According to Wikipedia Nicholas James "Nick" Vujicic who was born 4 December 1982 is an Australian Christian evangelist and motivational speaker born with tetra-amelia syndrome, a rare disorder characterised by the absence of all four limbs. As a child, he struggled mentally and emotionally as well as physically, but eventually came to terms with his disability and, at the age of seventeen, started his own non-profit organisation, Life Without Limbs. Vujicic presents motivational speeches worldwide which focus on life with a disability, hope and finding meaning in life. He also speaks about his belief that God can use any willing heart to do his work and that God is big enough to overcome any disability.
Why God, was I born this way?" That's the question Nick Vujicic wondered after being born without limbs. Nick discovered God's miraculous plan for his life as a worldwide evangelist sharing the message of redemption through Jesus Christ.
When Nick was born his father was so shocked he left the hospital room to vomit. His distraught mother couldn't bring herself to hold him until he was four months old.
His disability came without any medical explanation - a rare occurrence called Phocomelia - and Nick and his parents spent many years asking why this cruel trick would happen to them.
'My mother was a nurse and she did everything right during pregnancy but she still blamed herself,' he said.
'It was so hard for them but right from the start they did their best to make me independent.
'My dad put me in the water at 18 months and gave the courage to learn how to swim.
My experiences with bullies left me feeling intimidated, depressed, anxious and sick to my stomach. If you know my personal story, you'll remember that most grade school days ended with tears and on one occasion led me to a failed suicide attempt. I didn't tell my parents when I was picked on because I didn't want to upset them. I thought I could handle it myself, but I was wrong. I should have told them.
As I travel around the world talking to tens of thousands of young people, it is evident that no one is immune from being bullied. This epidemic is not unique to North America. Bullying is a global issue.
I felt cold and bitter. I hated God for doing this to me and was terrified of what would happen when my parents weren't there to look after me.
'I could brush my own teeth with a wall mounted brush and wash my own hair with pump action soap, but there was so much that was impossible for me.'
At age ten Nick, tried to drown himself in the bath but luckily the attempt was unsuccessful.
'I felt there was no purpose when you lack purpose and strength it is hard to hold on,' he said.
As a young boy, Vujicic was teased by other children because of his absent limbs. He recalled contemplating committing suicide at one point in his life by flipping himself off a kitchen bench and hoping to break his neck.
“I used to think that I needed my circumstance to change before I had any hope," he said. "I wanted to know that there was someone else out there in my position, to know that there is hope, that there is more than just the little box that I see in my life."
But with the help of his religion, friends and family, Nick managed to pull through to become an international symbol of triumph over adversity.
'When I was 13 I read a newspaper article about a disabled man who had managed to achieve great things and help others,' said Nick, who also plays golf with the club tucked under his chin.
'I realised why God had made us like this - to give hope to others. It was so inspirational to me that I decided to use my life to encourage other people and give them the courage that the article had given me.
'I decided to be thankful for what I do have, not get angry about what I don't.
'I looked at myself in the mirror and said: 'You know what the world is right that I have no arms or legs, but they'll never take away the beauty of my eyes.' I wanted to concentrate on something good that I had.'
In 1990 Nick won the Australian Young Citizen of the Year award for his bravery and perseverance.
'When kids run up to me and ask 'what happened?' I just lean over and whisper 'cigarettes', he laughed.
'And once I was in a car and this girl at traffic lights was giving me the eye. She could only see my head so I decided to do a 360 in the car seat to freak her out.
'Her face was like woooooooah what is going on? She sped off really quickly.'
Nick began travelling the world and in 2008 he went to Hawaii and met surfing master Bethany Hamilton, who had her arm bitten off by a shark when she was 12.
'She was amazing, said Nick. 'She taught me how to surf and I was terrified at first, but once I got up there it felt absolutely fantastic and I caught some waves pretty well.'
Nick quickly learned how to do three 360 degree spins on his board - a feat that got him on the cover of Surfer magazine within 48 hours.
'No one has ever done that in the history of surfing,' he said.
'But I have a very low centre of gravity so I've got pretty good balance.'
He moved to Los Angeles two years ago and plans to continue to travel the world - this year he will visit South America and the Middle East.
'I tell people to keep on getting up when they fall and to always love themselves,' he said.
'If I can encourage just one person then my job in this life is done.' (1)
Through his ministry, Life Without Limbs, Vujicic travels around the world to share his inspiring personal testimony about how he found joy and hope in Jesus Christ despite his difficult and painful circumstances.
Traveling extensively to over 44 countries with millions of people attending and still counting, says Vujicic I have been extremely humbled by the continuous opportunities that the Lord has given me to share my testimony. My greatest joy in this life is to introduce Jesus to those I meet and tell them of His great desire to get to know them personally by allowing Him to become their Lord and Savior. That’s what Life Without Limbs is all about.
In Psalm 139:13-14, the Bible says, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
Because of the ministry of Life Without Limbs, God has used me in countless schools, churches, prisons, orphanages, hospitals, stadiums and in face-to-face encounters with individuals, telling them how very precious they are to God. Today this dynamic young evangelist has accomplished more than most people achieve in a lifetime. He’s an author, musician, actor, and his hobbies include fishing, painting and swimming.
It is our greatest pleasure to assure people that God does have a plan for each and every life that is meaningful and purposeful, for God took my life, one that others might disregard as not having any significance and He has filled me with His purpose and showed me His plans to use me to move hearts and lives toward Him. (2)