Honduras Missions

The Ritchie Family / Children's Lighthouse

Monday, December 27, 2010

Simply Beautiful

Just wanted to share a scene from the last few days. We were returning from the mountain church services this weekend, looking out over the Pacific Ocean and Gulf of Fonseca as the sun was setting. The elevation is more than 3000 feet driving along the ridge of the mountain you can look down on both sides. In the distance is our property the Children’s Lighthouse, Choluteca, in the far distance is El Salvador to the right and Nicaragua to the left. The temperature up there is in the mid 70s dry and beautiful. The stars came out later bright, above the haze of the city you see so many more. What was even brighter were the souls that called on the name of the LORD this weekend. Now for the Choluteca twist to the beautiful events…
We ended up getting a flat on the Unimog later. Huge tires, no jack, lug wrench or spare on a Christmas holiday night with a truckload of children… But that was after it ran low on PS fluid and brake fluid…. How to fix. Sing praises unto the LORD and pay a man to sleep on the Unimog and leave till the next day to fix it. Hitch a ride home like everyone else does… Wee. Need to get a vehicle fixed to p/u visitors tomorrow in the capital as well as Pastor Augusto and hopefully some paperwork for the container that is coming.
Unworthy Servant to a Worthy Saviour,

Friday, December 24, 2010

Feliz Navidad from Honduras Missions

After the late night ambulance trip into the mountains a few days ago, the kia is down. It is at a mechanic right now, will know more after Christmas. Last week we were wondering how everything was going to get done, but as always the LORD provides often through his ministering saints. We were given the use of a mining truck called a Unimog (actually a 40 yr old Mercedes Benz military truck that has the same size engine as the kia, just on monster tires and tractor gears) for the week since they are not using it over the holidays. We have a go anywhere vehicle till Jan 3rd. Jr says it makes the kia look like a girly car. Wish we had one of these all the time.

Ministering Saints provided gifts and some clothes for the children. And we were able to take the children in to a nice shoe store and pick up new shoes. All provided by the LORD through the hearts of his ministering saints. THANK YOU. After shopping was done. Lisa wanted to deliver her food baskets for folks in the mountains and city and let the Kids do some visiting. We loaded up all 25 of us in the Unimog and off we went. The last time Lisa visited one location was the last time we had the Unimog 4 years ago. It was a long day that wore everyone out bouncing around in the back of the truck…they all really like the “luxury” of the kia now. The Unimog goes anywhere but your body pays a price Your arms, legs, back, neck and stomach muscles are tense all the time, just holding on… and sleep comes easy. Tomm we head back up a different mountain for church services Saturday and Sunday. Today is Lisa and my 27th anniversary…. I’m taking her out in the Unimog… how romantic.

Thank You all for the prayers and wonderful ministering Saints the LORD uses and makes all the ministry here possible. AMEN! Feliz Navidad

Monday, December 20, 2010

I think I can I think I can

We ventured up the mountain this weekend 2 times, from sea level to 3000+ft almost straight up it seemed at times. Both outings were to preach and teach in New Jerusalem Baptist Church in Santa Teresa on Saturday and Sunday. The ladies ministry from La Cruz Baptist offered to go and teach the ladies and teens in the mountain. They also brought food for a time of fellowship. Carlos went with us to preach to the boys. It was a time of blessings all around. The pastor’s family as well, as church members, were finishing leather belts after service so Pastor Augusto would have them Monday to sell in the capitol before Christmas. They make a lot of them to sell to vendors for as little as 50 cents apiece. I was fascinated watching them all work together. This is their year’s income. like bringing in the crops so to speak. They prepare for months getting leather ready and the old pedal sewing machine was going so fast I thought it would start smoking. I watched them the next day finishing up a large batch as I waiting for them so we could get them on a bus.
It was then I had an epiphany. These folks are hard working making items to sell in the market so the pastor and church can keep going. Not asking for a handout which I see so much here. But it would be more profitable if they sold them to churches, bible colleges ect in the USA than a street market in Honduras. The idea was if a bible college or Christian bookstore was selling a specialized bible cover or belt or other item(widget) for a fair price and it had the label the stated. “This item was hand made by a local NT church in a third world country. Your purchase helps sustain them and plant more indigenous churches”.(and orphanages) And it was next to a similar product that just said “made in china”…which would you buy? As I watched, the name and principle that came to me was “All things in Common” out of Acts 4:32 and it is not a far removed principle from Paul teaching in 1 Corinthians 8:13-15 I would like feedback from ministering Saints on this Idea. If it is pleasing to the LORD pray for a door to open.

The rest of the story… The Kia began to make loud screeching drive train noises as we arrived with the Ladies. I was concerned it might not make it back down that night. Instead of using gears I rode the brakes all the way down the mountain, heating them a lot. They got soft but never went out. We made it back to the city and I tried calling around to find another 4x4 to borrow but to no avail. I was committed to the promise of covering Sunday preaching up the mountain the next day. So I loaded the older children in the morning, prayed and headed back up the mountain path. It made it up, and the LORD gave a wonderful service. It is easy to teach those that want to learn. With the lighter load and heavy prayer the kia made it back without a break down, and we got the pastors wife to the bus. Amen. We now need to fix the Kia again (I think transmission) but no time or funds at the moment. It’s the only vehicle we have and it is in use daily. Our Christmas container is enroute and we do not have funds for it once it arrives either. It has cost at least $1000 each time we bring in a container and this time there is additional shipping across the country we must also pay. If we do not pay the fees and final transportation they sell the contents at a government auction and we loose everything. So... much to praise for and much to pray for… But always abounding in the LORD
unworthy servant to a Worthy Saviour,
Barry Ritchie

Monday, December 13, 2010

Wedding in Honduras

Iglesia Bautista La Cruz had their first wedding in the church building. After much time and many hindrances, the couple, Blanca and Omar, are now officially married under the laws of Honduras. It brought out healthy discussions in the church about many issues that grew the church body. Our ladies ministry did decorations. Carlos did the religious ceremony and we had to have a lawyer do the civil ceremony, which Lisa and I were the official witnesses. (it’s a little different here, only a high up RCC priest is allowed to marry people here without a lawyer.) The couple made their vows one to another then on their knees to God. Several of our children were in the wedding as pillow girls, ring bearer and flower girls. Lisa had promised Blanca she would make a cake, and wow what a cake. It took 60+ eggs and turned out prettier than any store bought I have seen here or states. Even without knowing the colors they matched. Carlos got in some preaching and the dinner after fed more than 200 folks gathered. The church in Colonia Trapeche came down out of respect; and had one church member pass away a just a few hours later. Omar rushed up to help as he could and spent the day after his wedding helping with a funeral. We finished at midnight… but not by preaching, it took that long before they were willing to cut the cake. Amen growing in grace Several more to do in the mountains with folks wanting to be obedient to the LORD Amen. Keep us in prayer, lots to do this month and little to do it all with... But the LORD has always been and will always be faithful.
Unworthy servant to a Worthy Saviour,

Monday, December 6, 2010

Gathered random shots

Here are a few random shots collected from the past weeks. A dinner photo from Thanksgiving, Birthday photos from Korina and Patricia’s days with the cakes Lisa made, including the only photo we have of all the kids at once. Need to make a new family photo when I get a decent camera. Lisa and I collected alot of toys before coming to Honduras through special purchases and donations like toys for tots ect and shipped them more than 5 years ago. But the supply is about out. It has been a great blessing permiting us to do much more than our budget ever allows in so many outreaches. I pray the Lord lays it on someonle else's heart to do something similar.
And a carnival/fair photo on the Farris wheel. We had a small old time carnival pass through our town. After driving by numerous times with multiple kids asking to go, I finally stopped checked the price and let some of the kids try some rides as a reward for helping so much. The little Farris wheel and merry-go-Round had to be more than 60 years old now operating with Isuzu and Toyota diesels engines from wrecked trucks instead of electric motors. As a former mechanic I was intrigued with the merry-go-round… But the multiple welds, re-welds, rebar in place of tempered steal, many temp looking repairs and modifications on an ancient Farris wheel gave me the willies… It did the kids too as the operator throttling the engine and changing gears shifted it into 4th gear for a high speed spin. I never saw one turn so fast. Yikes! The kids screamed closing their eyes and turning down heads, but it wasn’t till they got off they said why they were screaming; the bugs were so thick around the lights when they sped up it was like driving a motorcycle in a bug storm…yuck. At least it was cheap and they had fun :) The videos are from the Baptism a couple of posts ago, and musical chairs from the birthdays, And the church Aniversary up on the Mountain... 2hours of singing before teaching/preaching starts at 8pm... Haven't preached till midnight like Paul yet by maybe one day.

Welcome to Honduras

Without a vision…. Here is a list I posted back in June. I had someone ask recently if we had any needs or projects… so here is a short list...

Future and current project list, big and little.
1. Roof on La Cruz Baptist classrooms $1500 DONE!
2. Build church larger Church in Lenaca $5-7000
3. Build a church building/chapel on Lighthouse property to facilitate a new church plant. $5-7000
4. Build a church building in Colonia (have land) $5-7000
5. Build a church building in San Geronimo. (need land) $10,000 for both
5a. Help dry up church building in StTeresa Currenlty adobe without cement stucco so
each rain washes it away. Also need chairs ect. $1000+
6. Finish classrooms and start a school at the Lighthouse property $5000 plus ongoing expenses for teachers materials ect
7. Build a Laundry room at the Lighthouse $1500
8. Beds/closets for children of the Lighthouse $3-5000 DONE!
9. Clean a field and plant a veggie garden at the Lighthouse 0-$300 fencing ect
10. Finish the retention pond to charge well water Just time and weather and fuel
11. Finish running electric to install meter on lighthouse $1000-1500
12. Build secondary dorm rooms $5000
13. Build a work shed/garage $3000
14. Finish Kitchen at lighthouse, food storage, grill, LP stove, cabinets ect $1000
15. Awning from outside kitchen to dinning hall $500
16. Fix gutters and downspouts( Overflows right at the corner of the foundation and is washing material away) $200 DONE!
17. Build a large concrete water storage tank on the mountain to supply entire property with water and allow us water even when electric is out frequently here. $2000
18. Solar hot water system $500-1000
19. Drill well deeper and case it and add a sediment filter(clogs the washing machine in one day) $5000-10000
20. Finish second floor level at Lighthouse $10,000
21. Need a bus $15000 and will need to replace the 4x4 in the not too distant future.
22. Look for ways to raise current support now and for 50 future children in the Children’s Lighthouse. That’s over $800 per week just in food no including prep, clothes schooling ect… The government would give 50 children to us tomorrow if we said yes. Currently struggle with the $300 a week it costs now just in food…
23. Look for a way to open a feeding center for 150 children 1 meal daily around the Lighthouse property. Approx $3000 per month including help
24. Finish Lighthouse office and library $1000 …in progress Need more lights, fans ect (this is for the children and national pastors/teachers to use)
25. Fence front of property ??
26. Cut a car accessible road on the property ??
27. Repair bathrooms in bodega $200
28. Find way of communication from property (satellite system?) $3500
29. Prepare to collect a food drive and container shipment $5500 DONE for Dec but another due in a few months
30. We need school uniforms and school supplies for 25 children and tuition for 6 by Feb 2011
Almost $4000. This is a huge weight over our head.
This is a short list there are more as the LORD provides.....

Friday, December 3, 2010

Just a note

Just a note of thanks to our praying ministering saints. Our LORD has used you to sustain us here in Honduras time and time again. This month will be busy in ministry. The Christmas shoebox container shipped out today and already one problem; the shipping is only paid to port so we must find someone to drive it across the country to us. The companies contacted want around $600 to make the trip and we must pay it before receiving the container on Jan 8th. That is on top of the “fees” that will be incurred at customs and for the agent to release it.
Pastor Augusto has asked me to fill his pulpit as he goes to the capital's market for 3 weeks to sell the leather items he has been making all year. It is most of his year’s income made in just a few weeks. So I will be making many trips into the mountain this month but the Kia is still "workenbroken" with a makeshift radiator fan and shroud. Lisa is preparing for a wedding on the 11th, and still we are doing all the other ministry as well. Feeding our large crew is just one issue but the outpouring of food in the container will soften that burden for a while. School starts in Feb 1st and that is always a huge trial on finances. Putting 22 children in school with uniforms, shoes, books, tuition, supplies etcetera is a heavy weight and it is always on the heals of the Christmas container customs issues which don’t help. The LORD has made it possible every year, but each year it seems tighter and tighter as our Lighthouse family grows. We still live in a house without a couch, comfortable chair, or regular furniture, phone service, drinkable water and our kids wear their shoes till their toes hang out so bad they stub their toes. Sounds bad but Chinese made shoes here only last a few months in the rain, mud and rocks. We actually went all last year without beds but ministering saints solved that. The truth is we have been here 5 years struggling on one hand, and being bountifully blessed in the other… Yet the blessings cannot be bought for any price. I get handed notes by our children several times a day, these posted were given spontaneously about an hour ago, also hugs frequently, kisses unexpectedly. The lieing, stealing, eating garbage, worldlyness issues we deal with often fade away with each note and hug as each learns a better way. We have seen many trust the LORD in our home, and in the churches, to be a part and allowed to roll away the stone in Christ's miracle, makes every struggle and trial precious stones in the crowns to lay at our LORD’s feet. Thank you LORD Jesus for working through your ministering saints and bless each and every remembrance, prayer, and help toward your servants in Honduras
An unworthy blessed servant to a Worthy Saviour,
Barry Ritchie

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