Honduras Missions

The Ritchie Family / Children's Lighthouse

Monday, March 29, 2010

Happy Birthday Carlos

Here is the updated email I sent out today with photos from Carlos' Birthday.

Just looking for prayer from our many ministering saints. Had a blessed week in all. It is now holy week here, a national holiday. A time for most people to party, but does open doors to witness and draw close to the LORD. Lisa is doing well in the states and so is the new baby and mom. The ministry here is still chugging along. A lady in the neighborhood donated used roof tin to put a roof on the church classrooms amen! The church is having a surprise birthday party for Carlos tonight. (see below for the added info) He too is still struggling, driving with bad tires on his taxi. No pictures right now, Lisa has the camera in the USA and haven’t found the ol’ back up one yet.

All 17 kids are out of school this week, so we’re just vacationing in house. I promised them I would lay out a tarp in the kia and fill it with water to make a pool to cool off in(103-106 degrees all week) we will see how it goes.

Need prayer on several fronts. I got a phone call Friday from a supporter. Due to the economy they needed to cut our support, so we lost another one. I was talking to another missionary in the north the day we took Lisa to the airport. He was floored when he found out our support level and sent us food. That’s a little humbling for both of us I suppose. Our support is less than half of theirs with 18 more mouths to feed. Still looking for a ways to gain support for the growing ministry here. Several men are willing to be our USA representatives, but getting doors to open in this economy is yet another battle. If anyone knows of a church willing, please let us know. We also have a private family issue, state side, in need of wisdom.
As one draws nigh to God rarely if ever does the world become easier, as a minister of the gospel your burden to carry never gets lighter. Rather just when you think your strength is gone and another step cannot be made, God adds more weight and says grid thee up like a man, and, I shall be thy strength
Psalms 22:15-19. It was this way with Christ as it should be with us. Ask not for a lighter burden rather ask for more and the strength to endure it to the end. We “rest” in the LORD. Amen

Current prayer requests
*Lisa state side
*Person family matter wisdom
*Finances, our biggest hindrance
*Labourers. We need to start a school as well as other mission / church outreaches. Our only restraint is labor and funds. 2 more church building to be built.
*We will soon finish the Children’s Lighthouse and be able to move in. This allows us to take in more abused orphaned children… but the needs are great in every direction.
*Need a real bus, the hodgepodge built van/bus (International bus engine, in a ford van bus conversion, with a Mercedes clutch) we have is very difficult to drive (200lbs to depress clutch) not safe to drive and is broke down 300 days a year

Update from tonight’s surprise BD for Carlos. It was all the church folks idea. Carlos was tricked into coming to the church and about 60 people were inside sweating and waiting with lights off. He came through the door and surprise everyone broke into songs and hugs. The church also bought him his needed tires. He was in tears several times. Preaching time and then I had him come up to read scripture in a serious way. He was already emotional about it all then he proceeds to read Job 17:1 as it was handed to him
My breath is corrupt, my days are extinct, the graves are ready for me.” The whole church broke out in laughter. The ladies made "garbage sandwiches"(thats what they call them) but they are filling. Then when the cake was served with only 2 candles, reason given? Not enough money after buying tires for more candles or the fire permit from the fire department to burn them all. It was a good night of fun, food, fellowship and song.

thank you for every remembrance,
unworthy servant to a Worthy Saviour,

And my thought of the day…
I have come to realize that we are not saved to get to heaven, nor saved from hell, those are secondary benefits. We are saved from a separation from our loving creator. Our prayer is not what saves us, nor our worn out knees, nor our works. We are saved when the Holy Spirit works within us by the power of the Word of God and authority and work of Christ Jesus; and that which is cumulated, cultivated by God is found pleasing in His sight and chosen. What is pleasing to God? A humble repentant sinner.
Luke 15:10.. there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.
It is God who is rejoicing to the marvel of all angels.
Work out your savlvation with fear and trembling, Do not believe your saved because of a prayer or church or anything emotional. Believe because the mighty power of God is now transforming your life and your resting on the promises of God's Holy Word. Amen

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Psalms 139:14

Psalms 139:14 is a good verse for the day it was also the passage used in church tonight. Carlos actually preached a lackluster sermon about the upcoming national holy week and how it is really a worldy time for many to celebrate and party. But, as the LORD has shown me so many times, it is not by our might a heart is broken. I watched the entire church move to the altar or bow down on their hands and knees on the rough concrete and literally cry out to God. All I could think of was the word beautiful. I was led to move about and pray with several folks. Amen.
Other blessing in Psalms 139:14...

Lisa was given the opportunity to go to the states and help our eldest Daughter Corinna during her delivery of our newest grandchild. She delivered by scheduled c-section so Lisa will help during the recovery and spend time with the grandkids for a week or so. Jayden Robert Downs born 9:11am 8 lbs 6oz 22”. Then Lisa will spend some time visiting a supporting church in Mo. before returning. It has already been a time of refreshing for her. Here is the photo sent by phone from the hospital.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Things money cant buy

Things money cant even afford to rent.

Listening to a song called Thank you LORD. Not sure who it is but it always leaves a lump in my throat and this is some of my thoughts of the day.

Walking to church hand in hand with 17 Children’s Lighthouse children singing hymns.
Sitting in church and watch one of our small children get up and take the microphone and sing Jesus loves me…spontaneously. Have several children move over to hug you during prayers. Having orphaned children come up behind you kiss you and say I love you Papi randomly throughout the day.
Hear the men you trained come back excited that 3 souls trusted the LORD as Saviour on Saturday mission outreach.
Having a tearful 13 year old single mom thank you for delivering Christmas shoeboxes to her and her baby in the mountain…
Seeing the Ladies in your ministry who used to not even walk on the same side of the street now sacrificially minister at every event
Watching a 50 lbs child decide to walk the dog with a tricycle after tieing the leash to his waist, then see the others call the dog and the child launch from the tricycle to a full dead run and not move the tricycle one inch. The dog you ask is a Great Dane.
Listening to the prayers of abused, abandoned and orphaned children lift your name up to the LORD in private and public prayer. Also hear them pray for salvation of those who hurt them.
Having your almost 18 year old son ask if he can talk to a girl, and then he asks her parents too…
A sinner allowed to serve the trice Holy God.
Bowing to pray as you listen in a new church building filled with souls singing and all you can do is whisper thank you LORD.
Yes Honduras can be a difficult place (like being without water for more than a week waiting for funds to fix; then when you do have funds the internet and atms fry the cables and still no funds.. ect) But the best thing here is:
the atms for making heavenly deposits always work

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Unity of Brethern

The theme of the day was Psalms 133 Unity of the brethren. We had the only other like minded church in our area visit with us today in a service. The church put it all together and it was a good time of preaching and fellowship after. We also had a relatively new visitor who could play the piano we have, so it was a melodious service. He practiced yesterday with our folks and it really made a difference. How great thou are was nice though we did have one incident when he offered and sang an unplanned “special”… But we had a good talk afterwards about it and explained why we don’t use that. He needs prayer, he was deported from the USA a short while back and thinks he can return shortly to his American wife in Georga. I fear its going to be a long wait so he might be with us a while.
It was a hot one today 105 degrees but the preaching was hotter in the 10 enemies of the church message…Carlos has become a good teacher/preacher. Last week the church voted to take him on for pastoral support. Amen, they are maturing. They still need a little guidance, but I now feel they would continue on without me and be fine, that should always be the goal of a missionary. One of our ladies fanned a visiting couple sitting in front of her the entire service to make them more comfortable in the heat. Blanca and Omar at their own expence brought in cold water to pass out. Just some of those things that tickle the heart…

Our kids are sick, well 16 of the 17 currently. I went to church alone today for the first time ever I think. We are still looking for the preferred meds but had a backup option using left over antibiotics to act immediately. Hopefully we will get what we need Monday. Also need educate Santos, to get folks off the mountain rapidly if the same symptoms reappear with others in the church or area. Can be spread like the flu or through mosquitoes… and we have entered the season for both.
Been a tough week on the faith in finances, been waiting for more than a week for enough funds to come in to take care of things, like meds, new motor for the water pump at the lighthouse, the container bill, and visas ect. Only a week before Lisa leaves. Have had some ministering saints promise to be covered some things. The Lord knows the needs better then we do and in that it is easy to rest.

Without buying any new parts Barry Jr and Brother Sabas figured out a way to finally install the bridge that was started when the last American group was here. Of course I had to test the strength of it, and the kids put it to use as the latest playground toy even before they got the other rope hand rail installed. It now looks as nice as it works. How do you keep bugs from eating wood in the tropics? Cover it in salt and diesel fuel…

Pastor Enemesio visited the Lighthouse this week in preparation for going up to Los Tererros. I always enjoy talking to the pastors from the mountains. He shared some of the stories and goings on up there. He also got a chance to talk with Sabas and asked him to come up and preach when we go… Amen Unity of the brethren, but unity in what? …Truth, for thy word is truth amen!

Please keep us in prayer on many fronts.
unworthy servant to a worthy Saviour,

Saturday, March 13, 2010


Looks like we have meningitis in the house. After a visit to the mountains last weekend visiting the family of the young girl who died, several kids in ours Children’s Lighthouse kids are now sick. We took Betsy to the doctor today and he confirmed she has the symptoms we were suspecting she had. He prescribed all the family begin antibiotics plus those we have had contact with in the last several days. Good news is it is easily treatable early with right meds and not contagious after 48 hours on antibiotics… bad news meds for 20-30 people…
I will be updating the blog tomm...

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Two post in one day

Loaded up Carlos in the new improved Kia and headed up to Los Cañas de Lenaca to preach and hand out Christmas Shoeboxes. As always it was a full house of kids. It was a difficult service because one church family lost their 14 year old daughter a few days ago. Gracella got a fever, sick and died in just a couple of days. She had been faithful in church for several years and had a testimony of salvation from a few years ago. (I found a picture of her standing for salvation I believe a while back.) Carlos and I kinda tag teamed on preaching He started I butted in and he finished but in all it was good.
As we handed out the gifts its funny some kids just really tug at your heart. One little girl was wearing an old blue tee shirt. That’s it, with holes all over it and it was as dirty as she was. She took the gift cautiously walked over to the edge opened it just and beamed in smiles. Another child sheepishly said thank you. As she passed the aroma was strong. She had not bathed in a while. Likely her family does not have the water to spare as we are in a dry season and even rivers are drying up. When we left we visited the mother of Gracella. She was laying on her daughter’s bed in a mud hut mourning with old rags covering her head. She raised up to hug me and we prayed. I tried to comfort her but it was for not. I did give her the present that would have went to her daughter who was still on our list. And she thanked us for coming. Then a horn started blaring because the kia was blocking the road for a workers truck to pass by dropping off sugar cane laborers.

Carlos talked to me on the way back about many things. He is worried about his car because a new regular taxi inspection is going to start and he knows his will not pass the new rules without some major repairs. It is his lively hood and since he started preaching as a Baptist pastor his family has kind of cut him off for help. They are all catholic. He is struggling, as are we, financially because his car breaks down frequently. It currently needs tires and body/frame repairs. Totaling over $1000 to fix it right. (Replace the body with good used one). He had to make a choice to fix his car (bandaid it) the other day to keep it running and money coming in or pay his electric…He now has no electric and his daughter has a medical need to see a doctor. One better than the public hospital who told him to change the milk she drinks buy a special milk in his pharmacy and it will solve her problem… it did not. If anyone is in a position to help in some way let me know. I know he would be humbled by any amount of help.
Always in need of prayer...


Déjà vu

Got bit by another scorpion last night, actually I think the same one as before. He was in my shorts to sleep in and got me as I put them on. Zapped me on the inner thigh. So another day sore with numb tongue and lips… hmm may have to preach too. I crunched him this time but he still escaped again. As Bugs Bunny use to say "Of couse you do know this means war "… And when I get him I’ll post his dead photo here as a warning to the rest of his clan… ☺

We are still plugging along down here. Still passing out Christmas shoeboxes. Going today to Lenaca and next Sat Los Tererros then we should be done. More pictures tomorrow. Pray for salvations as well. Also taking up 4 benches to them too.
The kia is fixed and modified for the mountains now…and now the police stop me more often…not to harass, but to asks about it because they drive the same trucks. USA type Kia truck upgrade parts are not available here or anywhere. We had to make or have made, most of it including the wheels. It has taken more than 3 years to collect everything, much of it donated. The instillation this past 2 weeks has cost very little but time…
Lisa and the girls got the wood fired earthen oven fired up this week to harden it. While at it they opted to make bread from the grits that came in the last container. Yum. Turned out a little hard but very tasty. Not bad for a first try using it. Yes 55 gallons of popcorn grits came in the last container. Still looking for ways to prepare it. Sabas took some home and brought back a milk drink his wife made with it. Yum. A lot better than my first experience cooking it. I tried making sweet grits, but cooked them more like instant oatmeal. The kids gobbled them down and about 10 minutes later most of the boys threw up…they expand a lot…even after eating if not fully cooked…ops.

The large open well we have on the property will soon be closed with concrete. It has been a worry from day one that a child might fall into it and drown. Pastor Santos’ young daughter fell in one in the mountain last year and clung to the side for hours before she was rescued.

Karen’s 9th birthday was today and the traditional piñata of course. What was not so traditional was the dog decided to join the kids to the delight of them all. She also play soccor with them…and eats the balls. Lisa also made a very different cake. She took a doll, dressed her as a princess and made a cake dress for it. Karen like it so much she doesn’t want to eat it… I let the kids take the camera and take photos. Lots of interesting shots, actually some were pretty good.

Customs is still calling almost daily about the unpaid additional bill for the container. Not sure what to do there just don’t have enough to give them and keep the lights on and kids fed. The donated food through Directline Ministries back in Oct is gone. It was a major blessing and eased burdens for months for us in that area. Pray they can do it again. But if we don’t pay customs it will be a mute point, ie no more containers. Our Resident Visas are due for renewal again and must be done before Lisa goes to the USA on the 22nd. So many more things not even listed that are on hold for now, like finishing the Lighthouse ect. As always from my perspective I never see the light at the other end of the tunnel… When things mount up and the burden increases I still wonder from whence the hand of our LORD will come. At least it does not keep me from venturing into the tunnel in the first place. Amen!

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