Honduras Missions

The Ritchie Family / Children's Lighthouse

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Pictures Sew the Story Together

So much to share only pictures can tell the story. Please take the time to click on them to see larger views and pray. Folks already have a hard time digesting all that happens here and we don’t even share it all… Been a busy week. The pastor of the cult that I pulled out of the mud stopped by and gave our kids small Christmas presents to say thank you. An unexpected blessing. One child's box had an old Obama 08 tshirt (…um, um…uh, never mind) Been a much leaner year than in times past. We have run out of toys collected while on deputation. (Example; one lady gave us 10,000 ty baby type stuffed animals 8+ years ago) Those toys really augmented birthdays, Christmas and ministry outreaches these last 6 years, as well as deputation, vbs ministries prior. Those churches we visited on deputation doing vbs may remember benefiting from them. But alas the fount is dry, but not our Heavenly Father’s. A Honduran businessman called me to say, “take the kids to the shoe store and get them new shoes”. He had already arranged for it, Very timely and needful is the raven in the wilderness and unfathomable how the Holy Spirit works. After the photos Julie took a few post back of Ericson, Lisa knew my thought and made sure he got a truck, Wasn’t a tonka, it has a dent, but its is shiny new and has wheels, so he is happy running all over the driveway today. Lisa and some of the girls planned a Christmas dinner for some hurting families and handed out small gift bags to the children with a small toy, John and Romans, candy ect. We also did the same for Santa Teresa. Took up more cement for the church building up there. Truthfully we must take up cement. The Kia will not climb the steep grades without 4wd(very broken) unless it has at least 1000lbs in the tail (cement plus a few kids). Where there is a will...

Marc Antonio preached in the Lighthouse Baptist church and one teen made a profession of Christ on Christmas. What a gift. Then we all ate the great supper Lisa made. She has been saving stuff for over a month to do it. All from scratch for 100 folks, including very tasty desserts. It was another all night cooking session, not the feeding of the 5000, but it is a small miracle none the less. Lisa and I had our 28th wedding anniversary Christmas eve. We started a tradition 25 years ago of eating Chinese because it is the only place you can find open many times on Christmas eve, even here. She picked up some take out this year and we had a whole 15 minutes to our selves…ok maybe 12 minutes, but felt like 15 before a child knocked needing us. What did we do?… Talked about what else needs done … With a house like ours one seldom gets time not used for another. In the midst of all this do gram cracker candy houses with the kids. With all of the joys and treasure placed in heaven, who would want to live in a calm, clean, house and only guard the treasures of earth…??
Took several children to the dentist last week including our 4yr old who actually did the best and not a single tear. Why does a 4yr old have rotten teeth? A lollipop caregiver,(prior to us) candy is cheaper than food and keeps them quiet. Sayder just returned from the Dr, he is has a hot swollen knee, result of an infection from a tree bug that lives here. He is our tree climber. Dr says he might need surgery to relieve pressure in the joint if meds don’t work by Wednesday, they may hospitalize him as well, it is very serious. If meds don’t work he could loose his knee or even his life. Giving him injectable antibiotics and pain pills right now with 24/7 bed rest. Diagnosed as "arthritic septic celulitus", ie bad news.

Marc Antonio wanted to show me the property the church in San Geronimo wants to buy to build a church building. It is a little closer to town right, off the highway, has electric and water. They were kicked out of the last building after the owner chose to sell it and we could not come up with enough funds in time. They have been meeting at members home in the old tent La Cruz Baptist used to start. Its has sure gotten a lot of use in the last 6 years. Many trusting the LORD under this old frayed covering. We are negotiating with the owner for the land but it looks like it will cost $4000. If anyone wants to help this struggling, faithful, extremely poor, little church it, would sure be a great help and encouragment. As you see we stretch every prayer to the fullest….and always need more.
Unworthy servant to a worthy Saviour,
Barry Ritchie

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Does God have a sense of humor?

Was able to visit with Pastor Santos finally and help him deliver food to many church members that are hurting this Christmas. We took up about 4000lbs of rice, beans oil ect. His 2 sons and daughter are working the cain fields to help the family. They leave at 3am and return by 8pm and make $15-20 between the 3 of them depending on how much they harvest. It is hard dirty work and they return black like coal miners. It is dangerous work for a teenage girl so she must stay very close to her brothers. It was a difficult food delivery all the way around. Pastor Santos called and said he was ready but I got cut off when my phone ran out of minutes. It took me almost an hour to remedy the situation. Finally figured out directions hop in the truck to leave and child services shows up to visit, with other ministries they are asking to take children, using us as a model to see how we run things. (they confuse me) Thankfully it was one of the better moments when things were running smoothly. Kids all helping, Lisa putting out lunch (a kinda fancy one at that) and of course they stayed for lunch…they always seem to time visits about when Lisa serves lunch or dinner. Jr was putting on some roof panels over the new washing space. Some kids playing instruction games, some doing chores, just everyone about the days duities. They finally leave and I do too. Had to go south to pick up the food then head up the mountain to Lenaca delivering it all. The 4wd died in the Kia Sunday on the last trip to Santa Teresa. Another real expensive repair, the kia is showing its age and honduran abuse, it has carried litterally millions pounds up these mountians and lives in 4wd mode. (only 250 trips is a million lbs and we have done many more than that) So it makes the mountian trips much harder and beats the kia even more trying to make the steep rough grades before stalling the engine. Backing down loaded for a second attempt is even scarier. It would be impossible in the rainy season.
Pastor Santos is doing much better after the time in the hospital (same time as Cindy’s operation). they carried him down the mountain in a hammock. I am still not 100% sure what he had but from the meds and description it seems to be like meningitis. We picked up some more medicine for him as well. It was a scary week for the family and I was oblivious because my phone speaker is dead to talk and those in his family using his phone did not know how to text message. So our line of communication faltered. We have so many in great need right now but the container is still stuck in port and the past due monies are through the roof. Yet I am still being told soon don’t worry its under control…hmmm.
The Christmas shoebox container is ready to ship as well.

Had a laugh out loud moment this morning as I was reading and overheard two of the younger children laughing and playing with the new puppy. Why do we have a new puppy? I’ll come back to that point. The puppy began to lick one child and the other reprimanded them and said. “Don’t let the dog lick your face, that’s adultery”…??? I just laughed. Now, why do we have a puppy? Lisa and some of the girls were out yesterday and saw the puppy on the side of the road with a sign. They stopped fell in love and got her for "me"
as a Christmas present, seeing that it is an “Alaskan” dog, me being from there… This is akin to the joke of the young boy out shopping for Christmas presents with his grandfather. The grandfather tells him to go find what he wants to give to others and bring it to the check out counter. As the grandfather prepares to check out the boy arrives and puts a shiny new bb gun on the counter to purchase. The grandfather eyes the gun then turns to the boy. The boy promptly speaks up “But grandpa the bb gun is for grandma”… I could argue, but what’s the point I’m not going to win.. :) Just let them enjoy and play with it and I'll clean up after it later, besides its hard not to feel sorry for her. Not sure what great sin an Alaskan dog has to commit to be born in the very hot tropics of Honduras… maybe the LORD just wanted this old polar bear(me) to have company in my sweaty irony. It's my dog but look who its sleeping with...

Saturday, December 17, 2011


Yuck. I like bugs and things, I was even intrigued by this latest new bug the boys brought me called a chinche. It was crawling on my desk as I observed. Also known as the kissing bug… Intrigued, that is until I looked it up….splat, now it is know as a pretty dead bug. Numb tongue scorpion stings are no big deal now. This innocent looking beautiful little stinky bug is deadly. A slow agonizing death at that. What does it do? It comes out at night, follows your breath to your face, bites and eats your face, digests your blood, then poops in the sore. The poop contains a parasite that enters your nervous system and causes light flu like symptoms off and on for up to 20 years then comes alive and you either die from your digestive system failure followed body starvation or from your heart swelling up and basically exploding. There is a test and medicine to kill the parasite but only if you catch it early. If you wait years…there is no cure, you simply die. Wee.
Also had the tires and wheels stolen off our trailer last night and the church broke into and messed up again..… SOoo not only do we have to worry about feeding all the mouths every week, or being stabbed again (not since we moved out of the city has that happened) or the many other maladies we face here. (Got ran off the road this evening by a bus passing and he ran the oncoming car off the road too, The bus had an 8 foot sign Jesus lives on the full across mudflap with an “artistic” rendering of him). After 6 years I discover there is a face eating beetle that poops on your face that and you can die from some years after said event… oh weee. There’s no place like home.

Lisa made a 12” cookie and the kids are doing the math it took to make it in order to win it… Taking them a lot longer than it should have…
Multitasking in the USA- having more than one app open on your computer…
Multitasking in Honduras- A lady walking down the highway balancing a full 6 gal bucket on her head while carrying a second bucket with a toddler attached, calling out to sell tortillas, whilst publicly breast feeding her infant. (Seen today) I also followed a family of 5 on a motorcycle; Toddler on gas tank, Dad driving, toddler between Mom and dad, Mom sitting side saddle in a skirt nursing and infant…on a 125 cc motorcycle dodging foot deep potholes and on coming cars that give no respect and force them to drive on the side of highway…only one with a helmet...the driver, because its required and it comes with the motorcycle. A large basket of groceries tied on the handlbars. I also saw a man on a bicycle with a regular size refrigerator tied on the rear book rack going through town in traffic. Had I not seen it I would have said it was impossible. Different world we live in now.

Heading up the mountain to preach tomorrow with the crunching 4x4 transfer case in the kia… I don’t say it in jest or lightly, we need your continued prayers… Amen. We live here by the prayers and hearts of God’s ministering saints. Thank You and Merry Christmas from Honduras.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Just a few photos I let Julie take the camera to take photos of what she wanted. When I looked through them, the photos of Ericson playing with his worn out tonka truck in donated pants with hole in them was so emblematic to God’s ministry here. He did not stop playing just because the wheels had been run off and it was worn out. Nor did it change his spirit, he was happy with the new dirt pile. If you would like to share in some of the needs, weights and burdens in this ministry, just let me know and I will gladly list some of them for you. I often pray, humbled in all that God does and allows me to participate in, and ask, “why me?” And hence why I sign off with..
an unworthy servant to a Worthy Saviour,
Barry Ritchie

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Long but good day

Went to preach up in the mountain today in St Teresa. Headed out at 6am to pick up Marc Antonio in Choluteca. Several of our kids went to help. As we hit the steep grades the kia began making crunching sounds in the gearbox when in 4wd. Wee. Also brought up cement so the church can do a little more on the church building. They have put a cement coating on and begun a water threshold (like a sidewalk but to keep water away from the non-foundation base of the walls) on the adobe brick building to protect it. They still need to do the interior. We had a couple of small wind gusts and the dust from the interior walls and floor kicks up so bad it requires everyone to keep a washcloth to breath through. They need about 60 more bags of cement to finish the walls and floors. Each bag costs about $9 including getting it up the mountain. They haul the sand, gravel and water they need with an old oxcart or wheel barrow from the river about a mile below. When done, the building will last 25-50yrs with only minor repairs.

We bought and delivered a bunch of chairs for the church in San Geronimo Friday, thanks to the big hearts of ministering saints. The whole church had seats, no rocks were occupied. Amen! How long would you sit on a rock or lean on a barbwire fence to listen to preaching?... The San Geronimo church is growing slow but steady under Marc Antonio’s preaching. He is shaping up to be a great pastor.

The church also came to the river to watch first baptisms of the Lighthouse Baptist church. Marc Antonio is always asking me bible questions to verify his thoughts and grow by, I enjoy his conversations. We had several of our children ready to baptize as well as one of our senior ladies. One of our ladies backed out at the last minute because her catholic husband refused to let her participate. Another time, maybe next time he will be included. She pulled me aside and asked, is it ok if she still comes to the church service? Yes of course your welcome. Patricia had been asking for months about baptism and has been beaming all day. Sayder came privately to me yesterday to verify he was ready. Wow was he ready. I asked a few questions and he responded with answers only a bible student would answer with. He then prayed and humbled me. A president of a Bible university could not have spoke with more power, conviction or more articulate. It moved me to tears listening to him talk to God. I tried to record it but did not want to interfere. Lisa made cupcakes to share at the river and of course kids and water cannot be in close proximity without mixing, so most of them dove in and splashed around after the service for a short bit.
Over all a great day… till I sat and looked at photos and realized I had a big hole in my shirt. Preaching and baptizing all day with a big ol hole. As we looked at the photos, I asked the kids why didn’t you tell me?…Responce-It didn’t bother us and we thought you knew. (Insert exasperated sigh) Back to real concerns. Without going into details, we had some issues this week that could have turned very tragic personally and ministerial, that really brought the spirit down in the house. But thanks to ministering saints prayers being heard by our LORD, it seems that it was avoided. Only the LORD could have changed the circumstances and hearts. Please keep us in prayer, it's not over yet.

I am including a video if I can upload it of the girls folding clothes this evening. They have been singing all afternoon. Amen, BTW, both our washer and dryer have died, so we are back to washing by hand. Making their songs even sweeter to hear. Amen! I have tried and tried for days to load this video and the conection just wont handle it. Stayed up all night sunday trying when loads were less. Need a better way.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Gooder and Gooder

Update: Cindy doing well, will visit Dr Fri to remove stitches. But moving her head, healing well and playing. The Holy Spirit seems to be moving through the family these past weeks.

Bessy, One of our abused Lighthouse children, came to me asking for salvation Sunday evening. She came in heavy hearted saying “papi I need to talk to you”. She said the same thing earlier in the afternoon but said she wanted to wait till she could talk privately. I only asked why several times and she already had all the answers breaking into tears as she spoke… and in tears, weeping she just prayed on her own. I have been blessed so many times in witnessing this miracle of a new birth, and thankful the LORD made my worthlessness worthy to participate as one who rolls away the stone. Amen

It gets better, or as we used to joke on the church bus gooder and gooder.

Julie came in too, saying the same thing, I need to talk, but for a different reason. She shared how the LORD has been working on her heart and she now feels she would like to be a missionary. She would like to do our jobs in the future and take care of the Lighthouse. My private hope has been one of the children here would one day take the reigns. She previously wanted to cook and maybe start a restaurant. She still wants to learn to cook but feels the LORD is directing her desires to a different path… A ministering saint sent a surprise pacage in the mail just for Julie that we picked up today. Had a nice long skirt and shirt set… strange timing? I think not. Amen!

Today’s is Korina’s birthday(Jenny’s little sister) I asked her Saturday what she wanted while out driving and she said to visit her older sister(where she used to live). I relented against my better judgment.. cuz it was her BD and all. She was scared to return, heart racing and ducked behind my seat when we pulled up. She got out and found most of them could care less. The older half sister (36) talked a few minutes then ignored her telling me of all her problems wanting me to turn on her electric because her man will not. A halve brother did not even turn to say hi when walking by even though they all called out repeatedly. The dad moved to a different city. She got back in the kia in just a few minutes wanting to leave. Today she was giggly happy when I suggested going out with Lisa for a dress or something after lunch (special lunch made by her request). A few minutes later several girls came in saying Korina is crying in the bedroom. I went to find out “now what?”. When I asked her she said she was not crying because she was sad… she was crying because she was so happy and did not want to go back living like she did… You needed no fire to melt me… I am glad she did not ask for anything else at that moment, else I would have felt obliged to give it to her no matter the cost…Amen.
We will be doing our first baptismal service in the Lighthouse Baptist church on Sunday, should be several of our children and several adults… We will see. Taking them all to the river. Amen!

unworthy servant to a worthy Saviour,
Barry Ritchie

View Larger Map