Honduras Missions

The Ritchie Family / Children's Lighthouse

Monday, August 30, 2010

Plans just keep us busy.. so God can work.


After living in Honduras I often think it is futile to plan things for they rarely go according to the plan. We had scheduled for the La Cruz church to go up the mountain to support the Church in St Teresa, Pastor Augusto. But days of rain, a broken bus and a death of a church member have a way of constraining us. The bus driver called at 5pm Saturday to say he would not risk his bus going up there and his other bus was broken. I loaded up all the kids and supplies and headed to La Cruz to take as many as we could in the Kia, Then Pastor Augusto called and warned the road washed out in several places and the river crossing was gone plus and a church member died of septicemia in the night, so they were canceling services too. So as all La Cruz Baptist Church had gather early in the morning to go, it was obviously time to postpone. Instead, we had a sunrise service and church was over before it would normally start. On the way home to the Lighthouse the sun came out and the rain stopped. I got there and instead of unloading the kia, I chose to load it more with things to take up the mountain to lighten our load next time. I took blocks and wood for benches to sit on, candy for children’s day, Bibles, hymnals, Tracts, solar panels ect. I thought If we cant make it we just come back. Then loaded a few kids to help and off we went. Up the shorter, steep, less traveled route, straight up the ridge of the mountain. 3000 plus foot climb on a path not much wider than the truck, cliffs on both sides at times, washed out and slick from the rain, but what a view. I thought the view from Los Terreros was beautiful… this was even more so. One side looking deep into Nicaragua, the other looking down at the whole Choluteca plain. Even overlooking the Lighthouse property mountain(hill).
The little Kia chugged up and did not spin a tire in any ruts, but it is now obvious it needs new u-joints, they were creaking under the strain. We arrived to find the pastor also was having services because of the sun. He asked me to preach, 3 hands raised and I gave them to the pastor, afterwards it was a good time of fellowship. It started with just a few folks, but when others found out an american was there to preach, more showed up carrying chairs from there homes to sit on. Some were at the home of the man who died still mourning, but came to hear. The pastor was happy to give me the belts we asked him make for the boys. He puts food on his table by doing leather work. The quality was just like the store bought belts I was surprised. I would like to put in lights like we did in the other mountain churches running off a battery and solar panels. I have the panels, but cant afford the battery wiring and lights at the moment. When we can, Jr wants to return to help install them.
We returned in time to make our 3 service of the day back in LaCruz. Jenny(Yeni) had practiced a song with Patricia, Katheryn and Karen to sing in Church. It tickled by heart, God works in mysterious ways. Amen! Sorry it is so short but it took almost 2 hours to upload that much.
Lisa, Blanca and Yeni repainted the castle bed for the girls room and moved it from the city. Karina wanted to sleep in it and it was fitting since she also wanted to go to church in a princes dress. The photo tell alot.
The 6 other children we planned to pu today, well... Drive to Choluteca to find it is postponed till tomorrow...hmm... Amen! Always in need of prayer...
Unworthy servant to a Worthy Saviour,
Barry


video

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The goodness of God...


Here are the first photos of Karin, the 10 year old sister of Yeni we now also have. Sorry for the quality they are from a cell phone. All of the heaviness we have had of late is not without its blessings. I would like to share a few of them with our ministering praying saints.


We now have 4 girls with a variation of the name Karen in the house. The latest opted to be called Karina similar to our oldest daughter Corinna. She is a starved for love and attention ten year old. Lisa pulled out a stuffed animal teddy bear to give her. She was eyeing it on the table and when I told her it was hers she snatched it up and hugged it tight then leaped into my arms for a hug. Lisa then gave her a doll of her own and the scene repeated. It was the first doll and teddy bear she ever had. While talking to her and Yeni I found she has never gotten a Christmas gift or birthday present in her life. She has been clinging to me and giving me hugs every awake hour of every day since she came to us. I have taken the kids to the river several times to swim and this weekend took them to the ocean. It was Karina first time to see the ocean or play on a beach, it was there she began to open up and the fear began to melt away, it was on the beach she gave me the first spontaneous hug, after that one the floodgate opened and they have continued at a furious pace. Her eyes grew big as Lisa gave her choices of fruit for breakfast and she loaded her plate. She always ate in her old home but in a way that always left her hungry ie very little… I was skeptical about Yeni’s return but her heart has been great so far and her actions have spoken louder than words. She lost a lot of weight in the short time away but her appetite has returned. She has been more helpful, more thankful than before. I pray this last month has opened her eyes to the LORD’s blessing and hand upon her life. I am one that looks for the details more than the big events. The ten leapers being healed was not the point, rather the one returning to give thanks was the lesson… It is the same with the children as well. Yeni talking about ways to protect her little sister. Two times this week Enrique pulled me aside to talk to me privately; once asking if I would please adopt him too, the second to tell me he wants to be a pastor when he grows up. Many times a day children coming up behind you to give a hug and whisper “te amo papi” in my ear. Children rushing to get their food… not because they are hungry, but so they can be the first to sit next to you.
I took Bessy to the doctor to find out why she continues to have ear aches. Without encouragement the children with me give out tracts to everyone in the building and Iris tries to witness to the receptionist. As I exit the small office, I see everyone reading gospel tracts…
Our schools teachers are on strike ie few classes and many days with kids all day, so I have gone to the river several times. And the ocean once, 22 of us loaded up even though the kia had a bad alternator. A promise is a promise, therefore I charged the batteries and went anyway, hoping to return before darkness and rain prevailed… We just made it back. Then going to bed without funds in the bank to buy the needed food the next day or fix the Kia… yet wakening to find a deposit made in just the amount needed to shop for food and fix the kia…. At our level of support/income, I do not know of many who would accept (or even consider) the responsibility of 23 children into their family without extra help or income...(And more in the future) Some might call it living on the edge… I would rather call it living in the center of his hand. Everything this side of hell is a blessing… Amen.
Unworthy servant to a Worthy Saviour,
Barry

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

James 1:29 Pure Religion...

Here is a wish list for the Christmas container that is coming.
Lisa’s list is detailed for those who want to find out the nitty gritty of the needs. Kids clothes sizes, kitchen needs ect will go out on email. I will be posting a general list on the blog and pray the LORD opens doors to supply some. Maybe some store is going out of business, or someone has items in their garage taking up space, or someone just has a generous disposition, or a church activity or??? however the LORD works. He is amazing at putting 1+1 and producing 10. The 3 big needs.. Christmas Shoeboxes, Food, Clothing…

Christmas Shoe Boxes-Much needed this year. We will be reaching out to 10 or more ministry locations through this effort. For most of the children it is their only Christmas gift. It has produce fruit that remains each and every year. It is a great way to do a mission project without affecting budgets and gets a direct feedback from those participating… Paul Deem of Directline ministries has a wonderful program set up. He is also the shipper of our containers. Contact him at 1-740-667-6166. Or online at www.directlineministry.com All items will go to him for shipping to Honduras.

Food needed- Anything shelf stable. Canned, dried, sealed, ect. Canned, meat, ham, spam Vienna, veg, fruit ect, dried, pastas, beans, sugar in sealed tubs. Oatmeal, flour in sealed tubs, cereals, regular or number 10 large cans are great. Powdered drinks mixes. Keep in mind our meals 3 times a day are for more than 25 people. That’s 525 meals a week made….and we normally help many other not under our roof.

Clothes Needed- pants, shirts, culottes, skirts, dresses, shoes for the children. Almost any size will fit someone but Lisa’s list has the details. We can make clothes here but need material, prefer strong material but need all kinds. Along with all other related sewing supplies, patterns and equipment.
Quality shoes are hard to get here. We buy so many cheap Chinese made shoes, some only last a week before coming apart. Nothing like the quality sold in the USA. We need black dress boys and girls for school and tennis for other times and sandals work as well. Lots of socks too… I will add the details in a few days of sizes ect.

Please contact Brother Deem to arrange mailing, shipping or possible pick up if he is in your area.

Thank you all we need each and every prayer. This is a major help to us, we would have been hurting very bad last year had food not been shipped. It was and is a true blessing to the Children’s Lighthouse as well as many other outreach ministries… James 1:29.

In 20 years of children's ministries, I have come to learn there are many men in the world… but few fathers… And this is what is meant when God uses the term "fatherless" instead of orphan….

Unworthy Servant to a Worthy Saviour,
Barry

Monday, August 16, 2010

Praise and thanks for prayer

News to our praying ministering saints. Yeni is back after more than 3 weeks of heartache. The child services lawyers visited her and saw the conditions in which she was living. After some heavy discussion they took her and gave her a choice. She could go with us or to a state facility but she could not stay where she was, she chose us. After picking her up we stopped at a restaurant to use the bathroom and eat. Yeni ran up and hugged me in public and whispered in my ear…we need to get her little sister too. We then talked to the lawyers and they believe so too. Please pray the LORD works in her heart and spirit both are very lacking at the moment. So including the other 6 we agreed to take, in the coming weeks we will have 23 children living with us permanently. Need lots of prayer and help financially. We are also seeking to legalize papers on several children, like an adoption, which would open the door for them to visit churches with us in the USA for short periods of time. As usual the funds shrink and the needs grow…but God gets the glory for seeing it through.

In other news we are already gearing up for the Christmas shoeboxes. Paul Deem of Directline Ministry ( http://www.directlineministry.com/ 740 667-6166) needs to know who is willing to participate this year and schedule pick ups or mailings or shipping info. Our goal is to combine the food drive with the shoeboxes and put them on the same container. Since neither shoeboxes or food take up an entire container… but both would. Then the funds for a second container will be completed early next year to send a mid year food shipment and or clothing. So churches willing to donate to the Children’s Lighthouse shelf stable food, along with shoeboxes would be great. Paul has a list on his site of normal needs and how to do the shoeboxes and I will also prepare one to post. Basically anything shelf stable, dried foods, beans rice ect, cans ect. We also need clothes and shoes desperately, but only new things can go with food or shoeboxes due to fumigation requirements. Lisa has several requests to pray about on the list as well. One church in Mo has already sent some food amen!!
Unworthy servant to a Worthy Saviour,

Barry

Monday, August 9, 2010

A field.. Green, unto harvest...


Our first church outreach on the Honduran local military base was great. Marc Antonio arrange for us to enter and present the gospel to the 101 Infantry Brigade.(the men guarding the border last year during the political stuff) It went over very well. Seven soldiers came forward for salvation, including the master sergeant in charge. Every soldier got a bible and a health kit with a tooth brush, soap, comb and a tract. To clean their mouths, bodies and hearts… Every one was pleased and they may allow us to do this regularly. Pray this door is opened for the sake of the gospel. The two ladies(kitchen help) were looking over the back wall and followed along in the Bibles we gave them as well. A field still white...uh or green?

I will be posting about the container soo
n and putting up a needs/wish list for churches wanting to help with the food drive and supplies needed. It looks like it will ship from OH in Oct at the moment. Still need more funds for shipping but it has mostly been covered. AMEN!

Please keep us in prayer. As many of you know we always carry a heavy load, and we will be taking in possibly 6 more children in the coming weeks… We are also arranging more permanent papers for 3 of the children we have now who emotionally need the idea they belong to us, and call us mom and dad. It will allow us to arrange for visas and travel with them in the future and possibly visit churches in the USA.
unworthy servant to a worthy Saviour,
Barry Ritchie

video

Sunday, August 8, 2010

All in a days work for the LORD




Had a great united service up in Lenaca Saturday with Pastor Santos. We stopped in Colonia and picked up almost 40 folks from the church there and brought them up to Lenaca. The folks in the outreach Pastor Santos is working, Pichote, also came. So 4 churches were represented. Good time of singing then Pastor Santos preached. After the LORD pricked my heart to have a service specifically for the teens. For an off the cuff instant in season or out message it ended up firing both barrels at the same time at them. With all that has happened in the last months I did not sugar coat anything. I pray it opened a few eyes and hearts to the LORD and a desire to yield to Him and not the world. I know they all left a little overwhelmed and a little shocked but they are without excuse for their actions now. Several said they had never heard anything like that before…But it was all Bible. Pastor Santos was pleased as I believe the LORD was too. We are currently working 7 church or missions outreach plants.

Carlos keeps proving why the LORD put him as pastor. The messages today were strong and taught much. Even our children noticed. As we left church tonight Sayder said “Papi that was strong preaching”…Amen! In between services today I took the kids to the creek/river near the Lighthouse. It was just right. Flowing well and clean from all the rain and the kids would float down jump out and run back up stream to jump in again. We also took the dog who we found likes the water near as much as the kids.

I also took Patricia to see her other grandmother this week, to see if she would sign papers making it easier to adopt her. She is dirt poor and lives in a shack. It is surrounded by water runoff and the baby that was there was covered in mosquito bites every square inch had at least one. Very dangerous considering the many cased of dengue we have here killing babies. Patricia had me copy the few photos I had of her deceased father and fix/modify them to make a presentation she could give her. Still not sure of the papers, but her aunt(14ys old) asked me privately 10x to please let her come live with us too. Patricia played with the camera that day taking some good random shots…mostly of herself…

Brother Marc Antonio has arranged for us to preach at the military base tomorrow evening. Normally a very closed door. Pray it goes well and this might become a great outreach.
unworthy servant to a Worthy Saviour,
Barry

Friday, August 6, 2010

God giveth the increase...

We have begun working in another location to form a church. The last Sunday of the month we will go into the mountain beyond El Triunfo to help establish a ministry. I almost want to call our outreach ministries the wayside ministries. Because they have all sprouted from seeds not planted on purpose but rather from seeds fallen by the wayside then nurtured.
1 Cor 3:7… neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.
The man we will be working with is named Augusto Terres. He was a former pastor in another denomination who fell under conviction of the scriptures. A few years ago he was told to preach in a way contrary to the scriptures he was reading. He refused and it has cost him dearly. He was given a Baptist constitution from another like minded IB missionary near the capital. He studied it, taught it to his folks and the chose to become a IFB. By doing so they lost their building, help, his pay, his home ect. The other ministry came later and told him they would restore him as pastor and build a new building and classrooms and start a food program through them feeding the community. He and the few still with him refused choosing the truth of God’s word over riches…They now actually persecute him and are trying to keep him from preaching. He wants to do our bible institute and needs the umbrella of our mission corporation to remain legal on the mountain as a church. I will be taking La Cruz Baptist church up the mountain on the last Sunday this month to show him support and preach.


Not sure why the LORD has so many times placed me in a position of healing others even in churches on deputation in the USA. The men we have in place preaching and shepherding here are all older men, who have strong yet heartbreaking testimonies for the LORD. All have paid heavy prices for their walks with God. The timing of this is of the LORD, considering I just lost a man in whom I trusted in an agonizing way. He knows when to stop and rest, when to load more cargo, and when to water and encourage or whip this old warhorse to get the most work. I have often prayed asking that I would be totally spent when the LORD calls me home or sounds the trump. I want to leave nothing behind. Each day in Honduras brings me closer to realizing this prayer….
Lisa has had the best month spiritually, emotionally in more than a year. Even hurt and sick she has had more desire and strength, I have seen the wife I married starting to return after a long battle. Keep praying


Please keep Alba and Jenny in heartfelt deep prayer. I have a disturbing fear for them. and what is coming. The LORD has been waking me every day to pray at 3 am continuing till the children wake for school. I could use a few others in this, they truly need effectual fervent prayers of the righteous.

Our church lawsuit over property lines appears over with the Columbian man. It ended not with court battles but rather a friendly handshake in the church after a meeting with him Sunday after morning services. He has agreed to help the church with materials to help finish construction. Amen
Unworthy Servant to a Worthy Saviour,
Barry

Monday, August 2, 2010

Perdition


For those that have followed the blog or have visited will know that what I am about to write is very painful for me and I will only share a few points. We have had an epidemic of youth issues in our church and Lighthouse ministry. Several families have called for help in this matter and it has affected us directly. Our two oldest girls have now left and returned to that which they came. It has been related to cell phones. They are now very cheap here and offer free middle of the night minutes to students. Boys at school or in the neighborhood secretly give girls phones and they talk on the “free time” offered by cell companies in the middle of the night. Both Jenny and Alba have chosen to return to their families where there are no rules. They are free to live as they please. I do not see a bright spot in this. Alba left after I caught her with a man(49yrs old with a family) that I was working with, at the lighthouse and was training to be a pastor. I could not believe my eyes and said nothing till they noticed me. He is married, and up to then I had total confidence in him, I had worked with him 4 years.
Yesterday I learned Naydee the young girl we had with us a few years ago was in the hospital having a baby. Just turned 15 and her man abandoned her and went illegal to the USA. Nadee left us in rebellion 3 years ago and I warned her that before she was 16 this would happen. When I walked in the Hospital it took a while before she would uncover her face and talk to me. I brought our girls with me to understand more clearly why I taught what I taught. Alba agreed to come but now does not want any more contact with me. I also learned in the hospital that Nancy whom also left this last year had been pregnant with twins, but she self aborted them with help from her prostitute mom whom she returned to. It is impossible to fight this in our power. I have tried. I am at the point that it must be all of the LORD and he must teach the lessons the hard way. But it breaks my heart because I have poured everything into them. In a small way I understand the emotion of Christ on the cross, when your rejected, even hated by those your sacrificing yourself for. A tragedy, to trade your life even maybe your soul, to have a cell phone linking you to people who have no real love for you. Currently both Alba and Jenny are living with “fathers” who are drunks, but give them the “freedom” they desire. Alba shared when he comes home drunk she sleeps outside, Jeny called crying a few days ago and I ran to where she was to find her fighting with her drunk dad about hauling water. She came home with us for the night but returned the next day because she preferred the cell phone than living with us….I asked her point blank in Gods eyes whose daughter are you, yours. In my eyes whose daughter are you…yours. In your eyes whose daughter are you… yours. Where does God want you to live… with you. OK Come home…no I want to live this way and to keep my cell phone, which she bought by stealing the small amount of money I gave to her 35 year old sister who lives in the same house. Her sister works 10 hours a day in the melon fields for $4 and cannot feed her four children every day. She asked me to take her kids and told Jenny she needed to go home to her father(me) as well. It has been 2 months of agony and heartache and continual 3am prayer.


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