Larisa Craig serves in the Eastern Sierras of California and Central Nevada. She works in 30+ communities partnering with churches to conduct a long list of ministries, including: after-school kids & youth Bible clubs, women’s Bible studies, 30+ vacation Bible schools each summer, the Eastern Sierra Bible Camp that hosts a men’s & women’s retreat, winter & summer Camp for youth, and other various ministries. For example, in 2005 Larisa began a Christmas outreach to children and teens called ‘Birthday Parties for Jesus’, where coordinators give small Christmas presents to nearly 500 children. They continue to share the gospel with children and adults who have never before heard it and offer the only present that some will receive during the Christmas season. In August of 2006, she began a one-week summer Bible camp in two small buildings with just one garden hose, one swimming pool, one range oven, five bathroom stalls, and over 100 children and staff. That camp has continued to grow and now reaches kids from up to four hours away. To complete all these ministries, Larisa travels between four and six thousand miles a month.
Larisa’s greatest desire is to plant seeds so that church planters can one day establish Godly churches in these communities. She has opportunities to work with multiple ethnic backgrounds from Hispanics to Paiute and Shoshone Indians, but most people she works with are simply people who are lost and in desperate need of a Savior. Larisa’s goal is to evangelize, disciple, and congregate the lost people of California and Nevada by introducing them to their Savior, Jesus Christ.
Larisa was born and raised in Newberry Springs, California. She grew up in a Christian home and accepted Christ as her Savior at the age of four. Serving with her parents, who worked with the American Missionary Fellowship, prepared her for a future in ministry. Larisa felt a kinship with David Livingstone’s Africa and the “smoke of a thousand villages with people who had never heard the name of Jesus.” On a mission’s trip to Nevada, at the age of 15, she saw children and adults, in her own country, who had never before heard of Jesus. At that time, she knew that her burden for America was given by God. Larisa met a young man named Mike who believed that missionaries were people who only came to rural parts of California and Nevada during the summer but did not “care enough” to live there all year long and share Jesus. It was then that it became her desire to be a missionary who stayed “forever.”
Larisa’s parents are career missionaries, so her childhood was filled with many opportunities to serve the Lord and attend small churches together. Her family is still very close and she continues to serve with them today whenever possible. Larisa is an aunt and considers herself a “surrogate” mother to the kids she works with.
In 2014, the Lord fulfilled the desire of Larisa’s heart to be a mom when a teenage girl from her ministry lost both of her parents. Rhiannon, Larisa’s adopted daughter, just began her freshman year at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona and is studying Psychology and Missions. Rhiannon also plans to bring the hope of Jesus to those who are broken by their own loss.
- BA Biblical Missions and CA Teaching Credential in Elementary Education (2002) Christian Heritage College
- M Div classes at Southern California Bible College and Seminary (2009)
- Red Cross Open Water, Lifeguard Certified