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Marriage, a baby and accolades for Larrita

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Larrita Adderley Richards and her husband Rasharn Delroy Richards on their wedding day (Photograph supplied)

Larrita Adderley Richards had a tough time in 2021.

She lost her job with a week’s notice and came close to being homeless.

She thanks God for turning her life around.

As the Christmas season neared she was hired by ER Aubrey Jewellers as a sales associate. A few months later she met and married Rasharn Delroy Richards; a baby is on the way.

In October came an unexpected reward. A client at the Queen Street jewellers was so impressed with Larrita that she nominated her as “an expert in the field of customer service”.

The category was a first for CICA International University & Seminary, which presents awards annually under the auspices of Word of Life Christian Fellowship, “the first and only full gospel organisation to be accredited by the United Nations with special consultative status in economic and social council”.

“It’s nothing but Jesus Christ; nothing but God,” Larrita said. “I've had a tough time in a short period of time. But God can turn things around.”

Larrita is well known as a singer and has also written three books. Float: Trusting in God to Carry You and In Your Throne Room: The Secret Place were released in 2020.

She published The Stain, a collection of poems meant to inspire people despite their challenges, the year she was laid off.

Larrita Adderley Richards (left) with Althea Winifred (Photograph supplied)

“The struggle is real but there's always been God about me,” she said. “Even though I might feel like I've just hit rock bottom, it’s God that does it; it’s God that blesses me. I don't give up. I’m a person that doesn't give up.

“I just never give up.”

She held steadfast to that belief when she was suddenly let go by Heritage Nursery and Preschool.

“You think ahead – they’re laying me off with a week’s notice, how am I going to pay rent? How am I going to tell my landlord? How am I supposed to get another job just like that?

“And then in the next minute, God just gives me a job – the very next day. My last day of work was a Friday. On the Thursday, I passed by Pembroke Seventh-day Adventist Church and prayed. I said, ‘Jesus, what do you want me to do? Because now I'm done.’”

A nursery behind the church caught her attention. Staff there put her in touch with Seasons nursery, where she started in a temporary position “pretty much the next day”.

Her housing situation was similarly worked out. She talked it over with a friend she ran into on the street and he said he would reach out to his contacts. A day later she was offered an apartment share.

Larrita Adderley Richards was recognised as an expert in customer service by CICA International University & Seminary (Photograph supplied)

“I was able to get a room just like that. And when the landlord went to Jamaica, I had the whole apartment to myself. It was really nice.”

Just as she neared the end of her time at Seasons, “ER Aubreys called”.

“That's how God works in my life,” said Larrita, who met her husband only a few months later.

“I knocked off from work one day and I saw him in Par-la-Ville parking lot working with one of my friends,” she said. “My friend was like, ‘Here's one here, I have one for you.’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, right.’”

Two weeks later Rasharn appeared at her home to do some landscaping.

“I talked to him that day. We dated that night and we haven't left each other since. Six months later I got pregnant,” said Larrita, whose wedding took place on May 1 last year.

“God’s turned my whole life around. I have an apartment, a real family.”

Larrita Adderley Richards (centre) with her father Harry Adderley and grandmother Mildred Blyden-Davis (Photograph supplied)

In the midst of all that, she was assisting Althea Winifred, a Bermudian who lived overseas and wanted to purchase jewellery from ER Aubrey.

“She is a chancellor at CICA International University and Seminary,” Larrita said.

CICA International has presented awards in Bermuda for seven years. The honours are given to roughly 100 Christians who “live and work and operate as chaplains in all they do by praying 15 minutes per day from their parish, ministering, helping, and serving the nation of Bermuda”.

Last year’s presentation took place at Willowbank Resort & Conference Centre.

“Dr Winifred told me to come so I went not knowing that I was going to get an award,” Larrita said.

The night’s programme was written on a placemat. Only when she turned it over to look did the sales associate realise she was herself being honoured.

“All I did was just serve her and she nominated me,” she said. “I got the award from CICA University and the United Nations and Word of Life. It’s the first time they’ve given out this particular award before and so it had to be approved by Dr Philip Phinn, the chancellor of CICA International.”

The award names Larrita as an “expert in the field of customer service” and grants her membership to the “most excellent order of international experts” and the right to use MOIE after her name.

“I’ve been through a lot. This is huge for me,” she said, expressing her gratitude to Dr Winifred and her bosses at work – Mark Aubrey and Linda and Peter Adderley.

“Every day because of the customer service at ER Aubrey, people send us e-mails about how good we are but that's it. You just never know. I never expected that. This is what I love to do. I love customer service. I love serving people. I love interacting with people.”

Although she has not “given up completely” on singing, Larrita’s focus at the moment is on her next book and her baby, which is due on August 24.

For more information on CICA International University & Seminary visit cica-international.org/

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Published February 03, 2023 at 7:48 am (Updated February 05, 2023 at 7:28 pm)

Marriage, a baby and accolades for Larrita

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