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Nicky Cruz was the leader of the toughest gang in New York City.

His Satanist parents abused him brutally, so he grew up a hardened man void of love and full of hate.

“I wanted to do to others what my mother did to me,” Nicky says. “I used to feel good when I hurt some people.”

But privately, he didn’t feel good.

“Privately. When I was alone, loneliness became like a seductive woman that crawled inside my chest and [ate] me. I was there twisting and fighting; I felt so lost.”

Only two people saw the desperate condition of Nicky’s heart. One was a psychologist.

“He told me about five times. ‘There’s a dark side in your life that nobody can penetrate. Nicky, you are walking straight to jail, the electric chair, and hell. There’s no hope.’”

The other was a pastor named David Wilkerson. He risked his life to tell Nicky there was hope.

“I heard his voice: ‘God has the power to change your life.’ I started cursing loud,” says Nicky. “I spit in his face, and I hit him. I told him, ‘I don’t believe in what you say and you get out of here.’”

Nicky never expected what he heard Wilkerson say next.

Wilkerson replied, “You could cut me up into a 1000 pieces and lay them in the street. Every piece will still love you.”

Nicky says, “It did damage. Good [damage] in my brain and in my heart. I began to question, and for two weeks I could not sleep thinking about love.”

Nicky and his gang showed up at one of Wilkerson’s rallies. One by one, they gave their lives to Christ. It was the crucifixion – Jesus’ death on the cross -- that grabbed Nicky.

“I was choked up with pain, and my eyes were fighting and tears became to come down and more tears and I was fighting and then I surrendered,” says Nicky. “I let Jesus hug me, and I let my head rest on His chest. I said I’m sorry. Forgive me, and for the first time, I told somebody I love you.”

The love Nicky got in return radically changed his life.

“When I had opened my eyes, I got a new heart. I’d been born again. I’m a child of the Lord.”


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