Honduras Missions

The Ritchie Family / Children's Lighthouse

Monday, August 20, 2012

Keep praying

Had a blessing in family devotion on Friday and church, but kind of a rough weekend otherwise. Little, almost 4, Omar was first to pop up and say I want to pray in devotions. I was pleasantly surprised. Did well at that. Pastor Augusto’s son Minor preached for the first time in church teaching a difficult topic and did a great job. A first birthday for Magaby. Lisa whipped up a few things to make it memorable for Magaby and her mom Norma. I brought out the bounce house and she did a piñata and games. Lisa got stung by a scorpion earlier. If you have never had that treat, it is a sensation crossed somewhere between a wasp sting and getting tazed by the police. It also makes your lips and tongue numb and food taste funny for a few days. During this time frame we had a teacher who was sent by a friend to interview spend a little time with the kids and asked to help us. When she finished I took her and another teacher home along with a few kids with me to do some errands. While I was gone and Lisa was alone and little sick and the 14 boys we have in the house chose this time not to listen and be rowdy since the power went out all weekend. (boys still not worn out in the bounce house and hyped on candy) I ended up having 2 flats this weekend. After dropping off the teacher way up in the mountain, the first was with no tools to change the tire or remove the spare, Why? I don’t know, borrowed I guess. Pouring rain at night with 3 kids and a baby with me on a muddy road. Finally got word to Jr and he ventured out on the motorcycle in pouring rain to bring a jack and borrow tools to change the tire. He hit a big pothole and bent and cracked the wheel on his motorcycle badly. By the time he arrive I had already bent the rod to remove the spare. Rocks and dirt were stuck in the gears and it would not move. Wet, dirty frustrated and tired I let the younger guys finish. A neighborly young man stopped to help out with a flashlight. Finally got the spare on and headed home only to have the wheel come loose, roll under the truck then down the paved highway just 2 miles later. Could have been catastrophic had I not heard a noise and slowed down looking for a place to pull off and check. Jr passes by and goes to get tools again. (Did not take his cell because did not want it wet.) While installing the spare the lug wrench broke as well. We took lug nuts from other wheels and finally I got the only 2 remaining studs to hold on the spare. While fighting the lug nuts, one of our church members in the mountain was passing by in a bus and thought jr wrecked because of the odd angle of the motorcycle (to use the light to see) and the fact we were laying on the ground and the kia hub was on the ground blocking part of the road. He called our mountain pastor and told him Jr was badly hurt in an accident on the highway. So he came down to check on him. (Side note. Our pastor's wife in another mountain heard similar news about another motorcycle wreck near where he was preaching and could not contact him and thought the worse. To his confusion, when he walked in she began to cry and hug him.) I finally got home to no electric or water, grimy, dirty, hot, sweaty, and did not want to get my bed dirty so I just slept in the kia. Managed to get a little cleaned up before church because the power came on for about 10 minutes before blowing the high power line fuse on crossing our property. Loosing the wheel did some damage to the cab and air intake as well as brakes ect. It is at the mechanics now and will cost about $500 to get it roadworthy again and another $100 for the motorcycle of Jr. Weee…. Choices?… fix kia or pay electric? Hmm Neither seems to make it a month without issues. J Lester has been doing much better but for some strange reason spiked a high fever and regressed to breathing hard. Lisa cooled him down with meds and bathing and got him on breathing treatments again. Seems better now but unsure of what is going on. Keep us in prayer we use them all and often depend on them...Mechanic called today  8/21/12 and the price is now over $800 to fix the kia..oh my achin head. Weee. Time to pray...

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Just a brief update, Baby Lester is doing much better. Prayer, few meds, right food, love and attention; and like a flower wilted in dry soil, add water and it springs back to life. He already is much more interactive smiling, happy, holding his head up, sitting up, even trying to stand and use the walker. He has begun to gain weight with the special formula and the stomach swelling is lessening. I have seen this so often here. Children are amazingly resilient, give them what they are lacking and they begin to bloom. Since helping in the Hospital one of our preachers has gotten a burden to return more frequently and witness there. He also went to the catholic nursing home to preach and 8 people trusted the LORD. Amen. The house to house services in the mountains are also producing fruit. Keep us in prayer for it seems every gain comes at great costs. Our spiritual battles are still active making ministry more complicated than it need be. Like having to have a sword in one hand and a trowel in the other constantly. A ministering saint sent Julie a padded envelope with a few gifts and clothes in it. It does not happen often but our kids really enjoy receiving things in the mail. Thank you all for every remembrance and prayer.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Pure Religion

Baby Lester is doing well at home, though having 3 (fatherless) needy babies in the house is a bigger crunch on the budget, and time resources than expected. Special formula for 2, diapers for 3, medical, ect. Its been 20 years since I did this… it’s even more expensive now, and the other 8 new (fatherless) children all in need somehow, all need clothes ect. But since coming here we have never had enough to do the task before us, yet by God’s grace the tasks always get done. Like having a gallon of gas to make a 1000 mile journey. Just put up a sail and wait for the Spirit to move. How many people take their shoes to a cobbler? We take our shoes 2-3x before buying another pair. I’m just glad we have cobblers that sew shoes back together.

Lisa (or Alba) seems to have brought a bug home from the hospital that has kept her down for a while and it is moving through the house. Took all the kids out yesterday for playtime in the city parks to give Lisa a longer rest time. Made it back just before the rains hit. Then the kids continued playing in the rain and mud. Lisa was feeling a bit better and took photos of the kids mudding up the waters. Our back retention wall got a hole in the water cannel and water began to flow heavy under it, so the kids packed it full of rocks and mud… Good thing kids are not dry clean only. Just hose em off and presto.. The kids played so hard yesterday several kids came to me last night complaining of the blisters on their hands (merry-go-round)… I tried to show sympathy really I did, but the smile and giggle made it of no effect and the hand sanitizer I gave them to clean their wounds, erased what might have remained. Oh well, it was fun to watch. House motto … No blood no pity. J

In the last couple of weeks talking with supporters, I have gotten wind we might be loosing a lot more of our support around the first of the year due to the economy ect. Could be as much as 50% so need much prayer there. But on the other side, Directline Ministry has begin raising some funds to help purchase food for the Children’s Lighthouse, Lisa uses that extra once a month to market shop in bulk. Amen! Plus there is a promise of funds to help purchase a much needed new vehicle. Need about $8000 more for a new kia, it is still the most useful option. Though with our enlarged house we looked into small buses. New is really expensive (lacking $40,000 or more), saw 2 used ones yesterday. A small conventional snub nose school bus 13 years old…$13,000. A kia mini bus 250,000 miles, 11 years old for $19,000. I was liking them but thinking the prices were real high for that old, maybe wait and talk them down… they both sold in one day. Hmm Yikes.
I keep making trips up the mountain hauling materials, but hold my breath each time if the Kia will make it or not. So many patches holding it together. Needs another set of tires and brakes as well. Would not bother me so much if it was just a 2nd work truck, but it is our only (family/ministry) vehicle and when it breaks we struggle just to keep drinking water in the house. Need to haul many loads of hard pack fill material for one church property before it can be built. (For road building and foundation.) Pick axe it out of a quarry, hand load it on the kia and spread it to make a road to enter the site with the kia. With my full strength and veteran tire man swing, the pick axe only enters the material about an inch each swing.. Ie lots of work for younger men. Rains picked up and the ground has turned to a deep slurry mess. Jr put up a perimeter wire fence around a church site and the mud sucked his boots off his feet just walking in it. We were also able to acquire another church property, so at a future point another church plant we are working will bloom… amen.
Some seem to think children are a burden, but the Bible says they are a blessing. Truth be told, had the LORD not put the children into our ministry mix I might have given up under the strain long ago. Do you know what it is like to have 2 fatherless children wake up early and in gratitude make you a special breakfast? Every bite has a sweet savor no matter what they make. Or as the burdens of the day stream through your mind and doubt or worry dance about your brain as you work at the computer; only to have a child come up behind you and give you a hug and say “I love you Papi”. Poof there is order to the chaos of your mind and purpose to your sacrifice and work. One of our national pastors realized this last week as he and his wife were helping care for baby Lester in the hospital. He read on a poster about the compassion of Jesus and he began to think. He saw children all around him suffering and being comforted by a mom or dad. All natural and good, but who was to comfort Lester the fatherless one, where was the true compassion of Christ? And it dawned on him the weight and power of the scriptures. The things I had said and taught rang true and he wept. Most all care for their own, but who will go a little further and care for others, who will be the father to the fatherless? …. That is the Spirit the LORD gives and it is pure and undefiled before the Father of Heaven.
James 1 is a mighty chapter in the Bible. If one can master this one chapter in the christian walk they would do very well. Just verse 27 is hard but we keep trying…

Church was canceled today as one of the youth in the neighborhood passed away suddenly. His heart just stopped at only 14. He had been to numerous services and heard lots of preaching on salvation. He was one of the quiet ones that would only partially raise a hand but not come forward, so one never knows. Our church went to comfort the family and do what we could. But we were not welcome as a church assembly due to the religious background of the family. We stayed as long as we dared and handed out tracts and books of John. Several men were drunk already and one was even passed out in front of the door. Rather heartbreaking and sobering for our kids who went to school with him.
Prov 27:1 Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.

Thursday, August 2, 2012


Been a busy, just getting it done kind of week. Made 4 of maybe 50 trips up the mountain delivering 4-6000 lbs of building supplies each trip. The churches have cleared and leveled both properties to build. Hope to lay out the foundation lines Friday with Pastor Enemesio. Been hard with Lester in the hospital. Alba has stepped up to help a lot in caring for him daily in the hospital as well as various church members for 24/7 care. Nurses here do not “care” for babies so someone must be with him at all times. For normal care as well as get and administer meds and treatments. It has been a costly unexpected expense we were not ready for, both in money and time. Lisa makes trips in but while she is gone I have 25 others in the house to watch and school. While I am gone she does…Korina has also stepped up in caring for Alba’s baby while she is busy. Watching Lordes carry a baby while teaching or several children care for the babies in class and do their school work is inspiring in a way. Jenny visited Sunday for church not knowing we had 10 more children. When she saw Norma her heart was touched for someone beside herself. She helped her dress modestly and guided her on the walk to church sitting with her in church and on the playground and back home. I told her I wanted to teach Norma to be more independent, walk with a cane, know the house and property, do chores be more responsible for herself. To be more outgoing rather than just sit alone with her baby who is overly attached and as soon as she learns to walk will escape her control. She already does with the walker I picked up. Jenny opted to stay at least till Monday to help. She has gone with me on all the hospital runs and supply runs up the mountain taking Norma and the baby along as well. Through the hospital, through the hardware stores, and around the churches, Norma is willing to go anywhere Jenny does. It has also gives me time to talk with Jenny which has been fruitful. Time will tell if the Holy Spirit gains control.

As for Lester our 8mo old who was abandoned in the bed of a pickup, he still needs prayer. Just a few hours after we received him from the state workers, we ended up taking him to a hospital, now in over 5 days. He seems a little better but just a little. The hospital has run a bunch of test to determine what is wrong, but still unsure. Current list, bronchial pneumonia, Swollen/enlarged liver(why?), bloated stomach(why?), bad diarrhea, very malnourished. He is finally able to eat but just small portions. Several tests are yet to return, blood and stool work ups, aids test ect. And today Drs want Hepatitis AB&C run as well. Lisa is in town getting those done at a lab. Still not sure what is going on. Drs feel he would have died in a short time(days) in his previous unmonitored health. Even though he is in a state social hospital it still has many costs. Meds, care(someone must stay with him 24/7, hard with 25 others in house, treatments, tests ect, are all additional costs we did not have a week ago.
 Also trying to get supplies to and build churches in the mountain and situate 10 new kids in the house with the emotional grenades that always come with new arrivals…and still deal with all that we had going on before like today is Cristella’s birthday…weee. Honduras has taught me; one can live on so much less yet do so much more when the LORD is in control… Never a dull moment…even though we pray for one once in a while…

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