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October 7 , 2006


Wow, where did September go?  Well, for me, 4 of the past 5 weeks were spent in Idaho fighting forest fires.  And what blessings the Lord had in store for me.  During the first assignment I held a chapel service and was able to minister to several firefighters.  In the days afterward, more firefighters came up and asked for firefighter New Testaments.  A Hot Shot Superintendent that I had prayed with on previous fires came by and we shared prayer together.  He asked for more New Testaments to give his crew.   On the second assignment I held another chapel and gave away even more New Testaments.  Your prayers and support allow us to give out hundreds of New Testaments.  Before I left Idaho, I was asked about heading to California.  I said “no” to fulfill home and ministry obligations.

Sadly, tragedy struck while I was in Idaho.  Four firefighters perished on a fire near ours when their helicopter crashed.  A week later, another firefighter died on the fire line in Utah.  The firefighting community is very close.  Each of us feels the pain of losing a co-worker.  I was able to counsel some of those who were most affected. 

On the home front, Melva was able to work on our mailing list, which was damaged when lightning struck our home, host our grandson for a week, and begin substitute teaching again.

The college ministry has started strong with over 50 attending each week.  Our “called to the ministry” training group had 18 last week.  When I’m gone, I have various folks active in ministry come and share.  One week while I was gone, Melva shared from a pastor’s wife’s perspective.  Please pray that God will rise up the finances for us to continue and expand this powerful ministry. 

This morning I held chapel services for the college football team. I’ve been asked to arrange services for all the games, home and away.  Yea Lord!

Family:  Joy and Stephen are pursuing Stephen’s pastoral studies in Scotland.  They have been asked to take an active leadership role in their church and Stephen is preaching more often.  Rebekah is traveling through Mexico and Belize this month and then back to Vail.  Steve is busy serving with the Community Church and helping lead worship.  Tim is working and taking 19 hours at BIOLA University trying to finish this December.  Each of us really appreciates your prayers!

Upcoming:  Here’s the schedule for our Ministry Update Dinners!

Colorado Springs: Friday, November 3rd, (NOT the 4th as previously stated!) at the Country Buffet, in their meeting room, 7665 N. Academy Blvd at 6 pm. (On Sunday we will share at the Black Forest Chapel north of C. Springs). 
Dallas: Tues, November 7th, 6pm, at Bill and Verdel Krisher’s home, (call 214-369-2268 for directions). 
Oklahoma City: Friday, November 10th, 6pm. at Johnnies Hamburgers’ Meeting Room in Edmond (33rd Street just east of Broadway Extension).

These are great times of fellowship, ministry updates and our chance to personally say “Thank You” to each of you!  Please plan to attend one and bring a guest.

Doctoral program: I just started another class, a mentoring program, and plan to take two courses in January.  Sometimes, I think I’m crazy to be doing this, but I feel the Lord is directing me to continue to prepare to be a more effective instrument in His hand.

Finances: We’re running a little behind right now.  As our travels increase and the college ministry grows; the funds needed increase as well.  Please pray for God to continue to raise men and women who share this vision.  Thank you to all of you who so faithfully stand with us!  We pray that God will bless you richly.

Who’s getting older?  Recently a couple whose wedding I performed when they were in college, moved back to Gunnison.  After leaving our college ministry, Mike and Beth served as missionaries in New Guinea and Nepal.  They’re expecting their first grandchild…..

You are so loved and appreciated! 

In His grace,

Rick and Melva

P.S. The first weekend of October, Melva and I shared at Redeemer Community Church in Denver, and then drove to Estes Park where we met with some of the original founders and leaders of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.  What a blessing to be invited to meet with these faithful men and women of God!  Special treats included meeting with some of our long time supporters, and Ray Hildebrand who first tapped me to lead music as a new believer in 1969.



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