Rick Barton Ministries, PO Box 1155, Gunnison, CO 81230 | 970-641-3583 | firstname.lastname@example.org
June 7, 2013
Spring Ministry Swing: May 1st saw us heading toward Waynesville, MO in a snowstorm. (Thank you for your daily prayers!) We made it safely and held 4 days of services. The Lord blessed in an amazing way! When we hold services, we encourage Christians to share their faith with friends outside the meetings. After the first service one family led a high school student to Christ. The same night a man in the church was called to help a young adult who was considering suicide. He was able to share Jesus and pray with him! During the meetings our theme was "Come"; God's invitation to a lost world!
Then it was on to Guthrie, OK where we had the privilege of sharing eight days. What a great time of enjoying God's word together. A special treat was to see folks who had committed their life to Jesus in our previous meetings growing in their faith! We had dinner with our Board and supporters as well. During the week a good group showed up and we had some wonderful music. Our last evening service was cancelled due to weather and we missed the tornados by an hour.
While in the Oklahoma City area we were invited to pray with staff members of the Hough Ear Institute, a world renowned inner-ear facility as well as the Thrifty/Dollar car rental staff. It was truly a privilege!
Climbing in His Grace: Then, it was on to Glenwood Springs CO, where I participated in a fire training session on Storm King Mountain; the site where fourteen firefighters perished in 1994. To reach the site I had to climb and descend some steep and rocky terrain. By His grace I made it with no problems with my knee. A week later I passed the arduous "pack test" for firefighting. Thank you for your prayers.
Since returning, we have shared at the Pitkin Community Church, conducted a funeral where I was able to share our hope in Christ, taught our Saturday evening worship services and worked away on the DMin requirements. We are thankful that the Lord allows us to share His glorious gospel in so many places!
More Alumni News: Ruth Montaya joined Young Life staff in a depressed neighborhood in Pueblo, CO and Matt Benson is working with Young Life in Colorado Springs. Tabbie Solomon is serving with Youth With A Mission in Montana.
Our Financial needs continue to be met each month, exactly on time. A huge thank you to each of you who pray for and invest with us! Your prayers and support allow us to help train these workers for Christ!
Blasts from the Past: During our trip we were blessed to receive a phone call from Al from the 1980's; Rusty from 1989 showed up at a service and we discovered that he is now a music-evangelist; Joyce, a dear friend who had attended our campground services, met up with us in MO, and Bill and Mary Jane Bever. As Melva and I celebrate 42 years of marriage (June 6) we are grateful for the blessing of friends like you!
Newest Board of Reference Members: Gay and Sue Reynolds, recently retired missionaries and president of the Fellowship of Christian Firefighters International, have joined our reference board. Gay and Sue live in Livermore CO and we have served together in ministry to firefighters for many years. Thanks Gay and Sue!
Rich and Shelba Townsend recently completed their second full year of ministry with us and I asked them to give you some of their reflections. Rich was formerly in business and Shelba at a college in St. Louis.
Rich: "We have been working with Rick Barton Ministries for over two years and I'd like to share how it's changed my life. I've learned to pray about everything. I have learned to wait on God and not try to control my life, instead to let Him do so.
I have been blessed to have the opportunity to preach and teach God's word in many different churches. I have learned to ask the Holy Spirit to fill my life each morning and to lead me to someone I can share Christ with that day. I have enjoyed reading the Bible and praying more and more each day! I cannot imagine a day without reading and prayer. I have learned that God does take care of me and my wife each day."
Shelba: Wow…has the Lord blessed me through my work with Rick Barton Ministries. I am learning to be more intentional for my Jesus. I have learned how to witness more for my Lord. Each day I pray for the Holy Spirit to lead me to someone I can share Jesus with or help along the way. I carry a business card with me that I can give to let people know that we're available 24/7 and in the other pocket I carry an invitation to our Saturday Evening Worship services. You'd be amazed how many times God uses these!
I find myself in God's word more and praying more… and it's not always about my wish list. I thank God for all those who have mentored me along the way. God has really used you. Remember, you really are the only "Jesus" that some people ever see. Once again, I find myself completely out of my "comfort zone", but the Lord puts His arm around me and what a blessed time it is!
Right now I lead women's Bible study as well as disciple one-on-one. Awesome! In addition, I have been certified to be the English as a Second Language (ESL) Trainer for the Western Slope of Colorado.
Being with Rick Barton Ministries allows me the time to do these ministries and more. I have learned to listen more, be quiet at times, and be amazed at the work the Lord is doing through this ministry. I'm so amazed when He asks me to do something…. and so thankful!! This has been a great blessing to me. I'm reminded of Psalm 138:8; "The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me; Your love O Lord endures forever."
We thank God for His faithfulness, mercy and joy! We thank you for your continued prayers and support! May the Lord Jesus bless you richly!
Rich and Shelba Townsend