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Uploaded: November 11, 2008

 

November 2008
So Much to be Thankful For!

Thanksgiving! “Bless the Lord O my soul and forget none of His benefits!” (Ps. 103:2) Wow, have we been “benefitted” this year! Tonight I baptized a local woman who has decided to follow Jesus. We just returned from an amazing road trip. Our “son-in-love” Stephen graduated from Bible College in Scotland. He and our oldest daughter are expecting in January after several years of wanting a child. I’m married to the most wonderful woman alive; we have four great kids, and much more! Of course, the most important thing, our names are written in the book of Life!

What a road trip! Melva and I just returned from a 10 day ministry trip to visit supporters and speak in churches. Thanks to your faithful prayers, the hand of the Lord was upon us.

In Colorado Springs we met with a fantastic group of folks who pray for us. Friends who serve with Focus on the Family, the Navigators, the National Day of Prayer, Young Life as well as through teaching school and in business. Many were former students in our ministry.

In Denver we shared at three services for Horizon Christian Fellowship. At each service the Lord brought someone back into our life from the past. A highlight was when my two step-brothers, who I had never met, came to a service. What a blessing!

In Wichita Falls, Texas the Lord brought us to a desk clerk who had recently given her life to Christ. We were able to encourage her and help her connect with a local church.

In Dallas we met with faithful friends who have prayed for us for many years. In Oklahoma City we celebrated our 40th year of ministry with another group of prayer partners. While there, we joined a prayer meeting at a local business that seeks to honor Jesus. In Guthrie we had the privilege of sharing with the Abell Community Church, meeting their new youth leaders and seeing their almost completed sanctuary. On the way back we were able to do a program of gospel music for a retirement center in Amarillo.

Upon our return the phone rang and a firefighter from Oregon wanted more firefighter New Testaments to give away. A motorcycle shop in Oklahoma asked where they could obtain additional motorcycle New Testaments, and I was able to share on the college campus. (Just before we left on the road trip, I received a phone call from a Fire Chief in Western Colorado. I had given him a firefighter Bible and he wanted a case to distribute to his department!) Your prayers and support allow us to meet these opportunities! Thank you!

College Ministry: Thanks to your prayers and some great students, our numbers are starting to climb for the FCA meetings. Our weekly “Called to the Ministry Breakfast” is going strong with up to a dozen men and women meeting to share, study and prepare for ministry leadership.

Family: Stephen and Joy are adjusting to life after Bible College and preparing for the baby’s arrival. Stephen has been able to preach and share around Scotland and enjoys his new job as they seek the Lord’s direction for the church to serve in. Bek is busy in Vail and we appreciate your continued prayers for her. Steve is continuing to grow and serve through his church in Gunnison. And Tim is working away in Los Angeles. We hope to see him in December.

Upcoming: Please pray for us as we continue training men and women for ministry, as well as teach through the book of Acts to a small group on Sunday mornings. November 9th we conduct a worship service for an assisted living center. November 18, I start teaching skiing at Crested Butte. November 30, we sing for a church in Gunnison. December 11-12, we teach at the Horizon School of Evangelism in San Diego. January 23, I teach at Southern Seminary in Louisville, KY. February 1-4, we hold services in Delta, CO. February 9-13, I attend a Doctor of Ministries seminar at Southern Seminary. February 15, I preach in Gallatin, TN. And February 25-27, I lead worship for the High Ground Men’s Retreat at Beaver Creek. Thank you for your prayers for God’s anointing and safety as we travel!

Prayer requests: First, answered prayers. Joe Bugg (Christian businessman in Oklahoma City) is seeing significant improvement in his cancer treatments. Jan Wren (local pastor’s wife) is making great progress and is home after several months of treatment in Denver. Please pray for our good friend Bob Andrews who needs God’s healing touch in New Hampshire. Please pray for the Holy Spirit to fill us daily for the life and ministry He has called us to. Please pray for the Lord’s choice of church for Joy and Stephen to serve in. Please pray for Melva’s continued healing from the blood clots in her lungs.

Finances: On October 1, we were running approximately $14,000 behind last year, yet the Lord was graciously meeting every need. As of November 1, we are caught up completely. Your faithful partnership with us is helping us enter the New Year on track and allows us to continue to train workers, provide Bibles to firefighters and others, as well as assist other Christian workers in need. We are prayerfully beginning the process of starting a more formal Bible Institute/Ministry Training Center. We covet your prayers as we seek to be faithful stewards of His resources.

A personal note: After 40 years of serving in the church we “accidentally” started, we have sensed the need to withdraw and refocus on our original vision and mission. Please pray for God’s leadership into the church setting He desires us to serve in. It is estimated that 90% of the people who live in our area don’t attend any local church. There is much work to be done!

We are thankful the Lord Jesus allows us the privilege of serving Him! We are thankful as well for each of you who stand with us and invest with us in this harvest field. You are loved!

May you and your family have a blessed Thanksgiving!

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