Run Baby Run – by Nicky Cruz with Jamie Buckingham

13 05 2021

Since reading The Cross and The Switchblade last year, which is about David Wilkerson and his work with the gangs in 1950s New York, I’ve been keen to read this which tells the story of one of the most powerful gang leaders he met, and his journey to Christ. I borrowed this copy off my mum, which her friend gave her for her birthday in 1971! Once I had re-taped the front cover so that it was a bit less fragile, I got going!

You kind of think that there at least had to be something in Nicky, some potential for good that would have come out in the end anyway, but from the first half of the book, you really don’t see it. As it’s told from his perspective, you get a real sense of his bloodthirstiness, his real enjoyment of violence, it’s pretty scary! And therefore even more amazing to us mere mortals, that he could come, not only to know Jesus, but to be an incredible witness for Him! The particular focus of his ministry is those still in the gangs and later, those whose lives are being wrecked by drugs.

It’s really encouraging to see that he doesn’t necessarily have a smooth journey, more than once there’s a real crisis of faith, of confidence in what he’s doing – it’s helpful to see that while he has this amazing story, he is still human just like the rest of us!

A hugely powerful and challenging book, just like Wilkerson’s was, and I’d hugely recommend it.

The Cross and the Switchblade – by David Wilkerson

1 02 2020

Just over a year ago I read a couple of books which you’d probably describe as Christian Autobiography – God’s Smuggler by Brother Andrew of Open Doors, and The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom about her experiences in WW2 – and found them incredibly compelling, so I was excited to pick up this very well known book about David Wilkerson, who was called by God from his quiet country parish to work with the gangs in 1950s New York.

It’s another tale of God’s provision at just the moment it’s needed, starting with enough money for him to drive to and from New York the very first time, right through to when they’re buying a building to house those in trouble for tens of thousands, whilst having about $100 in the bank. But it’s not just about money – at one point they’re trying to find a gang member’s family to try to get permission to see him in prison, and so pulling their car over and walking down to some boys to ask if they know where they need to go, they find they’ve parked right out the front of his family’s home.

Their mission is to tell these kids about Jesus, but there’s so many hurdles to get over, probably most notably, drugs and knife crime. But the work they manage to do is incredible.

Definitely a book to challenge our levels of faith!