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Calvary Grad Uses Media in International Ministry

Calvary Grad Uses Media in International Ministry

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.

Dr. Tarrataca with wife Julie, son Leonardo, and daughter Melina.

Dr. Tarrataca serves as president of ABECAR, a distance learning system that is roughly translated, “A theological faculty as close as your television.” 

Dr. Tarrataca’s personal website is “Communicating Hope in the Digital World.”


Calvary Alum Directing Amazon Project in Brazil

Calvary Alum Directing Amazon Project in Brazil

Gary (back, center) and Sandy (front, second from left) serve with Word of Life Bible Institute in Brazil.

Calvary “Pushed” Him Toward Missions

Calvary alumnus Gary Parker serves with his wife, Sandy, with Word of Life Bible Institute (WOLBI) in Brazil, The Amazon Project. Parker said this ministry has three major foci. The first is “to evangelize and disciple young people,” by means of camping ministries, a K-12 Christian school, sports ministries, and teaching the Bible in public schools. Their second focus is the Missionary Training Institute, offering one-year, three-year, and five-year tracks. Parker said the three-year program is the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree in missiology, while the five-year program partners with online Brazilian universities to give students training in missiology and a university degree.

“The focus is to train Brazilian young people to be missionaries, to take the gospel to places where it’s never gone before around the world,” Parker said. The institute trains students in a variety of skills, including first aid, mechanics, agriculture, literacy, sanitation and water supply, and food preparation.

The third focus of WOLBI in Brazil is a church planting ministry on the Amazon River. WOLBI has a team of missionaries that go out on boats doing survey work to identify communities that are open to churches, then teams of church planters plant churches in the identified communities. Parker said, “As those churches begin to be established, of course, in all of these communities there are young people, so the cycle starts over.” All of the youth ministries are functional on the Amazon on a different scale, including camps, schools, and “floating seminary.”

Parker said, “I see God moving in the Brazilian church and in the hearts of Brazilian young people to not only take responsibility for finishing the job of reaching the nation of Brazil with the gospel, but also having more and more of a vision for reaching the world with the gospel.” He also mentioned how Brazil is uniquely positioned to reach the Muslim world, “because all the Muslim countries hate America, but they love Brazil because of soccer… And so Brazilians have open doors.”

Parker, who serves as Executive Director of The Amazon Project, discovered Calvary when their music team performed at his church in high school. He came to Calvary pursuing pastoral studies, but “a lot of things changed in my heart, and I ended up going back to Brazil where I was born to be a missionary.” While he was at Calvary, his parents returned to Brazil to start a new ministry with WOLBI. “They needed somebody to come with them,” Parker said, “to learn with them and grow with them… and I was looking for something to give my life to.” Now he oversees the various ministries in Brazil, raising funds, and representing the ministry in conferences and promotion. “Think what Dr. Cone does for Calvary, and that’s what I do for Word of Life.”

Parker said, “I believe we have one job description, and that’s making disciples in all nations. Whatever our occupation, we should have the nations in mind.” He looked to his time at Calvary as one of the factors that pushed him towards missions. “The time that you spend in college is a time where you begin to identify how you find your abilities, talents, and opportunities best aligning with that mission… so whatever you’re doing, whether you’re building widgets or preaching, the purpose behind that is the mission of making disciples globally.”

Be our guest for Calvary Days: Experience Student Life at Calvary

Be our guest for Calvary Days: Experience Student Life at Calvary

See for yourself what life is like as a Calvary University Warrior!

Calvary Days provides high school juniors and seniors, and college freshman transfers a chance to meet current CU students and professors, stay in the dorms, eat in the Student Life Center, sit in on college classes, attend an assembly, enjoy a CU theatre production, and so much more.

Calvary Days 2020 is scheduled for March 12-14. Be our guest and let us introduce you to student life at Calvary University in Kansas City, MO. Click here for more information and a registration form.

The Baby’s Name

The Baby’s Name

“For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us… And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.”

Isaiah 9:5-6

Dr. Steven Boyd is the Director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Creation Studies (CICS) and Research Professor of Old Testament and Semitic Languages for Calvary University

When I first heard the magnificent strains of “Unto Us a Child is Born” from Handel’s Messiah, I didn’t know that its text was drawn from the sublime poetry of Isaiah in chapter 9, verses 5–6 (verses 4–5 in the Hebrew text). I have since learned that in those verses, Isaiah introduces the Child-Son, whose four-fold compound Name refers not only to His humanity but also to His deity.

The first Name, often translated as two, ‘Wonderful’ and ‘Counsellor’, is better understood as one phrase: “Wonder Purposer.” The first part of the Name refers to the quality of the supernatural from a verb which means ‘adviser’. But to Isaiah, it connotes the unthwartable plans and purposes of God which shall certainly come to pass.

“Mighty God” is best translated as, “God the Hero.” The word I translate “Hero” is used of one characterized as powerful, hence a ‘hero’ in the sense of a mighty warrior. Isaiah depicts God as a mighty warrior donning armor to save His people (Isaiah 59:15–17; 63:1). It is a name akin to “Jesus,” which in Hebrew means “the one who will give victory.”

The third name, “Father of Eternity,” can be understood in two ways: (1) the One who is eternally a Father and (2) the Progenitor of eternity. An approximate New Testament analog is “through whom He made the ages” (Hebrews 1:2).

Finally, He is called “Prince of Peace” (“Monarch of Well-being”) which speaks of the Child’s purpose in bringing reconciliation between God and man. The word usually translated “prince” is connected to the Akkadian word for king, and the word often translated “peace,” refers to a wholeness, an unbrokenness which He restores by taking our punishment upon Himself (Isa. 53:5–6)—the “peace offering” which celebrates the return to “at-one-ment” with God!

A Blessed Christmas to all in His Name!

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Waiting

Waiting

“Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him.”

Psalm 37:7

Karen Hange is the Program Director of Elementary Education and Assistant Professor of Elementary Education at Calvary University

Waiting.

It is not something many of us like to do. We live in a world where we try to minimize our waiting time by calling ahead for reservations, ordering our groceries online, and quickly becoming impatient in the drive-through with the cars ahead of us. We fret at the red lights and look for the shortest line at the checkout. We tap our fingers incessantly when being put on hold and sometimes decide to hang up and call back later. Waiting is something we all try to avoid.

Waiting is sometimes the way God teaches His biggest lessons.

The Israelites were waiting for centuries for a coming Messiah. Simeon was waiting in the Temple to see the One promised by the Holy Spirit. Believers today are waiting for the second coming and return of our King.

But how do we wait?

We are told to wait patiently. Isaiah 40:31 says that strength is renewed for those who wait. Isaiah 26:8 says that as we wait for the Lord, his Name should be the desire of our souls.  Can you feel the expectancy…not in an impatient way, but in a way that eagerly anticipates the good things that God has in store?

It seems a bit like the picture of the children waiting for Christmas….gazing expectantly under the tree…waiting for the good things that they know are hidden beneath the brightly wrapped paper and bows. They are so eager. They can hardly contain their joy. They wait expectantly.

This Christmas, as we wrap our gifts so that the recipients can experience the joy of the anticipation of unwrapping, may we be reminded of the joy that God desires as we wait expectantly for His return. Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus.

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Director of Advancement Awarded in National Contest

Director of Advancement Awarded in National Contest

Either we truly believe that God is God, or we crumble when we face difficult circumstances.”

Glennis Lamb, Director of Advancement and PhD student at Calvary, recently received an honorable mention award in a national essay contest. 

At the urging of some of her graduate professors, Lamb entered the contest which was sponsored by Townsend Press. Townsend was soliciting articles on “What do you believe, and how did you come to believe it?” offering awards and essay publication.

Lamb explained, “I wrote about how tragedy has a way of truly defining what we believe. Either we truly believe that God is God, or we crumble when we face difficult circumstances.” Her essay detailed struggles in her life and how she came to a deeper belief in God through them.

In her article, “The Ultimate Goal: Allowing Tragedy to Shape My Deepest Beliefs,” Lamb wrote that the question she wrestled with was, “Do I really believe God is God?” Through the painful experiences she faced, she found that God was ever faithful.

Lamb discovered Calvary University through her son, who recently graduated with his Bachelor’s Degree from the school. She followed him to Calvary shortly thereafter to complete her own Bachelor’s degree in Bible and History. After graduating with her undergraduate degree in just two years, she completed her Master of Arts in Bible and Theology and started in Calvary’s PhD program. She was hired as Director of Advancement in September of this year.

“My big goals are, I want to teach…” Lamb said, “and I want to write curriculum from an apologetics point of view. And I’m a real big history buff… I’m actually thinking about starting on my master’s in History.”

She is excited about her opportunities here at Calvary, both in Advancement and in investing in students’ lives. She has told more than one student, “If I can do this at my age… you can do this!” Lamb is committed to encouraging Calvary’s students to persevere and rely on God.

Looking toward the future, she said, “I will stay here as long as the Lord can use me here and as long as I am a blessing to others… I am sure I will go through many ups and downs, but being faithful to the Lord is the bottom line to my reason for working at Calvary.”