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Virginia Gartrell was raised in Brazil by missionary parents. After graduating from Gordon College in Massachusetts, working at Montreat College and further studies in Counseling at Georgia State University she returned to ministry in Brazil in 1979. She is mother to two grown sons, Andrew and Michael, who also reside there.
Virginia taught a year at the Edward Lane Bible Institute and subsequently at the Bible Institute of the North of the Presbyterian Church of Brazil while also being involved in Chaplaincy at the Fifteenth of November Christian School for several years.
Since 1991, Virginia has been related to Bethel Children’s Home in Sorocaba, SP about 60 miles west of the megacity of São Paulo. Bethel Children’s Home is an institution of the Independent Presbyterian Church of Brazil founded in 1922 to meet the needs of children whose families cannot currently care for them.
After spending 2009-2010 in the USA, Virginia returned to Sorocaba, with the Latin America Mission to continue her role as Chaplain for the programs of Bethel Home as well as giving spiritual guidance and practical assistance to both the staff and the children at the Home.