From Byron Barret: December 2019
CCU Doctoral Student, Missionary To China
We have had protests in Hong Kong that have turned violent. In a previous update, I made a comment that they are slowing. On the contrary, last week we had some of the most extremes of demonstrations. A couple of the university campuses had become ground zero for clashes between demonstrators and police. The campuses were vandalized, and the public transport system was disrupted.
With the disruption of transport, I have been scrambling for transport to and from work; waking up early, walking more and praying more for Hong Kong.
The other morning while making my trek I found the bus terminus in Sheung Shui along with the area destroyed from a night of vandalism. The streets were covered with guard railings, boulders, and bricks that were taken up from the walkways. It was troublesome for the traffic to move around the area.
I decided that I would not make it to work and began my walk back home. On the way back, some of the local residents were cleaning up the mess. I did what any good Samaritan would do, I joined them. We began kicking the bricks to the side of the road, rolling boulders and lifting the heavy guardrails out of the way. I guessed it to be at least a quarter-mile of mess on both sides of the road. It was amazing to see more and more people join us as we neared the end of our task.
As I was leaving a small group of young protesters had been watching us. For some reason, they did not challenge us or come to stop us. We must have had angels surrounding us or the sight of an extra-large size American helping may have steered away from any thoughts they may have had of stopping the clean-up. I like to stick with the fact that our protection comes from God. The situation is serious, recently a man had been killed for arguing with the protesters in this same area. Praise the Lord, our duty was accomplished with no hindrance. I was amazed at what we accomplished with some caring residence and hard work.
While making my way home I was approached by a young man in his early twenties. He was one of the protesters, one of the people who made the mess we just cleaned up. He was so interested in me. Why did you clean up, who are you, what are you doing here? He was filled with questions. Obviously, I had his attention. Because of the violence going on I gave him a pat-down before I continued my talk with him. I asked him about his home life if he is being loved at home. He said he is being taken care of but not really shown love or have any expression of affection in the home. No hugs, no affirmations, or “I love you” while heading out the door for school. I told him that I love him, I care about him and concerned for him and the others that have been warring. Right there and then I gave him a hug and invited him to have a coffee with me.
It was more than just coffee; I spent a couple of hours with him sharing my life story and how God intervened in my life. God’s love, grace, and mercy through Christ is the major point of change in my life. I told him that Jesus died for everyone that we may all inherit eternity. He listened and listened and listened. I laid hands on him praying for him. He told me he had attended a Christian primary school. I made sure he knew that his curiosity in me helping to clean up was the spirit of the living God drawing him back. It was an amazing moment, and I believe that God is moving in this time of turmoil. It is time for the believers in Christ to rise up, do the work of an evangelist and engage in the ministry God has for us. Please pray for the young man that I met, believing that God’s work in his heart will continue.
Please pray for my protection as God has used me more than once in these situations. Pray that I use God’s wisdom and judgment as I go around Hong Kong. Also, pray for us as we have been passing out Chinese gospel tracks in the Sheung Shui and Fanling area.
We are pleased to be writing to you to highlight God’s faithfulness, filled with gratefulness for your prayers, especially during these troubled times here in Hong Kong. From the headlines in the news lately, I can see that Hong Kong is not the only one experiencing troubled times. Peace has become the world’s fight.
This Bible verse comes to mind in Luke 12:29 – 30
And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after and your Father knoweth that ye need these things.
In other words, do not worry your father knows what you need.
Byron & Emily Barrett
Hello! My name is Tony Romero. I am in ministry with Blue Letter Bible. In fact, I have had the privilege of serving with them 18 years next month. Wow how time flies! Really, I just celebrated my 60th birthday! I have just begun my Master’s program here with CCU.
Why did I wait so long? Well, it is very difficult in today’s world to find and online institution for advanced degrees (such as a Master of Arts in Biblical Leadership), that has a similar heart to our ministry. CCU has shown a strong support for not just the infallibility of Scripture but its inerrancy and sufficiency. I’ve looked around and this position is rare and wonderful to see. That is one reason I signed up. God set up the situation in many ways and made it evident to me that I was to go for it.
Self-examination questions. The other side of it…60 years old…really? I had not written a paper in over 40 years! Yet, I did well! Will the program tell me all things I don’t know? So far, I am learning many things that complete and complement my lifelong learning about God and (insert list of topics here!) Can I keep up? Yes. The program is designed to keep you on track with week by week assignments. Before you know it, you are done with the class! I am in the middle of my third course and I am finding a rhythm to the work each week. It does take a little bit getting used to the on-line interface but it works. Am I learning anything? Oh yes! I am indeed. I do believe that I am growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.” 2 Peter 3:18 NKJV
From the very first course, Foundations of Faith, I have been surprised by what I did not realize. Have you ever heard of George Muller? I had, but hearing is not the same as studying his life. This man was a man of faith like a Daniel. I read how George Muller so drenched his life in prayer, that he seemed to live a life of Hebrews 11 proportions. I know that we all pray. We ask in emergencies. We ask when our will seems thwarted seeking to know the reasons why. We pray when we gather together in our churches. We even pray when we are part of a small group interceding for others such as the sick or the lost. But this man, this George Muller breathed prayer. The very surrender of his soul to the will of God was a prayer. This man mimicked his Savior.
I was expecting, as many of us in the West often do, a course on “99 Ways to Improve Your Faith,” with the accompanying lists, charts, graphs, practice exercises, etc. My undergraduate degree is in general engineering so you have a general idea why I would say that. Yet with first book of the course, I got a narrative biography of a man dedicated to God’s will, yet not in the Bible, but very much in real life in London. This was a real man, with a real relationship with God, doing impossible things for incredible good. We also are very real people with a very real God, with Whom we can have a very real relationship. That is the purpose of the information we are studying. So, as I increase in grace and knowledge of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I do give Him the glory and thanks!
Blessings in Christ,
Blue Letter Bible
Calvary Chapel University has a number of students who are producing Doctoral Dissertations and Masters Thesis. As the CCU academic community has grown, we felt it was time to begin publishing these excellent works of scholarship for academic and spiritual enrichment. To cite from these works in APA style:
Last, First M. “Article Title.” Journal Title Series Volume. Issue (Year Published): Page(s). Website Title. Web. Date Month Year Accessed.
Calvary Chapel University Journals
Travis, James – Masters Thesis: How should Pastors and Elders coordinate leadership and decision making for the local church in light of their ultimate accountability to Jesus?
James Travis – Masters Of Divinity 2019
Calvary Chapel University
Supervisor: Dr. Joel Dover
Whether you are pursuing a Biblical Certificate, Bachelor or Master of Arts in Biblical Studies, or Master of Divinity, we have a new resource worth a gander – E.C. Bragg Digital Library. Part of the college experience is developing a love for lifelong learning, and who better to learn from than a veteran professor of Theology – Dr. Ervene C. Bragg.
The E.C. Bragg Digital Library at Trinity College of Florida consists of an online digital collection of the lectures, notes and writings of Dr. E.C. Bragg. This online library allows researchers access to re-mastered audio lectures on a variety of theological topics including Systematic Theology, Pauline Theology, Prophecy, Christian Apologetics, History of Missions, Christian Psychology, Hermeneutics, Harmony of the Gospels, and Comparative Religions. The E.C. Bragg Digital Library also features Dr. Bragg’s full-length text, Pauline Theology book, which takes a deep dive into the biblical teachings of the Apostle Paul.
Dr. Bragg taught at Trinity for 55 plus years and was the only professor to teach on all five campuses of the school. People have recognized him as the longest standing professor of theology anywhere in the United States and he estimated that he taught around 23,000 students. Dr. Bragg also served as Vice-President of Trinity College and was on the Board of Trustees from 1949 until his death.
For more library resources, visit the CCU Online Library Page