Honduras Missions

The Ritchie Family / Children's Lighthouse

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Honduras Missions in Nicaragua

Our first ministry trip into Nicaragua went well. It began several weeks ago fixing the old kia. Welding the frame , fixing CV joints, bearings and a rack and pinion. After 4 failed attempts by a machine shop to seal up a leaking steering rack, by Sat night we just cut the belt and commited to drive it without power steering... Think tired hurting arms after a thousand or more pot holes. Why the old kia? It has tags and legal paperwork... still waiting on lic plates for the new kia and Nic will not allow it to enter without tags.. Our American visitors head north to the airport with Jr and we(Me, Lisa, Jenny, Carlos) head south to Nic for an outreach and plead with Gov. officials for permission for medical team in Febuary. The road south is very bad. After just 10 miles of potholes the front end of the kia begins squeeling like a bad bearing... We pray and press on. Hard to miss them when it is hard to steer. Pick up our Nic counterparts at the border and keep going.  The journey takes us close upa nd all the way around the large still active San Cristobl volcano that is alway in view. We can see it from Choluteca. First stop Chinendega. Health officials rudely deny our request for a medical team. Undeterred, we press on to the city of Leon. Visit the other two locations and receive a very warm welcome with locals. Leon is a quaint clean city with a Mayberry/Norman Rockwell feel to it and baseball is popular. Where children play in the street and everyone sits outside where it is cooler. Kind of like I remember Fla. was when I was a kid. Fewer TVs and unlike Honduras, we never saw police anywhere other than a couple of cars pass by. Even the bicyclist obey the street laws(thousands of them. many are 3 wheeled pedal taxis)  As we drive around the first two churches seen? Mormon and JW.. hmm. There are a half a dozen large 200 yr old historic catholic buildings. After a quick check pulling tires to see if a wheel was falling off the locals made lunch for us. Then the still squealing Kia becomes a bus and we make 3 trips picking folks up for a movie and preaching time at an impromtu side of the road location near property we might plant a church. The local news shows up and interviews Carlos and films the entire activity. 2 adults and 13 children come forward for salvation. I lead a very humbled man named Victor to my Saviour. Afterwards he asks about his family and I shared with him how he was the God ordained leader in his house and how to begin teaching them out of the bible I also gave him. Several come forward just asking for prayer. I found this very telling. We take everyone back, pack up and arrive at captian Juan's home to sleep. He gives us his home for the night and goes to sleep with neighbors then returns early to make breakfast of fried tuna sandwiches. We take an early drive out to the beach and see the Telica vocano smoking a bit the whole way. Beautiful ride and we see the LORD in so many ways.  We return to Leon and go to visit the ministry of health. It is the fifth time pastor Ruis and Captian Juan have requested permission. They again say no until Lisa steps in as the American rep explaining things and eliminates all objections. It takes an hour but in the end we got the approval letter. There is strong objection in Government officials toward the USA because they feel the US just treats Nic as a garbage dump... It has been 30 years but you can still see a remnant of old soviet presence. Cuban cigars and russian vodka can easily be had russian tractors sold and working fields. Our captain knows russian, and a few very old russian 4x4 trucks around. But mostly kias, japan and USA cars on the roads..and lots of 3wheeled bicycles...hard to miss them with slow heavy steering.  Almost no big usa names on signs, no fast food places. But US goods are readily avail. Coke candy ect.

The previous night our captian tears up with joy as we talk about the friendship between our Nic pastor and the US preachers who visit. And how we have preached on the Honduras military base with both USA and Nic preachers who were once enemies. I learn more details about our preacher's old wounds and we drive by where he was shot by a US aircraft. We also take time out to visit a lawyer to see the requirements in starting a ministry in another country. It is very much like Honduras... just need money as usual. Hoping to set things in motion when we return in a few weeks so we can accept the property to start the church on. We have to create a Nic entity and get residence visas. A great door is open and I see 2 church plants in the near future if the LORD provides. One in a very poor neighborhood and the second in an industrial area with several factories and new gated communities surrounding it where hundreds ride their bikes to work in the mornings...amen. We arrive back into Honduras with a still squeeling Kia and all wanting to rest...Everyone was in agreement... the LORD was pleased...amen
To our northern friends... It was 95 again yesterday but wind chill made it feel like 92. This photo page was Tue morning devotion time looking at God's picture book. He spoke loud and clear what His will is. Mon night we slept without airconditioning and I got a mosquito bite on my toe that woke me up to read my bible at 4am...Little things...

Friday, January 23, 2015

Let there be light...

The church in San Geranimo now has light. The Kiefer family worked hard and installed fans and lights in the church on Mon and Tue. Wendsday was time to sit on the beach and let the kids play in the ocean. Five of our kids had never seen the ocean as well as some of the Kiefers. Good time of rest. Thursday the new lit church had it's first night service under it's own light. Pastor Kiefer preached. The men from LaCruz came and Kiefer girls did music. I think the LORD was pleased... 

Our mountain pastor who was about to loose his house received mercy from the LORD.  Ministering saints answered the LORD and supplied, one even selling his gun for funds.The pastor took out a very small loan about 7 years ago but has struggled to pay it back. What was the loan for? To expand is humble mud home to accommodate the two orphans he took in from his church after both parents died of aids. He is a subsistance farmer farming other's land when they permit. Ie growing corn on the side of a mountain planting each seed by hand. The loan payment prevented him from sending his own children to school past the 6th grade as well as hindered his ability to supply food. We helped over the years as containers came in with food to share or seed to plant but it is never enough. The bank gave final notice and monday was the last day to pay or he would loose the home... Monday the LORD paid off his $600 morgage on the mud home. I gave him a hard bible economics lesson before letting him know I had the funds. Then let him know the LORD supplied because of the fatherless under his roof not to rescue him from poor choices. He understood well. We then went to the bank, and got papers. He asked for our small generator and lights so he could have a church service at his home and give thanks. Yesterday he carried the generator down the mountain on his back to meet me in the city to give it back. I found out his youngest daughter was sick and needed antibioticsand was undernurished. (Kathyrn was the little girl who fell in the well and cling to the wall all night while everyone searched about 5 years ago.) We offered to care for her for a couple of weeks but she wanted to return to her mom, so we gave funds for meds and food and prayer. Hopefully now that the burden of home is removed, food will get better in the home as well.
A good Good week and it aint over yet. Thank you LORD for your ministering Saints.

Monday, January 19, 2015

God is in the details...

We have had an old friend pastor Kiefer and 4 of his children visiting whom I have not seen for near a decade... Though he and his church have not ceased to pray for us in all that time. When last we visited I was in the USA at their church and Lisa was already in Honduras. (brave missionary who sends his wife first to check it out :) Actually I had commitments to fullfill stateside and Lisa went to deal with pressing situations here. After she arrived, through an unplanned and strange turn of events, the government placed in Lisa's care our first Lighthouse child, Jenny. I was visiting Pastor Kiefer's church at that time and they began to pray for her and the yet to be founded Lighthouse ministry. She rebelled a few years ago but the protigal child came home humbled and repentant just before Pastor Kiefer arrived. hmm Details...
 It has been a blessing to watch.

 Pastor Kiefer preached messages yesterday about "choose ye this day". Because of a one day old west VBS activity planned at the Lighthouse Baptist, we had some older youth present who were not there for word of God. I let it go during the play and beginning activities, but halfway through preaching the LORD moved me to speak. They were disruptive, one even with his back toward preaching talking and texting on a phone. I interupted the service and said a few hard truth, pleading words. After a few moments, he and the click with him chose to leave. But his older brother (19years old) came forward at the altar call wanting to serve God. Details...
While in the mountain VBS Saturday, we also went and had a service in the home of a family the mountain preacher was trying to reach for several years. The first time the family ever desired to hear God's word through the church. Hike a short distance up a dry creek to the home and Pastor Kiefer preached and our 3 families sang. Many were moved, all were joyful, but it was short lived. As the service closed, in a next house, a crazy man upset at the world shot and killed the 20 year old son of the family we were preaching to. Our mountain preacher is there comforting them through the funeral. Details...

We have been waiting a couple of months to finish electric in SanGeronimo because the electric company had not run a line. Planning to install electic in the building anyway today with Pastor Kiefer, we picked up supplies last week. 7am Sunday morning as we were leaving for church in another city, a neighbor ran out saying the electric company is at the other church wanting to install the lines and wants our parts...Really??? ... 7am Sunday the day before after waiting months? Smile... Details...

Another issue was  one of our mountain pastors had taken out a micro loan (Few hundred dollars) feeling preasured to accomidate his growing family. He took in two orphans who both parents died of aids. Both also members of the church. The loan helped build another adobe room and fix a distant well. The problem is his only real dollar income is from growing corn wherever someone will allow. It barely keeps his family fed. Often does not. So he defaulted on the loan and received notice to pay or leave property(property was collateral) by today. I begrudgingly put out a plea because even wanting to, I could not help. If it would only have caused him hurt I might have said nothing, but the home of two fatherless and the possibility of loosing a pastor preaching in the uttermst parts was outweighing another economics lesson... And God is the Father to the fatherless. I put out a plea and ministering saints answered... one even sold his shotgun to help. So today I will meet with the pastor teach a strong economics lesson and praise the LORD a roof remains over the fatherless...  Details...

Here is a link to a you tube post a friend put up after his visit here. It is an early morning walk through of the Children's Lighthouse property on Jan 3, 2015. He was who the LORD used for the seed money to build the children's  home in 2008.  Details https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5L2KuiCR484

Thursday, January 15, 2015


It has been a busy couple of weeks. After a tireing new years we jumped right
into american visitors coming. 2 small groups back to back. We also have had vacation
bible school at several churches and managed to hand out the last of the
Christmas joy bags in a mountain church. 2 weeks non stop and also trying to prep
all that is needed for a our first wedding at the Lighthhouse and preparing all
the needed paperwork for the upcoming Nic trip. Our new kia will not be allowed
into Nic the first time because Honduras has not issued tags for any new cars in
over a year. We are hoping on the first visit to get permission for the later
visit. But for now we must repair the old kia to make it long trip worthy.(Holes in the bucket) Also
other issues not expected. We have a pastor from a poor mountain church in an
area very dificult to live and work who also took in orphans from his church.
Against my council, sometime back he felt desperate trying to provide for everyone and took out a micro bank
loan to repair and expand his dirt home. Adding one room more to his small dirt
floor shack to house the 11 currently in his home. A high interest micro loan of
a few hundred dollars that had his home as collateral. He has not made enough
farming corn(very hard work on a mountain side and must be guarded 24/7) in the
mountain to feed his family and pay it back. He received notice they were going
to take his home and property unless he paid off the balance of less than $600 by
the 19th. If he looses his home we will loose a church because it will be unlikely of finding another man willing or capable of living there in the uttermost
parts. (holes in our bucket) I learned last night a widow's son in the church in city was painting a
bank and touched a high voltage line with the long roller and was zapped. He
survived, but they had to amputate his leg. The church is seeking ways to help the
family because their provider will no longer be providing, more holes in the bucket.

 For those long time readers/prayer warriors.. .One of our protigal Lighthouse children has come home repentant and wanting to make her life right. Jenny is no longer a child and she has a child of her own she now wants to make a life for. She desires to stay and finish school with us and see what the LORD leads. An answer to prayer
 The vbs in the city brought in over 200 children 80+ per trip in the 15 passenger van/bus...and it broke the clutch. (another hole in the bucket) So the new kia will pick them up this Sunday...maybe 230kids...wonder how many trips?  Spent  yesterday on the mountain with a vbs there, It was a blessing to actually be the fifth wheel and not needed as the bible students handled everything. Then went for a preaching service with the pastor in a home of a potential new church member and their family. Pastor Kiefer preached there as well and our girls sang. Very nice service in a hut on top of a mountain about 200 yards up a creek bed.  Many added expenses
with ever declineing provision. Alway 10 gallons of need and only have a 5 gal
hole filled bucket of provision to work with. Please keep us in pray for their
are many adversaries...and many needs...

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Honduras in ground pig roast... A prepared banquety table...a great supper

Honduran pig roast with an american flare. About 25yrs ago the church in Fla we were married in  did an authentic Cuban in ground pig roast cooked by the Puerto Rican and Cuban church members. So we thought we should to try it too. Kind of like they do in an Hawaiian luau or deep southern US cooking. It is a relatively cheap way to cook but labor intensive. We had the livestock, bananas, rocks, shovels and chicken wire already. Lisa cooked some of it by decree rather than hands on because of size and weights. Most Caribbean countries have this tradition including Honduras. So Lisa opted to do this for the church here on the Lighthouse property with a few of her own twists. A pit was dug in our field, then lined with river stones, wood gathered from the property and placed in the pit. A whole pig and one of our sheep were gutted, prepared, seasoned and wrapped in wet banana leaves and chicken wire with all the fixens then covered in the pit after the wood embered, then cooked from 9am to 7pm. It looked like the local tamales only 100x bigger. We figured the church would come to our outing so prepared for about a hundred or so folks. How many times have you ever cooked with the same shovels you mixed cement with the previous day? The church began to gather for a time of prayer and songs and testimonies. By dinner I guess the new lighthouse bridge light brought in 100+ extra visitors who had shown up from the neigborhood to eat Ever have to rewash styrofoam plates? But there was enough... barely and all were filled. A gospel movie, prayer, songs, time of testimonies, bon fire, roasted marshmellows/smores and of course a few local made fireworks so loud it makes your ears ring, resulted in many memories and a tired family..2014 is over. Lord, protect provide and open our eyes to your will in 2015 and may the harvest be even greater.

This passage leaped out at me last night in truth more clear..

Luke 14:12 Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee.
 13 But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind:
 14 And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.
 15 And when one of them that sat at meat with him heard these things, he said unto him, Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God.
 16 Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many:
 17 And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready.
 18 And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused.
 19 And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused.
 20 And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.
 21 So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.
 22 And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room.
 23 And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.
 24 For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.
 25  And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them,
 26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
 27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

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