From the Bartons
If I may, I want to share the sense of JOY and GRATITUDE that Melva
and I feel.
"Thank You Safari": We have just returned
from a two-week road trip where we met with many of you in southern
Colorado, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Texas. What a blessing to see friends
from as far back as our early days of ministry (the late 60's),
still walking with Jesus, as well as former college students who
served Jesus with us and are now making a difference in churches
around the country.
Just a few of the many highlights: In Colorado
Springs, we met with old and new friends now serving with Young
Life, Focus on the Family, International Bible Society, Fellowship
of Christian Athletes, AWANA and their local churches. For example.
Dean Mueller, a former college student who has served as a teacher,
FCA sponsor and youth leader for over 20 years, Corey and Tiffany
Carey who helped lead our FCA ministry here and are helping with
youth and looking at full-time sports ministry, Michael and Susan
Turner (ski students/businessman) who are serving Jesus through
In Amarillo, TX, we visited with Charles Barrett who, despite suffering
a rash of medical problems, is active in prayer and support of his
church and our ministry. In Oklahoma City, meeting with Aaron Ramburg,
former student who just returned from Bosnia and is going back for
2 years of service as a missionary. In Ft. Smith, seeing the Jerry
Neel's and Paul dean's, businessmen who have just returned from
a missions trip to Africa.
In Dallas, seeing Rich and Shirley Wunnaherger who serve the Lord
in the medical field and delivered two of our children. Spending
time with Bunny and Mary Etta Martin along with Rill Krisher and
Verdel Davis Krisher (Bunny and Bill have served in FCA since before
dirt, and Verdell has a wonderful writing and speaking ministry).
And of course Vance and Susan Marcum (Vance kept me in line for
many years as my associate pastor and has now completed his MA in
counseling and is serving Jesus in that field), Dave and Kelley
Reische who are serving in their church, and so many more!
What an absolute joy to meet face to face with those of you who
faithfully lift up our arms through prayer and financial support.
We thank God for each of you!!! We hope to see more of you on future
Ministry Update: Our college Fellowship of Christian
Athletes program is doing well with some great student leaders developing.
The Lord has raised up head track Coach Scott (and Shelly) Lorek
to help us. They have worked with Campus Crusade's Athletes in Action
for several years and are real assets, please pray for them as they
take an active role in the FCA ministry. Our FCA did a "Trick
or Can" drive Halloween to collect canned goods for food banks
and will help collect shoe boxes of gifts for underprivileged children.
Because of your financial support we have been able to our chase
more study books for our called to ministry group. 1 these college
men and women meet with me each week and are learning to prepare
and present Bible studies as well as do word studies and deal with
ministry related issues.
More writing opportunities have arisen. In addition to the article
for the new firefighter New Testament, 1 have been asked to submit
articles for a new, "Chicken Soup for the Soul", for fire,
police and ambulance workers. Please pray that God uses these opportunities
for His glory. My re-write of Spurgeon is going slow but 1 believe
that I will be able to make progress over the next month. The first
chapter is finished and is available to any who request it. Our
new album(s) will be out by January I!
Prayer Requests: One of our prayers for 2003 is
that the Lord will raise up 20 more folks to pray for us daily.
We know, as the Gideons say, that a dedicated band of prayer warriors
on their knees, keep us on our feet. Please pray that God will raise
up at least 20 more to join that band. If you will be part of that
band, or are already, please let us know! It means soooo much to
us. Please pray for our college ministry that the Lord will anoint
and guide it. Please pray for our family, Melva and I, Joy, Rebekah,
Steve and Tim, that we will love Him and each other more and more.
Please pray that God will raise up the right helpers to lead the
various aspects of ministry here. Please pray that God will bless
and use our ski school ministry this winter and give good health.
Finances: One of the miraculous things that we
see in serving Jesus is that we can never out-give the Lord! Even
in times of economic distress He is always our faithful provider.
This year has been no exception. Just when things start to look
tight He provides just what we need and more. Thank you for being
His instrument in that regard. It looks like once again we will
finish the year with all bills paid in spite of having given away
record numbers of Bibles, having college student interns and investing
in future ministry leaders. Your faithful prayers and financial
support have been indicative of His faithfulness to us. As you may
know, our non-ministry income provides less than half of the finances
necessary for the ministry. Your support makes up the difference.
Thank You! May the Lord Jesus richly bless you and meet your every
need, in every area.
Your Investment is paying wonderful dividends in the lives of many!
I just discovered that another college athlete received Christ in
one of our meetings. And the exciting thing is that I wasn't speaking!
One of the students we trained gave the invitation and he responded!
Now the students are going out on campus sharing their faith. As
Paul told Timothy, "The things which you have heard from me,
in the presence of many witnesses, entrust to faithful men, who
will be able to teach others also." (2 Timothy 2:2) Or, as
our Board of Reference member, Ron Blue, say's, "It's all about
leverage, reproducing yourself in the lives of
Late News: The Fellowship of Christian Firefighters
has just asked for assistance in providing the new emergency worker's
New Testament to fire, police and emergency workers around the country.
A gift of $100 will provide 30 New Testaments. This is a great organization
that literally operates on a shoestring. If you'd like to help,
you may contact them directly at FCFIHQ@aol.com
or send something through us.
You are sooooo loved and appreciated! God Bless You!!
Rick and Melva