossible, many others were trying to steal, all we could do was shut it down, so some true visitors not on the list were left out. I will give Pastor Santos our remaining gifts so he can use them to solve any ruffled feathers.
In all it was a good day just one that required more effort and stress than normal…but what is the price of a soul?

Friday, January 16, 2009

Christmas Shoeboxes

Paul Deem of Directline Ministries visited this week. He was given a first hand look of the work here in Honduras. Even this veteran foreign missionary got his heart softened by the ministries, the children and circumstances and life we live. He said it did him good to come, see and remember the difficulties and joys first hand. The children penetrated the deepest though. As he learned their stories the reality set in. Weather they gave hug or prayer or spontaneously sing hymns or just labors like a veteran missionary unloading heavy stuff and distributing toys, Paul began to see the Glory of Christ in it all. Because of all the waiting for the next move with customs we all spent a lot of time with the children letting them play. Its been a long expensive week dealing with customs for the container that arrived. Paul is responsible for shipping this container with Christmas shoeboxes for the Children’s Lighthouse and many of the churches we are working. The container last year was costly, this year we seemed to hemorrhage even more money at the bidding of a not so trustworthy customs agent. The container had a lot of corn, shoe boxes, personal items for the lighthouse and a donated older used 4wheeler to move carts around on the 32 acre property. Well, the customs agent had an eye for it and insisted we leave it with them and they would send the container….after a string of hourly and daily new “fees” the container did finally arrive, but the agent broke the seal to inspect it. When it arrived the keys for the 4wheeler had disappeared from where Paul had put them, some toys specifically for the abused children in the Lighthouse were stolen and after an inventory more than 300 shoeboxes were stolen. In all it cost near $4000 in "fees" (money donated to drill a well was all we had) and the lost of some shoeboxes

Welcome to Honduras.

After unloading the container near midnight we were exhausted, and set out early the next morning loading up to head for the mountain churches to distribute them. Over 200 shoeboxes were distributed in Colonia with several salvation decisions. We also distributed Bibles and bible story CDs to parents. We then raced down the mountain to load up again, p/u Pastor Enemesio in his casted foot and head back up to Los Tererros. Over 200 more children received a Christmas shoebox present. For many it is the only present they receive for Christmas. We took the kids out for pizza and Paul had his final goodbyes. The children began to weep and hug him and this ol veteran of a 3rd world mission field welted up….as aggravating as the trip was, I think his visit to Honduras did his heart good, and renewed even his vision…amen.
Click on the photo to enlarge

Would we do it again? Well, what's the worth of a soul? Whats the worth of a smile given to one of God's children?
So that would be yes, maybe bigger next year. With a little more wisdom--Might bring a TV camera crew to customs to do a "story" on the arrival...Hmmm

Monday, January 5, 2009

Prayer request and thankfulness

I did not preach to day, had to get an ox out of the ditch, actually a preacher... As we opened our hymnals a young man ran into church and said Pastor Enemesio had a wreck on the motorcycle and needed to get to the hospital. The folks in Los Terreros got him there. When I arrived only to find out the Socialized Hospital ER told us to bring him back tomorrow when they have someone available...You have to be kidding me. And people WANT socialized medicine? So I said I’ll take care of it and we rushed him to the place we go sometimes, a pay clinic called Sinai, but the Doctor was in ElSalvador. We called him on his cell and he rushed back and in a couple of hours had him checked over. We have taken a lot of folk and children to him and he treats us fair, trama and bones are his speciality. Nice to have friends. They took him in immediately and put him on pain meds so he could rest. Once he was examined he only had a broken ankle. The doc said the muscle damage on his thigh was severe and surprised him with no broken femur. His chest was also checked but only had cuts and bruises all over. He had lost control on a curve coming down the mountain from a house visit after church. He took out about 50 feet of barbed wire fence and a few HD fence posts. Thankfully it was not at the cliff section, and the wire actually held him back. I went up and got the motorcycle off the mountain. The motorcycle is destroyed broken motor and trans case, bent frame, and bent front end. But the rear tire we put on for him yesterday is great!
He is hurting but resting in the clinic tonight and will be casted tomm when they get the swelling down…wee…. Everyone was thankful it could have been a lot worse for a 62 year old man…He said now he can make more time to study his Bible, we laughed. But I also saw a 62 year old, working full time carpenter, and full time preacher, that no longer has transportation to church or visiting, and will not will be able to support his family for a couple of months….Unworthy Barry

Friday, January 2, 2009

A Day of Fun

A Day of Fun,
After a sweet church service we let the kids light sparklers. Barry Jr lit a few cheap home grown fireworks sold here. 2x the fun of those sold in the USA but much much more dangerous. Even I am scared of them, so that should say something.

The next morning we loaded up the whole family and went to the beach for a day of rest and fun. Our 5 new children have already had many new firsts since arriving. They lived in the mountain and could see the ocean in the far distance…but did not know what it was until Jan 1st 2009. After a few moments hesitation standing on the beach in amazement, they had never seen so much water, they took to it like fish. Lenin and Kathy wore me out every time they caught me they wanted me to throw them in. Kathy is going to be a handful she is full of zeal and excess. I am now paying the price for the “rest” I got yesterday on my birthday…it official I’m getting old. What do you do on a 95 degree day on the beach when you watch a man struggle and push an ice-cream cart a mile down a deserted sandy beach in hopes you will buy something because he thought your family was a “large group”. And you have 5 of 18 children who have never had ice-cream bars? Buy it of course. Patricia has also worked her way deep into Lisa’s heart. All of the children affect us differently all have different needs and desires. Patricia is our first truly orphaned child and she wants to be part of a real family. In a quiet time on the beach she had asked Lisa, “Will you please be my real mommy?” All of the children we take in as our own, but she needs a little extra assurance. So Lisa and I are going to inquire about making it legal and adopting her. Near the end of the day some men in a small fishing boat paddled ashore where we were because their motor was out and boat was leaking. They offered to sell us their catch, so Lisa bought 25lbs of fish for $7. Not exactly a milk cart broken down like George Muller of old, but it will do just fine. Thank You Lord, Today we will have fish. Amen.
As I sat on the beach resting in the shade. I thought the whole world is going crazy, but in this third world country, in this one little spot, for this one moment in time, it was peaceful and joyful. Thank You LORD.

Isaiah 26:3

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
Trust ye in the LORD for ever…

an unworthy servant to a Worthy Saviour,
Barry Ritchie

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