Deployed: “Rick, this is Montrose Dispatch. We have a Resource Order for you. You’re headed to the Caldor Fire in Northern California”. And so began a 2 ½ week assignment where I saw the grace of God open doors to share Jesus and join with thousands of firefighters battling wildfires in the west.
Melva and I had just returned from a two week stay at the Billy Graham Training Center near Asheville, NC. While there we had a wonderful time of refreshing and fellowship. During the summer I had been asked several times to assist on fires but couldn’t go because of ministry commitments. (A wildland fire assignment is for 2 weeks plus travel.) A time slot opened, and I notified dispatch that I was available if needed. Melva and I prayed that if the Lord wanted me to go, He would send me to exactly the right assignment. A few hours later I was on my way to Placerville CA.
For the next two weeks I served as a line Safety Officer, walking the fireline and driving through various parts of the fire to ensure our firefighters were being kept safe on this 200,000 acre fire. I was working with an Incident Management Team from California and knew no one, so I prayed the Lord would open the door to share Jesus. As usual, I wore a Christian Firefighter patch on my fire shirt and before long, co-workers began to ask questions. I was able to give away firefighter New Testaments and Devotionals to several and pray with some. The Lord blessed me with favor in the eyes of those I worked with, and they were open to receive God’s word. THANK YOU FOR YOUR DAILY PRAYERS, I felt them.
Joe, a 79-year-old water tender operator and I became acquainted in the dining area one night. He is a Christian and asked for 50 firefighter New Testaments. He said when he showed the copy I gave him to others, they all wanted one! Dave, a non-Christian co-worker came to me and said he was reading the devotional I gave him every day. Please pray the Lord will use His word in their lives. Each of us is “deployed” into His harvest fields, no matter how old or young we are! (Luke 10:1-2, Matthew 28:18-20)
I returned Friday afternoon (9/3) and Sunday morning (9/5) Melva and I shared at the Tin Cup church. It was their last service of the summer and we had a great turnout. Again, the Lord blessed, and we believe souls were touched by the Holy Spirit.
Shout Out: Melva and I need to give a special “shout out” to our Saturday Evening Worship group. When I was deployed to the fire they never missed a beat. They watched over each other, prayed for each other and ministered God’s grace to all around. We are soooo blessed to serve these folks!
Upcoming: Lord willing, I share at a “Homecoming” service for a good friend September 9th. September 11th I’ve been asked to speak at a 9/11 service for fire and police officers followed by our Saturday Night Worship Service. September 25th, I have the privilege of speaking at our college football team chapel. October 24-31 we hold revival services at 1st Baptist in Delta, CO. November 7-14, we hold services in Guthrie, OK. Please pray for each of these wonderful opportunities to share the love of Jesus!
Family: By the grace of God, all of us remain healthy. Melva and I had the blessing of spending time with almost all of our children and grandchildren this summer. The exception was Stephen, Joy, Hannah, and Bethan in Scotland. Our prayer is that we can do that within the year. Thank you for your faithful prayers for our family.
Finances: The Apostle Paul said to the people who supported him, “Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food, will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness; you will be enriched in everything for all liberality, which through us is producing thanksgiving to God” (2 Corinthians 9:10-11 emphasis added).
Your investment in our ministry has allowed us to help an unprecedented number of people in need, Christian and non-Christian, in the name of Jesus. You have helped us supply New Testaments and Daily Devotionals to first responders around the country. You have allowed us to assist our “alumni” missionaries more than ever before! Many are giving thanksgiving to God because of you. May the Lord richly bless you!
Prayer Requests: Please pray for the anointing of the Holy Spirit to be upon Melva and me as we share both locally and out of state. Please pray for Art Glesky, our faithful helper battling cancer, for Vicki Morrow fighting Covid, for Owen Pennington (4 yr. old) who is in rehabilitation in Baltimore and please pray for the Lord to heal a worsening skin condition I have. Thank You!
In memorial: This month Jesus took home, two of our faithful prayer warriors, Alice Dowers, a wonderful friend in Guthrie OK, and Troas Long, Sunday school teacher and godly helper in Gunnison. Melva and I have known and loved these servants of our Lord for many years. Please pray for their families.
“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many rooms; if that were not so, I would have told you, because I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I am coming again and will take you to Myself, so that where I am, there you also will be.” (John 14:1-3)
By His grace and to His glory, Rick and Melva Barton
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Rick Barton Ministires