August 2002 Newsletter
August 12, 2002
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.
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
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