Honduras Missions

The Ritchie Family / Children's Lighthouse

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A painful road

Had an event filled week. When you live in a home with 20 or so people all with differing needs, problems, issues,
levels and directions...there is always someone in the state of flux. 3am seems to have become our new quiet time.
Lisa uses 12-3... I get 3-6am.  Alba is recovering from having the baby and is settling in a routine. She had asked
to have a baby dedication time at the end of the service. Pastor Augusto is not one to take this lightly. He came
down from the mountain during the week to council her on the seriousness of this vow to God. When he felt convinced of her sincerity he agreed. He also shared years ago with his son he wanted to do a similar thing in a church. He went forward after a service and asked the pastor, the pastor said great and without explaining or counciling or waiting or even inviting his wife up, prayed quickly right then and poof it was over. He felt cheated or cheapened about the desire he had in his heart. This shaped his opinion on how to deal with others who seek this. Sunday he
taught a very heavy lesson on the resposibility of the parent and the example of Hanah. The prayertime brought out a mixed bag of tears in Alba, tears of fear, joy, burden, happiness and security. It is a fearful thing to fall in to the hands of God... but a wonderful joy to leap into the Heavenly Father's hands...Amen.

A few happenings...Right before bedtime, Enrique was running outside and stepped on a sharp rock slicing his foot... another rush to
the pay hospital to sew him back up and week on crutches.
 The kids were playing with the camera while I was on the

computer doing a lesson (trying) and Korina came up behind me to hug me... It is these little things the LORD uses to keep my focus during the spirtual battles.
Lisa also did a little photography this week and posed some of the kids and the baby...and the dog jumped up on the table to get in the act. As if just kids were not hard enough to pose. The 4 newest children have been intergrated into the family well.

The tide may be turning in one of the spiritual battles. Keep praying. Wednesday I received more bad news and had resighed to
the fact I was going to loose a battle. I sat in the truck and prayed tearfully to the LORD to that effect. 20 minutes later I received
a suprise phone call from Jenny. It was even more surprising to hear what she had to say. She wanted to make some things
right... She was in Tegucigulpa and wanted to see me face to face and talk. She caught a bus and Lisa and I meet
her and talked for 5+ hours. She wanted to go before the church and appoligize for the destruction she had caused.
I talked to her for many hours, several more times in the following days and each time she seemed drawned closer to
the LORD, actually asking me to teach her more. Sunday Lisa and I walked with her up front in the la cruz church to
allow her to let go of this burden. After we left, she fell into our arms in hugs tears and relief. She then opted
to visit our home and the kids for a joyful few hours. She has not chosen to come back home but seems to be
desiring a better road. Please keep the prayer on full. I believe she is at a critial juncture, if she continues to
make bad choices at this point she does so with a full understanding of the conscequenses and there may be no
remedy. She knows what God would have her do. The things we have talked about have been very hard lessons, very
frank, very personal and very humbling. Matters of the truth in the heart... which is all God looks at.  But this
is the first time in months I have had any hope she was even capable of the right choices... Pray the spirit wins
over the flesh. Her battle is not over nor has the spirit won, but there is light shining all about and she has no excuse for not seeing.....Amen.

The fund raising for a new vehicle is up to $12,000 promised. Amen! The Korean kia is currently speaking German "workenbroken". Still using it while locating the needed parts. A few fuel injectors have begun to die, hard to get it started, leaking oil and water and the front axle is broken as well as binding if you turn too hard... Been waiting for time, money and parts, thankfully ordered parts yesterday. It has to stop rolling before one can install parts though...

We are hoping to settle the paperwok for the property in Colonia trapechee soon. After it is secure they want to
begin building a place to meet. Even just a tin roof and posts. Church services under a tree in the rain seem to get harder after 3+ years. As with most projects here we start by faith and prayer. Never cash in hand to finish a task, just know the task needs doing and start with what we have. Just begin and the LORD provides as needed...and be content with whatever is done.. Click on photos to enlarge
Unworthy servant to a worthy Saviour,

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Micah Benjamin

Alba gave birth to baby Micah Benjamin friday. The Kia is broke down so we hired the water deliver truck to take Lisa and Alba to the pay hospital. Lisa has been sick for several days but when duty called she jumped and ran. Stayed up all night with her...and has bruises from Alba's grip too prove it... Jr's motorcycle is also broke down with a bad oil pump, a new one will be here in a week. He borrowed a neighbor's to do the running around they needed. 
Micah is an 8lb boy who seems healthy, but was born with microtia. It is a lack of outer ear defect that often affects inner ear, so he may not be able to hear, must do tests to find out how far he developed. But in truth not much can be done. For those who know Alba and her life, will understand it is a heavy emotional blow. But for now mom and baby are home with us and doing fine. I am going to make a long shot plea to a Dr in the USA who developed a 3 year series of operations to reform the ear through plastic surgery...need prayer there too.

The nuts and bolts... There has been a promise of $1000 more for Ana Cristina's heart operation totaling $3000 promised, a big amen!...but need 8000 more. We are still hoping the LORD opens a door for a more reliable higher capacity vehicle. $10,000 has been promised. Another amen.  ...The last couple of days kind of highlighted the point of needing one. A 4cyl diesel, 30 passenger, minibus would be nice, so we can all arrive and travel dry, but they are  expensive. Another kia seems to be more attainable. So many other needs just as important, but most seem to be about funding. Need to build 2 churches, cost? ..about $7000 each. Both congragations are as poor as they come and have met faithfully for 3+ years under trees, open air in homes or a tent only half could fit under. Both are working to aquire property (one had a facility but were kicked out of it when the owners sold it to a cult.) Whether it is a church building, buying food, or the many needs for the Children's Lighthouse or medical needs ect.  I have often sat and watched the sun set on the mountains of the property. It does not take much thought to see all the LORD has done over the years, but it is not because of our ability or cash on hand to do things, rarely is our ability up to par or the bank account not sending us low balance alerts. Though Lisa's ability has a way of often stretching a weeks worth of food into two weeks. One example while Lisa was sick, Julie was to cook, but said we were out of food in the kitchen. Lisa gets up and staggers in and says do this and that and presto Julie made a great meal from what appeared to her as nothing.  Even so all seems to get done and there is no debt. The only bills are weekly or monthly taking care of the needs on hand. Learning to wait for His supply, and He has not failed once to supply the need for His desires. There in is the key...making sure they are His desires...

Please keep us in prayer, for we are constantly in spiritual battles. Many times they are serious enough that any of which could destroy the ministry the Lord is working here. Satan knows our weaknesses and always attacks, we see his fingerprints on much, yet I fully believe, in no little part by your prayers, the LORD's hand is in all and has and will continue to deliver us out of every evil work until He comes...
Unworthy servant to a worthy Saviour,

Barry Ritchie

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Had another outreach this evening. Brother Morales invited folks from Namisigue and his father and I picked them up in our trucks, about 80 in all. The evening was one of teaching on family and dads. Numerous hands raised wanting to walk closer with Christ. Amen. As is the way here, nothing happens without complications. Jr was teaching late in the mountain, could not find all the gear he put away. Started to set up and the power goes out, thankfully it came on in time for invitation two and a half hours later.  Just before starting, I headed to town rushing to buy needed (lost) items for evening. Lisa found them with a flashlight and I rerouted to go pick folks up instead. Return with a truckload of people and set up the kia for lights in the dark to have services. While taking people home, the front axle on the kia broke again on a steep downgrade carrying about 40 people. And it is real low on fuel having used the kia to run lights ect for the service. Hope it makes it to gas station. But the results in the photos were worth it. One of the mom's as she was leaving said we need to hear this every night, everybody needs this message... Amen.

Earlier in the day we had 3 theives on the property up on the hill behind the house watching us. Sayder had spoted them unseen and I asked if he thought he could sneek back up get a photo of them... He did, and when they saw him they turned and ran not wanting a photo. We took it to the police, who reconized one of them. Amen.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Gone fishin...

I go a fishing...with the ongoing unrelenting spiritual battle continuing, a momentary unilateral cease fire was taken.  Took the boys out to learn fishin at the ol fishin hole... till one got wet and it became the ol swimin hole. Caught nothing but memories.. hooks too big- pond too small, but they want to try again. I promised them a time like this once a month. Photos speak for themselves. Enrique took the photos, pretty good for the first time using a camera. It was a peaceful few hours, first time fishing in 20 yrs. The military guards this wildlife preserve but let us go fishing/swiming Amen. Looked at my phone, and miles from anywhere, in the middle of the swamp near the ocean...I had full signal. At the Lighthouse only a few miles from town ziltch.. So I interupted this time of tranquil peace to make a couple of needed phone calls (pragmatic multitask thinking)... only to run out of minutes talking to them... God takes care of the details.

Got conformation this morning, the local public high school has invited us to speak to the entire school... but in groups of 30 for an hour each for as many days as it takes. We will be with Brother Morales on this outreach. We are to also have a similar time just with the teachers as well. It will be in about 2 weeks. We will see what kind of door is opened unto us. Amen!

We had a surprise visit from Nancy yesterday, been several years. She wept numerous times remembering what she left and lost, regreting choices, she wept most when we told her we still love her, sadly it was not godly repentance. Maybe some day it will be. She is only 16 and has aborted 2 babies. She now lives in a very bad part of town with her mom and 5 others in a 10'X10' house with nothing. She ran to be "free" to only find she sold her self to a life of drugery and servitude. Jenny has taken a similar route and is now with her mom who works the same as Nancy's, also in a very dangerous part of the city. Both moms allow live in boyfriends/older men for any age young girls as long as a little money is thrown to them... It breaks my heart. It is many things but it is not freedom...

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

God's Glory

Tuesday we had an opportunity to do an outreach to the city/national police department. It went very well, numerous professions of faith. The local police chief wants us to return and teach it to the entire police force. He got up and almost preached a second message at the end. We only had about 80 total men or 25% of them today for near 3 hours. Several wept during the presentation. And since they gave us their lunch hour+ for the event, Lisa prepared food for them all, real spaghetti...feed the flesh AFTER the spirit.. Amen. The kids served it all to them. The pictures say much.... There was a seperate city activity in the park outside of the police headquarters so 3 TV news crews wandered in asking what was going on with the police, then 2 filmed us and interviewed our pastors and the kids I had with me. In all a great day that returned to God His Glory that was shining on us. Thank you for the prayers!! We are planing a similar outreach to the local Highschool with the new man we are working with... (maybe another pastor in the making?)

Still need praise prayers for many things. A short list. Salvations and the spiritual battle we are locked in, Funds for Ana Cristina's heart operation ($2000 promised $9000 more needed), Matching funds for a new vehicle (have $10,000 promised but we must raise the rest) Health and support, Jenny, Alba's baby is due in about a week, everything is ready and paid for as long as there are no complications. Jr is planning to wed Dec 29th it looks like. Brother Marc Antonio has opted to take on the ministry/church in Colonia as a full time pastor today rather than as an outreach, amen! They have a property now and just need to begin building a place to stay out of the weather...3 years in open air preaching under a tree. A few hundred dollars by a few people would go far up there. Maybe some of those who visited and preached in the rain up there might be simpathetic?? Tomorrow "I go a fishin"...with the boys and home made poles... Pray they let us on the nature perserve out by the shrimp farm... should be good.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Thorns in the flesh and pains of the heart

Our communication links have been poor since the rain has picked up. Power goes out frequently and if it goes out anywhere along the line near us we loose cell or internet even if our power is on. Our electric rates are high enough now that I almost enjoy it when we do loose power. My first thought is well at least were saving money... The well pump quit on us again this week, of course Sunday in the AM, so no showers for church. Thankfully it was a cheap fix and the safety cable caught the pump after the head broke, just labor intensive. I have found the easiest way to get Jr to do anything is not to ask him anymore... just ask his fiancé.
She controls his heart better than I can. But then she arrives to teach school an hour early so she can make him breakfast too... Uh, he was never fond of my cooking:) After dozens of well pump repairs over the years, he finally listened to pop and built a little jig to make pulling the 300 feet of pipe up a little easier. One of the men from the church also helped, Amen. The four newest children are blending in well. I enjoy watching them pray and begin to help in chores. They have warmed up to us and smile and laugh much more now, neither is there a worry about not eating. I asked Cristella what she liked about being here..."The food!" with a big smile. Lisa took them to several meetings with child services where the judge made things permanent. Still not sure of the whole story yet, but from the detailed glimpses we get, the situation was very bad. Omar has a big scar on his cheek. The children said it was where the dad bit him. In court, it was asked about also and the mother confirmed what the children had said. I dont know what to make of that??... Lisa took Patricia with her to court to help and when the child service worker saw how she was with the kids they too had her help. Lisa is slowly picking up the things needed for them. She got a bundle of clothes and a new sundress for Cristella which brought smiles. We will soon be finishing our first school "year" only to start another the same week. They complete 2 grade levels in one year on this program. It has been alot of extra work but I think it will be worth it. Jr was able to get the police chief to agree again to a movie and preaching time for the Choluteca Police department. So next Tuesday will be the first of two outreaches with them. Pray souls are saved and hearts moved to walk closer to God.

  Pastor Santos called needing help delivering a several thousand pound supply of food for the public school in the mountain. The WFP had donated some lunch food and could not get it to the mountain. So he volunteered me to do it.
It helps the mountain church's name in the community as well as most of the children in the church. Racing against the weather to get up the mountain and rain following us all the way up, just a few minutes behind. Arrived at the mountain top and rain caught us as we finished unloading and Pastor Santos slipped carring a 100 lb bag and twisted or broke his ankle. He will be out of work for at least 2 weeks or more. I have his daughter coming down today to share some of our food with the family and give him crutches and meds because he will not be able to provide anything for a week or two. He asked me to preach up there for him as well. On the way up we talked about many things. There was a young teen girl who was brutally raped and killed, then the body was dumped behind the church. No one in the community knows who she was so she might have been from the city and left up there. It only made it more vivid to me when talking to Pastor Santos Daughter, keep Julisia in prayer. We have helped and guided her over the years and even in difficult situations, she has kept a pure testamony much longer than most girls here. Pray she continues this walk and the LORD provides her with a Godly husband at the appointed time. As I sat in the market waiting, I had a ta-da moment, realizing so many moms walking with daughters who were dressed as.. well, the word "shark bait" would be self explanitory... and moms totaly oblivious to the responses  of guys around them. At the same time several men digging through a large pile of trash on the side of the street literally pushing the dogs away from the same food they were eating to lick plates thown out of by the venders. And a teen girl, the sister of Cesa a boy who we have helped over the years, selling hersef in the street for drugs... heartbreaking. What I saw before me and read in the news, one can only conclude the moral compass of the world no longer functions on any level.

  We were donated some fishing tackle and reels a while back, but no poles. Have not been able to find any here either, just nets. So the boys found some bamboo saplings and we set about to make a couple. Wired the reels to them, glued on some eye hooks and presto crooked fishing poles... Going to catch anything? Is that important? Even if it is only memories with the boys, it will be a good haul... Besides, not like I can keep up with them playing soccer and climbing trees... fishin is more my speed now days.
Alba's baby is due in a couple of weeks and Jenny is still missing. Please keep in prayer the spiritual battle we still are in the midst of. Satan attacks our weakness at every opportunity. Add to this, my mom passed away suddenly this past week. By God's mercy, I talked to her just the week before. It makes the wedding ring she gave Jr all the more precious. Accepting the call of the LORD, and the responsability placed before us on the mission field has been costly in so many ways most never consider. I have never seen or held any of my grandchildren, I do not know where my mom or dad are buried, was not with them for years or their dieing hours, never seen a daughters walk the aisle. Numerous relationships severed, and people close to us abandon or forget us. Health and numerous other Matt 8:19-22 and Matt 19:27-29 issues, in all it is a continual thorn in the flesh. But by God's amazing grace, He still squeezes glory out of this broken down, wore out and unworthy servant to a Worthy Saviour... Barry

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