Honduras Missions

The Ritchie Family / Children's Lighthouse

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Holy Week tropical

It has been an interesting week so far and more to come I am sure. Had two aniversary services in two churches in the mountains. One in the day time another at night a few days later under a red moon. Rush to fix kia leaks before Sunday. Begin blocking up the septic system in a church on Monday. Then Tuesday the preacher schedualed did not make it and the pastor was feeling ill so at the very last moment the third string batter was up,.. me. After the long drive up, they wanted to feed us. It is proper to accept when they are all waiting on you with food that is hot... considering the ladies carried coolers a couple of miles on their heads to feed you. As if that was not discomforting enough, what makes it real uncomfortable is,... only we eat. Everyone else just sits around us and watches us eat... Hungry people and children looking in the doorways and windows as well as those already gathering in the church, all watching us eat. We are the only entertainment at this point in a place without electric and all eyes are tuned into the local channel. When done we move to the new building. I saw we had a few visitors from other denominations and was led to a message. Why am I a baptist? The plan was preach, then a movie, then cut the huge cake Lisa made...  after eating around 5pm the kids helped set up lights off the kia inverter (no electric for miles here) and prepared for the movie, then song service with numerous specials and testimonies, then preach/teach. We are the only light on the mountain top. I would talk a while and ask shall I continue or start the movie? The reply was always continue and the response was good. By 10pm it was decided not to show a movie, they would have continued... but I told them I was done and to cut the cake... (Real reason? It has now been 8+ hours and no real bathroom and still 2 more hours to get to one.) Good thing there was no second floor and I was younger. Most had a long red moon night walk home... and ours was a long drive. The odd thing is I pulled a muscle in my leg preaching. As if I was like Billy Sunday or something... But all I was doing was returning to my seat... I am no longer getting old, I have arrived and staked out a claim. Hard to shift gears because of leg on ride home. Arrive home slide out of kia and legs dont work like I want, plop down I went. Grab a chair and use it as a walker and make my rounds then bed...Yeah I have full title to land in Oldsville.  I am just an old polar bear living in the tropics...Welcome to Honduras... during Holy week... Still more to come by Sunday. A sunrise service in one church and an evangelistic outreach at night in another...

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Boys need supervision

Finally got power... all the outages did something to the substation. Strong winds knock out power and toppled 2 trees on the Children's Lighthouse property. The boys and church members helped clear them out of the way. Lenin had been cutting a limb about 15-20 feet up. He got tired of wacking more than half way through the thick part and "rested" by stepping higher up above the section he had been cutting and wacking a smaller limb with the machete... Boys need supervision... And before yelling for him to get down... take a photo... Gotta have priorities.. :)

Saturday, April 5, 2014

When there ain't no duct tape...

May 31 was very Honduran day. Expensive, hot and a lot of treading water. But a good day even if only by degrees. Lots of very hot degrees. 106 of them. Sunday the kia lost power steering. Need to rebuild the rack. The mechanic had found another valve cover too. Head out early, 6am to drop it off and hope for the best as we head north to sign on property for a church. Talking with mechanic at machine shop we saw the frame was broken as well, all the way through for the 14th time. Call a welder friend and explain what I want done. Ok now we leave northbound. Off we went squished in little 3cyl vehicle that spit and sputtered the whole way. Stopped an hour+ out to pick up our pastor, shut off car and it wont restart. 30 minutes of tinkering and we are sputtering down the road again to meet a judge and the property owner, more tinkering then 30 more minutes northbound. Arrive and wait. and wait,... Talking in the park with the two people (only two in town) who are also christains. Keep moving down the side walk trying to stay in the sliver of shade. Judge can't make it in today, but he calls the nearest lawyer friend... 40 more minutes north, outside the capital. We talk to her on the phone to find the property owner needs certain paperwork... which is an hour back... but needs fuel (which is even farther away) and has no money. Give him fuel money and head farther north to lawyer's town sputtering away... and wait. Eat lunch at a roadside stand, and bake in sun and wait and wait. You would think the higher elevation would have cooler temps, it did not. it only put us closer to the sun and more UV. Property owner finally arrives, lawyer sees us, reads everyone's papers and finds the property owner does not own his property. ops. He is embarrased and upset. Because he bought it 8 years ago but the previous owner wrote the papers for only the size of his house, no more... Step out of the house and it all belongs to the previous owner. Sooo that needs to be fixed first. Strange as it sounds... quite normal here. Say goodbyes and sputter back down the mountian and break down. Over heat the car. Ask a home for water cool it down tinker, fix wires and sputter down the mountain as sun sets. Call mechanic shop, kia is done and he will wait for us. Actually he will wait for the money. Detour to ATM. We have spent 12 hours in 106 degree cloudless day with almost no shade. All exposed skin is crispy. Arrive back to mech shop...get in kia and turn on the a/c and enjoy the moment solis sunless rest while the mechanic tinkers with the other car. Arrive home and Lisa, teacher and kids still preparing for yet another inspection by the government Tuesday... and we have to go pick them up because their car is broken.

Tue… Go p/u our government inspectors. One of them happens to be the person who has been against us on several occasions. Wee… They walk the house make their notes and comments, talk to some of the kids and leave in much less than expected time, and somewhat happy… Giving us a the equivalent of an A+ on everything. Wow. They leave and I go to a local tire shop to put the front end back straight, swap tires ect. At the tire shop I got the opportunity to talk to one of the city priests. Very chumy talked about many things... then I turned the conversation to salvation and he was in agreement with most of what I said, but suddenly had to go out side and check if his car was finished and waited the rest of the time in the 100 degree+ sun... hmmm... At least he heard the truth.

The rest of the week lay more pvc for water system and prep for preachers meeting Sat. Had a few of our pastors stop by to talk… It is always good and helpful… and long. Some of them pour their hearts out seeking biblical answers. It is humbling to open the Bible and answer them. Today I headed out early with 2 kids to help serve the pastors. MarcAntonio preached a message so strong every pastor had problems with it at times. He did not leave any stone unturned. I gave a lesson after but the Lord had freedom to work and did more healing of old wounds, strengthening of some, support of others and set out to schedual a few things. Finish by running everyone around to catch buses. In all a great morning. While I was gone our sheep gave birth to two lambs male and female. We were also sched. to have a policeman (we led him to the LORD a few years ago) do a safety class with all of our kids. It too went well. How often do you see a policeman on official duty stop and pray as part of his safety class…. Amen! As far as the toyoto photo in the corner… We had a debate following him… was the scotch tape holding the non working lights in, rust lightened tailgate on, or bed together… consenses was all three… Welcome to Honduras…

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Special Praise

Our first regular service without a special event in the San Geranimo church building. And it was a blessing.
 What might be the correct response to a mentally handycapped teen girl sitting alone in the front, who begins clapping away in a song service?...1-Hush her and try to make her stop. 2-Ignore her 3- Clap with her... I thought it was sweet watching all the adults this morning just automatically clap with her and change to her mellody...... Out of the mouth of babes thou has perfected praise. She would have went to the Kids class but opted to stay with adults.. And listened well. And it just so happened we opened the service with Psalms 66:1-2 ...If you ask her she says she is 5, she might be right mentally but I wonder why she says that, her real age is about 14. Truth be told the she might have been better intune than one of our more seasoned adults who always sings loud and just a little faster or slower than everyone else... But that is a different story...:) Amen! Going to Eyes of Water tomorrow to sign papers on property. The power steering went out of the kia today. Rack bad dumping a quart of fluid in about 10 minutes, and when you hit a pothole it rips the steering wheel out of your hands if your are not holding tight. Need to rebuild the rack again. Took numerous trys last time to get the seals not to leak. Leaving it at a machine shop tomorrow and getting a ride to Eyes of Water. Do not want to postpone it again. Amen. Also have yet another "official inspection" of the Children's Lighthouse by state authorities on Tuesday, and we have to go pick them up...If the kia is not done, maybe on motorcycles and one is a larger lady... oh joy. :)

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Another Long but good day...

Another long but good night. Power went out in the morning. Power company replacinging burned poles with concrete ones a few miles down the road. Makes for a hot sweaty time in the house. Left at noon to pick up preachers and other helpers and head to the mountain. On the way up saw two mormon door knockers hitchhiking. Longway out for them, they were actually going to where we have an outreach. We insisted they get in the cab where the preachers were... talked a bit and they... wanted out a few minutes later... think is it time for certain teaching in this village. Continued to the church and found it filling up already. Hook up lights and found the generator not wanting to start... too much oil in the carb. Jr cleaned it up and got it running. A time of fellowship then preaching followed by an evangelistic movie. Our preacher saw an abundance of teens so altered his message slightly. The alabaster box. 6 teen girls came forward for salvation... Amen! Head home drop everyone off pick up some latenight roadside food and see messages finally come in that Lisa had texted. She was home all day with the younger children. Power had been off all day, came on at 6pm for 10 minutes then a loud pow and off again. This time with a live high power line down across our property lighting fires all over. Her and the kids put them out. We are just getting home at 11:00pm after topping off the generator for fans ect. I saw the power company truck in front of me looking for problems with a spotlight. I stopped him and asked him to follow me. As we turned around we saw the mountain on fire on the high side not visable from the house. Sent the boys to put it out. The men from the power company climbed our poles cut the downed lines, moved our line to the soon to be energy side... Near midnight enter the house to have the lights come on a moment later... Amen! But will be without power today I am sure as they fix the rest...But slept with fans ect...Near 100 today and not cooling at nights now. The ironic thing is we had to postpone the meeting monday to sign on the donated property with the judge in Eye of Water because we did not have enough funds for fuel for both events, Monday and Tuesday, nor for the appointed time to shop for food for the Lighthouse. The LORD constraineth us. So made a choice and did what we could...Always making choices here. Welcome to Honduras... weee

Monday, March 24, 2014

New Kia...

Doing a blog update for prayer and help at the request of one of our supporting churches.
Pastor Joseph Kline and Faith Baptist Church in Columbia have begun raising funds to purchase a new vehicle for the ministry here in Honduras. He asked me to contact others to help them help us. Our kia has taken a beating over the years hauling materials up goat paths to build and supply churches. It has made many midnight ambulance runs, school bus, dump truck, tracks, Bible, witnessing and food runs ect.  Literally  millions of pounds. Pastor Kline has seen this first hand visiting here and knows the need. After a mountain of repairs, it has become less than reliable in a place where reliability is a must. It is time for another. The church of Faith has raise much already. The goal and reason for asking is they would like to visit in June and have a new vehicle here for that time and be a special blessing to Honduras Missions, the Children's Lighthouse and us, the Ritchies. To meet that goal and replace an over due vehicle, they ask for help. If the LORD leads you, please feel free to contact them directly.  Pastor Kline will answer any questions you might have. Email- pastorkline@hotmail.com or contact me and I will forward his cell info. Please take the time to scroll down the blog and keep up to date with the blessings and happenings of the LORD in Honduras. 

Thank you for every rememberance
Barry Ritchie
Missionary to Honduras

Friday, March 21, 2014

A good day...

Good day yesterday but long and burdensom in many ways. Started at 4am ended at 11pm and no rest... or good bathroom. Went to Eyes of Water to see about property being donated. But stopped in an outling village the pastor has been witnessing in. They know about what was done in Eyes of Water about a well. They too were desperate for water spiritual and physical. Pastor Ruis has led several to the LORD. Then they began to tell us about the water problem. The community well is almost dry and needs to be dug deeper. Problem is a big rock at the bottom of the hand dug well and need a jackhammer for several days. A $400 cost they have not been able to afford. I had emptied the bank for fuel, drinks and just incase funds for travel. Then ended up giveing all I had and promising a bit more. So now they should be able, before the rains start, to get it done. This should make witnessing for our preacher easier. They then insisted on feeding all of us. I had 3 preachers, a welder

(just wanted to see) and 3 kids with me. We went to a home overlooking the hydroelectric plant lake. Beautiful, just sitting on the porch of a $500 dollar home with a million dollar view, all the men talking. Covering your drinks from the chickens rustling in the roof above us. They killed a chicken to add it to the beans on the fire. Not wise to bring attention to yourself when you are considered food.  Our two girls jumped in to help. Raided the chickens for eggs and lunch was served. A major sacrifice for this family.
We continued to Eyes of Water to talk to Omar the young man donating the land to build a church building. It was determined he would donate the land but we would compensate him for the loss of fruit trees. They are part of his livelyhood. $25 per tree and it looks like we will cut 6 to build. We go to the lawyer on Monday to make it official(if there is gas money by then). Then we can build. The town has offered a load of sand and another man offered the rock to build the front retaining wall that will level the site to build on. Afterward prayer for Omar and his family and an impromtu church service. Our girls sang with MarcAntonio, handed out some bibles and watching our sometimes welder Pedro help folks find passages, and our preacher preach a strong message about idolitry, worshiping and praying to catholic saints getting amens from this village…that was a blessing! After the chuch service another meal (provided by Omar's family) given to all the church attending. We rush out in an attempt to get to our last stop back in the city and hour+ away. Invited to a fathers day service in La Cruz. A time of fellowship and fun..The first man saved from the addiction outreach gave his testimony. It was good, but I was so tired I could hardly keep my eyes open... And then more food. I think we are making a baptist brand of christians, food offered at every event. As it will be in heaven I think… Amen! Getting everyone home and getting into bed is a bit of a blur… I must have made it because I woke up there…Thank you LORD for a good day.
Unworthy servant to a Worthy Saviour.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Short List...

Short list, 8 years. Seems like alot, but feel we should be doing so much more...

1-Los Tererros Nat Pastor and Church building built
2-La Cruz Nat Pastor and Church building built + SS rooms
3-Lenaca Nat Pastor and Church building built...

4-Colonia Trapechee Nat Pastor and Church building built
5-San Geranimo Nat Pastor and Church building built + Pastoral.Unfinished
6-Lighhouse chapel built and using Bible inst Students preaching
7-St Teresa Nat Pastor and Church building, electric for village. Several outreaches and possible church plants with Bible students
8-Ojos de Agua Nat Pastor New Outreach donated property for church, Water well for village
9-Barrio Suyapa new outreach. National work from Bible Institute student from LaCruz.
10-Bible Institute Poss 8 good canidates for the LORD's future works
11-Children's Lighthouse Home orpahange built staffed by us. Houses between 20-30 children in a family setting. Capable of 100+ when fully funded.  Classes built 2 teachers, One the wife of Jr
12-Whensawe property owned, for future Addiction center when funded.
13-Considering several more locations as the LORD makes our men ready..
14 Motorcycles purchased for 2 pastors.

Goal of 20 more by 2020... No idea how on what we have, just know it is much needed. Ultimate goal of maturity in the churches here? When we finally start sending church planters out to every provence of Honduras and missionaries out to the uttermost parts(other countries) from here. Maybe even send some to the USA with a church planting mindset... Need LOTS of prayer and the LORD in all we do...

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

As the LORD allows, ...take 2...

Addition to previous post, Was talking to one of our mountain pastors this morning, he was almost in tears describing a struggle. He is still in a difficult living situation. Last year I shared their water supply  was cut off when a neighbor's grandson took ownership of an adjacent property to whom the grandfather had given an arrangement to share a well. He revoked that usage though it had been the norm and in place for many years. Trying not to fight about it we helped the pastor purchase rights to a well much farther from his house. They then hand dug the well. But one must cross various properties to retrieve water. It has turned in to a one sided feud with the well being contaminated with dead animals several times and the direct egress from their house to the well and to the road not permitted. (Like having to leave your home out the back go throught the woods a half a mile to your car parked in the next neighborhood over and doing the same to get all your water) Very labor intensive to dig the well and near as much to clean it. There is a clean public well near the church and a small part of the church property not currently used. I told him to pray that the LORD would open a door and we might build a small parsonage on the church property. Making it small without cost of door, windows, plumbing or kitchen would cost about $2500. But would add peace to a family in a ongoing struggle mostly because he is a baptist preacher unwanted by a few.. He is the pastor who took in 2 children from church members who died of aids and is raising them as his own. What we said in parting?  As the LORD allows...Amen!

Monday, March 17, 2014

As the LORD allows...

 Was able to put some security bars, screens and doors on the back building of the San Geranimo church. Now they can store chairs and such and have someone sleep there for security. Still need to put security bars and doors on the main building, run water and electric and finish the outhouse and fence... As the LORD allows.

Talked with MarcAntonio. Great response for yet another week to their outreach soul winning. 5 more souls trusting. But most are too far to walk to the church.(walking is normal here) A 3wheeled motorcycle would do wonders filling the church up. Three shuttled runs 30-40 more attending, also another trike in St Teresa. The chinese ones run about $2500 here. As the LORD allows

Saturday met with our pastor in Ojos de Agua and 2 more trusted the LORD and a property was donated to build a church right on the road into the village. It is steeply inclined(everything there is) So needs a retention wall built with stairs on the front. Will cost about $1500 in materials. Needs 1000 blocks ect. Then level the hill behind wall, pack it and build a building to meet in. Amen! As the LORD allows.

The Kia has been acting up again so I have been looking for ideas. ONE.. Buy a bus, much needed but limited use and costly to drive. TWO.. Buy another kia, multiuse daily driver, but costly to purchase . Just cannot seem to get there and  it is a limited people mover. Or THREE.. For half as much, buy a small used box truck. Then Jr and I would retrofit it to haul several interchangable beds that dump and slide off. Stake side flatbed, dump body and modify a small bus body for 30+ people. Already have most of what is needed. Still limits daily driving some but fills all the other ministry needs in construction, and people moving. Need wisdom and provision. As the LORD allows.
Been looking for several years for a rechargable portable speaker systems to use in various churches.(Available here). We were given an old one for one church but couldn't found another. When it rains or by the highway or a large group it is almost impossible to hear preaching. The pa makes it much easier to understand. Finally found one nicer than I had wanted. Cordless mics, MP3, chip ready. Problem? $200 each.... As the LORD allows. Amen!

We had another inspection by the UN backed rights of the children. They now oversee all children's activities in Honduras since January. They are visiting all facilities who care for kids in some way. They came with a psychologist and interviewed the kids. The psychologist was a 21yr old lady who was pregnant, without a husband. She seemed to do well with the kids after a bit. A few kids clammed at first fearing they might take them away.  Hopefully she will file a good report. We are to get a copy in a couple of weeks. Took the whole day to talk to them all. All I could do was wonder about the wisdom in all this. They did not talk to us at all about anything. Getting tired of inspections, but as the LORD allows...

I also got word we lost a great supporter due to finances stateside. Cannot seem to get ahead in support here, gain one-lose one. But as the LORD has done time and time again He keeps caring for us. We had a special offering come in that covered the difference. It has happened that way every month for 8 years. Never abundance, never lack always sufficient... As the LORD allows. AMEN! 

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