Been putting off maintenance of the kia truck(something very contrary to an old mechanic) because other priorities kept pushing to the front of the line. Never enough for all that is before us. That plus our extreemly bad roads has now made this a problem. While in town yesterday it started thumping and growling. Stopped and checked it over and price parts. Needs front end parts, bushings, bearings and tires a little over $1000 in parts + tires to put it back in safe service. It is needful to ministry runs hours every day and it is crippling when down. Praying the LORD provides a way.
This is a big wow to me. Our Bible institute student's and teacher's ministry. They go and teach full time bible classes in several public schools in the mountains of Honduras(in green shirts in photos). They sacrifice and do this free and full time all day, 5 days a week. The photos are them handing out bibles and using them in classes. The Bibles that were donated and sent to us. Through Directline Ministries..┬ They have led a large portion of them all to Christ. And school teachers too...┬ We could use more prayer and help to do more... look at the photos and let the praise out and shout amen!
I am here at the hospital where Carlos is. He is not doing well at all. He had a second heart attack episode. The Drs are telling the family to prepare for the worse, and they want to transfer him to Tegu, but they don't think he can survive the trip. Family is worried. Needs prayer... lots. Carlos has been with us almost since the beginning of our ministry here in Honduras. He was my translator that became the pastor of La Cruz Baptist Church. We have served together for over a decade. He really needs prayer... And help
Ritchie prayer letter 3rd quarter 2017
Please take the time to download read and share the work our Lord is doing. Thank you for every prayer and remembrance.
Waters of Life Baptist church on the mountain and the Lighthouse Baptist church in the valley Mothers Day services. Amen. Had great preaching by our national pastors in several other churches and outreaches as well. ┬ Cost...one tire. Weee amen...Pastor Carlos and his family did a great job with a special pre mothers (day) evening service and activities. Preaching, games, food and memories for moms of his church.Had one of our pastors tell me they have had 5 new families attending faithfully since the Easter outreach in their church and mission. Amen. One family wants to get married and baptized. Another church is also working with 2 couples about marriage and baptisms. Keep our preacher in Cuba in prayer. Have not heard from him yet. We expected that, but still a little unnerving for us and his family. Not expecting him for another 3 or more weeks. Finished drilling the well in the mountain but still working out issues. Praying to have it all up and water running this week.Julie is doing well in medical college. She spent Easter week at home with us and will be with us a few days next week between class breaks. Julie works with the cancer center for children in all her spare time. Counceling, translating, bible studies, cleaning ect and she will begin regular hospital classes next Friday. She is working hard but it has been more costly than expected. Amen and thank you for every remembrance.Drilling begins, but not according to plan...it is Honduras. Changed location. The town wants to help and is willing to build a tank and distribution lines to poss 200 homes. But we needed a site with a possibility of a lot more water. A neighbor to the mountain church offered a better site. And dontated it to the our mission. So clear ground, and move equipment first thing this morning and set up again. Then go to get a tank of water to drill with. Arrive at the closest hand dug well and we must clean and fill all the ladies pilas and containers before empting her well to fill our tank... return start and find a lift cable bad. weee10 minutes into drilling today we hit water 2x... great on one, bad on the second. Nice little bit of water blew out of hole... then the drill rig broke a fan clutch and fan ruined the radiator, dumping its water... in a remote mountain in Honduras... we just told our drilling friend and missionary who was rushing home to the northern side of the country to fix the roof that blew off his house yesterday... nothing is ever easy... wee
Just spent whirlwind 10 days back in the USA. Have not been in the states for over a decade. One of our supporting churches called and it happened to be timed perfect. A canceled event here, right people to help here, ect, ect. They even twisted my arm a bit ┬ wanting me and Lisa to come on short notice. Even buying 1st class tickets... that was a first for me. It worked out great, the late purchase 1st class tickets were only $100 more.... which is less than the cost of one overloaded or extra luggage. We were allowed eight 70lbs bags between the 2 of us. Old school flying. And we needed it, bringing all that was donated to the children here. Another church met us at the airport with a caddy and a gas card allowing us to travel.We stretched it to 10 days and were able to see 4 churches and visit with 2 pastors and a school chapel service while crossing back and forth the Mississippi River, and maybe a new supporting church. Our home church pastor drove 7 hours just to spend a 2hr breakfast with us. As I sat outside with a friend without a coat in 30s temps my body began to shake. Oh what's that? Wow a cold chill, haven't had one of those in a long time, almost forgot what they were. So sat freezing a little longer just to remember the experience. :) ┬ All was great, emotional and needed fellowship good food and shared memories. The churches received us and treated us wonderfully. I found I was struggling some in English which made preaching much harder than I expected. Wobbly on the bike so to speak. We returned home to find all was well too. To a cleaned room and even a fixed a/c. The kids did a really good job holding down the fort and keeping it all going... but were glad to put the keys in my hands. Thank you for every remembrance, care and prayer.
Update Eric... The prayers of many ministering saints have moved a mountain. The healing of Eric has been nothing short of a miracle.His mind and memory have returned, his bones are almost healed. His eyesight not affected, and though still on crutches he is in school now and doing well. A few weeks ago we were not sure he would make it. Then no one was sure he would ever recover mentally. Now we nearly have our Eric back. Amen and thank you for every utterance to our LORD Jesus Christ, they have been answered.Cuba project... The first 3000 bibles arrived Monday. Tuesday our preacher from Nicaragua arrived so we could get them across the border. In Nic they will be ┬ taken to a plane that will fly them to Cuba. We sent 3000 Bibles, 4000 J/R, 50,000 tracts, a bible institute course for 6 students, 110 children's shoebox/giftbags, our old faithful bouncehouse, and our preacher. All should be in Cuba next week.Our preacher will stay in Cuba 3-4 month with a former teacher who is asking to be discipled along with his family. He will distribute bibles to Cuban soldiers, street preach and attempt to plant a church. A tall order. When he returns we hope to have 12,000 more bibles here to fly in. Enough for every soldier when he returns.The Bible institute freshman classes began this month in St. Teresa. Former graduates are now teaching the institute classes. They are also pastoring in churches and teaching full time credited bible classes and English classes in public schools here.Church and building projects... The first baptist church plant in Nicaragua now has a roof and electric.The Honduran church near the border has the foundation in and blocks to build the walls.The lighthouse shop/class building has walls up and a roof. Still need floor, ┬ gates and electric.Lisa and I will be visiting the USA for a few days for a supporting church's missions conference. Got my arm twisted just right. It is my first time back in a decade. Jenny and Alberto will hold the fort while we are away. Hard to get away for various reason. One example, Thursday we had a surprise gov. inspection of the Children's Lighthouse. Eight Lawyers, drs, inspectors ect. Wee, never fun. But if we were not here it could go bad quickly. We are trying to make the most of it and see a few supporters as we can. Need prayer and provision to make it happen.
We have much to share and praise. But before I do I want to put up some new info and pics that have asked for
And ┬ ministry brochure...
Friday morning during school classes one of our young preachers showed up to try and fix his motorcycle that has been stored in our bodega due to lack of funds. Lenin went down to help get it out. After an hour Eric was sent to our bodega to fetch Lenin back to class. Lenin and the preacher were across the street at a repair shop. There were 6 tractor trailers illegally parked on the highway blocking access and view in front of the Lighthouse property. (We have a standing rule our kids are not allowed off property without permission.) Eric went looking for Lenin. When he stuck his head out around the semi to check traffic a pickup truck hit him in the head. Three vehicles wide on a 2 lane road. He lay lifeless in the road. Lenin, preacher and driver picked his lifeless body up and took off to the hospital. By the time we figure it out and get to correct hospital 30+ min had passed. The driver told them he was poor and didn't have much. I saw first hand the difference in care. When I arrived I began to question what and why, and finally called the hospital owner. When they realized whose kid he was things changed. This saddens me, but also shows why pure socialized care is not as effective... we went from taking one or two 1970s era xrays at a cost of $25... to an mri scan. We went from cleaning and stitching a few surface wounds on hands and feet to checking for blood and swelling in the brain and fractures in the scull. ┬ He has broken eye sockets, nose, and jaw and missing teeth. Was still unresponsive, they were preparing us for bad news and we rushed him by ambulance to the capital for dr specialists.The following morning a full mri scan also showed damage to his hand and foot, but all facial fractures have bones aligned and not in need of reconstruction surgery. Just bed rest and wait for the body to do its thing. Sunday he was moved out of intensive care for recuperation after he was able to eat a few bites of soft food. He has a cast on his leg and arm still can't speak due to swelling in mouth, jaw, face ect. He screams in pain when moved but this too is a blessing. The LORD's mighty hand through the prayers of His saints. Many were praying.........and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. JamesThe LORD heard our ministering saints. After a full body ct scan they found a broken arm and foot, but now they are saying no surgery is needed for his face, and confirmed no bleeding in the brain. Just cast him and rest... Eric woke Saturday in a lot of pain, but not a single broken bone out of place. He is missing some teeth and will need dental work... a far cry from Friday seeing a lifeless boy in the highway. I have seen many die from lesser injuries.In our time here in Honduras ┬ I have seen first hand many times the power of God working through the prayers of His ministering saint... thank you Lord.His healing will be long, and still needs much. And in reality not out of danger at all...it is only a couple of days after major head trauma. Much can still go wrong, but thankful for what has gone right. Please keep praying and following the Spirit's leading
Irons in the fire... but need fuel for the fire.Many things are already happening this year. Sunday we had our kids ministering in 3 churches. Jenny actually taught children in 3 different church ministry locations this week. Lisa made up a craft coloring book for small gift bags with tracts, candy, crayons and a token gift. In her resourcefulness was able to make enough to give something to the kids in 7 of our churches. Alberto, Jenny and Japheth and all the gifts bags headed up the hour plus ride up the rough mountain road on a motorcycle( 3 people and supplies) to teach and distribute the coloring books gifts. And make it back to the Lighthouse to teach again. Julie is heading off for the University Tuesday of this week. She will leave a big hole to fill in many ways. She has shown herself faithful and the LORD is rewarding. To explain Julie's heart. See what she opts to do to help the day before leaving for college. She knows we have an inspection from the gov the day after she leaves. Of her own will she just came in my office and got the cleaning supplies to clean all 10 toilets in our children's home. Then asks if she can go to help the city church in their VBS in the afternoon after the house is cleaned.... yeah a big hole to fill. She has been like one of David's mighty men to the family and ministry for a long time.Last week she sat in the sun all week selling our great dane puppies. Why does a missionary sell great dane puppies? For money to send a national preacher to Cuba to witness to 2 Generals, street preach and prepare the way to distribute bibles to every Cuban soldier. Wanting to send 15,000 bibles and tracts, plant a church and maybe military ministry. 3000 bibles are beginning their move from the USA this week. Our Nicaraguan preacher now has the funds in hand to make the first trip.Was talking to a well drilling ministry here and they are willing to drill maybe 3 wells for us in churches. The 1st one in April. Amen.Still need more materials for the church construction on the border and deliver what we have... dont have enough vehicles running to be everywhere so has to wait till vbs is over... the old kia broke the rack n pinion and someone stole the battery. $1000 just in those 2 parts. Our preachers saw 4 trust the Lord in churches this Sunday. School is starting up soon and our bible institute students will be teaching again in public schools. And our Lighthouse school will begins soon as well. It has been 5 years on our current papers so now time to renew all our ministry and personal papers here. Always a great expense in time and money. Need prayer and provision on many fronts. Thank you for every remembrance.
Highlights...I was talking to our preachers who want to go to Cuba. An amazing turn of events. We have 3000 bibles coming our way to send to Cuba. We need 12,000 more. But...We now have a promise of central america to Cuba transportation.... free. I am not at liberty to share publicly all the details right now but the "who" is helping and "how" would be impossible just a few years ago.... need prayer it all works and prayers for funds to send our preacher there... amenLighthouse randoms...Lenin working late under headlights on a motocarga 3 wheeled motorcycle we use for ministry. We have many who have a motorcycle lic and can use this but not drive a car. It hauls up to 12 people on a 200cc motorcycle. Though loaned it out Sunday to rescue one of our preachers broken motorcycles and they were hit by a tractor trailer. No one hurt but repairs were needed... Lenin has it under control. He is learning a lot.I have always tried to teach our kids here to honor their fathers. To do it for the Lord not nec for the caliber of man they were. So one of our older kids when asked what she wanted for her birthday present?.... she wanted to make a grave marker for her father... guess where I am?Electric went out at the Lighthouse one morning and was a bit too warm without a/c or fans so took the kids to the river and let them cool off and expend energy...lunch at river.Oh fun... was time to take puppys to vet for vacs. Ie 12 great dane puppys we are trying to sell before Christmas... ┬ take them to town, find a parking spot near vet, pull out the big dog cage and bottom falls out. 12 puppies running in the very busy main street and kids, me and vet chasing them all and stopping traffic.. and trying to hold them in a broken cage.... not a single horn blaring but lots of people laughing at us... weee, ┬ welcome to Honduras...Preaching....We often allow a share time before preaching. An open floor time where anyone one can share testimony, scriptures, song or a short message. Yesterday I opted to use this time for an illustration. Our bible student/preachers had brought young men visitors. I called them all to the front and sat them down and told them I wanted to see who could read the rich man and Lazarus parable in Luke 16 for all the church to hear. But first I gave them a drop of ghost chili pepper extract. You know the stuff police pepper spray is made from. 10x hotter than the hottest haba˝ero chilli peppers. Of course I drank a large bottle of water in front of them spilling a little after offering each a drink, but instead drinking it myself and telling them to reread that verse and saying "see, I cant give you any". As tears ran, snot ran, and sweat ran from red ┬ suffering faces, each man began to run out side to the water hose for relief... except our young preacher... he managed through tears, sweat and a red face, to stand up and finish the verses and even turn it into a great short sermon plea. But then said excuse me and he too ran for the hose outside. I continued the message and plea until the men were able to to compose themselves and return. All enjoyed a memorable lesson and will never read Luke 16 the same again. So how are visitors welcomed in your church? Welcome to Honduras.... :)Ministry work...First load of blocks delivered to the church on the Nic. border this morning. Foundation almost complete. Four more loads to go for block... then 4-5 trips to the river to load sand and gravel then the church "kit" will be ready to assemble. Minus roof, doors ect...
Been a long month. Lisa is stateside visiting one of our kids. Ermita's son Jorge is still fighting to be alive. Ermita's family has mortgaged their home and sold their car doing what they can for him. The hospital wants to send him home but needed a machine to breath. The also installed a chip that stimulates nerves and with a brainwave machine were able to move an arm showing there are still nerves connected to the brain.Mariana fell and broke her collar bone and needed to be pinned, and this week┬ After a great day Saturday(see below) got kids safely home in bed and sleeping. 60 seconds after the kids left the dorms this morning our little Isai comes in my room. "Papi, I have axdent". He ran by where the guys had been fixing a roof and cut his leg on the sheetmetal. Yikes. Tape him together, call a Honduran surgeon friend. He says bring him by in 4 hours... uh ok. A few moments later get a text to bring him now, sorry didn't understand your need... so we rush to his house/office and he does his skill like a master. Not a single tear with this poor little guy. Likely very little scaring because of the stitching mastery inside and out. Then off to church. Thank you Lord... and remember we still need a tire... :) ministry run on faith in the LORD.Sat. promised drive with family. Morning drive up the mountain on the paved road to the more northern border crossing to find a humble waterfall (20meters) and the beginning of Rio Coco. It is the frontier river that runs from us in the South near the Pacific but empties hundreds of miles north into the Atlantic as a great river basin like the Amazon. Little over an hour and 2800 feet climb only to turn off the road through a farmers field and an hour straight down the mountain on a rocky, steep, narrow, curvy, cliff hanging, paint scraping, loaded with all the kids and lunch, straddling a single desolate cow path crossing several private farms.... without a spare(blew tire on way up mountain). So I am in the middle of the tropics, with all the kids and babies, 2 hours from the nearest civilization, in a former border war zone, with no spare, sitting at the headwaters of the second largest amazonian river basin in the world, cooking hotdogs on a hotplate in the kia for the kids playing in the water... simply beautiful with plantlife blooming and butterflies everywhere... and I have internet? And faith... welcome to Honduras...┬ You know you are strange and off the beaten path when the border police you asked directions from come looking for you after a few hours to make sure you are ok... only problem was had to use matches instead of kia to cook for a house of 20... the hot plate was not up to task. Beautiful there on the mountain divide of Honduras. One side of the mt goes to the pacific the other atlantic and we straddled it. Kids had a great time... cost? Half a tank of fuel, flat tire lunch and made priceless memories... one side of river Nicaragua the other Honduras... kids fed the policemen as a thank you..
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