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"Once you take that time to hear somebody’s story, it changes everything.”

"Once you take that time to hear somebody’s story, it changes everything.”

Ryan LaSuer
Executive Director at Community Care Fellowship 

“Even at the age of 13 I had a draw to help others… I think it was my upbringing. Both my mother and my father. My mother still will take over any service project and make it her own and be the first person there and last person out. And my dad, I can vividly remember, the floods in Mississippi where he went down with the red cross and laid sandbags for a levy, and [the water] got to the top of the levy but did not spill over. The entire town was saved because of the efforts of all those individuals, and I remember him coming back and just sharing that with me. That was one of the first [moments I thought], ‘I want to have a story like that. I want to be a part of a story of salvation, in a lot of ways, not only spiritual, but just being able to play some role of empowering somebody to reach their full potential.’”

“I think my ‘sandbag moment’ was when I first came to CCF and God brought a family in alongside me, a family of 6 living in their vehicle, just trying to survive. I got to see myself in the father and how he was struggling with self-worth and purpose and how I would do the same in my own life. Being able to understand that and then to come alongside them, because that’s what’s amazing is sometimes it’s not the huge, programmatic vision. Sometimes it’s just sitting down and having a conversation like you and I. So sitting down with them on a daily basis, them and their family, and walking them through this journey of living in their car and going from that point to, through all of our partners, to where they were housed, he was working full-time, the family was in school. Just that impact and that growth process that we both went through together. That was the very first ‘sandbag moment’ of ‘this is what it’s all about,’ being able to empower individuals that are ready to move out of this place that they’ve come to. And how you begin to understand that it could be any of us. It wasn’t by any fault of their own. Once you take that time to hear somebody’s story, it changes everything.”