Honduras Missions

The Ritchie Family / Children's Lighthouse

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Humbled and grateful

As a follow up to the last post...
Proverb 27:2 And Matthew 21:16 Sure fit together this evening.
Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise
Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth.
The church had a special surprise birthday service for me. Several friends and pastors also came down from the mountain. Pastor Enemesio preached, the men surrounded me for a time of prayer with many said for Lisa. Then there was a time of testimony where anyone from the church could share his or her thoughts. It was a humbling experience or so I thought, till it increased in magnitude as our children began to go up to give testimonies. It brought tears of joy all around the house of the LORD. Iris got up and thanked the LORD for putting her in a home to hear the Word of God and get saved. Then another then another. Toño got up and shared about being a hungry street kid with no hope. Now he is saved and looking forward to pastor one day. Then there was Sayder, with free flowing tears, began to thank the LORD for making me his dad where he could learn to walk the right path… Several younger ones got up and sang as well. I give thanks every day for the LORD using as he has. It is beyond my comprehension to know why a wretch like me is allowed this privilege. Thank you for allowing us to be here.

Another huge praise…we got the lights turned on at the Lighthouse property! Its kinda a back door way of doing it but they’re on. We got tired of dealing with the electric company bosses (for over a year) who are appointed by the president.(IE politics) We finally got a lineman to do it as a “temporary” install… which all we will have to do is switch our meter after we run another line to the street and bodega. It will cost us total about $900 when we pay the lineman and finish paying for all the parts.. but that is cheaper than the under the table fees the bosses kept wanting. Meanwhile I saw the lights and fans work for the first time today AMEN!

As the last post shared we have been cutting trails into the property. The photos give an idea the work involved… Lots of machette cutting and rock moving, some of the rocks are 500-1000 lbs. All dug out and moved by hand. I have no idea why Lenin took the scooter up to the trail… after being there with it and seeing the look on his face, neither did he.

A very unworthy servant to a very worthy Saviour
Barry Ritchie

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Choluteca Christmas 2009

Christmas in Honduras is almost over. Lisa made all kinds of treats and a traditional meal for all of us. Lisa had the ladies of the church sew up 500 stockings to hand out in all the churches. Each had a small gift, candy, a John/Romans, tract and a coloring book Lisa made telling the Christmas story, and a cut out manger scene. We distributed them in the mountains and the city, preaching as we went. Our Christmas shoebox container will be here in Jan so this was a filler idea of Lisa’s. Almost everything was provided in the last container Directline Ministries sent 2 months ago. Amazing how the LORD does that; Preparing the way before we even know. After the evening traditional meal, the kids gathered around for the story of Christmas, drinking homemade hot cider (a first for them) and eating treats Lisa made. She also gave some pies( unknown pastry here) away to folks in the church. Two weeks ago we were struggling and wondered what we would do for Christmas for all the children. I knew whatever it was the children would be content, but the LORD would need to provide. Just as He had taken care of the bills The LORD also took care of this as well. Ministering Saints ministered again and the children were poured out a blessing. Kids here are the same as in the USA. We get some toys with everyone in mind but someone has to open them, sooo… Dumas opened a present with his new clothes and I said Smile for the photo. He happily did so. When I took the photo of him opening the Tonka truck a few moments later… I did not have to ask him to smile. Hmm, wonder why that was? It took the other boys 2 years to wear out the last one… that says a lot for these guys… they can wear out a hammer.

The past week the boys and I have opened up riding, walking paths into the dense rocky Lighthouse property. Over 1000 meters so far. Lots of work, I don’t know how explorers did it hundreds of years ago but I give them a lot more credit now. Need to do something special for Jr and Toño. They missed out on all the Christmas events guarding the Lighthouse property these past several days. Barry Jr is considering going off to Bible college in the fall. I told him I would support whatever decision he makes, but we are not in a position to help much. Sasha is making it with help from a ministering saint, but still rarely has a dollar in her pocket and likely will not be coming home this summer for the same reason.

The hardwood inlay for the church doors were also done this week by one of the men of the church… and Jr. (Like Sasha did, Jr will leave a huge hole in the ministry and family) The windows also have the 10 commandments written on them. It has been a bumpy ride this year but the LORD provided in all things and next year looks bright and the fields are ready for harvest…till the trumpet sounds.
Unworthy servant to a worthy Saviour,

Saturday, December 26, 2009

A gift FOR Christ?

I was awaken this morning with this thought....
What gift did you lay on the altar for Christ? At this time of year most get caught up in the season of gift buying for others, but what did you give the one to whom the season is named? The very words of Christ in John 15:13 are not only talking about a sacrificial death as this verse is commonly used, but of ones life. A stronger reading is to sacrifice all the vitality of your heart, soul and mind to the service of Christ and his will….hmm. No greater gift have we than this to lay at our redeemers feet. We can live our lives for ourselves or we can live for others. As for me and my house….

This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
..Also see Deut 10:12, Phil 2:1-8

Christmas in Honduras…. I will update and share some photos and stories in the coming days. Getting ready to go up to Ven a Mi with the kids to preach and distribute stockings…

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Standing in Awe

At the plea of the visiting group I took some of the kids out to Tiger Island last week before the American group left. The return boat ride was all the way around the Island stopping to explore some of the remote beaches. Sitting on an Island in the pacific looking out at the kids running, playing and exploring, with the sun setting on the ocean, always seems to put things aright in one’s mind. It always makes me in awe of God’s handiwork… and this is the broken version. I was pondering the year. What a year it has been filled with trials and triumphs. Went from church in a hot, wet tent to The La Cruz Baptist church building being erected with fans and lights. Saw dozens baptized. Many more professions of faith. Lisa had cancer surgery, getting better but not fully recovered and need more exams. We took in 5 more children. Lost one. Children’s Lighthouse building almost completed, but still not ready to move in, so living in a 20-30 foot apt with 21 people. Building and land purchased for Ven a Mi mountain church. Gained some, but lost more base support level, yet continue to take on more and more responsibility. We strain every month to make it through and the needs keep growing. We fall short on support every month but a raven in the wilderness keeps supplying the needs from unnamed sources. I was more than a little worried this month for we were way behind in bills, electric about to be cut off ect. This month a Honduran man not part of our ministry stopped by and gave what was needed to pay the bills… I stand amazed how the LORD does it. Every month now for 4 years the Holy spirit touches someone’s heart and they help. The need to plant more churches grows… need more laborers and funds. Will be taking in more children soon…need more strength, wisdom and funds. (maybe they(the children) are our laborers in the future. Both Toño and Lenin want to be preachers and go to Bible school.. hmm. Saw our first years Bible Institute class finished and start anew. Barry Jr may go off to Bible school this year with Sasha, so it will be just me and Lisa. Saw a president deposed and threat of war succumb to peaceful elections. This Christmas will be one of the leanest in recent memory and struggling to keep it from looking like that to all the kids, but we have much to be thankful for… If I ponder too long on the trials and worries it can get overwhelming, so we opt to just keep looking to the daily blessings. Doing the impossible with nothing is one of God’s specialties and He proves that to us daily, when I see all the children fed and the lights go on in the home and church and lives changed. I have a difficult time planning things in the future. It is all I can do to get through the day and prepare for tomorrow…but the LORD keeps sending me more tomorrows and when I look back I am amazed at where he has taken me from yesterday. Unworthy to be under his hand, but oh so thankful to be so used by one who is worthy of all praise amen! Please Pray that our support level goes up, Pray for Lisa, the Children’s Lighthouse, more church plants, Bible institute, the kids, schooling starts in a month ie more $$ ect ect. Enjoy this special time of year for the right reasons…
Unworthy but thankful…
Barry Ritchie

Sunday, December 6, 2009

A Day of Firsts

What a Sunday!
Several firsts today. First we had our first Sunday service with fans installed in the church yea! Carlos preached a great message, then we baptize 11 people. Pastor Santos brought 5 people from his church and we had 6 ready. The mom with her daughter began to cry afterward, it was sweet. Then a lunch for all done by Lisa before we head to the mountain to return Santos and members. (They walked down 1.5 hours before getting a ride to church for baptisms. Hmm. Makes me humble.) We also took up some toys and clothes that were donated from a church in NH, they will be well used up there. Jr repaired the solar panel for the church. Needs a battery, as well as the one in Los Tererros that Jr worked on earlier this week. Brother Marcantonio from La Cruz church went up with us to preach. It was a burning message that the Holy Spirit used to bring 4 souls to repentance before the LORD. Blessing come in many ways. There was a drunken revelry planned at the local bar in the mountain. Some members told Pastor Santos who cut the service short so we could pass that section of the road before they all got rowdy (Ie dangerous to pass lots of drunk angry men with machetes) How is this a blessing?... After services in the mountains we managed to return in time to attend our first Sunday night service in the city since the start of the church. AMEN! It was bathed in prayer at the altar by the whole church… I think that is the best way to start about anything… on your knees.

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