Pastor Nicky Cruz: Manhattan Grace Tabernacle
August 2, 2010 1 Comment
on Aug 22, 2010
Time: 1 p.m.
Event Location : 2929 Broadway 5th Fl.
Schedule is subject to change. For more information : Call 212.316.5848 or visit http://nickycruz.org/
Nicky Cruz was born to a family in Puerto Rico, into a home where his parents brutally abused him, both physically and mentally. His mother once said that she did not want him; his father would lock Nicky in a room full of pigeons. He was one of 17 brothers and sisters. Consequently, he was both abused and neglected.
As a young teenager, Nicky was sent to New York City, to live with his brother Frank. Upon his arrival, New York was in the midst of a bitterly cold, snowy winter. Nicky was ill-prepared for the weather, had no coat, and was seeing snow for the first time. Nicky would later describe an emptiness, a barren loneliness that gnawed at him in those days. Despite such a harsh arrival, Nicky decided to go solo and ventured onto the streets alone. He was attacked and viciously beaten by a gang leader, and then left unconscious, languishing in pain for ten days. Afterward, he would improve his fighting tactics, and sought out the gang leader, to avenge himself. He found the man, and beat him so badly that he was unconscious and bloodied.
Not surprisingly, he was the talk of the neighborhood, and became involved with a gang called the Mau Maus. This fearsome gang was named after the anti-colonialist uprising in Kenya in the 1960s. Nicky agreed to join the gang, and underwent their initiation ceremony; which rendered him unable to move for ten days. About six months later Cruz was elected Warlord of the gang, and eventually, they gained infamy as one of the most feared gangs of New York City.
Shortly after, a preacher by the name of David Wilkerson was preaching in the neighborhood when Cruz encountered him. The preacher told Cruz that God loved him and would never stop loving him. A shocked Cruz responded by slapping Wilkerson and threatening to kill him. Wilkerson looked Cruz in the face and said that he could cut Wilkerson into a thousand pieces, but every piece would still cry “I love you!” Wilkerson said that no one can kill love, and that God is love. That afternoon the preacher showed up at the Mau Mau’s headquarters to repeat his message, and was slapped again by Cruz. Wilkerson just smiled, and then prayed for Nicky.