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Submitted On

Mar 27, 2024

Updated On



Stories from the boxcar


Michael Franklin Varro Jr



Word Count:




Christian. Spiritual




Voice tone:





Frank Varro, author of 'Stories from the Boxcar, ' is a retired Methodist pastor, prison and hospice chaplain, missionary, teacher, counselor, and musician. He is from a three-generation family of China missionaries. This 'Quilogy' (five-books-in-one) is the story of his paternal Hungarian-immigrant heritage, and his maternal-missionary heritage. It relates to his father's boyhood home-a boxcar on a siding in Regina, Saskatchewan-from which came his father's many stories and life's lessons, which is the theme of Dr. Varro's book, pictures of his own life, struggles, victories, and detours along the way. The journey takes us through his international childhood in Alaska, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and five states of the U.S. He graduated from Morrison Academy, a Taiwan missionary boarding school; he also graduated from Seattle Pacific University, where he met and married Margo Moore, his accompanist-now his wife of fifty-six years. The story goes on with their own radio and TV missionary work, and teachers at Taipei American School in Taiwan; it continues with the birth of their daughter in Taiwan, and an around-the-world trip through Asia and Europe; then back to Seattle at the University of Washington-earning a Masters of Music, and Doctor of Music Arts in Choral Conducting degrees. He taught elementary, middle school, high school, and college music in Taiwan, Seattle, Oregon, Ohio, and Texas. After fifteen years as teacher and college music professor, Dr. Varro held music positions in churches, and founded two community music ensembles. Following times of spiritual struggle and renewal, he graduated from Houston Graduate School of Theology with Masters of Divinity, Masters of Arts in Counseling, and Doctor of Ministry in Pastoral Counseling degrees. He trained and was Staff Counselor at Samaritan Counseling Center in Houston. He founded Varro Counseling, spending the next twenty-two years in pastoral counseling, free-lance music, prison, and retreat ministries, as an ordained minister, in first the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, then the United Methodist Church, and finally the Global Methodist Church.

The last two books outline his spiritual struggle and renewal before ordination. He and Margo are parents of Shelley, born in Taiwan; Steve, born in Oregon; and Rob, born in Ohio; they have five grandchildren, and one great-granddaughter. He and Margo have lived in Houston, Texas, for thirty-nine years.





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