What a Privilege it is to know and serve our Lord Jesus! As we look back over the past month we’re overwhelmed by the wonderful grace of God. I wonder if we realize how astonishing it is that He would take sinners such as you and me and give us the gift of salvation. How amazing it is that He would make us new creations and allow us to walk with Him daily?
A few days ago I was reminded of this. As I was driving, a special awareness of God’s presence overcame me. Instead of heading into town, I pulled into a quiet place and just “wallowed in the Lord”. It was a special time of experiencing His presence and giving Him praise. (Psalm 46:10)
May/June Happenings: On our way back from services in OK, we held a mini-concert at the Park Towers senior’s complex in Amarillo, TX. On May 5th we joined in prayer at our county courthouse as part of the National Day of Prayer. Then we travelled to Grand Junction where we had the privilege of singing and sharing with a group of new and old friends at the Horizon Towers in Grand Junction. Over Memorial Day weekend we preached at Pitkin Community Church.
During a quick trip to San Francisco we were able to pray with extended family and celebrate ourcousin’s 50th anniversary. Upon returning, we celebrated our 45th anniversary and then sponsored a table to give away firefighter New Testaments at the Colorado Wildfire Academy. Our friends Gay and Sue Reynolds, recently retired from the Fellowship of Christian Firefighters, passed out Bibles and sharedwith many!
In addition to the firefighter outreach, we also conducted funerals, made numerous hospital visits and held several church services locally. Needless to say, we’re looking forward to a few days off soonJ.
“Minor Miracle”: Thanks to your prayers, I experienced a “minor miracle” when I took my pack test for forest firefighting. As you know, I have to pass a physical fitness test every fire season in order to work on the line. This year it involved carrying a 25 pound pack for 2 miles in 30 minutes or less. The day before the test I developed severe pain in one leg and couldn’t get out of bed. I iced the knee for several hours then drove to Montrose, CO for the test. The next morning I went to the track, with some anxiety but trusting in your prayers and that His will would be done. The pain ceased, my endurance came and I finished the test with 2 minutes to spare! Thank you Lord and thank you prayer warriors!
Alumni report! Last month we mentioned that Stephen Newman is now serving as a Missional Pastor. More recently Joy and Rich Kettles came by. They were both involved in our “Called to Ministry” group. Rich is now a deacon and preaches on a regular basis in their church in MI! Josh Dayton, another of our “Ministry” group, called in to report that he is now on staff with Group Publishing developing youth ministry trips. He and his wife also lead a youth ministry in their church. Thank you for allowing us to equip workers for the Lord’s harvest through your prayers and support! Speaking of equipping; our Saturday Night service is proving to be a great place for folks to “get their feet wet” in ministry. This week Tony Cecere, a recently retired pharmacist, taught our Saturday group while Amy Penn, a college student who is an outstanding track runner, led the worship time.
Upcoming: This weekend Melva and I head to Ashville, North Carolina to lead a week-long family retreat for firefighters. Then, Lord willing, it’s off to Melva’s family reunion in HI for two and one half weeks! We hope to visit relatives, share the love of Jesus, and take some downtime. A huge thanks to those of you who sent graduation gifts, we plan to use them during this time.
A couple days after we return from HI we hold our annual Rodeo church service and then a BBQ/concert with our friends Barry and Victoria Ward (7/17/16). A week later we’ve been asked to share at a similar service in Norwood, CO. Please pray for us as we share the wonderful news of God’s love and grace!
Family: Tim and Sara take this month’s place of honor by announcing they’re expecting our newest grandchild in December!! This will be their first. Stephen recently had the privilege of preaching in London. In the meantime, Joy, Hannah and Bethan are finishing the school year in Inverness, Scotland. Nick and Rebekah are doing well in Edwards, CO having returned safely from Europe. Steve and Annie are going strong with Steve doing stints in TV production while Annie is finishing up her teaching. Steve and Annie as well as Tim and Sara hope to join us for a week in HI. Melva’s nasty sinus infection seems to be going away with only a lingering cough left. Thank you for your prayers for our family!
Prayer Requests: Our “alumni” Cisco and his wife Naomi just notified us that their 4 month old baby Vanessa has severe medical problems and still weighs only 4 pounds. Cisco is a church planting pastor in Mexico. Please pray for them. Please pray for Melva and me as we travel to Asheville, NC to share with firefighters and for a time of refreshing as we visit Melva’s family in HI. Also, please pray for the upcoming cowboy services and for those who cover our Saturday night services here. Thank You!
Finances: Your faithful prayers and support have allowed us to send emergency medical help to Cisco and Naomi in Mexico, help a recent high school graduate go to discipleship training, help a native evangelist/pastor in Kenya have life-saving medical treatment, and give away several hundred more firefighter New Testaments. In addition, you helped a team of local Christians travel to Rwanda where they saw a wonderful harvest of souls for the Lord! And of course, you helped Melva and me continue to serve here and around the country. Many are giving thanks to God for His provision through you! Thank you!!
Yes, it‘s a privilege to know, love and serve our Savior! It’s also a privilege to know each of you, and especially knowing that you’re praying for us each day. You are a blessing!
Rick and Melva Barton
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Rick Barton Ministires