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Rick Barton Ministries, PO Box 1155, Gunnison, CO 81230 | 970-641-3583 |


September 2, 2013
Fires and other Fantastic Opportunities to Share!

A fiery start to August: Shortly after I had finished our August newsletter, the phone rang and I was off to Challis, ID for a two-week forest fire assignment. And what a blessing the assignment was! The Lord opened the door to hold 2 chapel services for my fellow firefighters after shift on Sundays (9pm), as well as give away all the firefighter Bibles and devotionals I had*. My assignment was to be the "line safety officer" on the most active part of the fire. That gave me the opportunity to walk the line with the fire crews and ensure their safety. Several of you called to check on my safety, thanks for all your prayers! My knee and foot held up fine, the crews were kept safe and the Lord was glorified. (*Your support provides these to give away!)

The Lord's planning is always perfect. My time on the incident ended just in time to drive directly to Glenwood Springs, CO for a mandatory fire leadership class as well as stop in Utah on the way to take a new Christian pastor to breakfast and encourage him! Melva has already started substitute teaching and is doing well. Our son-in-love Stephen is preaching almost every weekend in Scotland and England.

60th Wedding Anniversary and a Missionary Wedding: Even while I was on the ID fire I was receiving requests to go to other fires, in particular the big fire near Yosemite in CA. I turned the requests down in order to perform Austin and Rachel Adams' wedding. Austin is a former member of our "called to missions and ministry" group and he and Rachel are headed to Mexico to serve. The same weekend we were privileged to join in the celebration of Doug and Marie Stewart's 60th wedding anniversary! Doug and Marie encouraged Melva and I when we first came to know the Savior and have been wonderful friends and examples ever since.

A Sudden "Homecoming": A week ago we brought my mother and a friend home from an out-of-town adventure. We dropped our friend off expecting to see her the next day. She went "home" to be with Jesus that night. What a reminder that our days are numbered, that we aren't guaranteed tomorrow, and that we should be prepared to meet the Lord at any moment. Fortunately, Jackie was. As I conducted her service, we mourned, yet not as those who have no hope. (1 Thessalonians 4:13)

Rich and Shelba continue going strong; moving things forward while I'm on fires. They're holding Bible studies, helping local families and keeping me organized. Rich has been preaching a lot in nearby small community "summer churches" and doing a great job. A new adventure for Rich was learning how to "shoe" a horse on a local ranch. I'm not sure he's fully grasped the concept. I saw a picture of the horse he worked on and it's wearing a pair of old cowboy boots, size 12…?

Finances: Just when it looks like we're going to fall behind, the Lord nudges someone's heart to send an extra gift. Thank you! Once again, every need is being met. In our last newsletter we mentioned that we donate the offering from our Rodeo Church service to provide Rodeo/Bible Camp scholarships for kids. Some of you read that, wanted to help, and we were able to send over $1000! God bless you. We were also able to send money to one of our "alumni" missionaries in Costa Rica to have cataracts removed from both eyes! Frank and Steph drive throughout the country to minister and Frank really needed the surgeries to drive!

Prayer requests: Please pray for the Holy Spirit to fill and use us in even greater ways for God's glory. Please pray for the marriage retreat we're sponsoring this month which will be led by the Navigators ministry. Please pray for our Saturday Evening Worship group, Thursday morning missions and ministry breakfast, and for the local church we work with, Trinity Baptist.

Missionary "alumni" prayer requests: Diane Johnston-Child Evangelism Fellowship worker in Mississippi-requests prayer for her ministry which impacts hundreds of children, and for the Lord to increase her monthly support which has been well below her needs. Rick and Colleen as they return from work in the Middle East due to visa problems. For Frank's eye surgeries in Costa Rica. For Brad and Gina as they finish their U.S. swing and return to Peru, (they've been staying with us as a home base-what a blessing) and for the finances to help support their local workers. For Mark and Karen as they return to Mexico, for wisdom and the rest of the money needed to purchase their ministry center which is being sold; for Cathy as she serves in Asia, and for Austin and Rachel as they prepare to serve in Mexico. Each of these wonderful servants of Jesus would really appreciate your prayers! Contact us if you would like more specific information.

Upcoming: I may leave soon for another fire assignment. September 20-21: the Ultimate Marriage conference here. October 6-11: Rich and Shelba lead a work team to assist Mark and Karen in Mexico. October 13: Melva and I hold a chapel for Melva's family reunion in Nevada. October 15th we start teaching our West Elk Bible Institute classes. November: we sponsor Billy Graham's MY HOPE program in Gunnison. November: Melva and I hope to take a week or more off to rest and recuperate! Then ski season starts.

Thank You and God Bless You for your faithful prayers, encouragement and financial support! The Lord really is bringing about a wonderful return on your investment!

Rick and Melva Barton, Rich and Shelba Townsend

Photo of Doug and Marie Stewart
on their 60th anniversary!


Rick Barton Ministries • 401 Ute Lane Gunnison, CO 81230 • • (970) 641-3583