Introducing Summer 2018 Interns!

We had a lot of great candidates this year, and we are excited to announce our 2018 Summer Interns: Larissa Blevins, Hannah Nichols, Logan Schmidt, and Jillian Strouse.

Over the next few months, these students will be raising support for their summer of service, preparing for the Intern Retreat, studying our Team Leader Guide, and reading some recommended resources to prepare them for one of the most difficult and rewarding summers of their life. Please join us in praying that God will stretch them and use them in great ways over the coming months!

Interns serve all of our summer teams, and we want our 2018 teams to get to know each one of them! We’ve asked each intern to share a little something about themselves, in words and photos.

Summer teams will want to make special note of the interns’ favorite snacks and which one you’ll want to find if there is a spider to be killed! We’ve listed the snacks in BOLD below so teams can be sure to pack a few blessings for the interns when they go! 🙂

Larissa Blevins

Hey, I am so excited and grateful for the opportunity to return an intern this summer. I am from Bluefield, Virginia, and some may say I have a tad bit of a country accent. I learned the Creole phrase, “Pale Dousman!”, very quickly this past summer, which means “talk slowly”. I am a Junior at Johnson University (Knoxville, Tennessee), double-majoring in Elementary Education and Bible & Theology. Given my major and my job as a preschool teacher’s aide, one of my favorite pastimes in Haiti is to spend time outside with all the kids that hang out around campus. In the U.S., I can usually be found at the nearest Chick-fil-a, but since there is no Chick-fil-a in Haiti, team members can check the Gazebo, my go-to spot for refuge from the blazing sun.

Ever since my first trip in 2014 with Haitian Christian Outreach, I have come to love this organization and its mission. HCO’s example of loving and serving God and others has inspired me even more to be an example of that myself. During my time spent in Haiti this past summer, I fell even more in love with the country of Haiti, its people, its language, and its culture. I made lifelong memories and friendships, and I am planning to continue doing just that this summer. But more importantly, I am excited to be a light for God in this beautiful world He created.  My personal goal is to dive headfirst into whatever opportunities cross my path. I am ready to help any way needed, including taking care of any unwanted visitors on campus (looking at y’all: snakes, rats, tarantulas, and any other undistinguishable bugs!), as well as go on the occasional tarantula hunt with any team member brave enough.

On past trips, we took the interns their favorite snacks (*cough, cough*). I love Goldfish, chips (Doritos, Tortilla, Pringles etc.), apple sauce (the “squeeze and go” kind travels well), and microwaveable popcorn.

I am ready to spend the summer in Haiti meeting new people and seeing familiar faces, as well as learning more about myself, God, and all of the people I encounter. I am looking forward to “Loving God. Loving others. And serving both.” alongside my fellow interns, American teams, and my Haitian friends this summer. Thank you so much for your prayers, encouragement, and continued support for this summer!

Hannah Nichols

I’m from Westfield, Indiana, and I will be graduating from Westfield High School a few days before our team leaves for Haiti. Hazel Dell Christian Church is my home church, and I have been attending since I was in the second grade. Choosing to apply for the HCO internship was a very easy decision for me. My first mission trip with HCO was physically, emotionally, and spiritually impactful. Unlike my previous mission trips to Colorado, New Orleans, and Honduras, which were largely work based, my time in Haiti was largely spent building and growing relationships. I realized that this was the ideal mission field for me. HCO reminded me of something I had forgotten: the purpose of mission trips is not just to build infrastructure but to build disciples. My youth pastor reminded our team every day about the will and the work of the father: to die to oneself and make disciples. Throughout my life, I have felt God calling me to fulfill his will and work by becoming a full-time missionary, and an internship with HCO is another step toward that journey.

When my team and I traveled to Haiti to partner with HCO last summer, my favorite American snacks were goldfish, granola/cliff bars, and definitely Cheez-its.

It’s unlikely that I will kill a spider in the dorm room for another team member, BUT if it is necessary and the spirit moves me, I’ll kill it.

Last summer I noticed HCO heavily focuses on relationships, and I’m most looking forward to building new relationships and strengthening old ones. I can’t wait to return to all the kids I left behind in Haiti. Seeing their smiling faces was what I looked forward to every day last summer. Spending an entire nine weeks with them makes my heart feel like it’s going to explode! I’m also anticipating growing close with my other fellow interns. We will be spending a lot of time together, and I believe we can become really great friends. I am also most looking forward to immersing myself in Haitian culture. I have a soul that longs to travel and learn all I can about other people and their traditions and ways of life. I hope to learn some Creole in order to communicate on a deeper level with those I come in contact with and once again strengthen relationships.

I’m entirely ecstatic about this opportunity to be an intern with HCO! Thank you so much for supporting Haitian Christian Outreach!

Logan Schmidt

I am from Shawnee, Kansas (roughly 45 minutes away from Kansas City). I am interning at HCO in order to have the opportunity to help the people of Haiti through service, as well as to gain experience by helping out in the hospital since I am a pre-medical student at the University of Kansas. I fell in love with the country when I first visited during March 2017, and this is an incredible opportunity to come back to the place and people I love, all while learning and preparing myself for the future!

My favorite American snacks are definitely fruit snacks! Gushers are the best (obviously), but I like all kinds.

I’m not a huge fan of spiders, but have no problem with stepping on one when needed. I am more than happy to kill one if it means I won’t have to worry about it crawling near me or someone else.

While working with the hospital staff and the groups will be a great experience, I am looking forward to discovering more about the culture in Haiti the most! Being surrounded by all the wonderful people for the entire summer will truly be a life-changing experience.

A few other fun facts about myself are that I am an Eagle Scout, a Human Biology/Pre-Medical student at the University of Kansas (Rock Chalk!), and I enjoy traveling so that I can meet and connect with people from all over the world.

Jillian Strouse

I’m Jillian Strouse and I’m from Millersburg Ohio. I’m a psychology major/missions and bible minor freshman at Cedarville University. Haiti has a special place in my heart because there was a lot going on in my life the first time I went to Haiti and being there gave me a spiritual renewal as well as a heart for missions. I’m so excited to be interning in Haiti this summer! Being able to be immersed in the mission field for the summer is truly a dream come true. I’m looking forward to getting to know all of the teams and being able to work alongside others who have the same passion for others as I do.

Some of my favorite American snacks are anything fruity or gummy.

On to the spiders; killing spiders shouldn’t be a huge thing for me because last time I was in Haiti, my team was moving rocks to help build up the road outside of the camp and tarantulas love to hide in rock piles. Im a pretty experienced spider killer at this point.

I’m so excited to have this opportunity to serve alongside many others and to see how God works in myself, the teams, and Haiti!

Summer 2019 Interns
Each summer we recruit students, 18 years and older, who have served on at least one HCO short-term trip to be our Summer Interns, primarily serving our summer teams. Applications open each fall. If you think you’d like to consider becoming an intern, learn more on our blog.