Honduras Missions

The Ritchie Family / Children's Lighthouse

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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