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Uploaded: June 21, 2008

June 2008 Update

After months of teasing us with glimpses of warmth, the Lord has finally blessed us with fabulous days of sunshine! Clear, blue skies, temps in the 70’s, no humidity.

May blessings: During the month of May, Melva and I held services in Esterbrook, WY; as well as Cripple Creek and Pitkin, CO. What a blessing to share the great news of our Savior in these wonderful churches. We had an especially warm response to the message in Cripple Creek and were able to assist the pastor with follow-up materials for several new believers.

So far in June: During the first week of June I taught a class and we held an outreach at the Colorado Wildfire Academy. Because of your financial support we were able to underwrite the expense of having a Fellowship of Christian Firefighters booth. Over 700 firefighters attended the Academy and a number stopped at the booth for Firefighter New Testaments and materials. We held a reception and firefighters from 3 states attended, including “Gil” who is struggling with God’s call to make a decision for Christ. Please pray for this dear friend.

Following the Academy, we had the privilege of holding services in Livermore, CO. This was our fourth year to share in Livermore and what a wonderful time of singing and sharing God’s word. The church family there has a vision for making disciples throughout their valley. A special treat was having our friends, Ralph and Jean Bell, formerly of the Billy Graham Team, join us.

This morning we shared in Lake City, CO (June 15). What a blessing! Grace Fellowship was filled to capacity and at least one person responded to the Savior’s call! When we first started holding Bible Studies there in the 70’s we averaged 10 souls in attendance.

Now it’s off to Louisville, KY for a week of doctoral study at Southern Seminary (June 23-27), and preaching in Gallatin, TN (June 29).

Lord willing: In July we’ll hold our annual Cowboy Church service during the rodeo here in Gunnison (July 13) and the wedding of a local firefighter (July 19). Then I hope to focus on fighting forest fires and holding chapels for the firefighters. It seems that each year my fire season starts later because of more calls to share in churches. Please pray that I know which to choose and which to turn down. I love the church opportunities but there is a great need on the firelines for the gospel. It also helps pay our bills.

Local Blessings: Staying in town has allowed me to see God’s hand in some wonderful ways. I’ve been asked to conduct 2 funerals during this time, which has allowed me to share Christ with many in our community. This week, I had the wonderful privilege of helping a 48-year-old man reconnect with Jesus only days before his death. I’ve also been able to study in preparation for my evangelism/church growth doctoral seminar, which has really ignited my vision to see the church come into revival again!

Family: Great news from Scotland!! Joy and Stephen are expecting their first child. Please pray for a healthy pregnancy and delivery. Also please pray for God’s direction on where they are to serve. Please continue to pray for Bek to come into a full and vibrant relationship with Jesus. Steve continues to grow and serve in the Community Church here in Gunnison, and Tim is doing very well working and serving in Los Angeles. Melva’s blood clots have almost disappeared from her lungs and her blood pressure is back to normal. I’m doing very well with only minor side effects lingering from my cancer surgery. Thank you for praying for us daily!

Finances: Sally, our faithful accountant, reports that all the traveling and outreaches have depleted our ministry funds a bit. Would you please pray that the Father will replenish them. We have many opportunities to show his love in the days ahead.

More “alumni” going out into ministry! Recently we received word that Matt Benson has been accepted as an intern with Young Life. His dad, Bill, was involved in our Bible studies when he was a student and also serves the Lord through Young Life. Eric Reiner leaves in a few weeks to serve with Athletes in Action (Campus Crusade for Christ) playing basketball in Lebanon. Alexe Colson is joining Ali Page in an 11-month program of world missions. Levi Gill is working in a Christian discipleship program in the south. Josh Dayton and Dan Blackmon are planning an outreach in CA. These are only a few of those going out this year. If you would like to help support one or more of these students please let us know.

Brad, Gina, Jannell, and Cassandra Shaw report their radio station is on the air in Peru and reaching over 40 villages with the gospel! Cathy is coming back to the States from China for a year to work on her MA at Wheaton College. Peter McDonough (another son of an alumni) is back home after serving in Nepal.

Our Thursday morning “Called to Ministry” group is continuing through the summer with students, businessmen and the college football coach attending. Our Sunday morning study of Acts is also going forward with each man taking a week while I’m out of town! Yea Lord!

We are so grateful for the opportunity to serve Jesus in this way! Thank you for your prayers and support these 40 years.

God bless you!

Rick and Melva

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