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Meeting Nick Vujicic

You may have seen Nick Vujicic interviewed on a “60 Minutes” television program. He was born 39 years ago without arms and legs (caused by Tetra Amelia syndrome)—an incredibly difficult challenge in life. He could respond two ways to this disability: give up in despair or use his “Life without Limbs” as a platform to share a message of hope to the world. Thankfully, he chose the latter!

Many years ago, we, as part of a local church in northern Victoria, invited Nick to tell his story at various meetings around the district, including the district secondary college. In this college, Nick spoke on the topics of depression, self-esteem, bullying, and hope—very relevant topics for young people in our western world. Nick soon had students engaged by involving them in “soccer” with a tennis ball. Nick has no legs, but he has the partial vestige of a foot (which he calls his “flipper”), which he uses to great effect—kicking a tennis ball very accurately to students up to 15 metres away. He calls out to the student who catches the ball—“Don’t throw it back to me—I can’t catch!”.  

Nick shared many jokes and stories and demonstrated a repertoire of skills; for example, he can type 43 words a minute on a keyboard with his “flipper”. He had us all fully engaged! Shocked silence reigned as he shared how he was bullied terribly at school because he was seen to be “different”. He also struggled with depression, loneliness, and purposelessness.

One day, Nick’s mum had him read an article about a severely disabled man. She told him, “Nick, God’s going to use you. I do not know-how. I do not know when, but God’s going to use you.” And Nick came to the conclusion, “I have a choice, to either be angry at God for what I do not have or be thankful for what I do have. That’s when I started seeing that there is no point in being complete on the outside when you are broken on the inside. I found out that God can heal you without changing your circumstance. So I gave my life to Jesus Christ”. Nick read in the Bible about a man who was blind from birth. People asked Jesus, ‘Why was this man born that way?’ Jesus answered, ‘It was done so that the works of God may be revealed through him.’ John 9:3. Nick now knew that if God could use a man born blind, then He could use Nick without arms and legs! He could now live a “Life without Limits!”

Life is still not easy for Nick but he has had the privilege of sharing his story with over 3 million people in near 60 countries around the world – to the Presidents of nations, the inmates of goals, as well as students in schools and crowds in sporting pavilions. In the northern Victorian Secondary College presentation, I witnessed such was the impact of his message and persona that at the close of the meeting, there was a standing ovation from the whole student body and every student lined up to give Nick a hug. Nick jokingly replied,  “Sorry I can’t hug you back”!

What joy it was when we heard that Nick, in more recent years, married Kanae and together, they’ve been gifted four children, Kiyoshi, Dejan and identical twins, Olivia and Ellie. My wife and I had the privilege of hosting Nick in our home on two occasions, as he shared at multiple meetings we had organised for him, so we heard his story first-hand. You might want to check out his story further on the website “Life without Limbs” or purchase one of the books or DVDs he has produced. 

Now Nick can honestly say that he is grateful that he was born without limbs because this has given him a platform to share his message of hope with people around the globe. When we despair of the circumstances of life – reach out to Jesus – as Nick did and seize the opportunities which life provides for us.

  • Written by Rev Bruce Stewart