Honduras Missions

The Ritchie Family / Children's Lighthouse

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Always abounding

The Lord is always abounding. As usual here in Honduras there is rarely a day that is uneventful in some way. Since our last post many more have heard the gospel, been taught and blessed by the LORD. The kia was back together so we took supplies to Santa Teresa, and play a gospel teaching movie(Really strong message), and fix the solar panel electric system… only to break down again with the kia. This time tore out bushings in the front end, and it also makes new noises that I don’t know what they are yet. It is starting to show its age/abuse after countless trips into the mountains on basically donkey paths. But it always makes it back. Even our camera got tired of all the bouncing around and quit working. Someone said I should buy a military truck… I agree, but I would likely break it too by overloading it.. It would be hard to buy something tougher than the people of Honduras who live in these mountains. Like planting corn on the sides of mountan slopes 60+ degree angles. As I began to write this, Pastor Santos visited in need of help. He and 40 men in his ministry walked a lady down the mountain last night in a hammock/sling to go to the hospital, taking turns carrying her. That is 10+ miles in the dark, rainy night, down a muddy, slick, rocky, mountain to the highway, then got a ride. Senovell Castella needs an emergency appendicitis. They needed 2000 limpiria for the needed meds so the “free” hospital would perform the operation. He was afraid to ask but the need was too great and could not stand to see another member die for the sake of a few dollars, like the teenage did a short while back. I had some money in my wallet to fix the kia but only about 1000 limpira. When I opened my wallet to give him what I had there was 2000 limpiras in it… All I could do was smile and say thank you LORD. I returned inside after a short fellowship with him to do this update and check bank balance for our atm to find our pastor had just made a deposit of $115 which after bank fees is $2000 lempiras… hmmm. We have been here 5 years living this exact way. Living by faith is hard but carries the greatest blessings. Our LORD Jesus through his ministering saints have taught me that lesson repeatedly.

Jenny and Iris have passed their year end exams to graduate. They had lots of things to memorize. So what seemed a lost cause a few month ago has turned to a bright road. Pray they stay on it. Not a lot of “entertainment” here so we make frequent trips to the river swimming hole just down the road from us. Some photos are just too fun not to share.
Unworthy servant to a Worthy Saviour,

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


I would like to share a blessing. I have several birthdays to deal with this week and in coming weeks. Lenin and Enrique’s were celebrated yesterday, Bessy’s on Thursday. But in the midst of this we have chosen to celebrate a quencenedia(like a sweet 16 in USA, really big deal traditionally here) for two of our girls but only as a Christian promise day of purity. With Jenny we had talked, it was her idea, but she was not interested in the show side of it, only in the promise before God. If you remember a few weeks ago we did nothing for her birthday, no cake nothing due to funds, and told her to wait on the LORD. She did wait patiently and again the LORD does far above all we ask. The man who manages the gold mine in the mountain came to visit and gave us 2 small gold nuggets for her. Jenny picked them out. I took her to an old fashion jeweler and he set them on gold earring studs surrounded by a gold hearts he made and put a ruby in the center. Why? I gave Jenny the nickname my heart years ago and the pure gold in it was to remind her to keep her heart pure before the LORD, and if she did her price would be far above rubies…She was clearly shaken when we did this. She has promised to do so and not only that, but to save them to give and teach her daughter. (in 10-20 years I added in laughter). On the way home she went silent in the truck. I thought she was mad at me or something. As we pulled in to the house she said papi no one has ever given me anything like this or loved me like you do…and tears welted up for both of us. As we took them inside she went to her bedroom to get a letter of prayer she wrote. This is her prayer and vow to the LORD. A far cry from where we came from with her…

Alba has been doing well so far and has told Lisa she want to help her little sister like we did with Jenny’s sister. It is a far more difficult situation but I told her to pray about it, because this would open many wounds both old and new. I told her I would pray too but I would support and help in any way.
Our trip up the mountain was postponed because the truck was being repared so next week.. we heard up again, only to have Pastor Enemesio ask us to Los Tererros for Friday.
To our ministering saints, As you see I need every prayer and I waste not a one…Thank you.

Jenny’s promise her words from her heart and her decision to do so…Amen!

Querido Dios yo se que te he fallado en algunas cosas y que necesito algo para reparar mis problemas te pido perdòn por todo lo que no he hecho bien. Perdoname y ayudame aseguir adelante, y a ovedecer tus mandamientos mejor. Pero Señor, yo te prometo poner todo mi esfuerzo para lograr la meta que busca, y la meta que tu tienes preparade para mi. Padre Celestial, mis padres me daran algo muy especial y con mucho amor y valor pero con esto yo te pometo estar lista y preparada para el dia de mañana y te prometo esperar para mi esposo y darle mi corazòn a papi y mami, hasta que ellos me digan esto es bueno o malo aceptar y abedecere a mis padres y en todo y en primer lugar te obedecere a ti. Gracias por entendereme y enseñarme màs de tu palabro en el nombre a Jesus Amen.


Dear God I know I have failed in some things and I need something to fix my problems. I apologize for everything that I have not done well. Forgive me and help me gain sufficient assurance on, and obey your commandments better. But Lord, I promise to put all my effort to achieve the goal you seek, and that you have prepared a goal for me. Heavenly Father, my parents have given me something very special with lots of love and value. With this treasure I promise I will be ready and prepared for the day tomorrow (wedding day) and I promise to wait for my husband. And my heart I give to mommy and daddy until they I say this is good or bad, and obey and accept my parents. But first of all I will obey you. Thanks for the understanding and teaching of your Word,
in Jesus name Amen.

Monday, October 18, 2010


I want to thank those of you who pray for us. We have many needs but prayer is frequently our lifeline. We have been in Honduras 5 years and could not make it without prayer from afar interceding on our behalf. Thank you. With help from ministering saints the kia was repaired. A little welding, finding of parts, making due with other, and presto its on the road… for a day before the alternator died. It too is now being fixed. I was a highly certified ase master mechanic for 20 years… but still I am amazed watching Hondurans rebuild almost anything with nothing. We used to have this talent in the USA but seem to have shelved it for expediency and profit. Rewire an alternator with stripped wiring, a machette and sticks cut from the tree on the street while sitting on a rock. We plan on going up the mountain for a teaching/outreach tomorrow and Sunday, hope it works. The last time I ended up pulling out a bus near the bottom that was stuck…and giving most of the passengers a ride back to the top and needing to fix the kia afterwards Will be taking supplies to Santa Teresia this time. Had a long visit with pastor Augusto yesterday. Very fruitful fellowship.

Alba has returned for a trial time that may be permanent. It is in her hands to do right or not. She has made some very poor choices that will take time to heal and maybe a lifetime to pay for and wants to try to walk right. Amen. The least I can do is help, some of us only learn the hard way it seems. Please pray. Strangely, the last 2 days even with all the issues around me, I was allowed to sleep all night and awake praying with tears in thanksgiving to the LORD. Everyday for 5 months the LORD has awakened me at 3 am to pray with a heavy heart. And for the last years prayer has been a time of burdens. Yesterday and today was different AMEN!

Lisa is getting better spiritually, even though the burden is more and sickness seems to be frequent, her spirit is better and she always does more than her share. She is prepping for a bake sale for the school to raise funds for the end of the year activities. I went with Jenny and Iris to ask permission to sell out front of some big stores in the city. It will be another learning experience for them.

After fighting with the kia and charging the battery Sunday we arrived a little late to church. To find there were not enough chairs…That was a treat to come to church where there is standing room only so to speak… Amen. In reality all problems are blessings from the LORD if we just accept them, and allow the LORD to be Glorified through them.

True thanksgiving comes only with the expectation of nothing... It is the connection between mercy and grace.
Unworthy servant to a Worthy Saviour,

Barry Ritchie

Monday, October 11, 2010

Life is Real

Had a rough weekend. I had promised to take corn and supplies to Ven a Mi Baptist Church in Lenaca (Pastor Santos). We met his daughter in town Saturday and loaded 4000lbs up to go. The road was almost non-existent, following the hard rains. People were hurting because of a lack of supplies up there. It was a very long, rough climb in 4wd. When we returned back down the kia was making noise and so was my neck and back and everything was covered in mud. The truck overheated as I pulled into the Lighthouse property. I found a fan housing had broken loose and broke up in the fan. Barry Jr and I wired it together enough to work temporarily. Need to find a new one but things get worse. As I left for church Sunday morning, I pulled onto the highway and heard a loud clank but saw nothing. Made it to church and returned home only to see oil all over the driveway. We did not make it back to church and I tried taking it to a shop in town only to have the rear end come apart and lock breaking the differential/axle housing…Not going to be a cheap fix this time. So now it is very difficult to move the family around, get food or anything. Plus the water pump is still out at the Lighthouse making it even more difficult to just make it through a day.

Sunday night service, which we missed, was also a problem.

The 18yr old niece of Carlos and Luz living in the adjacent house committed suicide during church hours; they got the call during church. She had been in rebellion for a while, not listening to her mom, grandparents or Carlos and Luz. Her live in boyfriend of 3 years had been beating her. Her words to everyone in the recent past had an eerily familiar meaning, “I’m and adult, its my life, I want to live my life my way, I just want to be free and have fun”. Why do young people think running from God ordained authority, from the ones who love and sacrifice for them is freedom? Satan has a secret way into almost everyone 12-25 years old it seems.

And just to add a little icing to the cake we have had a rash of people coming onto the property. Sat night 3 men were seen on the property after midnight by neighbors. That same night the girls heard men outside their window. Laydi was and is very scared to the point of throwing up. Today Toño took the horse and camera to look around and saw more than 20 people in the back of the property cutting down our fruit trees. When Jr confronted them they laughed and said what are you going to do about it...So when I have a vehicle and can bring the police out we have pictures to start looking for them...hmmm.
Life is so real here, but then so are the principles and truths in the Bible.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Always in Need...but never lack.

Just a brief overview. I went yesterday to pick up papers at child services and was asked to take home Cindy the 11 year old sister of Aslyn Jose and Elmer. She has not completed the 1st grade. I am not an expert, nor has she been tested, but she exhibits many of the characteristics downs syndrome. Not severe but there none the less. We have become in need of a bilingual special education teacher. We now have multiple children in need of this type of help. Definitely need prayer the LORD opens a door. We do not have funds available for this endeavor but we have the need. Do not have funds to fix the well water pump yet, and the kids were out of school today, and the Kia had fuel. Great day to “do nothing”. Bonding time with the 5 new children who have never seen the ocean. And we found that Cindy knows her brothers and sisters but they have never lived together. So we loaded all 25 of us up in the 6 passenger Kia and went to the beach. (we now really need a bus). One great thing about Choluteca, doing nothing is relatively cheap. I lived a lot of places in the USA where doing nothing was always expensive. Toss in PPJ and water and drive off. Watching 22 children mostly 9-11yrs old, at the beach is a chore. Akin to keeping 22 cats in a small box with no lid. Had a great time but wore me out. As it turned out the bonding time was needed all around. We were alone as far as the eye could see up and down the beach, perfect weather perfect day. Then load them all up return to the Lighthouse unload Lisa to fix supper and head to the river near the house. Why? To play and rinse all the sand out of the kids and clothes that ruin the washer and clogged the drains…Shhh don’t tell the kids that they just thought I was being extra fun and nice…
The moma kia may be back on the road tomorrow. We welded the head journals and cam bearings then rebore the head and put in a used cam. Not a lot of faith in doing this. Not the way it would be done Stateside, but that’s the Honduran way. No one has money to fix things properly (nor money for right equipment) but they need to get it working so they find a way to do many things for nothing. Like rebuilding a $10 walmart fan with discarded extension cord wiring and bottle caps…

Laydi our new 14 year old has begun calling us mami and papi and giving hugs. She has settled in and begun to help as well. She too needs special education.

So now we have 22 children living with us and child services yesterday, mentioned the original 3 we agreed to take are about finished processing paperwork and the court recommended them to live with us. Weee. I honestly do not understand how we get through each month. I would drive an accountant crazy because the math does not work. We are always, always, always in need, but never lack. All I know is God provides through his ministering saints and angels unaware…

ps One more thing I wanted to share...Here is a photo showing a major problem in Honduras. It is a major problem in the USA too just not so obvious...

Thursday, October 7, 2010

A cool drink of water to keep running the race

Just a few things to share. A call from the child court on the first. I now know the real reason we got the last three children, because of the 10yr old sister. She is now in court and someone may go to jail. They asked if we would take her too. Even sick in bed Lisa said yes, so in the next few days when court is over we will take in another sexually abused child...

Went to the base of the mountain with pastor Enemesio today to pick up a small horse for the kids. A Los Tererros church member basically gave him to us and rode him down. After a little work we got him in the Kia and went to the Lighthouse. This fulfills a promise I made to Toño on his birthday to replace the horse we lost. This one is trained, he has been taking loads up to Los Tererros for more than a year and came with some gear. Toño already mounted him and he will be great for the property easily scouting out the property and moving stuff.

Lisa is just getting over scarlet fever. She went to the doctor a few days ago and got shots and put on antibiotics. She still gets sick easily yet keeps on keeping on.

I got stranded in the city tonight waiting on parts for the big Kia. So I was unable to pick up the kids for church. I walked to church and had a great service that was almost full on Wednesday, even without my family. Several former members in attendance and after hard preaching they went forward wanting to repent and come back…amen!

Our water pump at the Lighthouse has been out for a week now. Just not enough to fix it and do everything else. Each time we get a deposit it goes to more pressing things like food or drinking water, electric. Jr has learned a way to direct start the pump, but must leave lines open so it does not trip or burn up the pump too. So for now we turn it on, flush the toilets and fill all we can for an hour them use that to wash with. Each kid gets a bucket to bathe in and we fill the washer with buckets. One more pain in the neck but works.

Yesterday was Yeni’s 15th birthday but we were unable to do anything for her. The 15th is a very big deal in Honduras. She was good about it. I had asked her what she wanted, at first she said nothing, only after a little pressing she just said something real and not fake or cheap toys. I am working on a special gift for her if it all comes together it will be something for her to hand down to her children. She knows about it because she overheard me talking on the phone about it. Since Toño was patient and it paid off, she has chosen the same path…amen.

I find more pleasure in hearing a spontaneous "Im sorry" with tears and a hug from one of our Lighthouse children than all the laughter they can make.... Because it means they just moved a little closer to my LORD. Amen! I received this blessing 2x from different older children... Its a cool drink of water to a laboring servant...Thank you Lord

I need these cool drinks, because just the rare few minutes I get seeing the economic news in the USA or about how millions were raised for candidate a or b politician can realy be depressing. Then we go to the atm 2-3x to see if there are funds to feed our brood, and usually withdraw every dollar when there is… God knows just the time for the cool water and the true value of labor to be remembered amen!
Unworthy Servant to a Worthy Saviour,

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