Rick Barton Ministries, P.O. Box 1155, Gunnison, CO 81230, 970-209-8006 (C) 970-641-3583 (H)
August 1, 2015
Faithful Workers Around the Globe
“Ekballo”: In Luke 10:2 our Lord Jesus instructs us that “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out (“ekballo=thrust out) laborers into His harvest.” Several parts of this verse jump out at me. First, Jesus says the harvest is waiting for us. We can’t sit back complaining about the world’s condition, or critiquing other Christian workers, we must go into the harvest. Second, He tells us that the laborers (toilers, workers) are few. God isn’t looking for slackers, or “part-timers”, He’s looking for workers. Third, He reminds us that it’s God’s harvest, not ours. We can’t be taking credit for the wonderful changes He makes in lives. And finally, we are to ask the Father to “ekballo” more men and women workers into His fields. I think our part is equipping, encouraging and supporting them as they follow His calling, don’t you?
Missionaries checking in! June, July and August have become “missionary emphasis summer” as we have 5 missionary teams visiting and giving a report from the field. It began with Nikki Williams. Nikki is a local woman who obtained her Physician Assistant training and is headed on a short-term medical mission to South America. The next week it was Diane (Vader) Johnston. Diane is another local woman who first joined our ministry as a high school student. After working in Uganda, Diane has been serving for 13 years in Jackson MS with Child Evangelism Fellowship. Born and raised on a Gunnison ranch, Diane also shared her testimony and sang at our annual Rodeo Church Service. The next week, Corey and Tiffany Carey, former college students in our ministry, shared how the Lord had taken them to Kenya to be dorm parents and teach missionary children at the Rift Valley Academy in Kenya. Then Brad and Gina Shaw, former Park Service employees in our ministry, gave an update on the mission station God has entrusted to them in Peru. This week, Cathy G, one of our former students, shares what God is doing through her and her team reaching Muslims in Asia. Then, our former interns, Paul and Sarah Muirhead will give us an update on their upcoming 9 months of missionary training in Phoenix before heading overseas. What a privilege to see how God has used your prayers and support to help encourage and train up these “laborers”.
Others you have helped equip include, Rick in the Middle East, Cisco in Mexico, Aaron in Haiti, Ruth, Matt, and Eric in CO, and more! They are serving with Child Evangelism Fellowship, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Frontiers, Young Life, Pioneers, the Rock Church, and SIM. They send you a huge “Thank You!”
More Blessings: Our annual rodeo service went very well with one of our larger turnouts; even though the rodeo ended a day earlier this year! Cowboys prayed, Diane Johnston shared her testimony and sang, and I shared the Word! Several were touched by the Lord and we gave away a number of Cowboy New Testaments. We were able to give the offering to assist kids enrolling in two Rodeo Bible Camps.
One of the blessings of being in town more this summer has been getting to spend time with long-time friends such as Steve Reischl, former USA ski team member doing ministry out of Cheyenne, WY and Pastor Steve Morehouse, a friend for over 36 years who has served in Crested Butte, Taiwan and Gunnison. Thank you Lord for faithful friends and servants of our Master!
New Testament Update: In the past 2 weeks we have received requests for another 300 firefighter New Testaments! The Fellowship of Christian Firefighters requested 250 copies to distribute in Kenya as they train firefighters; and a church in IN requested fire and police New Testaments to give out during a dinner honoring first responders on September 11. (The Police New Testaments are still available from the publisher but your support allows us to purchase them and send them if the chaplains can’t afford them.)
Upcoming: Melva and I travel to Boston for our nephews wedding (8/16-20) and continue teaching our Saturday evening services. In addition, we’ll prepare for this year’s West Elk Bible Institute Classes which start in September. And of course, there’s the possibility of a fire dispatch.
Family: Stephen, Joy, Hannah and Bethan are enjoying the Lord’s blessings in Scotland with the girls on break and Stephen preaching at least once or twice a month. (He’d like a lot more opportunities to preach and pastor, so please pray for the Lord to open the right doors.) Nick and Bek are working hard in their restaurant in Vail, Steve and Annie are enjoying Annie’s summer break and Tim and Sara are enjoying a few rain drops in LA. Melva recently had a cancer spot taken off her face and the doctor says they got it all. PTL!
“Promoted to Glory”: Dear friend and wonderful saint of God, Desse Anthony, joined our Savior in Glory recently. She was a truly a “laborer” in the Lord’s fields; teaching women’s Bible studies wherever she lived. Please pray for Tom and their family. “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His godly ones.” (Psalm 116:15)
Finances: Praise God from Whom all blessing flow! Even as we give away more Bibles and help more folks, He continues to meet every need abundantly. Thank you for your faithful part in that provision!
Prayer Requests: First of all, that the Holy Spirit would continually fill us and anoint us for the things He has “thrust” us into His fields for. Second, that He would show us how to adapt our schedule and activities following Rich and Shelba’s “reassignment” back to St. Louis. Third, for all of our missionaries that you have had such an important part in equipping and for our Father to “ekballo” even more!
Thank You! “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you!” (2 Corinthians 13:14)
Rick and Melva