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December 2007


December 2007
Christmas Blessings

Thanks be to God for giving us His only Son! As we top the final ridge of our journey through 2007, we pause to look back. The unexpected death of our grandson, cancer, surgeries, blood clots, etc, all begin to fade into the past. Only the blessing of knowing, loving and serving Jesus remains. As the falling snow blankets the leaves of fall, so our hardships, sins and failures are covered by His grace and we begin each day afresh.

College ministry: At 6:30 this morning 10 men and women met with me in our “called to the ministry” group. What a fine assortment of caring and serving folks. Some are taking seminary classes by extension, others leading children’s and college ministries. Some spent their summer serving orphans in Russia, others just returned from Haiti. On Monday evening we took 18 servant leaders from the three campus ministries to dinner. Looking around the table at these dedicated workers you can’t help but be encouraged about the Lord sending workers into His harvest! Next week we host 24 young men and women from the Horizon School of Evangelism in San Diego. Then, as the students prepare to leave for Christmas break, we will go caroling in the nursing home and assisted living facility.

Skiing: In mid-November I began teaching skiing again at Crested Butte. The Lord has already allowed me to share with a fellow instructor who has resisted Jesus for many years. Last week he pulled me aside and began to ask questions. Please pray for Dan.

Health: Melva continues to regain her strength after the bout with high blood pressure caused by blood clots in her lungs. We won’t have confirmation that the clots are gone until March but she is teaching school and exercising again and feeling much better. I’m doing better each week as well. Thank you for your prayers.

Family: Joy and Stephen are doing well in Scotland. Please pray for God’s direction for them as Stephen finishes Bible College next spring. Bek continues to do well in Vail and is serving as our family Christmas coordinator. Steve took a break and traveled to Illinois to visit college friends. His work with the Community Church here is going very well. Tim is still working in Los Angeles and will be home for Christmas.

Finances: As we continue to provide ministry resources to students, help pastors and other workers in need, and pay for medical bills not covered by insurance, we sometimes wonder how God will provide. But, just as it is needed, the money comes through each of you. Thank you for listening to His voice and being responsive!

Two of our former students, Brad and Gina Shaw, are working with an un-reached people group in Peru. They have a chance to build a radio station that will reach 42 villages. These villages have asked to hear the gospel and the Shaws are training workers to carry the message to them. The radio station would allow them to give training to those in villages only reached by foot or horse travel. Would you pray that the Lord will provide them with the remaining $27,000 needed. They need $7000 now to qualify for a matching grant and the rest to finish construction this summer. Please let us know if you feel led to help them as they serve through SIM.

Currently: I’m teaching verse by verse through the book of Acts on Sunday mornings for folks from several churches. On alternate Monday evenings we host our college leaders for dinner and prayer and planning. Tuesday evenings we sponsor the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Thursday mornings the “Called to Ministry” breakfast. The rest of the time I teach skiing, Melva substitute teaches and we work in various ministry roles in the community. Your prayers and support allow us to go forward! Thank You!

Upcoming: Two of our college leaders hope to re-start the high school FCA next month! January 10-19 I teach a personal evangelism class at the Black Hills Biblical Institute in Rapid City, SD. At the end of February I help lead worship at the High Ground Men’s retreat in Beaver Creek, CO. At the end of March, Melva and I hope to visit Stephen and Joy in Scotland before Stephen graduates. (Last March we were only there a few hours before we had to return due to our grandson’s death.) In April and May we hope to be speaking in churches and forest fire season will be active after that.

Prayer requests: For the anointing of the Holy Spirit as we seek to love and serve the Lord. For continued healing for Melva and I. For direction for Stephen and Joy. For the high school FCA as it gets going again. For Pastor Jim Madison and Marti as Marti goes through major medical issues and expenses. For Brad and Gina Shaw and their radio station project.

We love and appreciate each of you! May the Christ of Christmas be with you and yours this blessed season!

Rick and Melva


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