“I have been encouraged and very much inspired by the decades and decades of ministry of Billy Graham,” Nick Vujicic said, standing on a table at the front of the room.
From the outside, his most defining characteristic is his lack of arms and legs. But Nick Vujicic, who has traveled the world and pierced millions of hardened hearts, lacks nothing on the inside. During a visit to BGEA in March, he talked about the one thing that makes him complete.
“More than arms and legs, I want peace,” he told BGEA staff in morning devotions. “I don’t need arms and legs; I just need Him.”
That “Him” is the same God he questioned as a child when he wondered how he could ever have a normal life. He wasn’t just physically disabled; he was mentally and spiritually disabled by fear.
Vujicic (pronounced Voy-a-chich) grew up in Australia as a “P.K.”—a pastor’s kid. He learned about Jesus Christ every day. But after repeated bullying at school and harping on the future he thought he couldn’t have, depression set in. He contemplated suicide at 10 years old. At 13, he sprained his “foot” playing soccer and ended up in bed for three weeks. It was there God taught him that he could be thankful for what he has or mourn what he doesn’t have.
“We are all disabled,” he said, “but when we go by faith and put a G-O in front of the word disabled, it spells ‘God is able.’”
Vujicic’s life is the perfect example. He has visited 54 countries, reaching people from all backgrounds—young, old, rich, poor, all races, all in need of hope. Just last year, he finished a 26-country outreach that took him across South America, Asia and Hungary—a country that borders Serbia, where his parents are from.
The past two years have marked other milestones. In February 2012, he married Kanae, a God-fearing woman who loves seeing people turn their lives over to Christ as He uses her husband’s ministry. Just a year and a day after the two wed, they welcomed their son, Kiyoshi. Vujicic can’t talk about him without smiling.
“He’s already my height,” he said.
With such a packed schedule, he has to make a conscious effort to put God first and family second, something he was inspired to work on after meeting Mr. Graham a few years ago.
Although he’s known it all along, having a family has taught Vujicic just how much God loves us. Vujicic said he has loved his son “from the beginning, before he was even born, because he was mine.” It’s the same with God, he said, who sees each person as His child. Vujicic tells young girls that they are princesses of the King of Kings, and boys are ambassadors to His kingdom.
Adults also need to be reminded of their identity and worth in Christ, he added.
A school janitor once told the limbless student that he would be a speaker one day. Vujicic thought he was crazy. But shortly after, he started speaking to small groups, then bigger groups. He says jokingly that one speaking engagement as a teen left his palms sweaty and his knees shaking.
All of his messages are laced with the words “by the grace of God.” When travel arrangements don’t go as planned, when timing isn’t right or the back pain is too great, he knows he can rely on God to get him through. He often tells the story about how he decided to trust in Christ at 15. He read John 9 about a man born blind so that “the works of God might be displayed in him” (John 9:3). In the passage, Jesus heals the blind man, but that’s not what stuck out to Vujicic.
“I was just as blind as the blind man,” he said. “Neither of us knew what Jesus had in mind, but just because we can’t see it doesn’t mean it isn’t there.”
Like Mr. Graham, Vujicic has spoken to the masses about God’s love for them, but said sharing the hope that comes through Christ doesn’t require a speaking engagement or large stadiums: “We are all evangelists in our sphere of influence.”
Read more about Nick’s story here.