Uploaded: April 17, 2010
April 1, 2010
“He is no fool to give up what he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose.” Jim Elliott
Snowy, blowy, off we go-ey! Spring has sprung in Western Colorado. After several weeks of sunshine we are experiencing a series of storms bringing high winds, as well as rain and snow. But, as we always say out west, “we can use the moisture”. Melva and I are tying up loose ends and preparing for a five week speaking trip covering six states.
This past month continued at a frantic pace. Melva substitute taught almost every day, I was teaching skiing five and six days a week, and held training sessions for National Forest, Crested Butte and Gunnison Fire Departments. And, of course, we led an average of five ministry meetings a week. To say we need a change of pace would be appropriate.
What wonderful fruit we are seeing! Our new Tuesday morning Bible study at the ski area grew to eight instructors, lift operators, housekeepers, and other employees. Some were new believers, others old believers and some not-yet believers. Our Tuesday evening West Elk Bible Institute finished a year of studying Systematic Theology using a great entry-level book from the Navigators called the “Five Minute Theologian”. On Thursday mornings our “Ministry Breakfast” group continued with up to 19 involved weekly. Saturday evenings we continued our worship service with an average of twenty folks of all ages. During the Saturday evening service we’re going verse by verse through the book of Luke. Sunday mornings our study group just finished the book of 1 Corinthians. Melva and I have learned sooooo much from leading these groups through the Bible!
The Saturday Evening Worship service has been a special blessing. A few weeks ago I looked out and saw woman who had recently been freed from adultery, sitting next to a man out of jail on bail, next to a couple who own a business, next to a college student, Wow! Three folks have made decisions for Christ so far. We determined from the beginning of this service to give 50% of the offering to missions. So far, in four months we have given $3000.
Coming up: Lord willing, we leave Easter Sunday to begin our spring swing. We meet with friends and supporters in Colorado Springs (4/5), Dallas (4/8), Oklahoma City (4/10), sing in Amarillo (4/7), hold revival meetings in Guthrie, OK (4/11-18), speak and sing for the Fellowship of Christian Firefighters in Indianapolis (4/22-24), speak in Louisville, KY (4/25), speak in Gallatin, TN (5/2), study at Southern Seminary (4/26-5/1) and return to Gunnison around May 6. We really covet your prayers for each of these opportunities! Please remember to pray for our Board meeting on April 10; we want to hear His voice clearly. (Please call 970-209-8006 for meeting times and locations.)
Family: We trust that by the time you read this, Stephen in Scotland will have a new job as well as a church to serve. His current appointment ends April 1. Joy’s pregnancy is going well. Rebekah is preparing for her annual trip, this time to Indonesia. Steve is in LA working and pursuing employment in the TV/Movie production field. Tim and Sara are doing well working in LA as well. My mom is going strong at 83 and still being the “designated driver” for all her friends to the doctor, shopping, etc. Melva is fully recovered health-wise and I am slowly recovering my voice and Achilles tendon. Thank you for every prayer you lift up for us.
Finances: Every time things begin to get tight the Lord leads some of you to respond without us even mentioning it. Once again this happened! Our ministry finances dropped below the threshold we needed and the exact amount came in. Thank You! We always tell folks that all we solicit is prayer. We know that if the prayer is there, the money and every other need will be provided for. Where the Lord guides, He truly does provide!
Prayer Requests: Please pray for the Lord’s anointing as we share around the country; for those who speak here while we’re gone; for my voice, foot and Achilles to recover; for Stephen and Joy in Scotland to have the right ministry and job; for the right opportunity for Steve in Los Angeles; for Bek to draw close to Jesus; for the Lord’s blessing to continue on Sara and Tim; a good start on the writing of my DMin project; and for clear direction for our Board as we look forward! Thank you, thank you.
As Jim Elliott, fellow Wheaton graduate and martyred missionary said, “He is no fool to give up what he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose.” There is nothing in this world that compares to the privilege of winning, training and sending men and women into the Lord’s harvest. Thank you for joining with us in that endeavor!
In His Grace,
Rick and Melva Barton