Love Forgives: Nicky Cruz (1938-present)

Happy Valentine’s Day! Have fun showing love and forgiveness to those around you. Today we are going to tell the story of Nicky Cruz, whose story God uses over and over again to bring youth to Himself.  

Nicky Cruz was born in Puerto Rico to a poor family who practiced witchcraft and he was abused often by his parents. At the age of 15 Nicky was sent to live with his brother in New York City. Already having lived a hard life, Nicky took to the streets and joined a gang called the Mau Maus.

Soon he became the leader of the gang and lived a life of hate and violence. Even after being arrested many times and watching his best friend die in his arms, Nicky was seen as a hopeless case. That was until he met a new preacher in town named David Wilkerson. 

Pastor Wilkerson was in New York City for an outreach to the gangs and the lost youth that lived there. He told Nicky that Jesus loved him. Nicky didn’t listen and spit on him and beat him up.

Pastor Wilkerson didn’t give up on Nicky, but kept telling him how God loved him. Nicky and his friends went to one of Pastor Wilkerson’s outreach events to cause trouble, but instead, they listened.  Many of them, including Nicky, gave their lives to Jesus and were born again.   

Soon after, Nicky went to Bible school to become a preacher himself, returning to New York to reach out to the troubled youth there. For nearly 60 years he has been traveling around the world, preaching the gospel of Jesus to millions of at-risk youth and reaching many others through the books he’s written about his story.   

But Nicky says the thing that means the most to him is when he was able to share forgiveness and the love of Jesus with his parents and brother. And they came to Christ!

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