Justin Hendrix – Executive Director
I was born and raised in North Augusta, SC. I have a B.A. in Music and International Studies from the College of Charleston, an M.A. in Anthropology of Development and Social Transformation from the University of Sussex, and an M.Div. from Beeson Divinity School (Samford University). I now live in Richmond, VA. I attend Church of the Incarnation, and also serve as the Director of Worship there. Outside of work, you can probably find me reading, playing music, exploring my new city, or trying to play basketball.
My connection with Livada Orphan Care started in 2004. My neighbor took teams from our church to help with summer camps, and I loved it so much I went again the next three summers. That was the first time I had ever seen God at work outside the US, and I was hooked. Over those four years I built friendships and got to watch kids from camp and Livada’s group homes grow up. Once I started college, I went back each summer as an intern, helping facilitate the same camps I had volunteered at in high school.
In 2013, I moved to Romania for almost two years. I led Bible studies and mentored young men in high school who lived in our care or in state group homes, as well as some who had left the orphan care system and were working in town. I had known many of them since those high school mission trips ten years before. During the summers, I directed our summer camps (as you can see, I really like camp!). I left Romania in 2015 to begin my studies at Beeson Divinity School, and finished my Masters of Divinity last December.
Livada has had my heart for a long time. I have watched this ministry grow for 15 years now. God has brought forth fruit in so many ways—in the kids we serve, but also in all of us who have had the privilege of taking part. He has used my experience with Livada to shape me, and given me lifelong friendships in the process. I consider it a privilege to help lead an organization that has had such a profound impact on my own life.
From its beginning, Livada has been about “bearing fruit that will last.” We serve the abandoned, marginalized, and neglected. Their stories are sobering and their struggles are heavy. We want to care for their physical and emotional needs, but we also know that their only hope is a God who restores the broken. We will always be about evangelism and discipleship, because more than anything we want them to know Christ and what it means to follow him. Praise God for being the Father to the fatherless, the Son for bringing us into God’s family, and the Holy Spirit for always bearing witness to our own adoption as God’s children.
I am thrilled to be here, and grateful that we can labor in this together. Thank you for your partnership, and especially for your prayers.
Grace and peace,
Melissa Newton – Operations Manager
I have served as the Operation Manager previously from February 2014 until January 2015 when I left due to the birth of my daughter.
The year of 2014 serving on staff with Livada Orphan Care was quite trans-formative for me. I was able to visit Targu Mures two times that year, and had my heart stolen by the wonderful ministry and children in Romania. I am honored to be back and fully engaged in the operations of this wonderful organization.
I also work as a property manager for our family real estate investment business in Wichita Falls Texas, and try to spend as much time with my husband and daughter as I can.
Jennifer Howard – Finance Manager
I am a transplant to Dallas, but after 18 years I am happy to call it home. Though not a native Texan, the culture, lifestyle, land and folks started root in my heart right from the moment I landed here. The Texan principle of hospitality is at the core of everything I do, and I desire for every aspect of my life to be characterized by an open door, inviting others to come in, kick off their shoes and stay a while with a big ol’ glass of sweet tea. However, as a California native my heart still longs to wear flip flops each day under the warm sand and California sun (the Texas humidity is still not weather I am accustomed too).
My bachelor’s degree is in business economics from San Francisco State and I have spent my career working in Finance with a large Banking Intuition and a few Non -Profits. I have the utmost respect for those that spend their time and talents in the trenches with vulnerable populations such as orphans, special needs children and refugees. I have dedicated my time over the last 5 years using my financial skills and volunteer talents to help serve those Non-Profits that further engage in the fight for justice day in and day out for those less fortunate than I.
I am also a Wife, Mother and advocate for Special Needs education and intervention. I have traveled the globe with Non-Profits that do work in Europe, Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan and our own Targus Mures, Romania.