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Betsy Tarr

Retired Missionary to Kenya, Hungary, Ukraine, and Texas/Mexico Border Ministries
"A New Plan"
By Rachel Elwood, Staff Writer, February 2015

Betsy Tarr’s 31 years of service with WGM have spanned the globe, including KenyaHungaryUkraine, and most recently, McAllen, Texas. But whether she was teaching at Kenya Highlands Bible College, serving as secretary and treasurer in Hungary, mentoring students in Ukraine, or sorting Box Tops labels in McAllen, she never lost sight of her goal to help others find hope in Jesus Christ.

Betsy was raised in a non-Christian, yet church-attending, military home. When she was 22, her home church in Florida held a revival. That day, Betsy was saved. Her family started attending a camp meeting, and there the Lord showed her the need to fully commit to Him. She went to Asbury College (Kentucky), where she met Bill, who was planning to go into the ministry.

Bill and Betsy were called to missions at Taylor County Camp Meeting in Florida in 1982, when Jim Hord was one of the evangelists and spoke about the millions of people who had never heard of our Savior. The Lord used that event to show them that He had a new plan for their lives, that He wanted them to be involved in full-time missions.

They were appointed to Kenya and served for two terms at Kenya Highlands Bible College, where Betsy taught and served in secretarial and accounting roles. In 1991, when the Soviet Bloc fell, Bill and Betsy were asked to help start WGM’s work in Hungary. They worked with a local denomination to establish the John Wesley Bible Institute and worked with youth and Bible studies. Betsy also served as field treasurer.

They then went to Ukraine, where they were heavily involved with Kyiv Wesley Bible College. Bill served in leadership and teaching at the school, which trained young Ukrainians to share the gospel with their own people. In addition to support roles, bookkeeping, and teaching English, Betsy especially enjoyed mentoring students outside of class, happily considering many of them her adopted children.

In 2010, Bill and Betsy again followed God’s leading; this time, it was to Taylor Christian School in McAllen, Texas. Bill enjoyed his ministry as lab facilitator, interim director, and teacher while Betsy served as hostess and in other support roles, particularly in organizing and collecting soup labels and Box Tops. These programs earned TCS valuable prizes.

On September 27, 2013, Bill passed away unexpectedly. Betsy returned home to Florida to care for her parents. She now lives in Tennessee. 

James 1:12 says: “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” With deep appreciation, WGM honors Betsy for her many years of service, for persevering under trials, and through it all, sharing the love of Jesus.

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