Honduras Missions

The Ritchie Family / Children's Lighthouse

Friday, July 27, 2012

Field trip - living by faith

I have been wanting to take the children on a trip to visit some of the treasures of Honduras for 6 years. But time and money are always at issue. Money mostly, our resources are limited and there is always a more pressing matter like lights, food, medical, broken car ect. I wanted a few good things to come from the passing of my mom last month. One was to build churches, the second to put a lifelong great memory in the children. We turned it into a school field trip with the older children, Jr and both teachers. Fifteen of us on the road for a week traveling Honduras. We visited the Copan Ruins, The hot spring thermals, Doctor/friends in SanPedro, and the gulf coast. We snorkeled the Conch Islands 22 km off the coast and saw the beautiful coral reefs, ate a fish lunch on the little island where Blackbeard the pirate used to dwell making memories for a lifetime. There is a different attitude in the north, even the taxi drivers are nice. The natives on the island invited us to stay with them next time(no hotel there). Of course we did the trip on a Honduran budget rather than fancy safe tourist style…Ie local food not fancy restaurants and the boat we took was a local fisherman and had a motor fail but was changed after borrowing one from another fisherman. And the crack in the hull below our feet that let in a little water each time we hit a wave… just added a little thrill and faith to the voyage. Patricia kept staring at the crack worried. On the way back the seas were rough 5-6 foot swells both men driving both motors full throttle to barely able to pull us against contrary currents. She looked up and asked me ”Is there a problem?”. “No“, then she leaned over fell asleep in my arms a few moments later. Just leave the worries to papi… At the thermal spring I lost my wallet but did not know it till the next morning. We drove all the way back and the operator opened the place and let the kids look. They finally found it right after the rest of us stopped to pray. The LORD seemed to guide every step and we found what was needed for each part of the trip… And the Holy Spirit worked in the hearts of several, healing wounds and putting aside weights that were besetting. Amen!

Now for the special update. We got back in time for a scheduled meeting with child services. Lisa went with a few of the kids to visit and the Judge begged and almost insisted we take more kids…10 more. Still not sure of all the situations about them but Lisa picked them up today. We now care for 26 children in our home… Just a few glimpses of their stories, A blind young girl who was being sold to old men by the mom (to by drugs?) till she became pregnant and she has a baby now 11 months old, 2 orphans, a young boy who was being sold by mom as well. A very abused malnourished baby, 8 months old and cannot hold up his head and black an blue from knees to back and head, and has breathing issues, a couple of street kids with no records ect.

To say the least we really need prayer and feet to go with it…

The kia had been at the mechanics all week before leaving on the trip. When we picked it up, it did not last long enough to get supplies home for the trip. So at 4 pm we began looking for parts to fix what the mechanic could not/did not. He tried 3 times. So I bought what we needed and installed new alt and pump by the light of a cell phone. Then headed out at 5am on a week long hard drive adventure, wondering every moment if it would last. It did till we got back. Lisa pick up the kids today and just before arriving at the house pop and the belts let go and took out the radiator hoses. Wee. we need to pick up drinking water but have no transportation. And 29 thirsty folks in the house… Need another vehicle…and the bus seems like a greater need now…just not sure how to make it happen.

Unworthy servant to a worthy Saviour,
Barry Ritchie

Sunday, July 15, 2012

I went with most of the children to Colonia Trapeche Sat to share the information about building a church meeting house. We also took the first 100 blocks up. Don’t want to make an unloaded trip and delivering the first load of material makes a better impression than promises… and as always pick up people on the way up. It was a good time of preaching, discussing the building and viewing the now cleaned property. Need to take out a big tree and need to haul in fill or the kia will get stuck in the rain, also need to fix the kia again. Had 2 children’s classes in homes of members and adults met under the ol’ tree. Pastor Santos walked down as well and while taking him back up, one of the things I was surprised to see was another huge new catholic church up near Lenaca… Near the other planned church. A few years ago I was about the only one venturing up there… now I see this, hmm. The Mormons are even visiting there, now that the road is drivable by car.

Taking a drive up north to see if a medical team might make a future visit like we had 6 years ago. A lot for just a chance to have one could use prayer…But they are also bringing medicine for Lisa we are not able to get here, she has been miserable for months since she ran out and often bed ridden.

Trying to get kia ready for hauling loads up the mountain again, and going to be taking a horse up so one pastor can do more visiting and ministry. Amen! Keep the prayers going up we let none go to waste.
Unworthy servant to a Worthy Saviour,
Barry Ritchie

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Nothing is simple

Had a fruitful meeting of the preachers today, 8 in all attended. Consensus was they want meetings much more frequently. Lisa was doing triple duty today. Keeping the school running, baking BD cakes for 2 people and making Chinese food for pastors and kids for lunch…(thankfully Jr was able to repair her mixer, worn out shaft pin inside.) The LORD provided some study Bibles for the pastors, plus bibles and tracts to hand out. Need to get in a new supply somehow. Several issues were discussed and I am amazed at the wisdom and hearts in these men. Because of this meeting and the men sharing their hearts, we now have a couple of new areas for church plants. There is a group of people who have been asking some of the pastors for meetings at the base of one of the mountains when we pass by. After a time of discussing who they were, it was learned that one of these families was responsible for killing one of the pastors brothers… The same pastor then asked to be the one to go and witness to them with another pastor to begin the inroads of a church plant. A humbling moment for me. It was also shared that the plan is to erect 2 small church meeting houses by the end of the year both in the mountains. One to replace a falling down one and the other a new construction. Amen! Both very needful and been trying to raise funds to do something for years did not know this was the door the LORD would use. It is the inheritance my mom left us when she passed suddenly last month. It is not enough to do things “right” (ie no windows doors ect, just a small building, walls roof and a floor) but with prayer and the Holy Spirit working on hearts to help I think we can do it. Several men offered volunteer labor, prayerfully a few more funds to help will come in to help finish them. So the plan is to start in a couple of weeks. Hope the kia holds together enough to lift 2 more church buildings up the mountain. Nothing is simple...

We also dealt with some of the spiritual battles facing the ministry and ask for prayer to resolve them. They seem so simple to fix but when it comes to matters of the heart and pride nothing is simple.

Better news, one pastor has begun a plan of house to house church services with the youth. He has found it opens doors not previously open. It is considered a privilege to have a church service in your home here. So the young people have been asking those families who would not consider “going” to a baptist church, nor would let the pastor preach, if they would allow them(the young people) to hold a church service in their home. The response has been most often yes. They then also invite a few family and neighbors. We picked up a couple of Coleman lanterns to allow night services in the mountains(no electric). Inroads have already been made. The Pastor told of how one man said yes but told them he would just sit in his room and listen, by the middle of the service he had moved into where the preaching was taking place… I have found we must go the extra mile.. twice here in order to get an equal hearing. And since the meeting got over late I had to make mountain runs to take the men back and the blessings the LORD provided…long, difficult and emotional day but a fruitful day that was edifying.  Nothing is simple but Thank You LORD.

Lisa was asked to bake birthday cakes by one of our teachers for her mom and a student for her little sister. Unknown to Lisa the local priest told our student’s family Lisa would not do it. But out of love for the student Lisa did plus a small gift bag over to the surprise of all. Making inroads any way you can. It is a family of eight without much of anything. The little girl was scared to death at first even more so with the camera pointed at her, but smiles came later off camera… For the teacher’s mom Lisa took photos of her on the same day as school photos were taken then did her glamour shot talent to make her 20 years younger and applied the photo to the cake… What a surprise. She did not recognize herself. …nothing is simple... Lisa just makes it look that way.
Please keep our many prayer requests before the throne of grace.

Unworthy servant to a worthy Saviour,
Barry Ritchie

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

New beginnings

We have had our 2 week summer break for school and now starts the next grade year. Our school year is 6 months with just a 2 week break. Lisa has been working hard to make it work and get all the supplies she needed. We also separated higher and lower grades. The kinks seem to be working out, if I can just keep enough fuel in it to keep it flying.

We lost some support in the last few weeks which always hurts. Even more so for us, because we are operate on just a fraction of normal missionary support and we cannot change our commitments, so just do with less and less. If you know of a church willing to support or resupport us please put our name out there.

Another blessing, We had a surprise visit from a church group passing through who brought a craft time program for the kids. Having them draw the backdrop and for their skit. It was a few hours of fun for the children. They also asked about our water situation and offered to help finish our well...time will tell. That would be a big burden lifted.

Jenny came to church again and while taking her back she asked if she could go "home" for the night. Meaning our house so I turned around and went home. In the morning she woke and wanted to make me breakfast. It was sweet. Her whole heart is still not here, nor has full repentance taken hold in her heart, but the battle is active and at least the spirit now has a fighting chance. She left in the evening after spending the entire day with me doing errands because she did not want to just sit while the kids were in school. Please keep her in prayer it may be the difference that tips the scales.

We are hoping to have some big news in a few weeks pray that all goes well and pleases the LORD. Several irons in the fire so to speak.

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