Honduras Missions

The Ritchie Family / Children's Lighthouse

Friday, October 28, 2011

A Cinderella moment.

The waters have asswaged with no major damage locally. Thank you all for prayers they were effectual. Trying to do a few repair/modifications to the Lighthouse to prevent future issues. A retaining wall is going in to keep the foundation secure and need to fix the drainage of water off the mountain in back of the house because when it gets heavily saturated, the water comes through the cement and across the floor…Happened last year too. Just need to give it an easier path to follow before entering. This too will affect the foundation if not addressed. Needed to do it whether or not we could afford it. Need shorter months or longer finances. We lost the front wall of the dinning room a couple of years ago when building. But had hurricane/tropical storms back to back for two weeks then and no roof on yet either. Our potholes are torturous right now too because of the rains, some more than a foot deep and span the lane, makes driving at night risky. Seen many vehicles in ditched from blowouts. Pastor Santos came down today asking for help. The rains destroyed his crops and he has no money or food in the house. We did not have any funds to give him but Lisa went to the kitchen and shared what we had. (he has many in his house too including 2 orphans from church members he took in when their mom and dad died of aids.) We also loaned him clothes for school graduation. (the schools require a special uniform the children must wear and recite all the required things and photographs in order to graduate. Toño and Julie just finished yesterday. Lisa keeps a couple of sets on hand from years past. Must buy a special uniform to use one week…
“Doing” in Honduras is always twice as difficult as it should be it seems. Like internet not working correctly. I was trying to put minutes on my phone (use internet to do so), so I could call about the food shipping container (still up in the air). The connection kept timing out, loosing connection ect, and I tried 8 times till it finally registered on the phone. Unfortunately, 2 days later I find my bank was overdrawn because the cell provider gave and charged me …8x what I wanted. And since it is a third party, I’m stuck.
Jr church classes have been going well teaching on the Genesis foundations. Still working on basics with the church. Like having to teach a babe to eat. But we are having a faithful few. Preached a really strong soulwinning sermon this week and had many raise hands... much work yet to do.

Lisa brought back material to make a Cinderella dress for Jenny and a few other girls. A trial fit, but only after Lisa snapped a shot of Jenny scrubbing the back stairs of the green slime the rains caused. (need a good pressure washer if someone has one not being used). And a few photos of the bugs driven out by the rains. The kids are fascinated by them. The huge beetle and huge moth and locust, all sound like a military helicopter when flying- thump thump thump. Found a small bright florescent green spider too but wasn’t about to find out if it was venomous. It is now a permanent part of the cement wall. 9 inch spiders, 5 inch beetles, huge moths and 6 inch locust, When we enter the property at night there are always rabbits and huatusas scurrying across the field in headlights, a regular Garden of Eden…after the fall. Mosquitoes and all. By the sweat of the brow… Blog post at 3 am so I can load a picture…always harder here but not impossible…With God. Amen.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


Choluteca River's rise up streets on both sides of La Cruz Baptist Church. 2pm Oct 15, 2011. And photo from bridge. 3-5 feet till entering church.

Friday, October 14, 2011

How to get a monkey off your back.

How do you get a monkey off your back? Life on the mission field in Honduras is like chasing monkeys with marshmallows and other ways to get them off your back and into the cage…. No really.

Church last night was good. Even in the rain. The church gave away a bicycle to a teen named Glenda, who memorized alot of scriptures in a month. She comes from a very poor family and tried very hard. Amen! One of the men came forward to pray and give a testmony. It has been a week of solid rain. All the ground around the property is very soft. Needing 4wd almost just to enter. Some of the ground in front of the dinning room and bedrooms has begun to wash away. So we are digging footers and putting in a secondary retention wall. Always something to do here. My do list is a mile long, but never get down to the urgent “to do’s” or the needful “to do’s” because we always are dealing with the emergency “do’s”.
In La Cruz the brother of Ermita trusted the LORD and wow what a change. He has chosen to give up the rather large multi generation family business which made drinking alcohol. In doing so, some of his business associates have even threatened to kill him. Yet he is growing in grace under the pastoring of Carlos. He is converting the plant to make medical alcohol for pharmacies and hospitals and the LORD has already opened doors for permits, licences, customers ect.

Lisa sent the boys to pick corn to make corn on the cob and found someone else harvested our field in the night. So much for that effort. You can’t keep anything here without sitting on it like a hen.

The last container of donated food has yet to arrive. Actually, it has been marked as abandoned by the port authority. The shipping agency gave up and dumped it on me to deal with. This container was suppose to be different (ie less headaches). The new shipping agency in the USA promised to handle all issues and deliver it to our door. OK great!...Not. They gave up this week and it is now my problem. But only after they made a really big mess. as high as $9000 worth port storage fees, fines and all. Welcome to Honduras. This is not the fault of ministering Saints in the USA that collect, store and arrange the shipping, but rather false promises from a shipping agency that found Honduras is rough team to play against and just quit midgame after getting a foul. Now the ministries in the USA get hurt as well as us. And we are left holding the game ball and all the debt that goes with it. Not sure how this will work. Need lots of prayer. I contacted our regular shipping lawyer and asked her to look into it yesterday. It is costing near 100 per day right now to sit and it is not even got to customs where our normal headaches begin. I believe we may have lost this container, I see no way to right this ship“ment”. Not sure how it will affect our name on future shipment either. But I am told even if it is abandoned there will be charges and fees that remain against any future shipment (As much as $4000) and put us in a high risk category with the Secretary of Finance for our nonprofit ministry corporation papers, which potentially affects our visas. And today as I write this I received an email from a collection agency demanding the storage fees for the port. Near $3000 and climbing and in Honduras a judge can confiscate your property until the debt it paid. It is a mess from any angle. So basically, I am going to owe thousands of dollars on a shipment I may not receive, that was donated for free distribution, and feeding of children placed with us by the state? One needs much more income than we have to stay ahead of the headaches Honduras produces. Need Lots of Prayer and a hand of providential intervention.

On another note. We started paperwork to officially adopt 7 of the children. Not a USA side adoption but a Honduran one. It gives the children a sense of belonging (very important for these 7) as well as opens up the possibility to travel with them and maybe visit a few churches in the future. Some colleges stateside accept missionary’s children for free as well. It is something that has been on my heart for a while. Each one has asked me or Lisa in the past if we would please become their real mom and dad. Each time was a heartbreaking moment. Not sure who needs it more us or them. When I went to child services to turn in the papers they were excited. Asking about the kids and how Lisa was doing. They then told us about budget cuts and all the ministries and homes that that failed inspection and they could no longer sending children to…then came “the question” Can you and Lisa take 5 more?…. Uh uh …So we might end up with 5 more children. Where is that word “no” in the vocabulary when you need it…Oh well. Plus I asked about a baby girl because pastor Augusto wants to adopt as well.

ok now to explain the monkeys. I had asked someone about monkeys as pets a couple of years ago, kinda half hearted. (Our family had one in Alaska when I was little.) Note to self… don’t make half hearted statements in Honduras because they might come to pass. Someone was moving and needed someone to take their monkeys right away and our name came up…hmm. So now we have 2 monkeys to add to our “zoo”. They have escaped from our leftover fencing and pvc cage several times and gone into the mountain swinging from the tops of trees with kids chasing them. Only to return when it was calm and they were hungry. And of course the first time is 10 minutes before church. Most of our kids take off after them and then the church kids do to… made for a rather short jr church class… busy chasing monkeys. Gotta be a sermon illustration in this somewhere. Still hard to catch though, little marshmallows worked the best. … Kids named them Tarzan and Jane. I dont know about this one. Where is that word again umm “kno”, uh noe, uh nnnnn…Gonna have to practice it so it comes out in time. A late no is the same and a yes I think. Anyway need prayer on many fronts. Had another church lower our support as well… Welcome to the spiritual front lines in Honduras
Unworthy servant to a worthy Saviour,
Barry Ritchie

Saturday, October 8, 2011

3-2 is still positive 1...

Been a while without a post. A lot has happened but not much “newsworthy”. Just been the daily struggles of existing here. Lisa finally made it back and is settling in. She did not make her scheduled flight in Miami, normally not a big deal for most, but we don’t role that way. Everything must be unusually complicated for us. We had ordered new debit cards while Lisa was stateside. We get our funds through atm withdrawals and credit card companies wont send cards directly to us here, so a perfect opportunity. When they are mailed from our home church it takes a couple of attempts to get them here. The CC companies often cancel them before arriving due to the long period not activated, ie 1-3 months in mail. The plan was Lisa would activate them just prior to coming here (which cancels old cards I have) and when I pick her up a few hour later presto we are all set again. When she missed her flight that left us with no access to funds, no money in wallet, no food in house(waiting for Lisa to make the preferred purchases) no money to pay mechanic fixing the kia, and no fuel in truck to even pick her up,… the following week. Ops. She ended up sending money by western union just so I could put fuel in the truck to get her at the airport. I took most of the children with me to the airport so Lisa got the big welcome home as she came out. Then rush directly to immigration and wait. Why? There was an issue with dates on her passport(correct) not matching the dates immigration stamped(not correct). Our immigration lawyer went on vacation the week(delayed) before Lisa got back so we had no one to explain the error. We also must come up with the funds to pay the lawyer before she will release the new visas to us. And we must now start the process all over for next year. Living in Honduras is akin to backpacking in Alaska and the kids with you are collecting lots of rocks and secretly storing them in the bottom of your backpack every night.
There are numerous birthdays around this time and all the children wanted to wait for mom to return to celebrate. Lisa is the bday expert. So belated and current birthdays are one of Lisa’s tasks next week. She brought back a few special toys she found stateside.
Jr installed the cell phone repeater Lisa brought. It helps a little but not near what we hoped. It seems to struggle finding a signal the same as our cell phones…but our phones read full bars of signal strength…to bad it’s a lie.
Unbeknownst to me, Jr got the little truck fixed for Lisa by selling some of his stuff.(no little task, it needed basically a rebuilt motor) So when the big kia was down being repaired, I got a surprise too. Now if he could only get the lawn mower working. Need a good riding lawnmower. Numerous long power outages, finally the electric came back on but the well water did not. Had to replace the pressure tank again after the switch did not shut off due to low voltage.
Tried to play one of our teaching videos in church Thursday only to have our video projector die. That is a tool we use often here for bible institute, evangelistic outreaches, and teaching videos in church ect. Need to find another one.
Other issues: a 40 foot container of food is stuck in customs for a month now, the storage and paperwork is in the $1000s, we may loose this one and it is greatly needed. It is not in my control this time.
Head lice is rampant, we delice, they go to school, and a few hours later they return with a head full again. And one of the girls came home with body lice too. Declogging toilets, sanitizing bathrooms ect
And a church emailed notifying us we were loosing support due to the economy. Wee…
Believe it or not things are going well and we are blessed in spite of the daily struggles. Three steps forward and two steps back… is still progress…Amen! And how was your week? (:

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