Honduras Missions

The Ritchie Family / Children's Lighthouse

Friday, September 28, 2012

A collage of events. We had another pastors meeting and discussed various outreaches. There is a lot of wisdom in these men and I have found myself leaning on it at times. Pastor Augusto has opted to take in children and we arranged for the preemie baby Ruth to be with him. We are helping him care for her special needs, preemie formula, diapers ect. His wife has wanted a baby girl for years, pray we are able to make this one permanent. It has lit a fire in his family to take more and raise them up for the LORD. The town made an offer to his mountain church called New Jerusalem. If we bought a transformer for the church and homes around the church to use, they would install the mile or so of poles and lines up the mountain (election year). Not knowing how but seeing the need, we said yes. A week later, at the mechanic fixing the Kia starter, I met a man who had a new transformer he did not need. Long story about a cell tower going up on his property and it was not needed and left when one company bought another ect ect. So we got a new transformer for about half price. Now the town is now surveying where to install the mile or so of poles and lines they promised. The mountain top will have physical light to teach about the spiritual light soon. Still need funds for the transformer so if anyone wants to help put light on the mountain it would help us greatly. We took up the transformer and more cement for the church and the boys offered to unload it… 100 pound bags on 75 pound kids… kinda fun to watch. A man named Rafael Dias might be in pastor training soon for a church plant in the mountains. Pray all the details work out. He seems to have a right heart for the things of God. We have a couple of other men wanting to work with us so we invited them to the pastors meeting and let the pastors talk with them. Consensus was their hearts and testimonies are not in the right place right now. Time will tell.

Lisa had ladies in our neighborhood come over to teach her and the girls how to make and cook tortilla (wink wink for those that know Lisa). Kind of like the apostle Paul asking someone how to be a missionary… But it opens up lines of communication. Amen. And of course the power goes out and finished the regular way on the outdoor fire. But they did get some pointers and even had Norma making a few. She needs this skill here even if she cant see how round they are. Add to this a couple of birthdays for the kids and Lisa teaching the teachers how to make cakes.

Mark Antonio wanted to do some door knocking and distribution so I gave him a box of JR. He said he needed more and I looked at the motorcycle smiling. Four boxes, He strapped them down with old bicycle tubes and off he went and a big fish in a bag on the handlebars…Amen. Then he tells me he hauled 5 bags of cement last week with it. Hmm. The well pump went crazy with high pressure and burst lines in several places. It ended up as a bad switch and bad bladder in the tank. Took the tank apart and fixed the bladder and new switch. Jr did that in-between rebuilding both his motor and Augusto’s motors on their motorcycles. Had to make a new gear for the oil pump for Jr’s Chinese motorcycle. Cut from a 3 inch piece of round stock ground at the machine shop and cut in new gears to match the crank. A weeks work… cost $50. And the photo of the two boys with ink on their faces. The new kids in school got a hold of the markers and took them to their room at night… fun and games and laughs for all till I said time to wash it off and don’t stop till its off…After a half hour of them scrubbing faces (fully exfoliated) time to let them in on the secret. Hand sanitizer. Takes it off in a few wipes due to the alcohol… but now feels like strong aftershave on a too close razor shave… Kids are fun if you can handle the headaches… Hmm they don’t want to do it again… But Im sure they will want to teach it to another one that doesn’t know better later… Boys are the same everywhere.

Please keep us in prayer, we would like to see more souls won to Christ and laborers. With those laborers more churches planted. Need more Bibles, John/Romans and tracts. Health for both Lisa and Me and the kids. Because of the circumstances of many of the kids we have, Doctoring is much needed. We test for aids when we are able. One of our new boys, it was requested we test him. We will when funds become available. Really do need to raise more support to do what the LORD has us doing, just glad the LORD is not tired of doing miracles here. Amen!


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Popcorn, preaching and pouncing.

Preaching in the white fields of Honduras reaps many rewards and souls, but always comes at a high price in a labor of love, sacrifice of life, time, treasure and heartache….But that’s what the cross is.
This past weekend was the national Children’s Day in Honduras. Celebrated in schools, churches, businesses, government etc. As far as church, it makes a ready made activity day to do outreach for folks like us. Lisa and a few kids made up little bags with tracts, popcorn (lots of popcorn), and a few candies to be distributed to hundreds of children. The tracks and popcorn were donated by ministering saints in the USA. Break out the now old bounce houses, sew them up, clean them up, make 55 gallons of popcorn (twice) and head for the mountains with everything and everybody piled in…only to have the Kia not start. The starter burned out. Everyone gets out to push start it and on we go to the outreaches in a broken truck, leaving it run all day. Early the next day, do the same all over again. We took Mark Antonio to preach in several churches and along with several church members who wanted to help. Good outreaches with lots of visitors and follow up to do. Got caught in the rain just before the end of each activity making it hard and dirty to pack up. Head down to the last church only to have the Kia just quit in the middle of the highway. Borrowed a car to tow it, then jr and I worked on it. Somehow the burned up starter blew several main fuses when I hit a pothole. Jr heads out on the motorcycle in rain to find fuses late on a Sunday. I pull the starter and tape wires so we can push start it again. Head home at dark, unpack the truck, clean up, make supper for 30 something, and ready to head out at 5am to Tegucigalpa to immigration with a bunch of kids to push if necessary. Wee, why immigration? Another story. Last week we got a phone call from a wonderful, very sacrificing ministering saint who raised $4500 toward the purchase of a new Kia. I was ecstatic thinking just maybe by January we could have a new Kia. With the $12,000 promised from a church in the states, plus this, maybe only $3500 more to go. Light at the end of the tunnel…. The joy was short lived. 12 hours later our corporation/visa lawyer called and said we had to be in Tegucigalpa Monday with $4500 to pay for all our ministry legal papers and residency…there was only $18 in the bank and we needed food to feed the now 30+ member household… I was put in a very uncomfortable position of asking her to use the funds for a different purpose…and wire it right now. Thankfully she is a true gracious ministering saint and helped the hurt I had, even though I know I hurt her by changing her goals and direction of her profound sacrifice. Days later, I still have a bitter taste and sadness to what was actually a very great and needful blessing.

After Immigration we stopped at the Kia dealer in Tegucigalpa and asked about a starter…only $500 cough, cough ..uh and they cant get one for a month…wee. So we tried to get this starter fixed when we returned. Jr. went to pick it up and the oil pump went on his motorcycle for the 2nd time. But this time it seized the motor at a time when our power and phones were out. After more than an hour, he got a hold of one of our pastors who drove out and told us. Finally got Jr.’s motorcycle and the starter back, installed starter…doesn’t work. Hmm, Welcome to Honduras, if you want it to work… that costs extra. And while we were away one of the kids disobeyed and took a machete to cut coconuts. He climbed into the tree with it and thankfully dropped it. But it happened to be where our waterline was buried…return to no water and another mess to fix… and no working vehicle. Hmm. We have become accustomed to everything here taking twice the effort, twice the money, twice the time to get the same results as elsewhere. But heavenly treasures are priceless, timeless and worth any price…If you don’t believe that ask Jesus about the cross… Amen!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Exhausting your Guardian Angel

I will be the first to admit. I do not know how the LORD keeps us afloat, but float we do. Clothing, food, housing, medical education, car repairs and various incidentals for a house of 30+ people, plus help folks in several church plants. Help pastors in various needs and emergencies. One preacher wrecked his motorcycle after hitting a pothole. Finally got his wife to go with him to visits and hit a big pothole at night bending the forks of the motorcycle. He and his wife are bruised and scraped up. Sent Jr to the capital to pick up a package (overnighted new debit card) and he too hit a pot hole 2.5 hours away and broke the rear spring on the motorcycle (just got the rim replaced). Took him 8 hours to get back. He is welding it back together. Why send Jr? Because Kia is still down after the wheel came off. Have several kids in need of shoes, all 11 of the new ones plus a few others. Most need clothing as well but no funds to do “extras”. Just happy to pay last months electric by the end of this month before it gets cut and keep food on the table (one of the biggest expenses). The amazing thing is we always get through the month no matter the stumbling block put in our path. The LORD has taught us to always be content in all things and that He always provides what is needed at the appointed time…And that our perceived needs and time are not always His… Amen.
Sent Lisa out to do errands and let David see his grandmother. Lisa comes home with 2 more children, premature babies. One the mother died in childbirth and the other snuck out leaving her baby behind. Lisa stopped for paperwork for the newest kids, when they saw her knowing we had experience with premature children they begged her to take them. Then went to the hospital and when the doctors (who we argued with about Lester) saw Lisa they too insisted Lisa take them saying they will be in good care with her. The news media got involved at the hospital and now the child services, judge and tv cameras may be at the Children’s Lighthouse property to do a story on the baby….maybe good time to take supplies to the mountain churches J ..uhg kia is broke cant escape. Lester is finally doing better and not having the reoccurring fevers. We treated him for malaria and the change was rapid. Amen! Katherine is back. She ran away back in Jan. She called from a family we know crying and begging to come home. Just so happened the people from child services were sitting with me at suppertime when she did. I went to pick her up late that rainy night. She entered the car hugged and cried pleading for forgiveness and wanting to do right. She just collapsed in my arms in tearful repentance. On the drive back, I made a subtle comment about the jewelry she had on and without angst or hesitation she tossed them out the window and said Papi I am back because I want to do right… Ok I was melted butter at that point. She began to open up on the drive home. She had run away from another place as well and then the mom(who did not want her previously) found her took her in… to sell her. She was raped the first week away from us and finally the mom abandoned her in another city. She managed to get bus fare to get back to Choluteca and call. So far she has regressed back to the little girl she was before she left…but a little worse for wear. Time and the Lord heals all wounds.

We have 2 more outreaches for future church plants. Both are working with more than 20 adults and about 40 children. One halfway up the mountain the other on the opposite side of a town we have been working in. Both have property available to build on. One of the men in the mountain offered his time to help build if we would have steady services. And still trying to build 2 church buildings, but hard to do with a broke truck. So 28 children, 2 church buildings, regular church services here and 2 more church plants… and yet there is room… And a hint they want us to take the sisters of one of the new babies… 4 more? And Lisa walks in and says she doesn’t feel well and the dryer died…oh wee. Our few ministering saints need help… Like exhausting your guardian angel.

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