Meet the Team: Kyle and Larissa Smith

This is part one of a series that features a different team couple.

Kyle was born to David & Virginia Smith in the summer of 1982, the middle of three brothers.  He enjoys reading, tinkering with computers, and spending time with friends.

Larissa was born to David & Diane Litton in the fall of 1981, the middle of three sisters.  She is an avid reader, loves photography, gardening and children.

They met in early high school when Kyle’s family began attending Shiloh Road church of Christ where Larissa had grown up.  (Coincidentally, also attending this church were fellow team members Bryan Tarpley and Greg McKinzie, with whom Kyle and Larissa forged strong friendships.)  The couple grew to be close friends by graduation but started dating only after heading off to different universities.  Not surprisingly, Kyle transferred to Abilene Christian University the next year. 

Throughout the years, various factors and experiences contributed to their desire to make ministry a priority.  They both had opportunities during high school to go with the youth group on Mexico mission trips and inner-city mission trips.  While in college, Larissa was blessed by two summer trips – one to Jinja, Uganda to work in the surrounding villages for six weeks and another to Itu, Brazil where she lived and worked at the Lar Christao (Christian Home), a small children’s home.  Kyle was able to spend two summers as a youth intern – one summer at Broad Street Church of Christ in Mineola, TX, and the next right back home at Shiloh Road Church.

During this time they stayed close to Greg and Bryan, who were a part of a Latin American missions interest group at Harding University.  When the makings of a team began forming in earnest, it did not take long for Kyle and Larissa to be brought into the conversation.  They met the interest group, considered, and decided to join Team [?]. (It wasn’t until later that Arequipa, Peru was chosen and we became “Team Arequipa”).  

Around the same time, they became engaged and were married on July 26, 2003.  They graduated in May 2004.  Kyle received a degree in Biblical Text and Sociology.  Larissa got her bachelor’s degree in social work.

They currently live in Memphis, TN with their one-year old cat, Naya.  Kyle manages a local computer repair store with plans to take classes at the Harding Graduate School located in Memphis.  Larissa is working with a property management company and hopes to pursue her master’s degree.  Her dream has always been to start a children’s home and become involved in international adoptions.  They look forward to serving the people of Peru.