Building Trust and Community One Backpack at a Time


After 20 years of addiction, Maria is desperate for change. She still remembers the last time she used — it’s been just four months. Now pressure mounts as she anticipates eviction from her home. Keenly aware of her vulnerable position, Maria sees two options: Follow the weary path back to addiction or ask for help.

Praise God for Maria’s courage to ask for help in 2015 and for the response of a nearby church. City Church of Compton met her need for school supplies through Cru® Inner City’s “PowerPacks™” program. Used by churches to reach their neighborhoods, the program provides backpacks filled with school supplies and a gospel message for children. This sparked Maria’s interest in Jesus, the One who prompts such care.

Now, Maria’s priorities are radically different, though still marked by the lasting scars of addiction. Two of her four grown children are addicted. At the same time, other relationships in her life have drastically changed — her relationship with God and growing relationships with Christians.

Maria relies on God to remain drug-free. “I never want to go back to drugs,” Maria says. “I could never have done this by myself; it was God.”

City Church of Compton remains a place of strength and refuge for Maria. Cru Inner City staff members continue meeting needs in this community. In the process, they connect people to Jesus, the ultimate source of hope.

What about you?

How have you been impacted by addiction, directly or indirectly?

How might your church provide a safe place for those wrestling with addiction?

Is your church interested in connecting with Cru® Inner City? Learn more about how your church can get involved.

Are you looking for help with addiction? 

Many churches offer excellent recovery programs. Reach out to find support in your community.

“... He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free.”

Luke 4:18 (NIV)

Options Together

Addiction, among other factors, can result in or be an effect of poverty. Consider this Cru® Inner City resource, Options Together: A Biblical Guide to Understanding American Poverty, to learn more about how God calls Christians to care for those who experience poverty.

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Melissa Long
Words by

Melissa Long

Melissa Long serves as a writer for Cru®. As a native of Lookout Mountain, Georgia, Melissa appreciates the deep quiet of forested mountains. She currently resides on the edge of a wooded swamp in Florida with her husband, two kids and a devoted but somewhat deranged cat named Maple.

Contact Me


Read more from the July 2020 issue


Reflecting Jesus in These Hard Times

Michael and Helene Ferchak, a couple homebound because of the COVID-19 pandemic, received a small gesture from their family that deeply encouraged them. See how you can do something similar.

July 2020

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