Honduras Missions

The Ritchie Family / Children's Lighthouse

Friday, October 24, 2014

Day of the Dead or Halloween?

Honduras does not celebrate Halloween. But don't sigh with relief. Instead it celebrates the "Day of the Dead" and it lasts up to 3 days.  It is a similar idea to Halloween, but expressed differently. It is confusion, a menagerie of pagan and catholic religion accepted and promoted by the Catholics. A continuation of Mayan and Aztec celebrations of the dead and adapted/adopted into catholicism. I think some of the terminology of Halloween might have originted from Day of the Dead, yet it has a much more direct link to pre columbian cultures. The little altars made at the location of death with candles, photos and flowers as a memorial around the world is derived from this celebration.

A quote from wiki--
"On October 31, All Hallows Eve, the children make a children's altar to invite the angelitos (spirits of dead children) to come back for a visit. November 1 is All Saints Day, and the adult spirits will come to visit. November 2 is All Souls Day, when families go to the cemetery to decorate the graves and tombs of their relatives. The three-day fiesta filled with marigolds, the flowers of the dead; muertos (the bread of the dead); sugar skulls; cardboard skeletons; tissue paper decorations; fruit and nuts; incense, and other traditional foods and decorations.
 —Frances Ann Day, Latina and Latino Voices in Literature"

The bars, Catholic church,  cemetaries and florists are all open and all very busy.  It is a celebration frowned upon and avoided by most Christians here, but they are a small minority. It is used by them as a time to witness. Our folks go to the gates of the cemetaries (packed with people putting flowers) and hand out tracts or J/Romans and offer real comfort and truth to the confusion about death people have. The church in the city may hand out 20,000 or more tracts next weekend at just one cemetary...The reaction most have is that of surprise, that someone would give away something for free at this time, even is if it just a tract or John/Romans. And few refuse the offer.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

James 2:18 working faith...

We have been
having computer issues as of late. The one I am typing on is a laptop that the keyboard doesn't work, nor do the usb ports most of the time, so the cheapy plug in keyboard makes my spelling even worse, the DVD drive is dead. It has been dropped so it is bent and the battery is toast so it just quits when it wants to. In addition to our frequent power outages. But I have it hooked up to a cell on the roof to get 4kb internet. Do what you gotta do with what you got.  Lots of extra financial needs coming up on us. We must redo our paper work again for the government, ie funds for lawyer and docs for the mission. We just got other certification paperwork done, so we are offical finally a legal approved home for children,(only took 9 years) but still owe $300 to the lawyer for it. Jr's operation, we are hoping for January if funds permit. This on top of the normal expenses. But the LORD always seems to work it out. I sat down this afternoon and asked the LORD when we could go shopping for food? Lisa goes on monday often. We were at the min bank balance Sat. and as of this morning it had not changed. I then looked at email and someone had listened to the LORD and a raven came. Just enough for food. Lisa is out shopping as I write. What do you do when you are low on funds, not much food in the house and bills pressing? Well we take in another child, and give away food. We were asked to take in a malnurished 11yr old girl who has never been to school or seen her mom, dad is another drunk in the street. She visited with the government officials last month and asked if she could live with us. Would you believe her real name is Milagro de Dios (Miracle of God)? We will be taking 2 more children in at the end of the school year in a month . We also took food to neighbors in need who come to church. One girl began coming when she was pregnant at 12(now 14). We have helped her put a roof on her mud shack and in a few other ways like food today. Hard to hide from this verse in Honduras... Pr 21:13  Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard.

The problem in sharing ones faith is many do not have any to share...

The Lighthouse property church has been packed the last couple of months over 100 attending. In Part due to the new classes our bible students have began. I see the church growing spiritually through this. We also have one student now pastoring in a mountain church and has begun teaching the institute to 3 students. Another mountian church is hoping to build classrooms in January. Likely out of adobe. Still seeing the LORD move in mighty ways. Thank you for allowing us to fulfill the work of the LORD. Amen!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Little things

Lisa prepped for 50 kids and 12 government people to visit us at the Lighthouse Property. We had some of our Bible institute students come and be excellent examples of the fruit of the ministry and preach. They did great, though I got worried when I heard them begin preaching about Sodom and Gomorrah. Moreso when you understand the background of the kids present. But they pulled it off well and three boys came forward at the end. Amen. One of our students gave his testimony how he used to be a gang member, and how all of his old gang buddies are now dead. A lot of work went into this small group. Some of the officials drove from Tegu (2+hours) just to attend. We put out the bounce houses, Lisa made hot dogs, Sunday float cupcakes, and gave away Joy bags. (They looked real and watching some of the kids try to suck their cupcakes through the straw was my entertainment) Kids played on the playground and zip line. Lisa made up a photo studio and Julie took photos of those who wanted them. In all the big things done, it is often the little things that impress most. Like little Lester, sitting with a bunch of new strange kids...of his own accord stops and prays for his food before eating as the officials look on. Our kids wearing "staff" shirts and serving and caring for the kids the officials brought.  Another young boy comes up to me give me ahug while I am talking to the director and says I want to live with you. We have been attacked in so many ways since being here, but seen the LORD protects in even greater ways. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Honduras Dia de Niños 2014 (Children's Day)

This "week" is national children's day for us. Churches, schools,  government do activities. For most it is a day. but we cannot be all places at once so it takes a week. Sunday was our church in the city and the Lighthouse church. Next week 2 more and friday the gov authorities are bringing kids to the lighthouse to celebrate. Preaching often to parents who might not darken the doors of a church is a bonus. We handed out more than 200 gift joy bags from Directline ministries again. Lisa has a way of making them stretch. They give us x number... we get y and z too.. (we always need many more than they can send). Shooting off the candy cannon and still getting mileage out of the bounce house we aquired over a decade ago. I do not think it would not be an exageration to say we have had more than 100,000 kids jump ‌in it. Both in inner cities in the USA and mountain tops in Honduras.. I think we have dragged it over 100,000 miles too.(my back and knees say a million.. but they lie) Been a wonderful ministry tool over the years. Doesnt every missionary have one? We started new classes at the Lighthhouse church. One of our ladies began to help the childrens class and our bible students preached and taught in the adults and new youth class. Even the rain did not dampen the spirit. 7am to 7pm picking up dropping off all day working the background making sure all have what they need and all are where they need to be... Side note for those that know, Jenny has been a regular in church now for a couple of months. Been a blessing after a long heartache. Had another strange thing happen too but will be able to explain it better later...maybe...

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Holding your breath...

August has been a long hard month like holding your breath trying to get to the surface. Lots of work and many battles some won some lost. And the battle raged on 2 weeks longer than provision. Even so blessings abounded. A terrestrial loss for celestrial gain. After a long struggle in various issues, we lost 2 pastors in our ministry, two pulpits needing a voice and sheep need care for. But thankfully our young institute students are stepping up. One has offered to go up the mountain on weekends to teach, preach in church and even begin instructing institute classes there. My part of the deal is to help provide him a way up and back. No easy task, if I were to drive him it would cost near $300 just in fuel each month plus 30 or more hours drive time. And be brutal on the vehicle. We need to do something similar for another location as well. Busses work but are inconvienent and add days to the project. Motorcycles seem the best option.
Lisa was asked to help do a wedding in a mountian church. She provided, electric, dresses, decorations, shirts, ties, and of course the wedding cake for 300 guests for 2 weddings on same day(was going to be 4 weddings) She did it but without sleep on the last 2 days to get it all done. Carrying a wedding cake up a steep bumpy mountian path...think it will arive pristine? dont hold your breath.

We had American visitors from a supporting church. The LORD allowed us to share many parts of our ministry with them. Visited homes, chased monkies, helped in the wedding, preaching , handing out tracts in public school and so on. I believe the LORD worked in their hearts and eyes see clearer. Our church services at the Lighthouse have been full, we ran out of chairs 2 times this month. Over 100 in our little building. Amen a good problem. Electric has been an issue as of late. that is keeping it on, whether by storms taking it out or provision it has been off a lot. Cost is high.

Went with the ladies group to the dump for an outreach. Changed a bit since the last time I was there there. Children are no longer allowed inside so they stay just outside the gate. There were two events one for kids in the street. Numerous decisions. So many, the ladies broke up in 7 groups to deal with the children better. Many, maybe 30, plus 3 adults present made decisions for Christ. Handed out food and hygene bags and shot off the candy cannon. We then went into the dump. Open the doors and the ladies were overwhelmed by the smell. You can only hold your breath so long. it soon passed and we had a small crowd gather to listen under a leanto. They presented the gospel and 5 wanted Christ as Saviour. Beautiful to watch. Hand out the food/hygene bags. Several folks remembered me from years ago.(side note one of the kids with me in our home was a frequent resident of this dump many years ago today she was my photographer and cannon shooter) One of the little things I thought humorous. My Lighhouse kids with me, after helping at the dump, watching people eat cookies and cupcakes with very very unclean hands(like they used to),...afterwards climb in the truck and start digging through things to find handsanitiser. My how things change... Cant go up to the devil and plink him in the nose and not expect a response...
 Come home to a house still without electric(2days) and now without water. Check out our storage tank on the mountain and find someone jumped up and down on the $4000 tank to get the lid off and put dead animals in it. Oh joy. Climb in push tank back out, clean out the tank bleach it then clean the property system. Been a very very long month on the finances. Everything terrestrial is behind, But all heavenly deposits have been on time. Amen!

Saw 2 of the boys who used to be with us years ago but ended up back with their parents, now they are begging in the streets. I stopped and bought them a pizza and talked with Mario and Fernando. Mario showed me the recent scar where his dad cut his arm with a machete while in a drunken rage… heartbreaking. They enjoyed the pizza but you could tell it was in sorrow over what they had lost when they saw the kids still with us.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Joy Bags

Lisa took the school class out to deliver Joy bags from Directline ministries. They visited some of the homes near us. Homes made of seed bags and garbage bags held on with soda pop lids as washers. John and Romans and tracts were also given out in abundance. It does not take a rocket scientist to see one of the real reasons there is a border problem. People need the Lord everywhere... The pics are a little higher res than normal as of late. click on them to see clear larger images. Thank you for every rememberance and utterance in prayer...

Monday, July 28, 2014

Kia mods

Just some of the kia mods...and why..
After 8 years of hard labor and many repairs, the old truck has been demoted to the work truck rather than the daily driver. Mods
So far
1-Tinting free
2-MP3 stereo free
3- Diamond plate bed and sides
4 Build a rack from sch 40 pipe bent to desired shapes with folding bench seats that raise and double as side for security. Rear door\rack extends out the back as a bench for a few extra pass. paint all with an equipment brushed alum color
5-Add a removeable safari top to rack that also raises for standing pass. along with velcroable side curtians.
6-Put a 1\8"washer under the bump stops and just slightly raised the torque arms a half turn each and realigned dur to added weight ect.
7-Custom built step bumper and frame mount reciever hitch

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Thief Chasing

Outreach on the mountain last night. Our evangelist preached till 8pm and several young folks trusted the LORD. Then a gospel movie till 10pm home 11:30pm.(no electric up there so all power is from kia or Generator) Our preacher has been there all week visiting and helping the pastor stengthen a work that had been sifted. It has been nothing but good reports. On a unction, outside the door of the church, I began talking with and counciling a teen girl. She was in rebellion with her folks and God. She learned what was true salvation. And in tears she reconciled and prayed with her parents. Her dad was overwhelmed in tears as they hugged....hmm
On the way home coming off the mountain overlooking the city lights, the kids with me were excited to see the shooting stars. Get home only to find power had just came back on(we had all the back up lighting up preaching), dinner ready and Lisa and the kids had been chasing off theives all evening....( 9years in and it is still the same as the first week here, Soul winning and thief chasing..often they are the same job :)

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Heavenly treasure

The week is over and the group of friends from America have left but not without leaving behind treasure for heaven. Many putting their faith in Christ, many seeing clearly. It has been a month of blessing, work and trials. A new kia provided but rushing to get it ready to do the work of ministry required. A week of late night welding to build a rack and seating and trailer hitch to move the coming group around. Paint still drying when they arrive. Many situations in the background to attend to while group is fighting spiritual wickedness out front. Even with a visiting group providing a great blessing, the regular things still have to get done, counciling, fixing broken things, buying food and gas ect. But the treasure put in heaven by such tasks and outreach will take an eternity to comprehend. 300+ souls cried out to God this week, 1200+ saw more clearly and the work of followup begins. This group was packed with old friends, several pastors who I hold in High regard, A missionary to the middle east who has become a great friend over the past couple of years, and a few new ones. It was hard to fellowship with the flow of needs before us but it was squeezed in as we could. If you are a chuch looking to support a missionary to the middle east you could do no better than J.P. Day and family, they are and will be an effective voice for our Saviour where there is often no other. If you are a church looking to support and effective ministy of harvesting Souls, Truthfortoday Medical missions will put abundant treasure in heaven on your behalf. Thank you to the churches for sharing your pastors, you have truly cream of the crop men who love the LORD and love all those he died for... Thank you to all the ministering Saints who made this months blessing come forth. The container, New kia, medial outreach and support...

Sunday, June 15, 2014


Been quite the week so far. A 40 foot container of donations arrived, a new Kia was provided, and our multi church youth conference took place. A lot of work is an understatement. But blessing abounding as well. The container was filled with food, shoebox gifts, a frig, stove and a long awaited washing machine. Along with bibles and 2 million tracts... Should keep us busy a while. We took delivery of a new kia provided my ministering saints, and began modifying it to fit our needs as a people mover and ministry truck. Our first youth conference with more than 100 young people from 4 of our churches. They listen to more than 5 hours of preaching by our Bible institute students. Most of the lessons were on not following the worlds ways, proper relations and marrage. Strong stuff. Feed them lunch followed by a short game time, which were also life lessons/preaching of which they became the object lessons.  Taking them all back up the mountain left the old kia rear end complaining. Hopped in the new kia this morning to go to the river for baptisms from the campain in the other mountain. I was expecting 14 but it ended up as 28 believers entering the waters. One was a blind teen had I hiked in the mountain and gave a bed to her and led her to Christ... 4 years ago. One was a young man the pastor led to Christ more than a year ago but had not come to church or been faithful...He went at midnight pounding on the pastors door and begging him to pray with him and get right with God... Another, Angel the boy Pastor Santos took in after his parents died of aids. Then watch Pastor Ruis have the pastor's daughter wrap up his feet in plastic to keep the not so clean water out of his diabetic sores so he could baptise the new and old converts... Humbling to say....

the least. The new kia was broke in with a sermon preached from the bed and hauling kids for the Youth activity yesterday... amen!

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