It is with great sadness that I say goodbye to my spiritual father, David Wilkerson.
It is impossible to adequately summarize 50 plus years of memories. For decades, Ihave told people, and especially my family, that without David Wilkerson’s obedience to go into the pits of hell, I wouldn’t be here. Neither would millions of souls who have come to the Lord through Nicky Cruz Outreach, Teen Challenge, Victory Outreach, and World Challenge. History will tell of the legacy that he has left behind and the countless number of people like me that he touched whom nobody else would have gotten close to.
Coming from my background, I lacked the influence and guidance of a father in my life. David stepped in and took on the role of not only my spiritual father, but also that of anearthly father. I loved him. He was always very concerned that everything would goright with me spiritually. He was always there when I needed him. He would often counsel me that being in the ministry was rarely easy. One time I remember him telling me:
“Nicky, I sometimes get discouraged. When I do, I think of the day of your conversion and the miracle Jesus did in your life. Thinking of that day always lifts my spirits and I keep going. That memory always makes me happy.”
David reminded me in some ways of Jesus. Like Jesus, he never stayed in the sameplace. Like Jesus, he had active eyes and was compassionate, looking at the peopleand seeing their needs. His heart was full of compassion. David Wilkerson was a man who was always taking detours when there was a need to meet. David had such asensitive heart for the pain of others. And you know what? That’s what made him a
great man – his willingness to go out of his way for the lost and broken.
Many people saw David as a harsh prophet. But in his heart of hearts, he was a teddybear – that’s the David Wilkerson many people never knew, but whom I knew personally.
Whatever people say, I can say that I really knew him. This man who became my mentor, left his heart in my heart, and that’s the reason I became an evangelist.
Evangelism was the heart of David Wilkerson.
Dave told me one time that what a man does for Jesus is never in vain. I was always soproud of him when I heard him preach. He was an awesome preacher and was right onin his discerning of the times. His death is a loss for us but a gain for heaven.
Son of God, husband, father, grandfather, evangelist, pastor, author, prophet, friend, confidant-my spiritual father and friend, David Wilkerson. The world has lost a truly great man.
“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.” -Psalm 116:15