lunch at La Grace

lunch at La Grace
Orphanage in Kinshasa, Congo


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Bananas for Orphans

We are getting ready to say our good-byes to our friends in Bulawayo and at Isaiah's Babies Home. We are planning to plant a banana tree at Isaiah's Babies Home this Saturday. Please pray for this and the rest of our time here. We leave on next Monday. We have been ill and are hoping for a speedy recovery. We are so thankful for your emails and prayer.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Foster to Adopt in Zimbabwe

We are so thankful for what we are learning about orphan care here in Bulawayo. After several days of spending time at Isaiah's, we learned that we could take children home with us for the weekend. This past weekend we were able to have 2 young boys from Isaiah's home come to our house in the outskirts of Bulawayo. They had a great time with our family and went to church with us on Sunday at City Pres. Church. (The other photo is at the home where Keary and Olivia are helping out with changing diapers.) There are always ways to help out the staff at the home. We spend much time washing and hanging out clothes (washer and dryer are both not working well), changing babies and playing/cuddling the kids. Please be praying for these children to be adopted. There are 20 plus children ready for adoption in this orphanage alone. Typically, the home will have only 4 or 5 children adopted out. We are learning about the barriers that exist to adoption here and are asking for God to show us how to help. Our children have fallen in love with these children and are struggling with these barriers as well!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Making new friends

We had a wonderful time at Isaiah's home. Stephen, Sayer and Lillian played in the yard with the children. We are learning about how things work in Zimbabwe and how the community is caring for orphans. The children are well cared for, but unfortunately only one child is scheduled to be adopted. Some of the children are taken on the weekend by families in the area. We are getting to know various people involved in the orphan ministry here and are praying that we will see how God is working here and how we can be of further help.

Friday, June 8, 2012

We have arrived in Bulawayo. All of us are doing well. Keary was quickly put to work on our first day of ministry. She is reading in a preschool which is part of a carpentry training ministry in the country for young men. While the staff is working with the 8 trainees, the pre-school teacher(on the left) is working with the children and teaching them English. For two years, they are discipled and taught carpentry skills. We have received a warm welcome from our hosts Mell and Craig Jones. This ministry has been in existence for 20 years and some of the graduates are pastors in the area. The quote from the leader was the carpentry training program is "not a success", because many of the trainees become pastors instead of carpenters. Our experiences with the relief and development internship have been wonderful and challenging at the same time. Please continue to prayer for us. We are still in transition and with limited electrical power and tight budget, we face many challenges daily that can impact us in terms of preventing us for participating and serving the community here.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


FREE International texting Skip recently discovered Whatsapp! A quick download will keep us connected!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Duffle Packing

We have hit the packing phase now! Duffles, duffles....we need more duffles! We are running errards each day collecting items that were requested by the staff in Zimbabwe. The little things in life that make our lives batteries, mint tea, nerf darts! Living in Zimbabwe will be very different! God is gracious and faithful. He provided 5 cannisters of formula for Lilly through a fellow teacher in Keary's school district. And BONUS! It has probiotic in it! Just what Lilly needs in Africa.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Graduations and Zimbabwe in sight

Family and Friends, What an exciting time! Skip has graduated from Covenant Theological Seminary this week, Keary will wind down her work with ELL students, Olivia will graduate from elementary school Friday and our other kiddos will be running fast into summer vacation. We are excited about family coming in town to celebrate with us and help us prepare for our mission trip to Bulawayo! With just 10 days away, Zimbabwe is in sight! We are making our final preparations and will soon begin our packing phase! We have been remiss in keeping up with our blog but will do our best to keep everyone informed with details and prayer requests. Fundraising: We are getting closer! We are still short about $2500 from being fully-funded. We ask for prayer for this especially. We have come a long way and are so grateful for our incredible team of supporters! We would love to reach our goal of 100%. Will you consider supporting us or perhaps adding to your current support? Donations can still be sent to either of the addresses listed on the right. We look forward to being hands and feet to the orphaned and fatherless of Bulawayo. Donations: We have gathered quite an array of donations! Now we are trying to gather enough bags to deliver them! Its not too late. We can sqeeze in more. If you have a heart to donate children's books, bibles or help purchase ministry puppets we will make it fit! And if you are local and have an extra large duffle bag in your basement to loan out, please call us! Prayer requests: We will send out a prayer request list this week with details on how you can specifically pray for us while we are away. Please hold onto it tight and lift us up as the Lord leads. We covet your prayers for each of us while we are away. If you are so led to give ONLINE, you can go to and select Donate Now and Give by credit card, then Click here to go to our donations site and click on Make a One-Time Donation without Creating a User Account and type in Ritchie to put in an amount and Credit Card Info. Happy belated Mothers Day! What a blessing you are to your families and a joy to the Lord for caring for his special children! And Congrats to all the new grads out there!!!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Need Your Prayers and a little bit more support to buy Flights (Items for Orphans List)

Zimbabwe Orphanage Mission Trip Update:
We have been contacted by two orphanages in Zimbabwe that care for abandoned children. Isaiah's House is home to 21 children (4 months to 5 years old) and a boys home caring for children who have previously lived on the streets. The leaders of these homes work directly with Craig Jones, who will be our host and Summer Seminary Internship Coordinator.

They have sent us a short list of important items needed for the precious children in their care. Please pray that we would be able to collect and deliver these items to their homes in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.

Underwear – boy & girls – particularly small sizes
Socks – unisex –1 year old up
wash cloths
Ziplock bags, all sizes
Coloring pencils
Toddlers (boys) shorts 2-3 years
Swimsuits for toddlers 2-4yrs
Sunhats for toddlers
Wet wipes
Stationery – early learning scissors

The ministry leader stated that there is always a need for stationery and art & craft materials throughout the Ministries (pens & pencils, book covers, coloring pencils, paint-brushes etc). We plan to work with this established Orphan ministry in Bulawayo. See for more information.

Thank you for praying for our family, the orphans in Bulawayo and the ministry in Zimbabwe that will be hosting us. We can be contacted at if you want to join our support team.