Calvary Academy Ministries
Calvary Academy Ministries
5400 Bethlehem Road
Mulberry, FL 33860

Local: 863-428-2071
Fax: 863-428-2584
Toll Free: 800-510-3989

The Words of a Calvary Student

God's Word has changed my life in many ways.

Donate Online

Donate online here.
Donate online today!

Stories of Hope

"The Shepherd Finds His Lost Lamb"

By Paul Marquardt

Calvary Academy Teacher

When people find out at what kind of a school I teach, they often remark, “That must be challenging...and rewarding.” Yes, it has been both. I have never set foot inside this building without first praying to the Lord. I cling to the Scripture verse, “As long as he sought the LORD, God gave him success.” (2 Chronicles 26:5)

One of these success stories involved a young lady of 16 who entered Calvary brimming with venom and obscenities. She cursed her parents for having sent her to a Christian school where she’d have to listen to the Bible. As she fiercely spoke to me about these things, the Lord filled me with a peace and hope that nearly made me smile. It was as though He said to me, “Don’t worry, Paul. She won’t feel that way for long.” 

Immediately I began several days of intense praying for her, and before the week was out, the Most High God answered my prayer. It was while I was teaching my students the “Parable of the Lost Sheep” and how our Lord Jesus searches for the lost ones and picks them up and carries them home on His shoulders, rejoicing that He has found His lost lambs. Tears ran down her cheeks as she told me she had been afraid the Lord would never be willing to forgive her and take her back after what she had done. From that day on, I saw her faith blossom. 

Shortly before she graduated from Calvary, she drew a picture for me which shows herself as an open flower and the Lord as a beautiful butterfly landing on her with the verse, “One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD.” (Psalm 27:4)

I am so thankful for the opportunity to teach these young men and women. The Lord always helps us with the challenges, and He has greatly rewarded our efforts. I am convinced that there will be people in Heaven because of our Lord’s ministry here.

"Something Had To Change!"

A Mother Shares Her Heartache.
“I have to get out of this family before I kill someone!”

I heard my daughter’s words and stood stunned, watching her run outside, down the street and out of sight. The pain in my heart told me something had to change. I called my husband, then the police to report our daughter as a runaway and possibly suicidal, and then the Christian boarding school that we’d sent the application to last month. It was time to take her there...if we could find her.

Things were getting worse. Andrea hated us. She often “played us” against one another. We caught her using drugs and alcohol readily supplied by her new friends. Our pastor talked with her often. She had positive counseling at school. A psychologist worked with her. Yet Andrea was a pro at making every problem someone else’s fault. If we went two days in a row without a major blowup, it was a good week.

Putting the phone down, I thought about what I’d just done by making an “intake appointment” at Calvary Academy.    I should have been figuring out how to pay for it, but all I could think of was “will Andrea ever forgive us for sending her away?”

The police found her 24 hours later. When we picked her up, she was sullen, angry and coming off drugs or alcohol. A few days later we told her about Calvary. Her reaction? “Cool.” She was willing to go anywhere rather than live with us. So we took her to Calvary Academy, somehow got through the intake process and left.

Six blocks later my husband pulled the car to the curb, leaned across the seat, put his arms around me and began to cry. We clung to each other sobbing and asking, “What kind of parents just dump their kid off with strangers?”

At home, though, it was a huge relief to know Andrea was safe. Our prayers now were that the Lord would work in her heart to make it possible for her (and us) to live safely at home together someday. Her Christmas visit came. We saw some smiles. They were beautiful.

Months slowly went by. Her letters and phone calls got better. Eventually we could see that our daughter was turning to Jesus for strength and guidance as she had when she was little. There were ups and downs, but finally things smoothed out. Finally Andrea came home for good. 

That was a couple years ago. This past year she even taught Sunday School and loved it! Things are good. We feel blessed. I only have one regret. I wish we’d sent her to Calvary sooner.

"I wear a cross with pride…"

We all come to Calvary Academy with certain expectations. Personally, the first time I came I thought it was going to be fun, like all those books I read as a child--books full of English girls doing each other’s hair and solving mysteries. I thought it was going to be a vacation away from my insane parents who were all bent out of shape over me using cocaine. It wasn’t a big deal. It wasn’t like I was a drug addict or anything!

Well, that’s what I thought until my parents re-enrolled me last January for the same reasons they did the first time. By then I had been hospitalized twice, kicked out of my home, and seen many doctors, psychiatrists, therapists, and counselors all because of my drug use. Returning to Calvary was my family’s last resort for me. It was my last chance to get my act together, and thanks all to the Lord, I graduated from Calvary this June.

But backing up, when I came the first time, it was definitely a rude awakening. My parents and I pulled up to a brick building that was smaller than I had imagined. When I went inside, it was worse. I hated it! I hated having no freedom and being treated like a child. Barely a day went by when I wasn’t being reprimanded for something. Then I left for summer break and convinced my parents I was cured and didn’t need to return in the fall.

Instead, my parents enrolled me in another private Lutheran high school where I lasted maybe three months before I started using again. This time it didn’t take my parents years to find out. This time they were more hurt and much angrier than before. My parents kicked me out, so I spent the next few weeks living here and there at friends’ houses, finding out who cared and who really didn’t.   While I was out, I had a spiritual awakening. I know it might sound hokey, but the Lord truly found me. I was at my worst, but the Lord still loved me and cared for me.

I signed myself into drug rehab the next day. I moved back home when I got out and shortly afterward, my parents re-enrolled me at Calvary.   Now 18, I have graduated from high school and will be going to college in the fall.

I have found a peace in the Lord that drugs were never able to give me. I have hit bottom and I know what it feels like not to have anyone. I know what it feels like to be alone. Today, I wear a cross with pride, and every day I give thanks for the changes that Jesus has made in my life because for that I am truly grateful.

        Cara, A Recent Calvary Academy Graduate

Broken No More

In The Words of A 9th Grade Young Man

Calvary has changed me in so many ways. It has taught me love. It has taught me peace. It has taught me joy and respect. But the best thing it has done for me is Calvary has helped me strengthen my faith in God.

I had some bad habits that Calvary really helped me kick. Before I came here, I was lost. I’ve been here for several months, but now I am found. Thanks to God and Calvary, my family is broken no more. I am not the only one changing. My whole family has changed.