God has expanded the HCO team to handle the growth He is bringing to the scope of our mission work! In 2018, we updated our child sponsorships to connect sponsors to individual children. In just six short months, God provided 415 children with their very own sponsor! We knew we would want someone special to steward and nurture these sponsorships once we reached this kind of growth. Through much prayer and many conversations, God provided again by adding Larissa Blevins to our team in a part-time role as Child Sponsorship Coordinator.
Larissa has been a great volunteer with HCO as the lead intern for the summers of 2017 and 2018. She has the language skills and Haiti knowledge to lead well in this area. But more importantly, she has the heart for our schools and children and understands the special nature of a sponsorship relationship. As the Child Sponsorship Coordinator, Larissa will manage and collect student profiles, visit churches for Child Sponsorship Days, and work alongside our team in Haiti to introduce sponsors to their student while on a short-term trip.
Larissa is originally from Bluefield, Virginia, but she has been living in Knoxville, Tennessee and will receive her degrees in both Elementary Education and Bible & Theology from Johnson University in May 2019. She will then begin her master’s in Holistic Education, finishing in May 2020.
We asked Larissa to share a bit of her testimony so you can get to know her even more:
Ever since I was little, I have always wanted to be a teacher and a missionary, even though I did not know and had not talked to anyone personally who was a missionary. When I am finished with my degrees, I want to teach in a Title 1 school in a low socio-economic area. So, I’m on my way to becoming a teacher. As for being a missionary, I always wanted to go on a mission trip but did not have the opportunities or resources to do so until my first trip to Haiti with HCO in 2014. Ever since my second trip in 2016 and my two internships, I have been hooked.
My Haitian friends in Peredo gave me the nickname “Lavi-sa” which means “this life”. They thought it was the funniest thing, especially Belizaire.
The school house in Peredo is and always will be a special place for me. It is where I have experienced those “goose-bump” moments that I credit to God’s doing. It is where my personal relationship with God started – where my religion was no longer “my parents” but was mine. It is where I went to do my devotions or to have time to myself. That school house has heard my songs of worship, my laughs, and my cries throughout my time spent in Peredo. At the start of my first internship, my goal was to get to visit all of HCO’s schools and students because of my future career as an Elementary teacher and my genuine love of children. With this opportunity I will get to do just that!
Please help us welcome Larissa and join us in praying for her as she serves the Lord in this way!