March Happenings: March began with a song as I was in the midst of leading worship for the High Ground Bible/ski retreat in Beaver Creek, CO (finishwithhonor.com). Over 60 men from around the country gathered to worship, be exhorted in God’s word and fellowship on the slopes. Your prayers helped me to sing while still recovering from bronchitis!
High Ground was started by a small group of men trying to prevent their pastor from travelling a road which would cause him to lose his family, his ministry, and hurt the reputation of God’s church. They brought him to the mountains and spent several days pleading and reasoning with him. Sadly, the man wouldn’t change direction and lost it all. As a result of this experience, the men sensed a need to gather on an annual basis to be encouraged and challenged to stay faithful. Each year, men from every walk of life gather to lift their voices and their lives to the Savior! (2 Timothy 4:7)
March 11th and 18th I was privileged to preach again at the Gunnison Community Church. This is one of the older churches in our valley and has had a wonderful impact for Christ, especially the past 20 years. Please pray for them as they seek God’s man to lead them forward into His harvest! March 29th, we had the blessing of being the chapel speaker at the Rock Solid High School in Littleton, CO. In between, I taught two more fire classes for local volunteer firefighters and was able to distribute fire and police New Testaments and devotionals. A special treat occurred when the Gunnison Fire Department surprised me with an engraved “Bronze Pulaski” for teaching their classes. I finished teaching skiing on a strong note as well. Thanks to your prayers, I had a safe and productive season! This year our ski school Bible study averaged 5-7 weekly attendees which is a great foundation for next season! (2 Timothy 2:2)
Saturday Night Worship Group: Each Saturday night we lead a group who gather to study God’s word and worship. What a blessing to see the Holy Spirit change our lives as we travel verse by verse through books of the Bible. Because of your financial support we are able to donate each week’s offering to missionaries!
Family: Headlining this month are Tim and Sara, our son and daughter-in-law in Los Angeles. They announced Easter morning that they are expecting in October! I know they would appreciate your prayers for a healthy baby and mom. They’re taking a BC (before children) trip to Italy this month. Steve, Annie and Samuel are doing well in Los Angeles. Annie hopes to go half-time at school next year to spend more time with Samuel (10 months). They’re also praying about a two-bedroom apartment as they are rapidly outgrowing their one-bedroom. Nick and our daughter Rebekah are headed to Europe during “mud season” at the ski area. Stephen and our daughter Joy (Hannah and Bethan) are active in Scotland with Stephen preaching many weekends. Joy was just chosen to fill a permanent job at her school and the girls are excelling in school activities and growing in the Lord. We are soooo proud of all of them!
Upcoming: Lord willing, April 2, Melva and I head to Colorado Springs to begin a month of ministry in CO, TX, OK and MO. We will host “Thank You” and update gatherings in Colorado Springs (April 5), Dallas (April 12) and Edmond OK (April 13). We have the privilege of sharing in Guthrie, OK (April 15-22) and St. Louis (April 29). We share in Pitkin, CO (May 27), Tin Cup CO (June 3, 10) and Esterbrook WY (June 17). We will hold our local Cattleman’s Days outreach services (July 12-15) and share in Norwood CO (July 29). We’d love to see you at any of these. Please contact us for more information (970-209-8006)!
“Alumni Missionaries”: Cathy has finished her training as she prepares to return to Asia with a new agency. She undergoes knee surgery mid-April and I know would appreciate your prayers. Diane is in need of a new vehicle for her inner-city work with Child Evangelism Fellowship in Jackson MS. She teaches 100 times a month in 22 locations and drives 800+ miles. Aaron and Andrea along with their four children have returned from Haiti and need a large enough vehicle for their family of 6 while they await reassignment. Please lift these faithful workers up to the Lord and let us know if you have a vehicle they can use.
Please Pray: For the anointing of the Holy Spirit to be upon us as we share the great news of Jesus, both locally and around the country. For our health to fully return. It’s been over five weeks and our energy and voices are still recovering. For Tim and Sara and the baby. For the missionary vehicle needs as well as all of our “alumni” missionaries on the field around the world. For safety as Melva and I drive. **Recently, we were able to spend time with Ginny Blackwell in Denver. Ginny signed up to pray for Melva and I in 1986 while we were attending the Billy Graham International Conference for Itinerate Evangelists. Mr. Graham asked people to “adopt” an evangelist for the week and pray daily for them. We had never met Ginny at the time but she faithfully prayed. Then, she continued and hasn’t stopped! Thank you to all of you who pray for us consistently!
Finances: As you know, Melva and I don’t charge to minister in churches or schools, for the Bibles and books we distribute, or the volunteer fire department classes we teach. We give any honorariums we receive to RBM. We are able to do this because of your prayers and financial support. We are grateful to say that finances remain steady and no need is lacking! Someone asked recently if they should be taken off our mailing list since they were unable to financially support us. The answer is NO! If you will pray for us as you read the newsletter, that’s even more important!
May the Risen Savior, our Lord Jesus, draw you close and bless you,
Rick and Melva Barton
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Rick Barton Ministires