Nicky Cruz Vulnerable to God

TO MEET NICKY CRUZ is to meet a true evangelist. Not the stylized, agenda-driven caricature of late-night cable. But an evangelist in the spirit of St. Paul—a disciple of Jesus "on fire" with the transforming power that comes from letting go of destructive life choices and giving your whole heart to God.

One definition of evangelist sums up Nicky's role in a ministry spanning the last 40 years—"He or she who goes forth with the spirit of the gospel message, not proselytizing; paves the way and lights the fire in the interest of spirituality for the structure to follow, and to share it no matter what."

On a rainy Friday night in midNovember, Nicky Cruz will take to the stage for the first of a two-night crusade at Dickinson High School in Jersey City, New Jersey, an innercity school dealing with encroaching violence—four shootings in neighboring schools in the last few months alone. Nicky knows firsthand about violence, and he knows the problems that inner-city kids are facing every day. Nicky himself came from an abusive, violent home, winding up on the streets of New York as a feared Puerto Rican gang leader in the late '50s.

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