Grace Still Abounds When They Grow Up

This past Christmas, UYWI.org featured the story of Jose “Cochise” Quiles, the founder and president of the New York City street gang Satan’s Sinners Nomads.

Two thousand years later, the Word again became flesh for Cochise when Pastor Rick moved his family into the neighborhood; refused to be intimidated by taunts or horrified by a “Sinner’s” reality; pursued him with kindness; gave sacrificially; made himself available and was willing to be stretched.

For the inmates upstate, the Word became flesh when the seed that was conceived in Cochise in July gave birth on New Year’s Day in a frigid jail, a (barn)yard of a different sort.

At the time, Jose was finishing an 18-year prison term for attempted murder of two of his gang members (Barnyard Births in the City, 12/19/11). He returned home from maximum security prison in January and has been faithfully attending Abounding Grace Ministries since then.

Last week the New York Times introduced the world to Cochise via their East Village blog, reporting on a talk he gave for Abounding Grace at a neighborhood outreach:

Last Saturday, Jose Quiles spoke to a group of students at P.S./M.S. 34 on East 12th Street. Some were the age that he was when he first entered the gang world.

Responding to a recent spate of violence, Rick Del Rio, the senior pastor at Abounding Grace Ministries, had invited the man many in the neighborhood know as Cochise to a basketball tournament, barbecue, and youth outreach session, to speak about his rough-and-tumble life on the Lower East Side.

Watch Cochise tell his story in his own words, and rejoice at what God can do to/through sinners saved by grace:

Since the video’s editors cut his discipleship testimony out of the video, read the back story right here on the UYWI blog, including his work for eighteen years as a missionary to New York State’s maximum security prisons.

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