Rick Barton Ministries-P.O. Box 1155 Gunnison, CO 81230-970-641-3583
Email: barton@Gunnison.com Website: http://www.rickbartonministries.org
FALL GREETINGS FROM THE BARTONS
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
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