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May 15, 2009

The Lord Bless You!

April went by quickly and productively thanks to the Lord’s grace and your prayers! The first half of the month was spent in Scotland, spending time our granddaughter Hannah and the family she watches over, Joy and Stephen. A special treat was preaching at Culloden Baptist Church in Inverness where a young man sensed God’s call to start a college ministry.

Upon arriving back home we have been going strong with Melva substitute teaching every day and me working with ministry projects. Our weekly “called to the ministry” breakfast/training session has continued strong with over a dozen young men and women who feel God’s calling to missions and/or ministry.

Especially exciting is the number of men and women answering God’s call to go out this summer. One of our interns, Dan Blackman, is graduating and heading to Long Beach, CA to work with Campus Crusade for Christ. Our other intern, Stephen Newman, is graduating and heading back to Georgia where he is sensing God’s call to start a campus ministry in his home town of Augusta. Others still on the field include Ali currently in Asia, Diane in inner-city Jackson MS, Frank and Steph in Costa Rica, Brad and Gina in Peru, Cathy heading back to Asia and more. Please remember them in prayer. Your prayers and financial support allow us to keep training and sending out workers into His harvest. Thank You!

Upcoming: This week we head to OK for a week of meetings in Guthrie (May10-17). Our Pitkin, CO, Memorial Day weekend service has been postponed due to their building being out of service. We teach at the Horizon Christian Fellowship School of Evangelism in San Diego June 22-3. In between I’ll do ministry on forest fires and prepare for my next Doctor of Ministry course (July 30-Aug. 14) in Louisville. The Lord always fills in the blanks with unexpected ministry opportunities as well.

Radio Interview: Radio Shine, 90.9, Christian radio heard in six Arizona cities including Phoenix, Flagstaff, and Prescott, did an interview with me in April about ministry on forest fires and the Fellowship of Christian Firefighters. Please pray that God will use it as it airs on May 11.

Bible School: As some of you know, for several years I have had a dream of expanding our ministry training group into a more comprehensive Bible/Ministry training school.
This would be a school focused on practical training in knowing and applying the Bible as servant/leaders in missions and local churches. Toward that end I have even put a small amount of money aside to start a “seed” account. It seems like this fall might be the right time to take our first steps in that direction. Would you please pray with me toward that end?

Family: Everyone is doing well. Thank you for your prayers for each of us. Stephen and Joy are excited as they are in the final interview steps for Stephen becoming an associate pastor in Chesterfield, England. He started as one of 20 candidates, then the church said he was one of two, and then as everyone prayed they notified him that he was the only one still being considered. They should hear more by mid-June. Rebekah’s knee seems to be recovering well. Steve is continuing to be a blessing and be blessed at the Community Church serving in worship and arts, and Tim is still working in LA. My mother’s back has responded to some treatments so no surgery for now! Thank you all for you daily prayers for our family.

Finances: As of March 31 our ministry funds are running around $5700 behind for the year. The good news is that every time that happens the Lord brings in extra funds unexpectedly. Due to last year’s generous year-end giving we are still meeting every need. Thank you for your prayers and consistent support. Because of the Lord working through you, we can stay here and minister as well as provide Bibles and training tools for students and workers here and around the country.

Thank You from Firefighters: “Dear Rick Barton Ministries, Your support of the Fellowship of Christian Firefighters has made it possible for thousands of people to hear about Christ’s love. Your contributions have allowed this, God’s ministry, to place Bible in First Responder’s hands and at fire stations throughout the country…” Way to go everyone! (By the way, they sent us a nice plaque and have asked Melva and I to speak at their international meeting next April in Indianapolis.)

As we continue through our 40th year of seeing God’s faithfulness in this ministry, we are constantly reminded of how wonderful our Savior is! We are also reminded of what a phenomenal team of people He has raised up around us. Thank You for being a part of that team! Your love, prayers and financial support lift us up continually. Your investment in His kingdom is bringing great returns!

In His Grace,

Rick and Melva

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