October 2016: Barry Farlow
Barry Farlow (’99, ’03) serves as a professor at Seminário Batista Regular do Sul, a Bible college in Pinhais, Brazil. Located right outside the city of Curitiba, Barry helps meet the great need for training Brazilian nationals for ministry.
Barry grew up on the mission field of Brazil. When it was time for him to begin looking at colleges, the pastor of his family’s sending church, a Faith grad, recommended Faith. Barry began to look into Faith, and because of Faith’s sound doctrine and the testimony of several pastors who had graduated from Faith, he decided to attend.
Barry graduated from the Biblical Studies program with a Missions minor. Because of the flexibility the program offered, Barry even had the opportunity to study in Israel for a year. Throughout his college years, Barry’s ultimate goal was missions in Nepal. At that time Nepal was a creative-access nation, and no mission agencies in his circles could get him in. Barry appreciated Faith hosting many missionary representatives, and with each one he tried to look for opportunities in Nepal. Even after graduating—no leads.
Upon graduating, Barry began working full-time at Faith while seeking the next step from God. It was during this time that Barry reconnected with Ellen, a fellow missionary kid who grew up near the Farlows in Brazil. Barry and Ellen were married later that year. During that same year, the opportunity Barry had been waiting for finally opened up.
“I received word from one of the mission reps that I had talked to over the years,” Barry explained. “They were going to take a survey trip to Nepal. Since I had been bugging them for so long, they invited me to go along. I was excited at the prospect of finally being able to go to Nepal.”
The trip to Nepal went well, but as Barry reflected on the trip after returning, his assurance of missions in Nepal was not confirmed but rather dwindled. This was confusing to Barry, especially after pursuing Nepal for so long.
He returned to Faith to begin seminary. While working on his degree, he was encouraged to continue his education to pursue a doctorate. This would open up the door for future teaching opportunities.
“At that point I did not have really any direction in my life, and the idea attracted me. As I reflected on having grown up in Brazil and already speaking the language, I thought about all the people qualified to teach in the States, but how few there were available in Brazil. As I thought of the great need to prepare men for ministry in Brazil, I felt God redirecting my attention there.”
Barry and his family are now in their second term as missionaries in Brazil. As he reflects on his current teaching ministry there, he realizes how much his time at Faith impacted his ministry. Not only did Faith make an impact as Barry prepared to return to Brazil, but it continues to make an impact as current Faith professors occasionally teach module classes at the Bible college. As Barry prays for God to provide more laborers to train nationals in Brazil, it is clear to him that God has already blessed the college ministry in Brazil.