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Uploaded: Dec. 27,2010

November 3, 2010
"OFF THE ROAD"

 

 

Home Sweet Home! After spending 6 of the last 7 weeks on the road, Melva and I arrived home last night safe and sound. What a wonderful, whirlwind time we've experienced!

Fires, Firths*, and Fine Friends! After spending two weeks on a forest fire assignment in Utah, where I was able to hand out Firefighter New Testaments, I was home one day and then left to join Melva with our daughter Joy and her family in Scotland. After two wonderful weeks of holding our granddaughters Hannah and Bethan, as well as holding church services in Inverness, we returned to Colorado for a week. Then it was off to Waynesville, MO to share with Faith Baptist and St Louis' South County Baptist Churches. What a joyous time of meeting with new friends and old. And, the Lord really moved in answer to your prayers! (*By the way, a "firth" is a Scottish word for a long, narrow inlet from the sea.)

Missouri Mission: For the past few years Melva and I have had the privilege of holding a worship service for elk hunters up on the Cochetopa. They invited us to come to their church in Waynesville, MO and we spent 5 wonderful days there last week. The church is only a year or so old, runs around 50 in attendance and has a real heart for reaching out. The bi-vocational pastor doesn't take a salary, they meet in a Baptist camp facility near Fort Leonard Wood Army Base, and they give over 50% of their offerings to missions! In addition, the men help rebuild local residents homes, help with heating bills for the poor, etc. Our meetings were well attended, we had several make first-time or re-commitments to Jesus, a young man from the Army base yielded his life to God's call to enter evangelistic ministry, and others left sinful behaviors to follow the Savior! In addition, we gave away a number of Bibles and materials. What a blessing!

After leaving Waynesville and its wonderful congregation, we travelled to St. Louis for two services on Sunday morning. We had shared at South County last spring and Pastor John graciously invited us back. The response was wonderful and we saw the fruit of the revival that had already started in the church. They are seeing several souls a week come to Christ! Hopefully we poured gas on the fire.

College students, Saturday Evening worship, and Football chapels: In the meantime, our wonderful co-laborers, Rich and Shelba Townsend, made sure that all the local programs never missed a beat! The Thursday morning ministry training group and the Saturday Evening Worship services both continue strong, winning-training and sending out workers in the Master's harvest! A special highlight has been the visits of some of our former students who have gone out around the world to share the Savior. This week Cathy Gallaher, a student here 20 years ago, who has served in the US and Asia is with us, sharing not only her ministry but how the Lord is graciously healing her of breast cancer.

This week we have our Thursday group, Saturday Evening Worship and two college football team chapels. Your prayers and support allow us to do these ministries as well as hand out hundreds of firefighter, athlete, cowboy and regular Bibles and devotionals; study and follow-up materials.

Devotionals: Melva's article in the Southern Seminary Women's Devotional book came out great, and the Fellowship of Christian Firefighters (FCF) tell us that AMG Publishers have shipped over 4000 copies of the "Stories of Faith and Courage from Firefighters and First Responders" daily devotional book. (I had the privilege of writing over 30 of the devotionals). The proceeds are really helping the ministry of the FCF. The book is available at Borders and Amazon.com but we're hoping folks will order them through the FCF at 1-800-322-9848 and support that ministry. Because of your donations we have been able to give one to every member of our local fire department in addition to other firefighters around the country.

Upcoming: Things here should get back to normal with the ministries we mentioned above as well as teaching skiing starting Thanksgiving. In February, Lord willing, I will again help lead worship for the men's Bible/ski retreat in Beaver Creek, CO, and in April we start our spring ministry swing. This year we start in Arizona.

Family: Stephen, Joy, Hannah and Bethan are being blessed in Scotland in many ways. Stephen has found a temporary job and is preaching almost weekly in Scotland or England. Please pray for the right permanent ministry position. Bek is doing well in Vail. Steve is still pursuing his media production dream in Hollywood. Tim and Sara are still doing well in Los Angeles and ready to celebrate their first anniversary! My mom is going strong as well.

Prayer Requests: That the anointing of the Holy Spirit will continue to increase in our lives and ministry. That the Lord will continue healing Cathy (missionary to Asia-cancer, Dan(missionary in OK-cancer, Bob -cancer, Minnie Rose-eyes, Brenda-cancer, Bill-cancer, Debbie-cancer. We know how many prayer warriors read this and we're counting on you! For my feet to recover from some pain.

Answered Prayer: Cathy Gallaher continues to improve. The meetings went very well with several "divine appointments"! For instance, I had gone to see a man in MO who has fallen away from the Lord. After sharing and praying with him, I felt led the next day to go back and urge him again to return to the Lord. Of course the Lord worked it out that he was there alone, and I was able to share Jesus' love and concern with him. Some of the spouses of our Saturday Evening outreach have started coming and responding to Jesus! Several "just in time" financial gifts came in at the month's end. Our vehicle problems cleared up and we're going strong with 185,000 miles! And so much more!

Finances: Thank you soooo much for your faithful love, prayers and financial support! Things were looking pretty grim from a financial standpoint as we finished October. Then, God in His faithfulness, and you in your love responded at exactly the right time. We praise Him and thank you! We hope to finish the year strong and be able to replenish Bibles and materials for next year.

In His grace and to His glory,

2010 In Review

Thanks to your prayers and support, we were able to participate in these and more!

Ongoing, year round ministries: Thursday morning "Ministry Breakfast" for those who feel called to vocational missions and ministry, Saturday Evening Worship service, writing monthly articles for The Encourager-a Christian Firefighter/EMS Magazine.

Here are some additional ministries the Lord has allowed us to do:

January 2010: West Elk Bible Institute class in our home, ski instructing 5 days a week, preaching in Paonia, CO.

February: Leading worship for the "High Ground" men's Bible/ski retreat for 80 men in Beaver Creek, CO. Bible study for employees at Crested Butte Ski Resort, and teaching skiing.

March: Ski Area Bible study, teaching the volunteer fire departments and federal firefighters in Gunnison and Crested Butte. Teaching skiing.

April-May: Speaking in churches in Colorado, Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Kentucky and Tennessee. Speaking at the Fellowship of Christian Firefighters Annual dinner in Indianapolis, Indiana and spending a week at Southern Seminary working on my doctorate. Teaching fire classes to federal firefighters in Gunnison.

June: Fighting forest fires and giving away firefighter New Testaments in CO, NM and AZ. Teaching more fire classes in Gunnison.

July: Rodeo Church service in Gunnison. Working on my doctorate and writing for a Christian firefighter magazine, "The Encourager" (this is an ongoing every month project).

August: Preaching in Gunnison and Salida, CO.

September: A forest fire in Utah where I was able to share and give away firefighter New Testaments, leading worship for a men's retreat in the West Elk Wilderness.

October: Preaching in two churches, a nursing home and college ministry in Inverness, Scotland. Holding revival services in Waynesville, MO and preaching in St. Louis, MO. Holding a hunter's chapel service.

November: Two college football team chapel services, and start teaching skiing.

December: Christmas Eve Service, working on doctorate.

This gives you a taste of what you have been praying us through! Thank You So Much!!!

Rick and Melva


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