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Uploaded: March 12, 2008


March 2008
Pressing On!

“How Great is Our God!” So go the words of a contemporary worship song. A few years ago it was “How Great Thou Art”, and in the days of Jeremiah it was “Great is Thy Faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23). These words are always true! Our God is GREAT!

February was a month of wonderful blessing. Our Fellowship of Christian Athletes group at Western State continues to have an impact on the campus along with Campus Crusade for Christ and Christian Challenge (Baptist Student Union). God has provided us with two college interns, Stephen Newman and Levi Gill. Both help with the FCA work and Levi directs the Campus Crusade ministry on campus. Your prayers and support allow us to help underwrite the work of these fine young men. Over spring break, several students are traveling to Tennessee to help build a Christian camp. Because of you, we can help with their expenses as well.

Our “called to the ministry” group continues to grow as more young men and women are answering God’s call to go forth into His harvest. Recently we had Campus Crusade and Pioneers missionaries from Spain and Indonesia drop in and share their hearts. At least one student is planning on serving with Crusade in Spain this summer as a result. Representatives from Christian Camps also came and several students may work with them this summer.

Ski Instructing: I missed a week of ski instructing early in February due to a calf injury but the Lord graciously healed me and I’m back to work. The ski area has asked me to substantially increase my hours in order to maintain my health insurance. With my out-of-town ministry responsibilities it looked impossible. However, by the Lord’s grace, and by working six days a week and holidays, it looks as if I will meet the goal. Praise the Lord! My 40 years of ski instructing has allowed me to share Jesus with folks from around the world as well as with my co-workers. Since January I have been able to share and pray with 3 instructors and a lift operator. Thanks for your daily prayers.

Men’s retreat: At the end of February I had the privilege of leading 130 men in worship at the High Ground Bible/Ski retreat. What a glorious gathering of Christian businessmen, astronauts, generals, and Christian workers. A special treat was seeing an old friend, Jim Daly, who is now president of Focus on the Family. I have had the honor of working with this particular retreat for almost 15 years.

Old Friends: One of the exciting things about being in ministry for 40 years is the stories we hear from former students. Cory and Tiffany called last week and they are serving with the K-Life youth ministry in Iowa, Leslie called from 30+ years ago to check in, Rick is an elder in his church and planning to go to Lebanon as a missionary, Diane is serving in Mississippi with Child Evangelism Fellowship, Chris has moved back to help with his ailing parents. (He and his wife have been running a safe house for abused women and children in Denver), and many more. I had the privilege of helping Chris come to Jesus 30 years ago. One of our daughters, Joy, led their daughter to Christ!

In addition, I helped mentor a county pandemic exercise, taught a forest fire class for the volunteer fire dept, another for federal and state firefighters, and preached at the local So. Baptist Church. Our Sunday morning study through Acts continues to grow as well.

Upcoming: March 24-April 9 Melva and I visit Joy and Stephen in Scotland. While there I have been invited to share at Highlands Theological College. Then we hold services in Guthrie, OK (April 20-27), teach a class for the Black Hills Biblical Institute in Rapid City (May 5-16), preach in Pitkin (May 25) and Livermore (June7-8) CO, as well as hold outreach services at the Colorado Wildfire Academy. Following that, Lord willing, I’ll take a Doctor of Ministry class and hold chapels while fighting forest fires.

Health: So far, all my cancer tests have come back negative after the surgery. Melva is strong and hopes to go off her blood thinner and blood pressure medication in May. Please pray for the blood clots to be gone from her lungs and her blood pressure to have stabilized.

Family: Joy and Stephen finish Stephen’s studies at Highlands Theological College this spring and would appreciate your prayers as to where the Lord wants them to serve. Bek is doing well in Vail. Steve continues to serve in worship and media arts in his church, and Tim may need a new job in Los Angeles as his company closes down his department. (Please pray for his direction as well.) My mom lives in Gunnison and remains active. My dad is having health issues in Denver and we would appreciate your prayers for him.

Finances: The Lord continues to provide each month through your prayerful gifts. Recently, we have been able to help returning missionaries, injured ski instructors, minister’s widows, student leaders and those going on mission trips. Thank you for your consistent and prayerful support.

Prayer requests: Please pray that the Lord will continue and increase His anointing on us as we share the gospel, for safety as we travel, for complete healing, for each of our family to love and serve the Lord, and that each student we train will move into faithful and fruitful service for our Lord!

God bless you! You are loved and appreciated!

Rick Barton Ministries • 401 Ute Lane Gunnison, CO 81230 • barton@gunnison.com • (970) 641-3583