Gary pastor surprises single mom, carjacking victim with new car

Cate Cauguiran Image
Monday, December 7, 2020
EMBED <>More Videos

Weeks before the Thanksgiving holiday, Nikinta Kendrick survived a carjacking at gunpoint by three men at a Gary gas station. Her church has since come together to help surprise he

GARY, Ind. (WLS) -- It only took a matter of days for a Gary pastor to raise thousands of dollars to help a mother in need.

The single mother of four said she got more than just a free car Sunday, but also a renewed sense of hope.

Behind Nakinta Kendrick's powerful pipes, she sang her pain through prayer.

"I wouldn't be standing here today if weren't for the grace of God," she said.

Weeks before the Thanksgiving holiday, Kendrick survived a carjacking at gun point by three men at a Gary gas station.

RELATED: Carjackings in Chicago increase 134% in 2020, police say

"It's like your life flash before your eyes," Kendrick described.

The thieves stole and later totaled her car, leaving the single mother stranded without a way to get to her job a half-hour away in Sauk Village.

"If I didn't have a ride to work, I wasn't going to be able to feed my family. I wouldn't even have a roof over my head. I wouldn't have nothing," she said.

But Reverend Dr. Eric Boone at Kendrick's church couldn't let that happen.

"When I first heard about the incident, it was devastating," said Rev. Boone with Tree of Life MBC.

Boone started making calls on Monday and days later he had raised enough for a new fully-insured car.

"I called friends and family members, and members of this amazing church, and we had over 30 that gave $100," he said.

Kendrick, the church's choir director, has no idea the surprise waiting for her in the parking lot as she sang at Sunday's service.

"We come outside, I'm like, 'it says Kin on it!' I'm like, 'WHAT?!' It was just, it was just unbelievable," Kendrick said.

The surprise not only answered a prayer but also showed how a congregation could turn a tragedy into a triumph of faith.

"We is a family," Rev. Boone said. "We look out for each other; we pray for each other. We love one another and when one hurt we all hurt."

"It's like a burden has been lifted off my heart because I really didn't know what I was going to do," Kendrick said.