Count it all joy! October started with some more difficult news. Melva went to see the doctor because of an onset of high blood pressure and increasing fatigue. After several tests, the doctors determined she had blood clots in her lungs. The good news is that the clots are small, don’t pose an imminent threat and with medication she is back to full strength. Lord willing the clots will dissolve soon. Other good news is that my 3-month test indicates that my prostate cancer is gone. We truly have much to be thankful for. God’s faithfulness through our string of tough times this year has opened a number of doors for us to share with others in need. We are grateful that He has allowed this. Thanks for all your prayers and encouragement!
Ministry: Because of Melva’s tests we decided to postpone our ministry swing through TN, TX and OK. We are so sorry that we’re going to miss you folks! However, the college ministry is in full swing with a fresh group of students and student leaders! Our Fellowship of Christian Athletes meetings on the campus are gaining new momentum averaging over thirty students weekly. Last week we saw another student receive Christ! Our “Called to the Ministry” group for those who feel called to domestic or foreign ministry is already averaging six folks as well. Your prayers and financial support allow us to provide training and materials to these “world changers.” Thank you! If the finances allow, we hope to have two or three student interns who will work with college and high school students.
I had the privilege of leading a men’s retreat on the Grand Mesa in early October, we’ve been able to hold chapels for the college football team and meet with the women’s basketball coaches and some recruits. Another special treat was to hold a chapel service for a group of hunters in their hunting camp. I finished the third chapter of my rewrite of Charles Spurgeon’s “Lectures to My Students” and have begun distributing it to Christian workers. We were also privileged to preach at a local Baptist Church, the assisted living center and sing for the Community Church.
Alumni: This has been an exciting year to hear from former students who are changing the world for Christ. They are professors working with Campus Crusade, missionaries in China, Nepal, Peru and Mississippi. They are church elders, ministry trainers, and more. For 38 years we have been serving here and in one week alone we heard from alumni from each decade! We even have students involved with us now whose parents worked with us when they were students. We can’t be that old…..
Family: Melva continues to regain her strength and has resumed substitute teaching, helping teach a women’s Bible study, and our ministry work. Joy and Stephen are flourishing in Scotland where Stephen is in his last year of Bible College (we hope to try to visit them next spring), Bek is in Thailand this week with a friend’s family, Steve is doing a great job as media arts and worship leader of the Community Church here in Gunnison, and Tim is working away in LA. My strength is returning as well. Thank you for your daily prayers for our family!
Upcoming: Lord willing, we will continue to work with the FCA on campus. Some of our student-leaders are going to restart our High School program in January. I start teaching skiing Nov. 17 and hope to start our Bible study on the mountain around the same time. In January I will teach a personal evangelism class in Rapid City, SD at the Black Hills Biblical Institute. In February I will be leading worship for a men’s retreat at Beaver Creek, CO.
Doctor of Ministry: With everything going on with our health as well as my having to develop and prepare to teach the college class in January, I will not take a DMin class this winter. It was a hard decision but I believe the right one.f
Finances: Praise the Lord! I think this has been our most stable year ever. A big thank you to all of you who have stepped up as the Lord has led you. We have been able to provide materials for training workers around the world. Give away firefighter New Testaments (over 100 last month) and even assist local pastors who have faced unexpected, overwhelming medical expenses.
Prayer Requests: That the Holy Spirit will continue and increase His work in our lives and ministry, especially in Gunnison. That Melva and I will return to full health. That our college workers will continue to grow and mature in Him. That God will give us direction on starting a Christian Ministry Training Center.
We are thankful to our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ, for all He is, has done, is doing and is going to do! We are also thankful for each of you. We love and appreciate you!
In His grace and mercy,
Rick and Melva