THANKSGIVING IN AUGUST
"Where shall my praise begin?" A few nights ago, Jerry and Suzanne Bugg (original members of our RBM board), Ron Morris (former long-time Fellowship of Christian Athletes staff and pastor), Warren and Peggy Thurmond (wonderful friends from Tucson) along with Melva and I began to go over how faithful God has been during our 42 years of ministry. We marveled at the goodness of our heavenly Father in every area of our lives; our salvation, His Spirit's anointing, His opening doors of ministry, the raising up of faithful friends and ministry partners such as you, and His financial provision. By the end of the evening we were overwhelmed by gratitude! Thank you for being an important member of the Lord's team!
Since coming back from all our travels (5 week ministry tour, 2 weeks of leading worship on a sailing ship following the Journeys of Paul, and forest fires), we've been able to rest as well as focus on local ministry.
Events this month included sharing with Legacy Church visiting from Denver, conducting our (30th or so) annual Rodeo service in Gunnison, our weekly "called to ministry/missions breakfast", Saturday evening worship services and Melva's ladies Bible study. We've seen great turnouts at each of the meetings and doors opening to share Jesus in the community. One local rancher and I were having coffee when he turned to me and said, "There's got to be more to life than this." He was baptized as a child, attended confirmation, etc, but realizes that he's not experiencing a relationship with Jesus. Please pray my friend will come to know the Savior who loves him and desires to have a living relationship with him.
Rich and Shelba Townsend (our full-time associates) returned today from a month of sharing in St. Louis. They had the privilege of speaking several times at South County Baptist Church as well as with an associational women's meeting. They loved being back with friends and sharing, but were glad to leave the heat and humidity! Now Rich is preparing our West Elk Bible Institute for fall classes.
Paul Muirhead, our newest team member, has been busy river raft guiding and doing ministry among his co-workers. Last week he helped rescue a fellow guide trapped in a kayak. The kayak hung up, overturned and the man was trapped for 30 minutes underwater with a small air pocket. Paul says the Lord helped them in a myriad of ways to reach him and afterwards he's been able to share with some of his co-workers about eternal life and the need to be ready! We are sooo thankful for Paul and his ministry!
Great News from Guthrie! Pastor Van Hudson called from Abell Church with great news. He is a bi-vocational pastor working in the jail. He reports that they've baptized over 20 inmates so far and have another group waiting. A 17 year old woman convicted of murder received Jesus and was baptized last week! He also reports that work on their new church building is continuing! Please pray for this wonderful church family.
Upcoming: I was requested by an Incident Management Team to go to TX and help with some fires but the dispatch fell through, so I'm here in Gunnison for now. I've been asked to speak at a community-wide tent revival September 19 here in Gunnison, and then I'm praying about going to the seminary in Louisville, KY for a few weeks to work on my DMin project. I've have an invitation to preach in Gallatin, TN while there.
Family: Stephen, Joy, Hannah and Bethan continue to grow and flourish in Scotland. Stephen is enjoying his job as he continues to prepare for the pastoral appointment God has for him. He is preaching frequently throughout Scotland and we know God is preparing them for the right church, as well as preparing the church for them! Bek was able to come home for a day to join her class reunion and it was great seeing her. Steve is now a "senior" production assistant on his TV show and appreciates the way the Lord is grooming him for more responsibility. He is active in his church and growing stronger in his faith. Tim and Sarah are doing well in LA and looking forward to coming home at Christmas. Lord willing, all of us will be home this year and celebrate my mom's 85th birthday Christmas day!
Finances: As you know, summer is a tough time for most ministries, folks on vacation, etc. By God's grace and your prayers, we have seen our support remain constant! When someone can't send support, others step up. We never ask for money, only prayer. As you pray, and we try to be faithful and obedient, God provides! Thank you for praying for us!
Coming back-going out-staying! We've heard from R and C in Pakistan, Frank and Steph in Costa Rica, C in Indonesia, Ryan in France, Diane in Jackson, MS and each of them report that the Lord is working through your prayers! Dave and Melissa just returned from France, Brad, Gina and Janelle are here on furlough from Peru, as well as Mark and Karen from Mexico. Austin and Buckie are heading out this month. Please remember these and other missionaries as they go forth into the harvest!
Our Thanksgiving in August is to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and to each of you for standing with us! Thank you and God bless!
Rick and Melva Barton
Rick Barton Ministries
PO Box 1155
Gunnison, CO 81230