Inner City

New Backpacks, New Hearts

Samuel Ojeda uses PowerPacks to meet a spiritual need.

Lauren Nicole Langston and Sarah Martin

One backpack was all it took for Pastor Samuel Ojeda to have the opportunity to share the Gospel with 27 people.

His church, The Last Call, has been in partnership with Here’s Life Inner City for the past few years. The 75-member congregation is passionate about outreach, which is why they jumped at the chance to be a part of giving out PowerPacks, backpacks filled with school supplies, to children in inner-city Orlando.

“It’s a matter of what our community needs. That’s what we’re about. What does the community need from us so we can serve them better? We have the resources to meet those needs,” said Pastor Samuel.

Giving out PowerPacks is not only meeting a physical need; it opens the opportunity to meet a spiritual one as well.

“I want… their hearts to remember that the church was there. Whether or not they come back, they have the memory that the church is a good thing,” he said.

But it’s not only people’s perception of the church that’s changing; their view of Christ is changing as well.

Pastor Samuel met four drug dealers at the PowerPack drive last fall. One of them stood in the doorway drunk as the congregation worshipped.

“The ushers looked at me, and I said to leave him alone. He doesn’t think he’s coming in, but he’s coming in,” Pastor Samuel said.

It wasn’t long before the man not only came in but fell to the ground and wept as he crawled to the alter on his hands and knees. That day he put his trust in Christ, and is now one of the best evangelists Pastor Samuel knows.

Not just backpacks are being opened; hearts are being opened too.

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