Invited to Stop for the One
by Jess Luoma
These stories are a testament to our continued volunteer and donor support. To take part in the community transformation pioneered at Shasta Thrive and further testimonies such as these by volunteering, contact us here! To contribute financially, donate here! Thank you for partnering with us.
Last month, we had the privilege of hosting a team of students from all over the world with the desire to learn how to reach our homeless community and to implement what they learned to form a lifestyle of stopping for the one in their own cities.
We could not have planned for or expected all that God would do over the course of our time together. We set out with one goal: to love and to be led.
Love is a beautiful strategy. It remains relational and has eyes to truly see someone and speak directly into their life. The language of love in this context may sound like authentically listening to someone's story, sharing a meal, encouraging them in their purposes, laughing together, getting them into recovery or safety, and even in our case, herding cats. We bring who we are and meet people where they are, in love, connection & compassion.
While some students had close family ties to homelessness, many had never reached out to the marginalized, though compassion swelled in each heart present. Sometimes you see the problem, you know something needs to be done, but you just don't know where to start.
Our Shasta Thrive lead advocates provided training and wisdom from their lived experience in serving this community over the last decade. We introduced our four step model of recovery, provided resources, and molded mindsets around the highest goal: relationship above transaction.
"Stop for the one. It’s about being relational NOT transactional." -Kimberlina Lopez, Alaska
Olivia Dunkley, a student from the UK, said her biggest takeaway was, "the wisdom and experience of the leaders - how they handled challenges & build relationships. I felt encouraged to listen to Holy Spirit and practice doing what He is doing and saying what He is saying."
At Shasta Thrive, we recognize that the only real way to do this work, is to join the work that the Father is already doing. He loves His children more than we ever could and will never stop pursuing a life with them.
"My biggest takeaway was the realization that the people that society has written off, the drug addict and homeless, are God’s most precious treasure. They are the army He is rising up," says Audrey Turnbull, Canada.
When we can stop for one person, speak into their life and give them hope, it can propel them forward in beautiful ways. When we show up a second time & care for their immediate practical needs as well, we begin to display the care of a family. Often times, the cause of homelessness is the breakdown of family and the roots of addiction are trauma. When we help pull these precious ones out, restore their sense of purpose and safety, they are often incredibly empowered and motivated to do the same for their friends still out there.
"The homeless are regular people like us, their hearts have just been broken and they are hurting and are more approachable than I thought." -Rebecca Fischer, Redding
If you would like to join us for training and outreach, please reach on our Advocates for Community Network where we will support you in playing the role you feel is stirring in your heart for our homeless friends and community members.
If you would like to support our non-profit and further opportunities such as these, your funding will go towards the transformation of homeless lives. We can't do it without you. Donate now!