Seminary graduate Dr. Leandro Tarrataca serves as president of ABECAR in Brazil.
Dr. Leandro Tarrataca graduated from Calvary Theological Seminary with a Master of Theological Sciences in 2007 and headed home to Brazil to put his degree to work. Now he serves as president of ABECAR (Brazilian Association of Culture, Education, Service, and Religion), a ministry focused on discipling believers through various forms. Tarrataca said, “The main thing we do is making disciples; that’s our Great Commission. In order to get that task done, we have different areas in process.”
ABECAR works to fulfill the Great Commission through strategic church planting, running children’s camps throughout the year, children’s programs, and media ministry. The camp program frequently involves teams coming from American churches to host English camps. The idea for the children’s program was developed by Tarrataca’s wife, Julie; she created a plan for buses to pick up underprivilaged children, who receive meals, help with homework, and recreation time. Tarrataca said, “It’s not only social work, it’s a social program because we want them to come to Christ.” He said over 1,000 children have been through the program, and as they grow up, they are becoming “doctors and dentists and teachers” instead of turning to drugs or other destructive habits.
The media aspect of ABECAR’s ministry sprouted from Back to the Bible’s work in Brazil, and follows a similar format. In the past, Tarrataca was “the voice of Back to the Bible to the Portuguese speaking world,” and he brings that experience to his current work developing podcasts and video sermons. He loves the analytics of modern technology that gives ABECAR statistics on their viewership base that has reached over 360,000 viewers in Brazil, Japan, and throughout Europe and the Americas. The media presence also plays a critical role in the educational side of ministry. ABECAR offers long-distance education across the country, supplemented with on-campus modulars that train believers and pastors in their faith.
When Tarrataca started his own education, he said, “[I knew] that I would be engaged with some sort of media ministry… that was my crystal-clear thing that I should be doing.” The other aspects of his current work—children’s ministry, church planting, and directing ABECAR—were unexpected. As he evaluated the ways God is working in Brazil, he said, “I really think we have to answer these things, not based on feelings, but on what Scripture says… I think our aim of making disciples is a biblical command… [and] we see people coming to Christ and being baptized… [So] first, what we’re doing is biblical; second, people are coming to Christ; and third, people are growing spiritually.” Based on that, he said he fully trusts that God is working in and through the ministry in Brazil.