Honduras Missions

The Ritchie Family / Children's Lighthouse

Monday, March 30, 2009

A slow day?

Sunday service was full, one visitor brought by Suyapa walked the aisle for salvation. Amen! We had some clothes donated, and after going through them for our kids, Lisa set up for a used clothing give away in Church, it was needful and well received. It was Carlos’ birthday Sunday too, making it a full day of events. Add to that the kids picked a truck load of mangos to also give away in church.

The donated corn is in the hands of the freight shippers in Gulfport Miss. It got caught by some rain enroute to the container so prayerfully none will go bad before we get it.

Still chasing thieves off the Lighthouse property. The kids were playing in the building and saw 3 more people sneaking in the woods up the hill behind the building and began to scream “daddy…gun”. The men threatened them by yelling down they would kill their dad (me) if they did not quit yelling. They yelled even louder behind the locked door of the building. I arrived a moment later and fired off the starter pistol we have. (shoots blanks only but looks real) That set them to running back over the mountain. No work is currently being done on the Children's Lighthouse, time and money are lacking.

Our first 2 groups of Bible Institute students (15) are finishing the first year of classes 2 other groups have a ways to go yet. It has taken a while to complete for it is a full college couse of courses trying to do them at night. I am hoping to do a certificate ceremony for them to encourage them to continue. They already have a better understanding of scriptures than many pastors here. Amen!

Purchasing the San Geronimo Church property has been on the back burner in action but not in prayer, no funds have come in to help and it seems so far out of our reach. The Group that is selling it approached us this week and lowered the price if we would commit and buy it. It is now down to $6400 from the original $8500 asking price. Which is a very good price for property, building and well. With the congregation already in the building. I doubt it will go lower. Like everything here it is in the hands of the LORD and his ministering saints...Amen.
Nov 15 blog post link

Click on the above link to see the original post about this ministry.
Here is a photo from Nov

As for the hair cuts on the boys. Saturday I was cutting hair and gave some of the boys weird haircuts to see their reactions. After 30 minute of laughter and playing the embarrassment wore off and they wanted to keep them…no I don’t think so, and ran them back under the clippers. The teachers from the school called me for a ride to pick up the schools curriculmn today. So 2 months into the school year the kids now have text books…progress.
Unworthy servant to a Worthy Saviour,

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Dig a little deeper...

Our hand dug well at the Children’s Lighthouse property has now gone dry. We have been staying there part time and just washing school uniforms for a few weeks wiped it out. We started loading water daily in the kia 250 gal at a time but that still is not enough to bath, wash clothes, flush toilets clean dishes on a daily basis. Not sure what to do just waiting on the LORD. The kids picked mangos for school…for the entire school. On the way to school Jenny and Nancy gave some to the highway crew along with tracts and books of John. It was time to renew our resident visa ($$$ again) and we found our passports had elapsed too. Opps. So another special trip to the capital, without kids because they are not allowed in the embassy…try finding a baby sitter for 18 kids and have them do it over night in a place they have no water and they need to be the security chasing off the nightly thieves…Carlos um jumped at the wonderful opportunity…After church on Wednesday he went out. He almost backed out when I told him Toño and I just chased 3 more men off the property trying to come in from behind. Really need so much yet to do to actually move in. A security fence added to the long list seems now more of a need than ever.

I get weak knees when I ponder all the things before us that need done, some immediate needs; visas, passports, water, daily food, school supplies, electric. Then Pastor Enemsio needs another $1000 motorcycle or vehicle to make it to Los Tererros. Then that blends into the longer term needs, there are always bigger needs looming. Start a school, build the 2 churches, purchase the 3rd church, Drill a well, put up a security fence…it seems it all just grows. So many have helped above and beyond I often feel discomfited letting some of our needs known. But the LORD is ever faithful. Example, a good friend knew we had found free shipping on someone else’s container and offered to haul free corn (16,000lbs) from Toledo, OH to NC to meet the container…wow. The LORD has done so much since we have been here it is often overwhelming if one dwells on it. Our task, burden, blessings and needs are way beyond our human ability. And all we see in the future is an ever growing need till the LORD returns…

Unworthy servant to a worthy Saviour,

Barry Ritchie

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A little further

Just a few follow up pictures to the last post. Sayder's hand, Karen's BD at school. The trees were touching the roof so it was time to trim them. Most of the children helped in some way, trimming branches, hauling leaves, or burning wood. Barry Jr was "proving" his new machette. Lots of grounds keeping work to do. The last construction project on the Childrens Lighhouse for a while will be the stairs on the boys dorm side. Time to wait upon the LORD and renew strength....and funds. Still much yet to do before moving in. Finish stuccoing walls, well, more tile work, sinks made, window enclosure on the dinning hall side the last of the site work, appliances, beds, furniture, a/c and fans installed(only 104 degrees right now) have the power turned on ect ect. Then we still must raise the level of support to take in more children and start the school. Do to us being slow to have funds available and a new policy in the electric company we were without electric for 2 days. The policy is anyone with a bill higher than 5000L must pay it in 3 days of the bill (ours is usually 10,000L=30% of our income, higher since we had americans visiting last month). But the bank which takes payment is still on the old policy will not take funds until 5 days after the bill date... so they were swift to cut it off. With electric off it makes it hard to find out if funds are even available... So I am not real eager to turn on eletric at the Lighthouse property and have yet another hard to pay bill. Lets just say I am glad the kids like the fruit at the property and can cook on an open flame.

I had a wonderful time yesterday with all the kids at the property while Lisa waited for the electric in the city. The children all went to school with a snack of fruit from the property. After school they all did homework, each older child helping a younger, and each having a list of chores to do after that. Nancy and Jenny washed all 18 school uniforms by hand on the pila, Lisa had instructed Alba to make Mac n cheese in a big pot on the open fire. Toño was burning garbage, some were cleaning, some were picking fruit for tomorrows snack. I was sitting out back leaning back in a chair, just enjoying all the kids working together in different projects. An actual moment with all of them busy, none of them argueing or complaining, no one had a bad report for school or anything. Felt kinda "sagely grandfatherly" as each in turn asked for help or permission for this or that. Afterward allowing them all to go find the fruit of choice to eat and play. Little hands bringing large ripe mangos or coconuts for me to open for them. It was one of those times even in the midst of difficulty that the LORD gives like a cool drink of water. Amen!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Blessed are the Poor...

I’ve spent a lot of time out at the Lighthouse property lately. Things are still progressing but since letting the family go that was caring and guarding the property, we have had to take on that responsibility. It is quite time consuming, separating the family, eating up more resources, but needful. Barry Jr and I chased 3 men sneaking around the property this week, as well as some teenagers a few days later. Then there are the animals getting into everything ect. So this affects family time, computer and communication time, study time ect. The completion of the Lighthouse is still a ways off at our current rate.The kids are in school now yet we still have not gotten everything they need. Several children have worn out, broken or lost shoes and uniforms already…Like the sock eating drier only it is a clothe destroying property and school yard. I have never seen children that can wear the soles off of shoes in 3 weeks, but our can. Then again Honduras is just as hard on tires. Had to replace 2 tire on the kia again. Rocks, rock everywhere.

The ladies of La Cruz Baptist had a special service up in Colonia Fountain of Life Baptist and 2 ladies trusted the LORD and 7 came forward to make things right with the LORD. AMEN!
Sayder needed stitches in his hand while the windows were being installed…playing to close to the workers truck and fell into fresh cut glass. Of course it has to happen right before going to church. Lisa squeezed out a birthday party at the new school for Karen.
Electric transformer is wire to the building, Doors are installed on the dorm side of the building, allowing a measure of security. In a lighthouse and boat theme. They will look nice when Lisa is done painting them. Still need security fencing around the building and to repair the barb wire around the property. The bathrooms now have tile on the walls and floors. Ready for toilets and sinks now. What one has to do for security here is way beyond what I am accustom to. If it is not locked up, welded down and sat on someone will try to steal it…no matter what it is. In the USA, I left my key in the ignition of my cars for years without removing them…here you have to lock one side just to walk to the other side. I left my cell phone on my seat and stepped out of the van. I was no more than 4 feet away from the door for 20-30 seconds…phone gone. Tried calling it, a girl answered saying for $200 they would return it…I now have a new phone, it was cheaper. Just another expense we do not have funds for. Tires, phone, school clothes, it adds up quick. I recently had someone make the statement to me. “Brother maybe the LORD wants you poor.” Still not sure what to think of that statement but it has hung with me and I have pondered it. Never thought of ourselves as poor, though the entire ministry runs on less than a family on welfare in the USA would bring in. Nearly all that we get goes to ministry in some form. Lisa and I rarely, if ever, purchase things just for ourselves. Everything is measured for ministry value. Almost everything we have has been donated…even our underwear. I do not think one can be “poor” as a servant living in the Masters house and being allowed to partake of His table and abundance. Amen. Now our passport are due and resident visas must be renewed. More funds not in the budget.

Finally got back to preaching last night, teaching a series on separation. We had surprise visitors, 2 southern Baptist pastors who came to ask for tracts and Bibles. I would not talk with them until after the service. Both said afterward that was a very strong message and they had never heard that before…hmm imagine that. My people perish for a lack of knowledge…
Unworthy servant to a worthy Saviour
Barry Ritchie

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