Resurrection Day: On April 1st we celebrated the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus! What a joy it is to know the risen Lord and to know that He cares for us soooo much that He gave His life for us! To know that the payment for our sin was made in full, that He rose again on the third day and is alive today!
April blessings: The afternoon of April 2nd, Melva and I began a 30 day-3,700-mile ministry trip. First, we headed to Colorado Springs. We spent several days there resting and recovering from our sickness. On the 5th we met with 20 of our friends and prayer partners for a wonderful evening of fellowship, ministry update and prayer. Two of the many highlights were the attendance of two families I performed weddings for over 30 years ago and reuniting with a fellow Christian wildland firefighter who is now a county fire marshal. On Saturday the 7th we had the privilege of receiving gift tickets to the Gaither Vocal Band concert in Denver and enjoyed it immensely.
The morning after the concert we headed to Dallas where we had the blessing of meeting with more prayer partners. Then it was on to Edmond, OK for our third “Thank You and Ministry Update” meal. We are extremely grateful for all of you who pray for us and what a treat it was to see you in person!
Guthrie OK Revival: For over 30 years, Melva and I have been privileged to share at the Abell Church northwest of Guthrie. It’s a small country church with a big heart! Most of the members are “over 30” and yet the Lord has given them a fruitful ministry to local Job Corp students. Each week the church transports 15-30 students for Sunday School, worship and a meal. And almost every week, students respond to the gospel! While we were there, five professed faith in Christ! If all of us had the heart for souls that Pastor Kirk and the congregation have, imagine what would happen. I preached 10 times in eight days and we sang at two nursing homes. The local Gideon camp participated as well as folks from several churches in the area. We even saw God’s healing hand at work in answer to prayer. Please pray for the Abell Church family. When the Lord is working in such a mighty way, the devil will always attack and try to discourage them.
Divine Appointment in Guthrie: Melva and I were invited to sing at a local nursing home one afternoon. We “accidentally” went to one which was next door. As we were leaving the “wrong” one, they asked us to come back to sing and share Christ with their group. So, a few days later we did!
Branson: After a full week in Guthrie, we headed to Branson MO for three days. We had a wonderful time visiting with Mary Jane Bever, our long-time friend from Gunnison who moved to the area to help her granddaughter and family. We attended a great concert by our friends, the Petersen Family Band and then a production of “Samson”, a live musical performed by a wonderful company of Christian actors and singers. Each year they bring a Bible character to life in an amazing production which includes the gospel message. Up to 2100 people crowd into the Sight and Sound auditorium twice daily. We highly recommend it!
Leaving Branson, we visited friends from Faith Baptist Church in Waynesville, MO and then headed to First Baptist Church of Oakville, outside of St Louis. Our former associates, Rich and Shelba Townsend, serve there and we were invited to sing and preach. The Lord answered prayer and blessed the service. Our family in Scotland, as well as some of our Gunnison congregation were able to watch via live-stream.
“Meanwhile, back at the ranch”: One of the problems that can arise when we’re on the road ministering is who takes care of our Saturday Night Worship services in Gunnison. Thankfully, God has raised up two men, Tony Cecere (a recently retired pharmacist) and Scott Brickert (a Crested Butte businessman and recent seminary graduate) who have stepped up to fill the gap. We have always seen our Saturday service as a training ground for workers (Ephesians 4:11-12) and what a blessing it is to see almost everyone in the group serving in one capacity or another!
Bibles and Devotionals: This month, we’ve already received requests for Fire and Police New Testaments and devotionals from North Carolina, Michigan and Florida. As you may know, two Florida deputies were murdered last month as they sat eating a meal. Don and Josie Biggs, retired firefighter and wife, were in the area and visited the fire and police station two days later. They gave away their supply of New Testaments and devotionals to those present. Today they reported that the officers have requested 20 more devotionals, which are on the way! Your prayers and support make this possible. Thank You!
Family: Tim and Sara (and grandchild-to-be) returned safely from Italy, Rebekah and Nick are in the air as we speak returning from Israel, Steve, Annie and Samuel are moving into the larger apartment you prayed with us for, and Stephen-Joy-Hannah-Bethan are recovering from various Scottish cruds and looking forward to visiting us in July. Hannah shot baskets to raise funds for charity and doubled her goal!
Finances: Once again, the Lord has abundantly provided through you. We pray over each gift that arrives that God will bless the giver and that He will show us how to use it for His glory! Thank you!
Upcoming: May looks pretty quiet travel wise. We make a quick trip to Colorado Springs for a wedding, then I have the privilege of conducting a memorial service for a local woman and leading our Saturday Night Worship services. Memorial Day weekend I preach in Pitkin, CO (5/27) followed by two Sundays in Tin Cup, CO (6/3,10). Then we head to Esterbrook WY to speak at their annual “Buckboard Sunday” service (6/17). In July we hold 4 services at our local rodeo (7/19-22) and one in Norwood, CO (7/29). Please pray the Lord will use these to encourage believers and bring the lost to the Savior!
Prayer Requests: For the anointing of the Holy Spirit to be upon us as we share God’s word! For Tim and Sara to continue to have a healthy pregnancy. For the healing of Stephen-Joy-Hannah and Bethan in Scotland. For our “alumni missionaries” around the world. For the Lord’s wisdom in which open doors before us are His calling for us and which are not.
Praises: Melva and I are recovering from our sickness after over 2 months! Steve, Annie and Samuel found a larger apartment! The couple we prayed for in OK report healing is taking place! “Alumni missionary Diane Johnson with Child Evangelism Fellowship in Jackson MS has a new vehicle! Thank you for praying! We not only believe in your prayers, we depend on them! Thank You!!!
By His grace and to His glory, Rick and Melva
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Rick Barton Ministires