“Anxiety doesn’t rob tomorrow of its problems; it does rob today of its joy.” (Charles Haddon Spurgeon)
On Friday, the 13th of March, rumors started about the new COVID-19 virus affecting Crested Butte Ski Area where I teach skiing. Within a few days the ski area was closed for the season. Soon our spring speaking engagements were postponed or cancelled. Our Saturday Night Worship Services had to be on video. And all of us were wearing masks. Weird! But our God promises to cause even “weird” things to work together for our good (Romans 8:28).
Instead of our ministry road trips, the Lord brought the opportunity to share the good news of Jesus with hundreds through multiple funeral services. We have been able to share with more unsaved people in these services than in all our revival meetings; and they were listening! Our Saturday Night videos began going into assisted living facilities and homes around the country with the result that even when we started meeting again (outside), people asked us to continue the videos as well. And, our “live” attendance has actually increased. I guess the Lord was right when He told us not to worry or be anxious, He really does have everything under control! (Ephesians 4:6-8, Matthew 6:33-4) *If you would like to receive the video link just let us know!
Fire and Police New Testaments and Devotionals: This spring and summer has seen wonderful opportunities to send out God’s word and devotionals to 1st responders around the country. We’ve sent thousands of copies to chaplains, Christian Motorcycle clubs, retired firefighters, and churches in NC, TX, NJ, CO, KY, NM, and more. Your prayers and support are having huge impacts. Yesterday we conducted two church services in Pitkin, CO. A retired school teacher told me he had taken one of our Police Devotionals back to TX last year and it’s being passed around the entire police department! We’re sending him more.
1st Responders Outreach: Speaking of 1st Responders, our 9/11 outreach to local fire, police, sheriff, and EMS personnel is coming together. We will provide a free BBQ box lunch along with a “Thank You” and offer a 1st Responder New Testament and devotional. Please pray the Lord will use this in wonderful ways!
Finances: Another blessing was being able to assist a cancer survivor family of seven by purchasing a used school suburban. As you probably suspect, as we give away these blessings, the Lord fills in the finances. In fact, during the pandemic our support has stayed strong. Every bill is paid! Thank You for being His instrument to help so many! “Give and it shall be given you”, our Lord said and we see it! (Luke 6:38)
Family: Our son Steve with wife Annie, along with grandchildren Samuel (3) and Abigail (10 mo), escaped LA to spend 9 weeks with us! Tim and Sara in LA await little Sydney to join Elizabeth (2) this month. Please pray for a healthy mommy and baby. Bekah, Nick and Kailani (18 mo) have been able to visit a few times from Edwards, CO and even though we had to postpone our visit to Joy, Stephen, Hannah and Bethan in Scotland, we video conference with them weekly. We thank God that everyone is healthy!
Vacation: The first part of August, Melva and I took a two-week break. We “headquartered” at Glen Eyrie, the Christian conference center owned by the Navigator ministry. It’s one of our favorite places to hide, rest and renew. While there, we were able to visit family and friends of the ministry along the front range.
Scholarships: While at the Glen, we were able to establish a scholarship for pastors/missionaries who need a break, to spend two or three nights at no cost to them. In August, we were able to pray over and give scholarships to four students headed to Christian colleges. They asked us to thank you sooooo much!
Saturday Night Worship: What a wonderful group of folks we meet with every Saturday night in a local parking lot! We are blessed to have a congregation that loves Jesus, shares Jesus with others, and loves us! And, we have a few unbelievers checking out Jesus! Each week, we go verse by verse through books of the Bible and they are living it!
Upcoming: Lord willing, Melva and I will lead services in Tin Cup, CO (8/30, 9/6) and I serve as chaplain for the local PRCA rodeo (8/3-5). On 9/11 we have our 1st Responders outreach. We hold a memorial service for our “alumni” missionary Frank Goetschel (Sept 13), head out to share God’s word in Josephine, TX (November 15, as well as January 31-February 3), and meetings in Guthrie OK (November 17-22). Please pray for the anointing of the Holy Spirit as we share, that souls will be saved and the saved be challenged!
Fires: Several of you have asked if I’m on fires this summer. Because of commitments to hold funerals and church services I have not gone out. I may become available in mid-September if the Lord allows.
Prayer Requests: Please pray for daughter-in-law Sara and baby Sydney to have a heathy delivery. Please pray for the anointing of the Holy Spirit to be upon us as we travel and share, and for a more permanent place to meet so that we may distribute more materials for outreach. Please pray that I do a better job helping develop the great workers we have in our Saturday Night Worship group.
Yes, this has been a “weird” but “wonderful” spring and summer. We are so grateful that the Lord has given us the privilege of knowing Him and making Him known. We also thank Him for each of you who cover us with prayer and provide the means to serve these 51 years.
Our vision statement and mission statement: Years ago, we adopted the Navigators slogan, “To Know Him and To Make Him Known” as our vision statement. To “Win One-Train One- Send One” is our mission statement. We pray that it’s yours as well!
Thank you for partnering with us in fulfilling these!
By His grace and to His glory,
Rick and Melva Barton
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Rick Barton Ministires