May Happenings: Last month our newsletter ended as Melva and I were starting a three week, 3,200 mile road trip. We shared “Thank You and Update Dinners” in Colorado Springs, Dallas and Edmond, OK. We met with our Board of Directors. We preached in Cripple Creek, CO and held eight days of revival services in Guthrie, OK. We sang in nursing homes in Guthrie and Amarillo TX. Thanks to your prayers, it was a wonderful and blessed trip!
Travelling Mercies: The day before we left Gunnison it snowed, yet our roads were dry. The day before we preached in Cripple Creek it snowed, yet our roads were dry. When we reached Raton NM the highway to Clayton was closed due to 24 vehicles being stranded the day before in a terrible blizzard. Our roads were dry. During the revival meetings in Guthrie, storms with large hail were in the area. None hit our location and no services were cancelled. On the way back a tornado hit a town in OK we passed the day before. Your prayers supported and protected us as we travelled!
Abell services: As you may remember we’ve been sharing at this small, wonderful church for over 30 years. During that time we’ve experienced much love and friendship. As the Gaither song goes, “Old Friends After All of These Years”. In January I had the sad honor of conducting the funeral service for Pastor Van Hudson. The next interim pastor suffered a slight stroke and had to redirect his ministry. The newest interim pastor has really stepped up and the church loves him. They’re definitely making some positive movement. Dr. Montie Campbell is the most energetic 81 year old pastor we know!
Our services there were blessed in many ways. The Lord worked in hearts and we look forward to seeing lasting fruit. We had some wonderful music by local musicians, as well as testimonies by a local Gideon and OSU football player. We were even reunited with a pastor we held services for 20 years ago! Your prayers were definitely felt.
A special miracle took place after we left. Pastor Van’s widow, Sally, had struggled with an infection and lack of healing in her artificial hip. She was facing a six hour surgery followed by six weeks of recovery. The church gathered around her and prayed before we left. While waiting in the hospital room, prepared for surgery, the doctor came in and announced that the joint was now healing and surgery was no longer needed! She still needs a new hip in the future so please pray for the Lord to do a miracle there as well.
Rodeo service expands! At the end of last summer’s Gunnison rodeo service a cowboy suggested we hold another service during the preceding week so more contestants could attend. We prayed and talked to the committee and they’ve asked us to do a service before every night’s performance. Please pray for the Holy Spirit to move and that everything we do will glorify God and brings souls to Jesus.
Outside Chick-Fil-A: While in Colorado Springs we had lunch at one of our favorite restaurants, Chick-Fil-A. They’re a great chain which has chosen to honor Christ from day one. While eating outside, a young man smoking marijuana sat near us. To be honest my first reaction wasn’t great. Then the Lord reminded me that Jesus died for him and prompted me to pray for him. He turned and asked for lunch money. Instead, I bought him lunch and was able to share the gospel with him. Melva brought over a “4 Spiritual Laws” booklet and we shared that God had a wonderful plan for his life that drugs and sin wouldn’t bring! Please pray for Jesse from Texas.
Firefighter Bibles: This month we’ve received requests for firefighter and police New Testaments from Oklahoma, Canada and Chicago. One firefighter from the Florida Park Service sent the following, “Through the years I’ve been encouraged by your devotionals and especially by the poster you sent me (a poster made from a fire photo I took). It took several years before I was able to get into wildland firefighting, but God’s faithfulness has been very evident and now I am praying about starting a Bible study for our county.” Every month we send cases of fire and police New Testaments and devotionals to chaplains and churches for free distribution. You are a big part of helping us do that!
Family updates: Steve and Annie headline this month. On May 23, one month ahead of schedule, Samuel Lucas Barton made his entrance. He arrived weighing in at 5 pounds 7 ounces and 19.5”. Mom and baby are doing well! In Scotland, Hannah (8) developed acute appendicitis and had her appendix removed. Her recovery is going well! Nick and Rebekah made it safely back from Thailand and Japan. Tim and Sara are going strong with Sara recently receiving a promotion at work. Tim, Sara and I celebrated a birthday in May which means Melva is younger than me for four months! June 7 Melva and I celebrate 46 years of marriage and 48 years of serving Jesus! How blessed we are!
Finances: What a blessing it is to see how the Lord provides! He truly is “Jehovah Jireh (“the Lord will provide” Genesis 22:14). This month your gifts and prayers allowed us to travel and minister freely as well as serve here in Gunnison. They also allowed us to help a church in Kenya feed widows and orphans who were suffering from a combination of drought followed by flooding. They are now working with the widows to help them develop “cottage industries” to become more self-sustaining. Many are praising God for you!
Upcoming: May 28 we share in Pitkin, CO and June 4th in Tin Cup, CO. We make a quick trip to Los Angeles June 5-14 to be with our new grandson. July 13-16 we hold rodeo chapels in Gunnison and July 23rd in Norwood, CO.
Prayer requests: Please pray for the anointing of the Holy Spirit as we share! Please pray for Steve, Annie and Samuel as well as for our granddaughter Hannah’s full recovery. Please pray for Vanessa Villasenor, the child of one of our “alumni missionaries” in Mexico who has severe medical issues. Please pray for the Higgins family as their daughter Heidi went to be with the Lord. She left four children behind and it’s very difficult for everyone. Please pray for a location to meet near the University Campus. And please pray as I begin to work through over 100 stories I’ve written for the “Encourager”, a Christian firefighter magazine. There is the possibility we would publish them as a book to encourage firefighters and others.
Thank you for your faithful love, prayers and support! May the Lord bless you and be glorified in and through you! Rick and Melva Philippians 2:13
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Rick Barton Ministires