Honduras Missions

The Ritchie Family / Children's Lighthouse

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Real hope

What makes a beautiful funeral? Is it all the flowers or nice funeral home, or is it the nice trimed cemetary with shaded seating. We had none of those. Or is it the testimony and hope in Christ shining bright in the family and the lost one. How many pastors see 20+ people come to a saving knowledge of Christ during their own child's funeral, with more than half while they preached? How many limit it to a few words rather than preach 5x to different crowds even late into the night? I can say without a doubt it is not the niceities surrounding a funeral that make it beautiful. It is the "way" that makes is beautiful, the hope of the family. The preaching of this same salvation to the neigbors that makes it so. Friends carrying the casket and lower it into the grave they labored hard all night to dig. Only to hear a grieving mother whisper "may I see her one last time?"... And without hesitation the men jump into the grave and lift the casket and hold it over their heads to allow a mother one last glimps of the body that housed their daughter and read the open bible on her. Watching our girls give cold water to 200+ brethren in sweltering heat. And seeing a grieving father comfort everyone else in his time of mourning... Yes a christian funeral is a beautiful thing to behold... because of hope.

Joy in tears...

Honduran funeral: Went and picked up food for the church to cook for the funeral(people there all day). As I drove back in they said they want you to preach. Uh ok. Open my bible to find a passage and get stopped... they want you to preach now. uh ok. Share what the LORD gives about the difference between the death of God's children and those who are not. Hope. I used the testimony of the pastor also how the early church grew because of the death of the saints. True christians meet death differently. There is joy in our tears. We read Psalms 116 and 1 Cor 15:53-58 and Phil 1:23 I had made an offer of salvation and saw hearts moving but then turned it over to the pastor, the father of Rixi. He was deep in prayer and a little unexpecting but jumped up and finished the preaching. 12 adults came forward for salvation... Amen. Keep in mind, A Honduran funeral most often it is the family that does everything. Preps the body, digs the hole, cooks the food...and in this case preaches his own daughter's funeral with a salvation message of hope...The picture our girls tookwas her younger sister leaning on the casket. There will be 4 times of preaching and she will be buried in the morning after we move her from the house to the church then to the cemetary... Not sure if the kia will be a bus or a hearse today..

Monday, May 12, 2014

Days in the life...and death

Prayer needed. Internet not working right hard to post anything
Days in the life... Chasing spiders, building walls, sealing holes, counciling and loving in deed. Rainy season has begun and we are playing catch up. Electric goes out daily as they fix all the lines. Dry season allows one to coast a bit and get other things done. Still repairing the wall at the church. Going to really hurt at the end of the month. Also had big holes in our roof that needed attending. Showed the boys what to do and sent them up (lighter). to fix. Roof tape, tar and young teen boys...make a big mess. We will see how it holds soon. Sat morning they run in with a bunch of taranculas. Three of about a dozen they found out by the laundry room. Can we keep um? ...Do you have an cage? uh no... then no. Put them back and wait till you have a cage for a dozen big hairy spiders.(not likely to happen) Drove to town and was waiting for someone and opted to wait near the soon to be new kia dealer. They are displaying cars there already. Pulled up to a new kia like ours and waited and looked. Our old one obviously was jealous, nervious or thinking it was time to finally escape to car heaven because after about 10 minutes it overheated and dumped all the water... Asked the car cleaner guy for his water and refilled and revived it... has not lost any since. Hmmm. Was called out to do counciling as well in the midst of it all, rare time when a humble spirt prevailed. Then got a call Sat night from Pastor Renee but had a bad connections and confused, and he said he would see me in the morning. Pastor Renee needs prayer. His oldest daugher was hit by a car. She was in the capital hospital and not sure if she was going to make it, or if they could save her leg. He sent his wife and other daughter to the hospital and he stayed to preach. He got a call in the middle of service saying she was dead, only to have them say moments later they revived her. Confusion and heartache. The hospital was not helping as they thought they should and all wanted to get her in to a pay clinic specialist care. I know this hospital it is a training facility and patients have a new doctor ever 4 hours. In our 2 weeks there never saw the same Doctor 2x. And the Drs hate to be questioned. I gave him all I could to move and care for her.
 Not sure if it will be enough and not sure how we are to get through the month, but no other way to obey 1John 3:16-18.
Mothers day went well. As I was waiting at the gate in the kia to go pick up folks a humming bird started tapping the windows. Cute and memorizing. Front, back sides then I saw a crow nearby so it was likely trying to hide. Lisa prepared nice gifts for moms and a dinner afterward. I was distracted dealing with Renee only to have a neighbor come over saying our cow was stuck in their fence. Grab 2 boys and send them to get the ox out of the ditch. Always in need of prayer
 Update as uploading...
Pastor Renee's daughter was hit by a car this weekend. The injuries did not seem that bad at first. It has been a time of turmoil and heartache. But we just learned Rixi Estela Sanches did not make it. She was 22 years old. He is the pastor of the church we are trying to rebuild the wall on. He is on a bus on the way back from the capital with her body to bury her here. Heartache upon heartache. So often we seem too little too late here... She did know the LORD.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

In Everything Give Thanks

Been a bit rough the last few weeks, sickness on sickness, fighting computers, electric outages, roof leaks ect. Being sick, hours fighting the computer, then the internet to post and electric going out while uploading, on multiple occasions, kind of takes the zeal out of wanting to post anything… Woke early yesterday with folks banging on our gate telling us the rain is washing away the new church building in San Gernanimo. Rush out to see. As I drive out the kia blows oil all over. Make it to the church only 4 miles and used 2 qts of oil. The front retaining wall fell exposing part of the foundation. Make calls try to get the ball rolling. Buy 2 gal($50) of oil to drive to town and fix kia. Bearing, seals and an hand full of money later, noon back on road pick up $500 in supplies and head back, need much more.
On the second trip to town for more blocks the exhaust lets go. Stop(while loaded) and have it welded only to find a manifold bolt broke too so it is still loud and have to drive with windows open because of exhaust fumes in the cab… repairs for tomorrow…
Church men have it cleaned up and almost ready to lay blocks by evening. Cover it with tarps and hope for no rain. As I drive home get a call from our ministry corporation lawyer. We are updating papers for the government requirements plus for the container coming and find something was not correct and must be redone and now has a $500 fine for being late. Try to post pics on internet and keeps going out. Give up go to bed and the rains begin hard and the power goes out and the roof leaks above my bed…. hmmm. In everything give thanks…. Now 3 am and electric back on and rains slowed. Dread seeing the church in a few hours. no confidence in the tarps…Funny thing these are not the things that stress me out… It is just time money and sweat… The LORD will provide as He always has.

Now a sweet true story. A while back one of our preachers, from a very poor mountain church, by chance met a small group from some of the larger member different denomination churches while making purchases in the city. When they asked him questions they were bemused by his answers and asked if he was a pastor. He replied yes. They then began to tell of some of their fundraisers in church how they raised x000s in different offerings. Finally asking what kind of offerings does His church take in. He replied  sometimes $3 sometimes $5, sometimes a chicken. They began to laugh and say God was not blessing his church... He then asked if they knew about salvation... Did they know where they would go when they died? Not a one could give a biblical reply, Some said if they are good enough, if God allows... if or maybe was as good as it got. He then shared that all the regular adults in his small poor church could answer that question with yes. And that was worth more than anything else and a much bigger, much richer blessing. He asked if they wanted to hear, but they scoffed. Strangely they asked him to preach to a group of preachers. Willing to preach the truth anywhere, he agreed... but was soon disapointed because they did not understand what preaching was. His prepared message was strong for preachers, but they had him preach on the corner outside of where they were meeting... He did but changed the message and led some passers by to the LORD... If you ask him if he would do it again... the answer would be,.. of course...

View Larger Map