Honduras Missions

The Ritchie Family / Children's Lighthouse

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Some days are just longer...

Some days are much longer than others… This Sunday was busy. Anniversary, wedding, church, and bring folks down off the mountain to an all church attendance at the 5th anniversary of La Cruz. Got a message late last night, a family member in the new church at the Lighthouse has a bus and would let us use it if we paid for fuel, amen, but still expensive. Jr headed up to St Teresa early this morning in the kia to bring 15 or so church members down. Once he got there…50 got on. Ops. Even the police stopped him for being overloaded in Honduras…that’s a first! So I guess we found out that 45 in a 6 passenger p/u is ok, but 50 is too many. OK, I’m good with that. We loaded the bus with 3 churches and our kids and headed to LaCruz. They ended up with more than 220 people for the 5th anniversary of the church in Choluteca. La Cruz Baptist, Come Unto Me Baptist, Fountain of Life Baptist, New Jerusalem Baptist, Lighthouse Baptist, New Life Baptist, Jesus Christ the One True God Baptist were all represented there. They had to put the kids in a special class just to make room, and still chairs outside the doors, Amen! Preaching was good and of course good food came out after. Another Amen. Return to the Lighthouse late and had a brief meeting but canceled a full service because still needed to get 50 folks back up the mountain in the rain before dark with an iffy 4wd and rear end… Jr took to task and we rigged the 4wd to work (did not work in morning) and away they went. Past the same policeman. Jr made it up and back just in time for me to take most of the kids to the wedding.(the pony express traded horses and the rider kept going…we traded riders and keep the horse running, fueled up 2x and a bus once today) Still seeing folks wanting to get right in obedience to the Lord amen. There was going to be 2 weddings, but the second lawyer did not get all the paperwork done… lawyers and weddings like hotsauce on ice-cream, but it’s the way it is done here. The second couple have been together 36 years… and want a prenup agreement (oh my achin head) but they are finally going to get married…

Had an unusually tense rebellious moment with Jenny this morning over something silly and it ended up turning in to a hard but well learned lesson. No discipline, but during the conversation she actually plead for discipline instead. The Lord would not allow me to back down and gave the wisdom of Solomon for a few moments. You could see moment when the truth opened her eyes and she fell on me to hug me and tearfully plead forgiveness. It was great to be truthful, wish it was always that fruitful. After helping all day, this evening she came in with Patricia and played with the camera taking photos, then Jenny did something she has not done in years. She sat on my lap gave me a hug and said “Papi I want you to adopt me for real I want to be your real daughter”.…And before the hug was done in just a few moments her body went limp and she fell asleep in my arms… That spoke volumes to me… The first time she did that was when she came to me 5+ years ago and began to share her story of abuse, it was like popping a cork on an over pressured bottle, she vented it all and cried in pain and fell asleep in my arms. What a picture of how we should respond to our heavenly Father. I had her read Heb 12:5-9 this evening and got another big hug…amen, "wow papi this is true!" In all a really good day even in the rain…

Been without electric, phones, water since Thursday and all came back on today, Good thing, its hard to get upwind of the stink when its yourself. Plus, got word someone in the USA is going to try to seek support for us to buy food for the Children’s Lighthouse regularly…amen! And others are also sending food down... Thank You! It relieves a great burden.

Lisa is healing right now and got a second opportunity to see her parents; Just waiting on the results of the last test. The doctor who did the biopsy chose the biggest, deepest lump to test, and when he opened her up they chose to take the whole lump out. So she is very sore. She has many more in both sides so the test is critical to tell us what to do next… Always in need of prayer! Thank you all!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Capture the moments when you can...

Some things are harder than they need be… Good Thursday service in the new outreach with 3 adults and 2 teen professions of faith. Amen! Saturday, preached in the mountain church of Lenaca with a strong message to the young adults. But on way up the 4wd quit working in the pouring rain. Had to push a little harder to make it, then a tire went flat. We got it back down off the mountain but it was late on Sat, tire places closed Sunday, and need to leave early Monday morning to airport so Lisa can return to States for more tests so we know what comes next. As we arrive home Saturday the electric power goes out, so the local tire guy (we know were he lives) could not do anything, Power stays out till Monday afternoon. Sunday Morning Jr works to weld another center pole for the tent for church services. After church head to town to get tire fixed (hopefully). Found one shop but he could only put a tube in it. Ok back up and running for Monday am. Lisa packs her bags Sunday in night by flashlight. Head out with Lisa and the girls and the tire blows half way into the trip. Change it and arrive late to airport. (had a wow moment as we passed a new installation of huge power generating windmills…Wonder where Honduras got money for those??) All checked in, in the nick of time, say goodbys, load up the kids and head out only to get a panic tearful call from Lisa. Immigrations pulled her out and will not let her leave because our visas are not current… Run back in and argue with immigration that they can’t keep a US citizen in Honduras. I prevail but it might come at a cost later because they will give us a hard time when she comes back. (Our visas are expired and we need to renew them) Lisa makes it on the plane as they are closing the doors. She finds her seat with the Honduran national soccer team. She asks for photos and autographs but said none would allow it. Head back down mountain with no spare and near dead battery in phone. Wee. As we got closer to Choluteca I opt for a rest moment by the ocean. The girls walk along the beach only to dive in with their Sunday dresses on a few minutes later. All I could do is smile at their carefree spirit after the days events. I watched a young man begin to fish with just a homemade hook and a line and a rock. He would sling it out a draw it back and caught 5 small fish for his supper. No special lures, no pole, no lead weights. Got back to dinner that Lisa had put in the roaster just hoping for Electric to come back on which it did. Amen! Having a video for family devotion tonight “A Vow to Cherish”… The kids choice, hmm. Lisa is in Panama waiting for her connection as I write this. Her exams are Thursday. Keep praying we need each and every one...

Monday, June 13, 2011

Go.... Teach

Had a rather large group gathered for services Sunday. Around 140 people showed up. It helped that the 3 children with birthdays this month chose to wait for momi Lisa to return and have a combined Birthday after service. Lisa made cupcakes and chinese for everyone, the kids had a piñata and bounced in the bounce house afterwards. Pastor Augusto has been helping on Sunday services, our children have been helping with music. Many folks have already become regulars for every service. It's surprising how the LORD works and it is rarely in the way we think it should be. A lot more teaching is needed before calling it a "church" but it seems to be going in the right direction. Thursday I taught a lesson on church doctrine basics. Time will tell as the Holy Spirit grows and weeds his garden.

Thanks to ministering saints, Lisa has a return flight to Miami in a week for more medical testing to find out what we should do next. Everything is up in the air at the moment till we know more. The ticket is open ended so she might be there a few weeks or months I don't now yet... So many variables are not in our hands. Final diagnosis, plan of care, kind of surgery here or there, how to pay for it all ect. I do know the financial, spiritual and work load increases much when the family is split in 2 locations. Considering we just squeak by, I don't know how it will all work out, just that is needs to.

Phones have been down for most of this week so for now this or email is our only communication. I did receive word Brother Paul Deem of Directline Ministries wants to put together a container shipment for us for food for the Childrens Lighthouse again. This is always a huge blessing and relief for us. If you want to help and donate food or other items please contact us or them at www.directlineministry.com Keep us in prayer.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Living by Faith

What can you do with a dollar in your pocket?
I want to share a testimony and praise of today. It will be clumsy of wording but in the end you will understand.
We live by faith each and every month, most people do not understand what this means in truth. Few would choose to live as we do. Faith for many is getting something they want. After living in Honduras I have learned most things are wants at some level and few things are needs. We have 21 "extra" mouths to feed. This past two weeks since Lisa returned from the USA for medical test have been rough. The trip left us totally without funds. I had to ask someone to give us fuel money just to be able to pick up Lisa at the airport. She arrived to a near bare kitchen. She worked her expertise and prepared feasts each day pulling oil from the barrel each time. Yesterday she was down to the milk a farmer had given us(which she made cheeses and sauces to put on donated rice) for yesterday. But last night she said she did not have anything for supper tomorrow.(this just before I told her the news Below) Feeding 24 people 3 times a day 7 days a week is no easy task, now try it with near nothing...

I had posted a request for prayer and this was just one of the many things we need uplifted. Only 5 of near 400+ "friends" on facebook replied and only one asked for our petitions, though it is hard to know how many prayed. What we do know is someone touched then hem of grace. This morning our bank account was still -7 dollars, I looked in my wallet and had 18 lempiras, just less than a dollar. As I prayed again the phone rang. A local Honduran man who knows nothing of our circumstances tells me he wants to buy us some food, enough for the week... Lisa heads out with some of the children to meet them and buy the food... We fall short each and every month yet the LORD always uses someone with ears to hear to fill the gap... Our ravens keeps returning every month for 5 years... Amen...
Unworthy servant to a Worthy Saviour,
Barry Ritchie

Below is the short list that I shared with the person who requested it... It is not in order or context, just my notes for prayer

*Electric company may want 3-5000 dollars
*Visa and mission papers and drivers lic overdue $2000 plus late fees.
*No funds for food, fuel, phone, and all out- with a -37 dollar bank balance.
*Lisa's cancer tests and dental needs (Just got word(10am yest) from my sister the test came back positive for breast cancer, must confirm with more test, Have not even told Lisa yet. Need more test just to find out what to do next. Will know more in a few days when she/my sister receives the results in hand...)( I did tell Lisa last night after writing this list.)The nurse on the phone would not confirm the diag but immediately shared info on medical plans that included reconstruction that we should look into.....
*Child services wants us to conform to new regulations and be certified more $$.
*Committed to government to start new school for kids, must complete class construction hire teacher ect...
*Several kids need medical care,.. we cant even afford the meds. Dumas-mrsa infection with boils, Cindy operation in throat to remove a growing cyst, Elmer don't know, Jose also needs a nasal operation to correct a birth defect.. Dental ect for all
*Several wayward children we are in contact with... breaking our hearts...(this weighs heaviest)
*Vehicle blown motor.
*Church in mountain needs cement, the adobe walls are washing away
*Our tent collapsed in a storm and needs repaired sunday morning..
*We have hungry people all around us and we have people wanting to donate a container of corn but no funds to get it here..
*And a hundred more.....
Wow got the photo uploaded amen! only 4 hours.. soo
On a side note the photo is the kids holding up the toys donated by our daughters Kimmy's Work. She "proofs" toys for retail. These are the samples. Also a christian bookstore in the USA gave braclets while Lisa visited.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Are many perishing amidst our pleasure?

Lisa is back, and we are already eating better even though were are low on food. She makes much from little, I make little from much. Thankfully she made 3 gallons of special sauces before she left that could be put on almost anything to make it taste good. I asked one of the kids in the last week after he said he wanted momi to return. What do you miss about momi ..her cooking. Here kids here's your burned cardboard smothered with moms sauce...result yum. Passes but somehow lacks. As she rolled into the driveway all 21 kids ran out momi momi momi only outdone by our great dane who pushed her way to the door of the car first, impeding her exit. She later went into our bare kitchen and whipped up dinner from what we thought was nothing. While in the states she was able to get some of the medical tests done before she left, but need prayer. We don't know the results as yet but it was not sounding good. Our daughter Kimbra's work donated some toys for the children that Lisa brought back. Great since we have BDs coming up.
Last Thursday at our newest outreach I taught the history of the spanish Bible. It touched on the topic of the spanish inquisition. Sunday the crowd was much less. Not sure if there was a link but seems to be. Time will tell. Preparing for a service tonight. Our neighbor Reina came forward to reconcile with the LORD Sunday. So even with a lower turnout it was a great blessing. It is a new work so things are still in a state of flux... After one of our power outages, had the electric company come this week and inform me that they were prorating out electric for the last 18months and we will need to pay 2-300 per month more for the last 18months. Plus reroute the electric to conform to their requirements. That's another $2000 maybe? My heart sank. The next morning when I was trying to leave to pick up Lisa Infha(child services whom we get the children from) showed up with a high boss from the capital. They asked lots of questions filled out lots of paperwork and require us to have some new registration permits. IE more money wanted. And our visas were due this week but could not turn in the applications for lack of funds. Always something... The moma kia blew the engine again as well, did not even make it to the first oil change. We still see folks saved... but seems to come at a heavy toll. Closer to the front line the more damage is expected... Waiting for "the" day of rest. Only then will I not feel ashamed that one is perishing amidst my pleasure... AMen...

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