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Uploaded: February 13, 2010

February 1, 2010
What Wonderful Love!

January Happenings: Wow, where do I begin? January began with our annual prayer on top of Crested Butte Mountain on New Year’s Eve. With my Achilles tendon being in a cast until the previous week I wondered if I would be able to ski that night, but the Lord was gracious. The month ended with my spending hours counseling and encouraging firefighters and others involved in a fatal house fire and holding a memorial service for Crested Butte’s first ski school director, my friend, Robel Straubhaar.

In between we welcomed our second class of the West Elk Bible Institute every Tuesday evening, started a ski area employee fellowship on Tuesday mornings, continued our Thursday morning “Called to Ministry” group, continued our Saturday evening worship service and Sunday morning Bible class. Oh, and Trinity Baptist Church asked us to teach a four week evangelism class for the church family which was a real blessing. Three folks came to Christ during a two week period. The Lord also allowed me to teach skiing five days a week. To be honest, Melva and I are feeling the time burden of all these “opportunities” and would appreciate your prayers as to how to trim back.

Doctor of Ministry: One of the casualties of this type of schedule has been my DMin project. With the Lord’s help I will be able to “jump start” my work with a week at Southern Seminary in April. Please pray that I will be able to do so.

Upcoming: In addition to our ongoing ministries listed above, we have the following engagements we would ask prayer for: Paonia, (CO) Christian Center (February 7), sharing with the Gunnison MOPS (February 10), teaching forest fire refreshers (5 in March), dinner with supporters in Colorado Springs (April 6), Board Meeting and lunch with supporters in Oklahoma City (April 10), special meetings in Guthie, OK (April 11-18), speaking to the Fellowship of Christian Firefighters International convention in Indianapolis, IN (April 23-24), church services in Louisville, KY and Gallatin, TN (April 25-May 7), and more!

In Memoriam: On January 26, with mixed emotions, we celebrated the “homecoming” of our friend and brother Joe Bugg, son of our Board members Jerry and Suzanne Bugg. The church in Oklahoma City was filled to overflowing with over 1100 in attendance to bear testimony of Joe’s life in Christ and to show support for his wife Hattie and their children. As my friends in the Salvation Army would say, Joe was “promoted to glory”. Joe, we’ll see you soon! I know you and Mitch Baker, our friend who went before, will be cheering on OU every Saturday.

Finances: Thanks to your faithful support we have been able to give away hundreds of Bibles (Spanish, firefighter, police, sports, motorcycle, etc), travel to small churches around the country to share the gospel, work with college students and train workers in Gunnison and around the world, be available to help counsel folks in need, help support a local campus minister/sports chaplain/fire department chaplain, help a missionary overseas to be able to have emergency surgery, and so much more. Thank You!

This past year has been a difficult one for many families and ministries. We finished approximately $7000 behind in support, yet we know that the Lord will meet every need according to His riches in Christ Jesus. Thank you for your faithful prayers and support.

Family: Good news from my mom! The latest check-up determined she doesn’t need back surgery. Stephen, Joy and Hannah are sharing in a number of churches in Scotland and would appreciate your prayers for the right one to serve in. Bek continues to work in Vail. Steve is working in Los Angeles and seeking the Lord’s open door into his field of TV/movie production. Tim and Sarah survived the layoffs at Tim’s workplace and continue to settle into married life in Los Angeles. Melva is fully recovered from her illness and substitute teaching as well as helping me in all our ministries. My Achilles is sore but holding up under all my ski instruction. Thank you soooo much for your prayers for our family!

Special Prayer Requests: Please pray for Sue Vincent, faithful servant/piano player in our local church who just broke her arm. Please pray for Cathy Gallagher, one of our former students who has been serving as a missionary in Asia for the past 12 years. Cathy has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Please pray for Frank Goetschl, formerly of our ministry now serving in Costa Rica. Frank has to have surgery to remove a tumor. I often tell people that our prayer warriors/supporters are the best in the world. We know when you pray, God graciously chooses to move!

As we celebrate human love this month, let us also marvel at the love God has given us through the gift of His only Son! (Romans 5:8)

Thank you again for your love, prayers and support! I hope we get to see you soon at a church in your area or at one of our dinners/luncheons. May the Lord Jesus richly bless you!

Rick and Melva


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