Rick Barton Ministries, P.O. Box 1155, Gunnison, CO 81230
Marching For the Master!
February happenings: Teaching, sharing, standing in awe of our Mighty God! As I write this letter, February is rapidly winding down. A short month but one packed with blessings. Our Saturday Evening Worship service has seen some wonderful growth as more un-churched folks have gravitated toward simple verse-by-verse study of God's word and worship.
Our worship leader moved back to the mid-west for work and family, but was replaced by a group of young men who stepped into the role without missing a beat. This week a young businessman gave his life to the Savior while meeting with an established business leader who cared enough to reach out to him in Jesus' name! Melva and Shelba have been visiting the jail to encourage a Christian friend whose life and family have been attacked by alcohol. Our study time for ski instructors has grown and other instructors/employees are asking questions. One woman told me that she was active on her church board (a liberal one in Crested Butte) but didn't believe in a literal hell and that the book of Revelation was only "metaphysical". I was able to share what the Bible actually says; hell is real and God loves us so much that He sent His only Son, Jesus, to die for our sins so we wouldn't go there! And that even though Revelation contains some difficult things, it really does tell us what is going to happen in the last days.
By the grace of God I've been teaching skiing 5-6 days a week including 13 days straight over President's Day. This means I've had opportunity to make up many of the missed days from over Christmas when I was ill and should keep my health insurance. It also means extra income to help when I miss work for ministry assignments.
Lord willing, at the end of the month, February 29-March 2, I will lead worship for 50 men from around the country at the High Ground Men's Bible/ski retreat in Beaver Creek, CO.
Upcoming: March 9-11 I'm scheduled to go to Charleston, WV to share on "Faith in the Fire Service" and speak for a chapel at their fire academy. Then during the rest of March I'll be teaching skiing almost every day as well as fire safety refreshers for local federal, state and volunteer firefighters. When the ski area closes on Easter we'll take a few days rest.
We'll host an appreciation and ministry report dinner in Colorado Springs on Friday, April 13, for all of you who pray for us. We'll do the same thing April 16th in Dallas for our prayer partners there. April 18-21 we'll be in Indianapolis with the Fellowship of Christian Firefighters. April 22-29th we'll be holding services in Guthrie, OK and joining in the dedication of their new facility! For over 30 years Abell Community Church has worked toward this new building; through financial hardships, lost building plans and governmental red tape, they persevered. Now, the day of celebration has arrived! Please email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call (970-641-3583) for details on where and when all these activities will occur; and PLEASE plan to join us.
Family: Everyone is healthy and busy about the Lord's work! Please continue your prayers for Nick and Bek as they plan their wedding, and that they would both fully commit their lives to Jesus!
Finances: Every time things begin to look tight the Lord provides! Even though technically we are still behind 2 weeks of salary, every need is being met. Thank you for listening to His prompting in prayer and giving!
Rich and Shelba: Rich and Shelba report that the "5 Minute Theologian" study for ranchers on the Cochetopa is going strong with ten or more in attendance (see picture below). They'll take a break for calving season and resume in the summer. Rich still organizes and backs me up on Tuesday evenings, Thursday mornings, and Saturday evenings. In addition, he organizes the men's monthly breakfasts and teaches an adult Sunday School class. Shelba is busy organizing our library for the Bible Institute as well as visiting the jail and hospital. We're all excited about Rich's ordination in St. Louis May 20!
Paul Muirhead: Paul and some others have been sharing with Mormon missionaries and members of the Way International (a cult which denies the Trinity-Deity of Christ and more). He's teaching skiing at Crested Butte and helping with the ski instructor's Bible study and has taken on the leadership of our worship team on Saturday nights as well. On March 31 he and Sarah Juba tie the knot in Pueblo, CO!
Missionaries: Please pray for Diane Johnson-Child Evangelism Fellowship in Jackson, MS as she continues to recover from double knee replacement; for R and C as they minister in Pakistan; for Frank and Steph in Costa Rica; for Mark and Karen in Mexico; Cathy in China and her dad who still has some health problems in VA, and Brad and Gina in Peru. Austin Adams just returned from a year in Mexico and reported of God's wonderful grace as he served. These are just a few of the 300 or more who have gone out of Gunnison over the past 43 years we've served here. God has used your faithful prayers and support to reach people all over the world!
Thank you again for your prayers and support! Only when we reach heaven will we know all that God has done through each of you.
In His grace,
Rick and Melva, Rich and Shelba, Paul