Introducing Summer 2021 Interns

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Please help us welcome our 2021 Summer Interns: Rebecca Rivers, Blaine Hoxworth, and Nazara Stoner!

Between now and summer, these students will be raising support for their summer of service, preparing for the Intern Retreat, studying our Team Leader Guide, brushing up on their Creole, and reading some recommended resources to help 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 2021 teams to get to know each one of them! We’ve made it a habit to ask the interns about favorite snacks and have listed those in BOLD below so teams can be sure to pack a few blessings for the interns when they go!

Rebecca Rivers, Lead Intern

Hi everyone, I’m Becca! I am so so excited and thankful to have the opportunity to return to Haiti for a second summer and serve with HCO as the lead intern! I live in Arizona and have been here for 6.5 years; I grew up in Maine. I love living in the desert (yes, even in the summer… but thank you God for AC)!

I am in the last semester of my Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work at Arizona State University; I graduate in May, I can’t believe it!! I’m in the Child Education Welfare Program, which means that the Department of Child Safety is paying for my school then I work for them for two years after graduation. I would love to get my MSW after that so I can practice more effectively with communities internationally and be able to help through my heart for missions and social work combined.

I decided to come back to Haiti for the summer of 2021 because God so strongly has my heart there and has been calling me there for a while. I knew when I was leaving last time that I would be back again sometime and somehow. I am very thankful that happens to be with this incredible organization again and I can’t wait to see what God does!

My favorite snacks, while I’m in Haiti, are healthy ones that provide energy and nutrition for the long hot days; RX bars (of any flavor) were my go-to for day trips. I also loved having Terra vegetable chips to add some variety to the PB&J sandwiches we frequently ate, but any type of chip or snack mix is nice if you can’t find those. I’m not picky and would be thankful for anything!

Each season, God speaks to my heart with different Scriptures and each is so special. I have a deep love and hunger for the Word, knowing and loving verses and passages in context, and using it as the sword it is. Verses that tell me about Who God is are always a go to because focusing on knowing Him more and being a better image bearer and disciple is the goal. Currently, Matthew 28:18-20, Ephesians 2:1-10, and Romans 12:12 are my favorites that the Holy Spirit has been moving me with. Matthew 28:18-20 is the Great Commission; the last command Jesus gave and something I try to keep in mind every day when I am interacting with people. Ephesians 2:1-10 is a great summary of the Gospel, a beautiful presentation of what God did through Jesus, and has some powerful truths about our identity in Christ; I love it and you should go read it and ask the Holy Spirit to speak Truth to your heart! Romans 12:12 has been my key verse for the difficult season I have been in for the past couple years and the one we all are facing now. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

God has taught me SO much and grown my level of faith and trust in Him through the pandemic. At the beginning of the pandemic, I was worried about the isolation. I had just come out of a season of depression and self-isolation after returning from my first summer serving in Haiti; I was hurt, upset with the lifestyle here, felt I did not have people who cared about or understood what I had just experienced, and felt I had lost my community because I moved to a new school and church within weeks of returning. I had fallen into a pit, but God graciously pulled me out of it at the beginning of 2020, and when we went into quarantine, He convicted me and encouraged me to not slip back into that tendency to isolate. He put it on my heart to be intentional with people and relationships in my life and steward what I had. I connected and reconnected with lots of people through technology, had endless video calls, shared my testimony on social media, shared the Gospel with technology, etc. Keeping the Lord at the forefront, being faithful in prayer, and finding ways to share His love kept me going.

He exposed some idols and wounds in my heart over the past 9 months, too. When I found out the interns could not go to Haiti last summer, I was very sad, but God used that to show me I was making that an idol over His will and plan for me. So, I prayed about what to do with the time since I was left with a sticky situation (my job had a replacement already and I had to move out of my house in May and did not have a place to go). God put a domestic organization I had previously connected with on my heart, so I reached out to them and got to go serve there as an intern for the summer. It was incredible, moving, powerful, and absolutely God appointed. I am beyond grateful for the experience. Through all this, I have a deeper desire to be fully surrendered to God and His timeline, for the Holy Spirit to have more control, for full obedience, and to be open to whatever God wants of me. I am so thankful for a loving, gracious, patient, healing, restoring, providing Heavenly Father who does not stop moving just because the world erupts into chaos

 

Blaine Hoxworth

I am from Millersburg, Ohio, which lies between Columbus and Cleveland, and is surrounded by a large Amish community. It is a small town, but I love living here because of the closeness of my community. I graduated from West Holmes High School in 2020 and currently attend Muskingum University. I plan to graduate in the Spring of 2023 with a teaching license for Early Childhood Education (K-5) and Special Education (K-12).

I decided to apply for the internship because I went down to Haiti in the summer of 2019 and fell in love with the people and the country itself. I have always wanted to do missions and thought this could be the perfect opportunity to continue God’s plan that he has for me! And to be the hands of feet of Jesus!

Some of my favorite snacks include fruity candy-like starbursts and skittles, whales and goldfish crackers, and also trail mix.

My favorite Bible verse is Jeremiah 29:11 which says, “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you, and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.” I love this verse because I feel it is so true with all of the challenges I have faced in my life. It is also in the movie Soul Surfer, which is one of my favorite movies!

I have been keeping busy during the pandemic knitting washcloths, doing a lot of bike riding with my siblings, I taught my dog how to run beside us while riding our bikes, and even learned how to spin a pillow on my finger! The biggest lesson I’ve learned through the pandemic is to not take things for granted. Through this time I have realized how much I have to be thankful for and to be focused on being grateful for what I do have, instead of being ungrateful for what I don’t.

Nazara Stoner

I am from Zanesville, Ohio, but recently moved to New Concord, Ohio with my husband. New Concord is a very small town, but there is a strong sense of community, support, and love. I love that our community is so close, but welcomes everyone. Last year I attended a regional campus of Ohio University in Zanesville, studying Pre-Medicine in Biological Sciences. My priorities have changed, and I will be starting the nursing program at Muskingum University in the fall of 2021.

I am constantly praying for an opportunity to spend a significant amount of time serving in Haiti so that I can learn more, grow, and prepare myself for one day living and serving in Haiti full-time. I learned about this opportunity from Megan, HCO’s US Director and on the last day that I could apply, I felt an urge to apply. God was calling me to do it, and so I did. I am ecstatic to work and serve with HCO. Haitian Christian Outreach is doing so many amazing things, and I can not wait to get to serve and be a part of what God is doing with HCO in Haiti.

My favorite snacks are cashews, sea salt chocolate Kind bars, granola, and M&M’s.

I have several verses that really hold meaning and value in my heart, Romans 12:12, Matthew 28:19-20, and Jeremiah 29:11. I try to constantly remember Romans 12:12, as it an important guideline in the way I live my life. “Be joyful in hope, patient in tribulation, faithful in prayer.”

Matthew 28:19-20 is super important as it is Jesus’s calling to all of us: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

In Haiti, in 2018, I stood on top of a mountain with a coffee cup in hand and a heavy heart. That coffee cup was a gift from a friend, and something I almost did not take with me, as I was worried about the weight of my luggage. It read “‘For I know the plans I have for you’ declares the Lord, ‘Plans to prosper you, and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” I often overlook that verse just because of its contextualization and overuse, but in that moment, on top of that mountain, God whispered to me, “Just trust me.” And I did, I let go of my wants, desires, plans, and let him take complete control, and he did. I learned new things about myself, new talents, and desires. If we ever get the chance to talk, I will tell you about how God is still working in me because of that day.

When Covid first hit the US, my life didn’t really change. School transitioned to online, which I loved because it gave me a break, and I’m a bit of an introvert, so I wasn’t really a social person. But then everything kind of just stopped where I live and plans began changing for me. I was originally planning on going to Haiti in the summer of 2020, and when that got pushed back to the summer of 2021, I realized it would be very unrealistic of John and I to get married either right before or right after the HCO internship, move to a bigger city for school, try to find jobs, etc. So we got married in October of 2020, finished out the semester, and have changed our plans. God has done some big things for us, and I believe that we are right where he has called us.

My place of work never shut down during quarantine, so I have been working a lot of hours each week, and that has kept me busy. God also answered a long time prayer of mine. My family and I have grown so much closer. God has taught John and I, as well as my family, to cherish every moment with one another, to slow down, and that it’s okay to rest. Quarantine has also given me the opportunity to step away from my social media, phone, and to just be present in these moments where we can just take things slower.

I know the year has been so so hard for everyone, but I am blessed by what God has given me, I am thankful for the time spent with family, for these moments of rest, and for my marriage and all of the things that God has taught me through marriage.

If you would like to financially support our 2021 Interns, visit our GIVE NOW page on our website and choose “Short Term Trips” in the dropdown box. Be sure to mention who your gift is for or simply mention “Interns” in the comment box.

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