Honduras Missions

The Ritchie Family / Children's Lighthouse

Monday, January 31, 2011


We have begun to distribute the shoeboxes. What a blessing it is to see the smiles. The photos do not do it justice. It is so hard to capture the real event in a photo. One little boy was sad faced, till he peeked into the box then ran screaming and giggling back to his mom. Plus they wear their best when they think we are going to take a photo… We have distributed in 4 locations so far, more today and this week. Have seen one dad trust the Lord who normal would not attend. Amen! It is always a touching time handing out the shoeboxes. One family in La Cruz Baptist lives along the river in a shack made from trash… but you would not know that in the photo. All you see is a clean child smiling with a shoebox. The only problem with the shoeboxes program…is we need so many more. We are always keeping the door shut some to limit how many we can give out. I will post more as we now need to go into the mountains. Pray we get the kia truck back on the road soon the alternator died and we have already temp fixed several times so we now need a new one. More money we don’t have. Some of the kids must start school tomorrow, the rest in a week or so… no one is ready yet. Just haven’t been able to do it all, will not be able to even transport the kids to school, purchase the things needed or deliver shoeboxes without the kia. The LORD knows…and I am sure many ministering saint are reminding him…
One added blessing this week Jr is schedualed to preach on the 12 of Feb...Amen!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Children's Lighthouse 2011

A photo to print and keep to remind you to pray for use. Just click on it and save


The container finally arrived Saturday. Wresting it from the powers that be was more difficult, confusing and costly than previous shipments (didn’t think that was possible). But it was the first to arrive at our door unopened with the original locks and seals in place AMEN! Only to get a call from customs Monday…"we are coming to inspect your shipment at your property"… Hmm. Good luck with that, because the kids are already eating and wearing the shipment… Amen. It arrived at 5:30 am Saturday, and we began unloading by 6:30. Most of the kids helped, plus church members. Carlos took to sorting shoeboxes, Jr drove the kia to put corn in storage, and Toño drove the 4wheeler and trailer hauling food up to the Lighthouse kitchen, along with Bibles and miscellaneous. Like a beehive. The churches that sent this year were very thoughtful in packing and labeling. It made the work easier and faster. Lisa spent the afternoon sorting and distributing the things designated to our children. Another one of those really long days that your smiling as your head hits the pillow, then an instant later it seems its time to wake up.. A big “Thank You” to all the folks and churches that made it possible. We have some much needed food, the kids have much needed clothes, the tires for the Kia arrived, and we are prepping to distribute the shoeboxes next week. The photo is one of our few with all the children posing with new clothes…Amen! Then load up for Sunday Church. Lots of plans for evangelism with the shoeboxes. Pastor Agusto came and asked if he could visit and give them out in homes of children who visit sometimes but the parents are not saved and wont come to a “Baptist” church. He thinks like me and saw it as an opportunity to get into homes he would not normal be welcome in, and present the Gospel…
Uhh of course that’s the real purpose for them. Amen!!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Lord, Make my cross a little heavier...

LORD, Having seen what you see, please help me and make my cross a little heavier…

After the American visitors left the regular load begins again. This week has been full of blessings and difficulties. The container is in port but we are still wresting away from the powers that be, and it is costly. Prayerfully it will arrive this week and we can distribute the Christmas presents and minister in the churches following. Direct line had to send fewer presents this year even though our need has grown, so we must limit distribution some how. Prayerfully more churches will help in the coming years with this outreach. We see wonderful results every year and it is a good outreach tool for the ministries here. Honduras Missions held its first pastors workshop planning meeting. It was the first time all the preachers we work with were assembled in one place. Some had never met each other. They made plans for evangelistic campaigns and pastors would guest preach in each other church. Fellowship time and other outreaches were set up. My schedule has increased a lot and my burden and vision has been expanded as well. One item I ask of the men was to list their goals, needs and prayer requests for the coming year. I am sure the LORD was pleased with the replies. All were seeking help for souls and ways to grow the churches in truth and wanting materials. One wanted to train some Timothys, Another wanted to see 9 new families saved and join the church, Most of them have very serious issues of meeting places. Some of the financial needs are listed below.
Lisa made a great lunch even though she was recovering from another allergic reaction to inhaling the burning wood from our marañon trees. Had to rush her to the hospital again to get injections. Not fun. She still looks like she was dragged by a horse and feels like a sunburn all over. There was a heartbreaking night when three children ran away after visits with family during the holidays. God protected and allowed some hard lessons. We found them walking along a long dark stretch of road about 3 hours later. Unfortunately it was just a short time after a man on a bike had stopped and tried to molest 2 of them. They were able to get away but they got scratched up. He was actually the second man. Another tried to entice them into a car a earlier. The older child broke down and cried when she was confronted with the danger she incited and was saved from. She came to me late last night to pray again. I pray it is a lesson learned because these lessons only get more expensive.
Keep us and them in prayer for it is yet another issue to deal with, and a roaring lion lives just outside our gate...

We must enroll the children in school next month and those expenses are weighing heavy right now. We are responsible for putting 25 children in school, 4 of which are higher grades which cost a lot more this year. We must come up with several thousand dollars for clothes, books, tuition ect in just a few weeks. Its is like this every year but this year it is even heavier. But the LORD has always supplied the need.

Below are a few of the big needs from the pastors.

Fountain of Life Baptist Church needs a property and building. When we first started meeting there, the community offered land for free. Later the church found out that it must be shared with other community activities even if the church builds the building. So they opted to keep praying and meeting under the big tree. One member in the community is willing to sell their home for $2500, which would work as a church. It is a newer cement building with a good roof and costs much less than the land and building a new structure.

New Jerusalem Baptist church needs cement on the adobe walls to keep the rains from washing their building away in the spring. Bags of cement up the mountain is no easy task. The cost of cement has increased greatly then moving it to the mountain is also costly. (like a our broken 4x4 Kia from its many trips. It lifted the entire church building in Los Tererros including the water for the cement) They need about 100 bags of cement to ‘stucco’ the walls to keep out the rains. That’s a little under $1000, but will allow their building to last 20 years.

Ven a Mi Baptist Church cannot contain its members. They purchased their property 2 years ago and now need a larger building. It would cost about $5000 but this church is very poor financially. I am amazed they do what they do. This is where the teenager died late year because they did not have the bus fare to bring them down to the hospital nor the money for antibiotics. The pastor walked all the way down to get me one year because his wife was sick. We have remedied that using cell phones and the kia as an ambulance but still it is a poor community in the mountain.

San Geronimo needs a building too but more so the preacher needs reliable transportation. I purchased the mama kia for him to use but could not keep it running and it is now dead. I would like to get the preacher (Marc Antonio) a Chinese motorcycle, that way he can go at the right time and more frequently. They only cost about $12-1500 dollars US for a new one. Then he would have service multiple times a week and he wants to start the bible institute out there.
All the men asked for more materials, a way to copy papers ect. We need a good copier or Risograph. I have bought several old ones in the USA and shipped them here but they did not last. Just to old and parts not available. Lisa had made lots of items when the Risograph was working. When I shared with them the pastors Library they all wanted to use it to make sermons and SS lessons. Just need more books and materials in Spanish.

None of the pastors/preachers items are big things but for us barely feeding all the kids, it adds up to insurmountable amount, yet in God’s hands it is already done… Amen!

And all this in just a week. Most who visit, return thankful for the cross the LORD has given them to bear, and a little ashamed for wanting it lightened… Some even return and ask the LORD for a heavier burden… Amen!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A week in pictures Ex 33:14

The LORD’s ministry in Honduras is never dull. Whether we are packing 40 people into a 6-passenger vehicle or driving as a ambulance in the middle of the night or simply preparing a meal for 30 from market food, it is never insipid. I meant for this visit to have less pressure than most, more of a time of fellowship with a friend. Yet even with a more relaxed mindset, much was accomplished. Several adults made professions of faith, some reconciled, and many taught. Some electric repaired. Hearts were softened toward the things of God.

As I scan through the photos from the last week it is hard to describe the events. Lots of laughs and smiles. A week filled with joys of just being. Lives were touched on every side. Salvation decisions, reconciliations, changed hearts, I think the visitors had some soul searching take place. In all a great time of fellowship. It is easy to sleep at night when your body is tired and your heart hears “well done” from the Spirit of the LORD. Oft times I have our children come up to me and rest or cling or fall asleep in my arms, but rarely do I get photos. Our visitors got a few. Oh for the day we too can fall into the Savoiur’s arms in an eternal rest for such is the Kingdom of Heaven…Amen.
Double click the photo pages to enlarge them for greater clarity

Monday, January 3, 2011

We'll work till Jesus comes.... Then we rest

This is always a busy time of year for us. Christmas, New Years is enough for most, but when you add our wedding anniversary, my birthday, visiting Americans, substitute pastoring, a shipping container and a broke down vehicle, to the mix on top of our regular load, it gets a little hectic. A good friend pastor Wellington is here visiting with 2 church members, Andrew and Amanda. In usual Honduras fashion we also temp fix the kia to get it to the dealer to be repaired because the dealer says they have all the needed parts. We head up to meet the incoming plane of visitors planning to stop at the car dealer after. The snow in the USA keeps part of the group from arriving till the following day. Arrive at the dealer and they say no problem to repair and show me the new parts. Ok install them and we can be on the road in the afternoon (to return up the mountain in the morning again) Nope they do not finish, so no car. After numerous calls we stay in the capital at a friends house. Go to the dealer the next day to find they only installed the “extra parts”, read; the parts not needed unless the broken part was replaced… that ended up being the wrong part. IE sir we replaced all the parts except the main part you came in for that was bad… here’s your bill have a nice day, no time to argue. Call Pastor Augusto to meet him and p/u his truckload of supplies from the inner city to take to the mountain when we visit his church the following day, then time to run to the airport and head home. Only to sit in construction traffic on the only exit road from the city, not moving long enough to loose any hope of making it back for evening church service. But arrive to a hot meal by Lisa and time for bed. Amen. We begin our adventures by ending the New Year and a few home grown Honduran fireworks (besides Chinese ones are way too expensive… and safe). Anyone over 40 knows what they use to be like… They’re much more dangerous here. Then the next day preaching in New Jerusalem Baptist in the mountains and delivering Pastor Augustos supplies... With the still broken kia. Why? The unimog got another flat but this time it made it to a tire shop where we left it. Good service with Andrew preaching and Jr interpreting. Sunday Andrew preached again and Wellington to preach the evening service which was a not so surprise birthday for me afterwards. But 15 minutes before church an emergency call from the mountain and the kia is and ambulance bringin someone down from the mountain again… The church was full for the evening service with several pastors present. After service each came forward and gave testimonies. Pastor Ramon talked about Ana Christina who is now 5 years old. She is the baby the LORD allowed us to arrange a radical life saving heart surgery 4 years ago. It was a humbling time as church folks came and shared stories, sang and shared. All I can say is thank you LORD for allowing this unworthy servant to play a part in your miracles. The men are out preaching in the mission outreaches at the moment. Amen!

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