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August 2002 Newsletter

August 12, 2002


August Blessings!

Rain at Last! Colorado is finally receiving some desperately needed rain. Please keep praying for us as well as our friends in Kansas and other drought areas.

Forest Fires: I just returned from another round of forest-fire ministry opportunities. On every fire the Lord leads me to people He’s prepared for me to share the gospel with. Sometimes, it’s sharing salvation with an unbeliever, to another I give a firefighter New Testament, and to still another, a word of encouragement. For example, in Durango, CO it was a non-Christian firefighter that I’ve shared with in CA and MT. Once again he came to the chapel and heard the gospel. In Norwood, CO it was the son of a pastor who was on a fire-crew with no other Christians. I was able to share and pray with him. And there were many, many others! I gave away at least 20 Firefighter New Testaments.

Coming home from my most recent fire, the dispatcher called and reassigned me to join a team investigating a fatality on a fire. While interviewing witnesses, I wore a Fellowship of Christian Firefighters t-shirt. I refer to that as “running the flag up the pole to see who salutes”. In other words, in some non-threatening way, let it be known that I am a Christian as well as a firefighter, and see if anyone shows an interest in talking to me. A Hot-Shot Crew Superintendent pulled me aside. He had become a Christian and someone had given him a Firefighter New Testament that I had given away in 1999! He in turn had given it to someone he had shared Jesus with! I was able to give him several more New Testaments to give away to his crew.

This is more exciting than you may imagine. Hotshot Crews are 20 person elite fire crews that travel around the country all summer and are assigned to the toughest parts of a fire. They have a reputation of being tough, arrogant and often hard-partying. But this brother shared how a number of “Shots” are coming to Jesus. Your prayers and financial support allow us to buy Bibles and to hold chapel services for these folks. You are helping us make a difference!

Camp Id-Ra-Ha-Je WestFamily: Wow! What a summer. I have been home less than 3 weeks since April 10. Between ministry trips and fires we have been hopping. Your prayers keep us on track and together as a family, even when we’re apart. Melva has traveled with me on several ministry trips and we just took a pre-college trip this weekend with Tim. Steve returned today from the Christian Music Seminar in Estes Park, which really ministered to him. Joy is still in England working with Youth With A Mission and Bekah is working in Vail. Melva and have been invited to share at the Family Camp for Camp Id-Ra-Ha-Je West (“I’d Rather Have Jesus”) near Paonia, CO on Labor Day Weekend. Please pray for us as we share. Come up if you can. Call (1-877-543-5267 toll free) for more info. We’d love to see you! Both boys leave for Christian colleges in late August and would appreciate your prayers. Steve is headed to Indiana Wesleyan and Tim to BIOLA. Joy returns a few days later.

A Special Note: Thanks soooo much for the notes of encouragement that many of you enclose with your ministry support. I apologize for not answering all of them. We read every one and pray over every prayer request! Please write, e-mail or call, even if you can’t send financial support. We depend on your prayers and it helps to hear from you.

Awesome New Website: www.rickbatonministries.org Thanks to Sue Olson from Horizon Christian Fellowship in San Diego, we have a great new website! Check us out! Sue has volunteered to update the site monthly and it even has a place for you to submit prayer requests for Melva and I to pray over. Thanks to Sue and all of you who help us stay in touch and on track.

Well, it’s time to close. I’ve much to catch up on before leaving again. I’m back on the available list for fires and must be ready. Remember, as Christians we must be ready for the Lord’s dispatch as well. Are we “available for dispatch” to any person or place our Master wants to send us?

Please pray for us this month as we seek to lift up Jesus. It is our joy and passion. Pray specifically for our college Fellowship of Christian Athletes work that starts up again at the end of August. What white harvest fields are before us!

May the Lord bless you and yours. WE LOVE YOU!

Rick and Melva

Rick Barton Ministries • 401 Ute Lane Gunnison, CO 81230 • barton@gunnison.com • (970) 641-3583
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