Honduras Missions

The Ritchie Family / Children's Lighthouse

Monday, March 26, 2012

Needed, A time of refreshing....

Nice to have a good Sunday when you have had a really bad week...

Our newest church plant here at the Children's Lighthouse property decided to have a family day,
and as with all Baptist, it must include food. Pastor Augusto brought members from Santa Teresa and I also invited a young couple from Namisigue. Manuel might become another preacher in our mix. (Man with the monkey in photo and family on bridge photo) Pray the LORD opens and directs. He packed up a few people he has been working with near his home and brought them as well. In all well over 100 people under preaching. And fellowship. Lisa had the families pose on our bridge and the plan is to give them each a family photo. Maybe not a big deal in the USA where digital cameras abound but here having a family photo is a rare treasure. We also put out the growing collection of animals we have as a petting zoo. People keep dropping them off to us knowing they will have a good home...Kinda Like the children I suppose. Lisa has had a pair of turtles in a plastic bucket for several years. After we finished the bridge down below she wanted a turtle pond by it. No big deal dig a small hole throw in a bag of cement with a few rocks and presto. As we were doing this though a neighbor asked one of our men from the church helping me, What was he doing for the American. "Building a small turtle pond" ..." I have 4 more big ones does he want them?" ... Of course give them to the children first...then have them go "ask" papi. Sunday morning fill the new pond and toss in the now 6 turtles and head up to change clothes. When I return one of Lisa' s small ones had escaped... We were also given a pair of baby raccoons. The petting zoo went over well with the abundance of children in service with families.

Manuel has an open door into the local high school of 600 kids to preach. And also wanst to do a middle of town movie outreach.
Mark Antonio has gotten proficient on his motorcycle...but Not good enough for his wife to be willing to ride yet. She said maybe in a few more weeks... The money came in to pay it and the day after we did...see Below.

Now for the bad news. Our first legit electric bill came in. Technically for a month but actually it was for 90 days since it was a first reading. A whopping $2700!! My jaw dropped. We are being charges 140% higher rate per kw than we use to get. Simply because it is in an American ministry name (i.e. American business) not a Honduran. I have a appointment today to see if it can be lowered. Not holding my breath. Not sure what to do because we sure cannot afford this kind of bill let alone every month. Everything in the house got shut off we took lights out of sockets that were know to be left on frequently by the kids etc.

Now the worse thing. Jenny the child who has been with us the longest took off with a guy last week. After 5 days of searching we found her and she is already not the child we had. She refuses any guidance from anyone. Us, child services, friends, pastors, older sister, framily, no one. She only wants to stay with him and she says she has no family, no parents, no brothers of sisters only him. He is jobless, drinks, smokes, does drugs and lives in a 12x12 run down mud hut owned by a grandmother... There is nothing good I can say about it. Absolutely heartbreaking. He happens to be the thief jr and I put in jail 6 months ago for entering into our inner fence around the house in the middle of the night...(unsaved neighbors asked me then why I did not just shoot him...hmm) Now he has stolen the most treasured thing in the house to simply destroy it and I am helpless save for prayer to do anything about it. She went to bed last sat night and gave us sweet smiling hugs and kisses and I love you's. Only to wake in the morning getting ready for church and she was no were to be found. Please keep us in prayer. I need much refreshing to come our way to counter the continuing heartache of the cross we bear daily.
Unworthy servant to a Worthy Saviour,
Barry Ritchie

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Marc Antonio on the new motorcycle. He is practicing and learning how to ride it. We got him a lic yesterday and today Jr is teaching him driving around the property. He has never driven anything before today. This will allow him to continue the work we started up in Colonia. Pray someone wants to share in this blessing else it is going to be a really long month for us....
One motorcycle $1000
One helmet and trunk $100
One drivers Lic for Motorcycles $50
Souls won for eternity and church planted ...truely priceless

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Making pulpits..sending preachers

Just a brief update to share a few things. We had a neighbor ask to cut a branch from our big tree because he was scared it would fall on the new house he is about to build. We agreed and let him cut it. After we had family of a church member cut it up in usable pieces because it is a very expensive hard wood. The man cutting was very good with his chainsaw. Did chalk lines for guides with just old used motor oil and a string, then used the same oil in the saw. But I had to cringe watching him cut barefoot, walking the log, with the chain revved only a few inches from his feet... Look again...No blood? Great, we now have some nice wood to make a few much needed pulpits. Pastor Enemesio will likely do that in a few months after the wood dries.

Marc Antonio wants to take over preaching for Omar who passed away last month, and pastor in the mountain church of Colonia Trapechee. The problem is he needs transportation and there is no way he can afford to purchase anything. We need a preacher up there to keep several years work in tact and the church asked for him as well. So Jr and I went out today shopping prices. We returned home only to find a neighbor with a nice motorcycle used that is only 10 months old for $1000. It in great condition and the bullet holes in the gas tank... are only stickers, also comes with the helmet. We are asking the LORD to burden someone to help a mountain preacher and us since we now must pay for it? I commited to buy it (somehow) because after looking all over today, it was by far the best deal and we know the seller. It is our represenative to the govenment for our school. He bought a car... easier to haul school supplies and offered a much better price than anywhere. Like most things we do jump out of the plane first and look for a parachute on the way down... At least keep this in prayer...Thank you to all the LORD's ministering saints...

Sunday, March 4, 2012


I just want to give any new ministering saints a brief ministry update and overview. My name is Barry, my wife's name is Lisa and our son's Barry Jr. We are the Ritchies, missionaries to Honduras. We have been on the field 7 years. The Lord drew us here after visiting post Hurricane Mitch 13 years ago and broke our hearts. Since arriving, there have been 7 church plants that are in various stages. Four are fully atonomious independent Baptist churches with national pastors, property and church building owned by the local churches. We just built a ministry pavilion/school building that is also home to the fifth church plant but is still in the infant stages. Two churches are meeting under tents while seeking property and are under the preaching of those being trained and sent out of the ministry. Prayerfully those too will soon have property and trained national pastors. We run multiple Bible institutes in the local churches as well. The Children's Lighthouse, almost by accident, began taking in sexually abused, abandoned and orphaned children at the beginning. If you see a child drowning and you are in a life raft next to them, how can you not pull them aboard? We have had as many as 24 in house living as our own children, all placed with us by the courts. The plan is for 100+ as the LORD provides. The Ministry was donated a 32 acre property several years ago and seed money to begin construction of a permanent home for these children. It is also the base for our other ministry outreaches under the heading of Honduras Missions. We do not live as a orphanage but rather as a home. As I searched the scriptures, I could not find an orphanage setting, though the mandate to care for the fatherless is clear, as is the mandate of family. So we chose this path, taking in the children as our own, even pursuing adoption of some. As we expand beyond our capacity in a family unit (24 is hard) we hope to build other homes on the property and place future children in family units in them as well, whether or not they are national parents or “imported”. It will require a life long commitment of those chosing to help. It may seem like an insignificant difference considering some of the large institutional orphanages do a good work. But there is no substitute that works better than a good God ordained family. Those that visit can attest to that. Children respond better when they know you are their parent forever.

In February we began a school for our children with the aid and blessing of the government. Mainly because we took on the added responsibility to teach 45 others who fell though the cracks in education. It has been a rocky start to say the least, but it is up and running. The photo is Lisa and Jr teaching in one class and Julie (one of our Lighthouse children) teaching the other. Lisa was floating between the two classes using a curriculmn she made using the Bible as a school text book. She stayed up all night (again) finishing and copying it, slept a couple of hours and headed to the mountain. Difficult long trip up because the ministry kia is in the shop. Broke the lug nuts off hitting a pothole and broke the front axle loose again... Kinda rough on things. Some of our potholes can literally swallow the car, where the side of the road slides down the mountain and makes night driving very dangerous. They are only marked by a twig held up by a small rock about 25 feet before the abys normally. The road turns black with skid marks before it. In the USA you would have flashing blockades, signs and cones for a mile before it.

As for blessings and needs there are many, here are a few. The main church pastored by Carlos recently did their first VBS and had several families join because of it. This weekend they will baptize an entire family from this outreach, Amen!. They also had their first funeral for one of our early converts and ministry helpers, See previous posts. Because of that we have had to do some shuffling around of preachers. The church in Colonia Trapeche wants Marc Antonio and he wants to go but we need to find some kind of transportation for him. A motorcycle would allow him to continue up there in the mountain year round but cost about $1500+. They are also in need of property. They are doing a 5 week type of VBS this month on the weekends and will be using a 1ton truck this to transport folks and get there, but needed help with fuel ect to do so. The nice thing about a motorcycle is the pastor can afford to run it.

The church in San Geronimo has found a property but is lacking funds to purchase. Approx~ $3000 dollars. See the Dec 26, 2011 and Jan 2, 2012 for photos of the church. They were evicted from a previous building because they were not able to come up with funds to buy it when the owner chose to do so. They have been under our tent having meetings for more than 2 years, outside a members home.

Our ministry truck is showing the abuse of climbing these rugged mountains. We have spent near the value of the truck new on repairs in the last 2 years trying to keep it going. But it still has some serious issues. Need to replace it as well as acquire a bus at some point.

Sarah, the teacher that came to help start the school went back to the states early for medical reasons, Keep her and her husband Adam in prayer. Lisa has picked up the slack and her burden was already heavy. We brought in some folks to help. It is working and still teaching, but dont think we can sustain the added costs for long. The LORD knows. We commited to do it and have no choice now like jumping out of a airplane kinda hard to climb back in. Lisa went in for a cancer check up and the news was like always a little confusing, not bad, but not good either, this looks good but that doesnt kinda thing.
So we continue on course till the trump sounds or the LORD call us home. Like the circut preachers of old, better to die in the saddle or die in the pulpit, than die in bed, or a with fishin pole in my hand...

Just to put it out there, our son is looking to get married this year. His future wife is out of the church plant in Los Tererros and is now helping Lisa teach. He is still seeking a way to work here and support a family. Jr has become an major part of the ministry, and now with Omar gone even more people lean on him to help in many ways, there is not much he cannot do. Those who have been here understand his unsung but great value. If some would consider supporting him or even letting him seek support as a 2nd generation missionary it would be a wonderful blessing and help us greatly. His desire is to continue here. He is willing to live and work here on less than most american teens would even consider for their first job. Honduras does not provide much from a worldly viewpoint but storing up treasures in heaven, it is abundanlty rich in that area...

Just for fun-One of the jobs of a missionary... to care for your kid's motherless baby guatusa. Nothing like trying to prepare a sermon and have a baby rat like animal on your desk. Why? Simply because your children want you too. So now we have an animal from the guinea pig family that will grow to the size of a small dog that imprints as a baby who is family and never leaves to add to our zoo... SO if you visit in the future and see a giant rat running around... its just our children's pet...

Please keep our many needs before the Throne of Grace.
Unworthy servant to a Worthy Saviour,

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