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Rick Barton Ministries-P.O. Box 1155 Gunnison, CO 81230-970-641-3583
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October 1, 2002

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! Your prayers and support have once again brought us through a banner year of blessings. From serving at Ground Zero in New York City to the plains of Kansas, from thousands in San Diego to three firefighters on a hillside in Colorado, you enabled us to share Jesus in Spirit and Truth.

Here are some highlights:

January Ski area Bible studies and a seminary class at Denver. Only 2 classes to go before I can start my doctorate!
February Serving meals, prayer and counseling at Ground Zero to firemen, police and sanitation workers. Helping lead worship for 125 men at the annual Bible/Ski retreat in Beaver Creek CO and sharing worship with skiers from Ft. Smith, AR.
March Leading a lift operator to Christ the day before he left for home in Australia. Sharing with a church youth group from Fairview OK.
April Holding revival meetings in Kansas and Kentucky, record turnouts.
May Fires in CO and holding chapel services. Teaching fire classes and giving away New Testaments. Revival services in OK. Preaching in CO.
June More fires and chapels in CO, a week of teaching and preaching in San Diego, and a radio program.
July More fires and chapels in CO , teaching a fire ecology class, giving away more New Testaments.
August More fires and chapels in CO, helping with a helicopter fatality investigation team, meeting a “Hot Shot” superintendent who had been given a New Testament that I had handed out years earlier, being able to give him more that he could give away to his crew. Preaching in CO.
September Leading a family camp near Paonia, CO. More fires and chapels in CO. Our college Fellowship of Christian Athletes ministry starting up with almost 50 students attending the first meeting. Training leaders for FCA and a group that feels called to ministry.

Well, that’s a quick overview. In addition, I’ve had the privilege of writing an article for a new Firefighter’s edition of the New Testament as well as writing several articles for “The Encourager”, a Christian firefighter magazine. Melva and I celebrated our 31st Anniversary and have finished our new singing CD, which should be ready before Christmas. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has notified us that they are going to re-publish our Beggar to Beggar book and distribute it internationally.

All this because of your faithful prayers!

Family: Joy is marrying a wonderful Christian man from England in June, Bekah is doing well in Vail, Steve and Tim are studying and serving at Christian colleges and Melva is substitute teaching, cooking for dozens of college students who come to our home and
helping with all aspects of the ministry.

Coming up: Melva and I will be visiting as many of you as possible in October at the following locations: Colorado Springs, Wednesday Oct. 16; Oklahoma City, Friday evening Oct. 18 (405-751-5867), Ft. Smith, AR, Tuesday evening Oct. 22 ?, and Dallas, Friday Oct. 25 . If you can join us, please call the above phone number or our home and we’ll fill you in on the details. (970-641-3583). We’d love to have you join us for dinner and share answers to your prayers.

All in all it’s been an exciting, exhausting year. I’ve been on fires 90 days and preaching another 40 or so since mid-April. We’ve shared the gospel with more people, given away more New Testaments and trained more workers than ever. I may have one more fire assignment before ski instructing starts for the winter and then I hope to spend some time resting and writing. I’m working on writing a modern language edition of a Charles Spurgeon classic to use in training workers. As usual, I’m way over my head.

A note of clarification: After the record-breaking 2000 fire season I resigned from the Forest Service. The reasons were twofold. One, my spring preaching opportunities have steadily increased and my starting date kept having to be moved back. This made it tough for the crews I worked with, although they graciously worked around my schedule. Second, every day I wasn’t on a fire assignment, we had project work to do locally. That meant I seldom had a day off except for preaching. This wore me out. I thought that by resigning I could set my own schedule and perhaps have more free time. In 2001 that was the case. Obviously, this year has been another record fire season and I have been asked to go out a lot as a contract firefighter. I typically operate as part of the fire management team. The jobs I fill happen to be in high demand, many times I am called within an hour of becoming available and I am sent all over the country. I see this as a ministry opportunity to folks who seldom, if ever, go to church, as well as a way to help provide income for our family and ministry.

Thank you again for your prayers and financial support. The Lord Jesus is being glorified through you. As some of our faithful supporters have to discontinue their monthly support because of financial hardship, new ones of you step up and help us move forward! We try not to ”raise funds” for this ministry. We share with you what God is doing and trust Him to lead you as to whether or not to support us financially. Thank you for being faithful to His direction. We hope to see you on this month’s swing or hear from you soon.

God Bless You!!

Rick and Melva

Rick Barton Ministries • 401 Ute Lane Gunnison, CO 81230 • • (970) 641-3583
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