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July 24, 2009

July 2009
Happy Summer!!!

Praise the Lord! The heavens declare the glory of God! (Psalm 19:1) How many times we take for granted the sunshine, the sound of birds singing, green grass, and blue skies. Now that summer has finally arrived in the high country of Colorado, there’s a special spring in everyone’s step.

June happenings: Studies, Weddings and San Diego. The first half of June was spent In Gunnison working on my doctoral studies and teaching a fire refresher for the Forest Service.
One day I took a supply of firefighter New Testaments to the Colorado Wildfire Academy in Montrose, CO. When I arrived I met with Jim, a Christian fire equipment vendor who has been giving out testaments. Jim had only one Bible left when I showed up and we were able to distribute several more while I was there. As I passed through the vendor area a man noticed my Fellowship of Christian Firefighters (FCF) t-shirt. He asked about the shirt and then shared how his wife was a believer but that he wasn’t. I was able to talk about Jesus with this man for fifteen minutes. Then, I went into the Incident Command Post to greet those working there. Almost immediately one of the Incident Management Team asked me about the FCF shirt and I discovered she was a Christian and looking for fellowship in the fire service.

The middle of June saw us in San Diego teaching in the Horizon School of Evangelism. What a privilege to share with the 65 or so students who have devoted themselves to five months of intense training in ministry and outreach. A special treat was to spend time with the staff, one of whom was involved in our ministry as a college student.

We returned from CA in time to conduct a wedding in Crested Butte. We have a long-time connection with the bride and groom’s families. I performed the bride’s parents wedding thirty years ago and her aunt’s wedding twenty five years ago. Both are still going strong! No, I’m not that old, I was only 8 when I did the weddings……
Of course I’m still busy with our “ministry breakfasts” as the Lord has brought us a new crew to encourage through the summer.

Coming up: I’m currently on standby for fire assignment anywhere in the U. S. In the meantime it’s study and local ministry. Lord willing, on July 19th we will hold our annual rodeo church service here in Gunnison. We started this service almost 30 summers ago and have seen the Lord work in some wonderful ways. July 28-August 14 I head out to Louisville, KY for more Doctor of Ministry work (last class, then comes the serious writing) as well as preach in KY and TN. The second half of August will be spent in Hawaii with Melva’s family reunion and hopefully some down time. We would appreciate your prayers as we hold a chapel service for her family, and preach at a Calvary Chapel on Kauai. In September we will be holding chapel services for the college football team and more fire assignments. October will see me holding a men’s retreat in Crescent, OK and possibly in Ft. Collins, CO. Your prayers and support allow us to answer these calls. Thank You!

West Elk Bible Institute: Please pray as we try to line out our first class for this fall. We hope to offer one class, Basic Christianity, as a foundation for our students.

Family: Stephen, Joy and Hannah received disappointing news when the church in England which had approached Stephen to be their associate pastor suddenly decided not to call one. Please continue to pray that Jesus will show them the right church to serve. Bek is recovering from her knee surgery; please continue to pray for her spiritual recovery. Steve has resigned his church position here in Gunnison to enter a “Christians in Hollywood” training program in Hollywood. His college degree is in that field and he felt led to pursue it. He really appreciates your prayers as well. Tim is preparing for a November 7 wedding in Los Angeles.

Finances: We know the Lord will continue to provide every need. Thank you for your faithful prayers and giving as He leads. As you know, we never charge for the materials we use around the country. Because of your help we have been able to give away Bibles, study materials and invest in training many workers. God bless you!

May God the Father, the Lord Jesus, and the Holy Spirit bless and hold each of you close to His loving heart.
Rick and Melva

Back by popular request, more pictures of our granddaughter Hannah

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