Honduras Missions

The Ritchie Family / Children's Lighthouse

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Long Day

Cindy went in for surgery at 7am and they rolled her out at 11 am to remove a growth around the base of her tongue that would grow to the size of a grapefruit if left alone. She was in pain as they put her in her bed but it only took a little reassurance from papi to get her calm again. The photos in the top right are her last week. By request we stopped for a frosty on the way home this evening. Get home with Cindy to find Jr with a tick buried deep in his ear canal. Lisa brought home an ear scope from the USA last trip and I was able to fish it out and clean up the blood with peroxide. As I finish Lisa walks in teary eyed and says our 2 year old great dane security dog just died. He has had a hard life and has been sick since we got him as a puppy, then bit from a poisonous snake at 6m old and almost died then. Did not have extra funds or time for a vet this time, was not sure what was wrong, like he just gave up trying. So Jr and the kids are burying him right now. May have been poisoned not sure. The way things have gone lately it’s a possibility.

Yesterday… Just yuck, Someone broke into where we have church services defecated on the floor and spread it all over the rough cement walls with a toilet just 5 feet away… I could really use a pressure washer right now. Had a boy asked us to pull out his dad who was stuck near us. Head up the tiny cow path a mile or so and find a Toyota 4x4 stuck in the mud. Pull him out only to find he is the pastor of the cult in the mountain that has been giving Pastor Augusto a hard time...hmm. The man with a tractor(who couldn’t fit) wanted to charge him I did it free, just smile and put a few coals on the fire…Rom 12:20-21 Amen

While at the Hospital, Pastor Santos’ family called needing a ride to the hospital because they said he was having stroke like symptoms. I have not heard back since.

Had a bank robbery yesterday in town and 4 youth were killed in another late night street robbery with a 5th in icu. To show you how quick our justice can be the police caught the bank robbers already and according to the news they were already sentenced to 27 years in jail…48hours from robbery to jail.. hmm. Now if I could only get the ones tearing up our fence and cutting down our trees… just fixed it a couple of days ago. always have need of prayer....

Monday, November 28, 2011

Praise, Plea and a Giggle

An Amen praise and another great need. We finally have legal electric. Our electric service has been a major problem since the beginning of our Children’s Lighthouse construction. Those who have helped, understand some. Today I had a good meeting with the electric boss. I felt like a kid going to the principle’s office, I was worried what they would do because of how long we have had unmetered service. The Holy Spirit prompted me to make a timeline last night of the progress of the project and the time of electric ect. When we began talking he wanted $8400 dollars today or cut service. I showed him what the project was (home for sexually abused children) and the time line and what I felt we used and how it was all installed. He opted to not require us to put the meter by the highway as was originally on their plans (big savings we have not had the funds to do) and without argument he accepted the numbers and dates I had. It amounts to $2600 at their rates. When I told him about Lisa, he gave me till Feb to pay. So now we must come up with $2600 quickly and start paying another electric bill (part of the property has been metered all along). He then gave me the paperwork to buy a meter and start our monthly service. Picked it all up and Jr installed it this afternoon. But it is a relief to know we are now legal and it wont be shut off for now as long as we pay by Feb.
Cindy’s throat operation is Wednesday at 7am. Thanks to ministering saints. Amen! Lisa wants to do a few girl things and take her dainty shopping before hand and get her some regular pajamas ect.
Another big huddle is start up of the school. Not sure how to get it done. We still need a certified national teacher at a cost of about $350 per month (our school year will be 12 months long without a break). We have several teachers in our churches that could/would do it here, but it would require them giving up their primary income to do so. On top of this, I need to finish the classrooms and set it up per the commit- ment I made to the government officials…

A big praise!! Korina came to me after church Sunday and said she needed to talk to me looking troubled. Uh oh. She then slowly said She did not want me to tell anyone, Uh ok… Then she sat on my knee, began to tear up and said Papi I want Jesus to save me, I want to live for him and not like the world.. Wow was not expecting that. We talked a bit and she prayed on her own. You could see a burden lifted in her face. After I shared how we are not to be ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and that she should tell someone. She told Lisa and Jenny who both gave hugs…Amen! Jenny asked friday to do a family devotions with the girls to share a book I gave her…Amen!

Need a few small miracles and lots of prayer.

Now something funny... Dunkin Donuts is just not the same here. Jr brought back a rare and expensive treat from the capital last week when he took a public school class to the science museum, it was 2 dozen Dunkin Donuts. (photo- the chapperone is laying on a bed of nails) Lisa bit into a donut with what could only be described as a maybe a beet and ketchup filled sugar coated donut... What does she do? Warn us? Nooo she goes with a smile, "Try this a tell me what flavor this is"... As each one tries it and violently spits it out anywhere there is an open space, she moves to the next unsuspecting victim and gets the same reaction... Then calls the skinny hungry dogs to clean the mess... and the dogs do the same thing, spit it out. The other kids that were handed the same flavor donut as Lisa ate around the filling and tried to get the now wiser dogs to eat their centers... nope again. Ok maybe the monkey will eat it... nope same reaction, spit it out, and actually got a little mad and shook the cage... When food is rejected by several species, some quite hungry... it might not be all that good...

Friday, November 25, 2011

"Honduran" Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving in Honduras has never been normal. It’s not a holiday here and it gets harder each year trying to maintain the traditional element to it. This year we were tapped out more than in the past in many ways and passed on celebrating traditionally; choosing rather to save what we could for Cindy’s operation soon. Lisa got sick after Jenny’s big day and the special day also drained resources. So a few days later when Sayder and Patricia have birthdays there is not much that can be done. Thankfully, they were easy to please. When I asked if they want a party or the beach… the beach! I can swing that, there is fuel in the kia, throw some lunch in a cooler and take off with the kids so Lisa can rest. We arrived to find the spot we use got hit by a mini tsunami a month back, and took out buildings near the beach. It made the entry road only accessible to soft tired 4x4s. Blessed being all alone with family at the beach again.
A few days later we went and had blood tests done in preparation for Cindy’s operation and also did Aids test on her and Patricia. Both came back negative which is a relief considering their backgrounds. While in town the Kia broke a U-joint and needed brakes before taking a group of school kids to a science museum in Tegu the following day. (another promised the kids got me into, you know, like “My dad can do that” and all assume it’s a done deal and just tell me about it later on a need to know basis :) I was cringing watching the mechanic try to change the u-joint, swinging wildly with a hammer. So I offered a little expertise in self perseveration of the drive shaft. Threw on new brake pads, but the kia really needed rotors and calipers, not in the budget. We have worn out 4 or 5 sets of brakes on the same original rotors and calipers. It now has a hard pull to the left and pads smoke…wee. Going to make it rough in Dec when I go weekly up the mountain to preach for Pastor Augusto. The devil always seems to put hurdles in the road to what the LORD wants done. Thankfully the LORD made me with the attitude of an ant, when there is an obstacle in the way, just find a way over, around or through it and continue… going back is never an option. On her birthday, Patricia asked to visit her grandmother. I’m putty when she asks for things in a sweet spirit on her birthday, so when we stopped by and chatted, for the first time they finally admitted what we had suspected for a while. That her father died of aids, and that he had a baby die of aids as well from his relation with a 12yr old… The reasons why we do what we do are always before my eyes here.
Our thanksgiving dinner this year was a soup/stew. A very good soup that Lisa made, even spent the morning with the girls making the noodles and homemade bread, but still not what you would expect for an American thanksgiving. Never the less it was commenced with a true prayer of thanks because the kids know the reason for the change. A ministering Saint has promised the bulk of the funds, but nothing here is ever as cheap as first stated. And as I write the power company visits again and says I must meet with the boss to discuss our electric situation. So Monday I will find out we must pay a very large sum we don’t have to the electric company or cut our power… Need prayer as always… We really need a large increase in support level.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Returned from a Dr Visit for Cindy and José yesterday afternoon. Both have birth defects that need surgery to correct. Cindy has a cyst on her tongue/thyroid that looks like an oversized adam’s apple. We were waiting till school let out to do anything and our school year ended last week. After checking her this time, the Doctor suggested an operation in December and was surprised how much it had grown. As it grows it gets more entangled and becomes harder to separate without more damage to surrounding/connected tissues. If left alone it could be the sized of a grapefruit in a few years making talking, eating and breathing difficult. There are a few people on the street here who beg for money with this growth. Cindy cries each time she sees the lady who has one so large you can see it blocks away. The Doctor said the operation would cost between $1-2000 dollars depending on how long he rents the operating room and how complicated it is. If we return her to child services they might arrange it through social medical but it could be a long time waiting and/or place her in another ministry somewhere with deeper pockets. So if we are to keep her, we basically need extra funds on top of all the other things we are in need of during December. José’s defect is a cleft inside his nasal passage and can wait for now. It just means he gets sick more frequently, talks, breaths and snores unusual. Cindy is the older sister of Asyln 4, Elmer 6 (had seizures a while back) and José. She is mentally a little slow (maybe slight downs syndrome but undiagnosed) and was sexually abused (with persons in jail a long time). She is a handful but craves true love and attention. This is the first stable environment she has been in and she is finally starting to respond in the right direction, though it has been an arduous journey battling some of the “programming” she came with. Whatever we do it is in the hands of the LORD and how he choses to work because we cannot do it ourselves. If anyone wants to give an abused little girl a Christmas present…this would be a big one.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Collage...

A collage of photos to go with the collage of ideas… We had a very special day Saturday. Lisa has been working on this project for a year collecting trinkets while in the USA and ideas from different things. It was originally to be a special birthday for Jenny but her birthday came and went last month without much fanfare. Time, money and sickness ect collided and it did not come to pass as planned. But rather, as God always does, it was transformed into something much better. A couple of weeks ago Jenny ran off in the woods after refusing to go to school. My heart sank as we thought she ran away, and began looking for her. We found her crying on a big rock in the mango trees. She had been acting unusual, distant and a little rebellious for a time. I told her what I saw and asked her what was really going on. We talked a while about many things and she finally said she had been having bad dreams and thinking about all the things in her life and things we sacrificed for her and had gone through, and the pain she saw us endure. The dream was that she ran away after being dropped at school in the city and went to be with her mom and started working the same way as her older sister and mom do. (Prostitution) Nancy, one of the children we had a few years ago, did just that. Jenny then broke down crying and fell on me in a hug and said, “I don’t want that for my life, I want to live for God”. So her fear, rebellion, repentance, disappointment and missed birthday were transformed into a Consecration to God gala with a princess theme. She invited friends and those she thought needed to hear and see her make this choice. Each one had to bring a parent. We ended up with several churches represented, well over 100 attending, in an activity that was filled with tears of joy, laughter, food and fellowship. All centered around a preaching message that pricked deep into heart of all present. When Jenny walked out in her Cinderella gown followed by her younger siblings in princess attire, I was amazed and told her I never saw her look more beautiful than that moment and it was true. All of child services showed up (one with their teen daughter). Carlos and folks from La Cruz Baptist sang and he read “Stay in the Castle” with everyone hanging on every word reading from their own copy. A short ceremony by Lisa where Jenny takes off her childish things and gives them to her little sister, then puts on her adult things to listen to a really strong sermon by Pastor Augusto. Afterwards she made a public offering of consecration to the LORD and prayer. We printed copies and I asked if any teens wanted to consider a similar path. About 40 came forward. We then had a special paper for the parents and asked if they wanted to raise their children this way. I think they all came forward even child services workers. After the event Maudra, a Child services lawyer (she was taking notes and crying through the services), went to Jenny and told her how blessed she was and that none of the children they place in homes have this great a blessing. At the request of Jenny, I had asked Pastor Augusto if he would mind preaching this type of event. Unsure of what it was having never done it (nor have we), he wanted to talk to Jenny and ask her what it was she wanted. To be sure it was not our will but her will in this event. He became convinced it was all Jenny. The event was an eclectic mix of consecration, baby dedication, wedding, chastity vow, preacher’s ordination, birthday, princess ball ect but Lisa and Jenny pulled it all together to make a beautiful event that I am sure the LORD was well pleased in. While at home talking to his wife about it earlier, Augusto’s teenage son chimed in and said “Dad I want to do that too, I want to dedicate my life to God”. He was almost in tears telling me this. Last night I had Katheryn walking back to the house still dressed as a beautiful princess and said, “Papi, I am ready, I want to turn from my sin so Jesus will save me, I want to be a princess of the King like Jenny”…and I had the privilege to lead her to Christ. Then as I was getting ready for bed Patricia comes to me to hug goodnight and asked to be baptized… I have never talked to her about it previously so it is purely Holy Spirit conviction…amen. I took a picture of Jenny and her little sister sleeping this morning with the doll Jenny gave her yesterday, not all grown up yet…amen. After she woke, Jenny came to me to say good morning and take on chores so Lisa could rest after 48 hours without sleep. I told Jenny what transpired last night with Patricia and Kathryn and she began to weep and I got another hug…Amen. Lisa and Jenny worked 2 days straight without sleep to bring it all together. The kids have been working days to do special clean up to make everything presentable to a large group of visiters. Burning leaves picking up ect. Even a little painting on the gate ect. Then this evening as I proof read Patricia hands me this note, if you can read it you'll be blessed... I know it touches my heart. All of the trials and all of the weariness of work fade away in moments like these…Amen!

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Having a difficult time with internet connections. And way too slow right now for skype or loading pictures ect. Took most of the day yesterday to send a single email. Trying to figure another work around since our new repeater Lisa brought back from USA was short lived and now just hums… So it is harder keeping in contact with everyone at the moment. Praying and working on a solution just not sure what it will be.

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