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September 2003


Greetings from the Colorado High Country! Thanks to your prayers,
the Lord is doing wonderful things here.

First, a review of God's blessings since our last quarterly update. The Lord graciously allowed us to hold revival services in Troy, MT this spring. What a wonderful time of preaching, singing and seeing God's hand at work. Then it was off to Roswell, NM to share on evangelism with an exciting church leadership group of almost 200. In between I served on the Columbia Shuttle Recovery effort in TX and had the privilege of sharing Jesus with firefighters and NASA personnel from around the country. Of course sharing in Pitkin, CO over Memorial Day (over 25 years of preaching in Pitkin!) and then the absolute blessing of our oldest daughter Joy's wedding. Joy and her husband Stephen Barton (yes, that's right, Barton) are living in England where he is training for the ministry.

Then, fire season went into full swing. I served in Arizona for 16 days where I was able to share with firefighters, media and even reunite with some wonderful missionary-pastor friends. From AZ it was 4 weeks of fires in CO where I had the privilege of leading an ex-New York City policeman to Christ as well as giving away many of our new firefighter New Testaments. On one fire several prison inmate firefighters attended my chapel service and one just wrote asking for more New Testaments. Melva joined me on the last CO fire and helped with contacting the public. Two days later I was on my way to Montana for 2 weeks of very difficult, smoky, dangerous firefighting. I counted on all of your prayers as I led over 60 firefighters in battling the fire on a vital part of the line. The chapel turnout was encouraging and once again I gave away all of the New Testaments I had been able to bring. I drove to the MT fire and on the way home my clutch went out on our '91 Explorer. The Bible says to give thanks in and for all things (1 Thess. 5:18, Eph. 5:18-20) and so I reluctantly praised the Lord. The next morning the tow truck driver picked me up and we headed home. Within 5 minutes he opened up and shared that God had called him to the ministry as a youth. He had been trying to run away from the Lord and was now ready to come back. He told me, "You can tell your wife why your car broke down. It was because God wanted you to talk to me!"

Last night our college Fellowship of Christian Athletes met. I shared with over 50 new and returning students. At least 6 want to attend my "called to ministry" class when fire season ends. Please pray for these men and women.

As I type this I am being dispatched to Oregon for another fire assignment. This time as a "line Safety Officer". Please pray that the Lord will allow me to be His witness, and protect me.

Our newest album, "Songs From the Fire" is in and available on request. One song, "Suppertime" features our 90 yr. old friend, Coach Dan Stavely. Dan went to be with the Lord shortly afterward and the song was played at his service. In addition, the International Bible Society requested permission to print an article I wrote about sharing Christ in TX. We have copies of that available as well.

Upcoming: Melva and I will share in Pitkin, CO again the 21st, our college ministry continues to grow, and we hope to visit many of you in OK, TX, AR, and CO in October and November. We're praying about where to go, and when. If you would like to have us come your way please let us know. Lord willing I will begin teaching skiing in mid-December. Please pray that the right folks will buy Crested Butte ski area so that our outreaches can continue and increase.

Prayer requests: For the anointing of the Holy Spirit to rest upon us as we share. For Joy and Stephen in England. For Rebekah in Vail, for Steve at Indiana Wesleyan and Tim at BIOLA . We are soooo grateful for how the Lord Jesus is working in our children's lives.

Finances: As you may know, my firefighting and skiing help with approximately half of our financial needs. Donations to Rick Barton Ministries cover the rest of our personal expenses as well as all of our expenses for fire, college and church outreaches. Thank you for your prayerful assistance in this ministry. Currently we are running behind, but with your prayers we know things will catch up soon.

Thank you again for standing with us! We love and appreciate each of you.

In His grace,

Rick and Melva

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