- (Photo: oprah.com)
Evangelist Nick Vujicic, a motivational speaker who has shared with hundreds of thousands of people around the world his story of hope, shared on Sunday with an "Oprah's Lifeclass" audience that the power of faith in action is what has helped him persevere despite his physical limitations.
By now, Vujicic's story is well-known to many who have watched his YouTube videos, listened to his motivational speeches or read his books. At 30 years of age, the Australian-born evangelist can play golf, soccer, jump off diving boards, swim, skateboard, even skydive – all without the use of arms or legs. Diagnosed with a rare birth disorder, Vujicic has had to adapt to the world without arms and legs since the day he was born – but despite the many obstacles in his way, he has found that through the power of hope and faith, nothing has managed to stop him.
On Sunday's "Oprah's Lifeclass," in which Winfrey also talked with Pastor Rick Warren from Saddleback Church in California, the talk show host introduced Vujicic, who was sitting in the audience, with a preview video showcasing the various sports and activities the evangelist engages in despite his physical limitations and the inspirational conferences he hosts around the world.
As the audience stood to cheer Vujicic, Winfrey asked the Christian evangelist what was the one thing in life that made him believe that even though he was given a very bad hand in life, he could rise above it.
The Australian minister took the opportunity to make a small presentation to the audience by climbing up the steps lead to the stage where Winfrey and Warren were sitting, a feat that managed to surprise some audience members.
"In my life, I know that God didn't give me this pain, but what the enemy tried to use for bad, He turned into good," Vujicic explained. "When you have the incredible power of faith in action, nothing holds you back."
The evangelist also thanked his parents for not giving up on him when he was born so different from other children, and being there for him every step of the way. "They always said 'You can either be angry for what you don't have, or be thankful for what you do have. Do your best, and God will do the rest.' Because I gave my life to the Lord Jesus Christ, and the renewing of my mind, I knew that I could be unstoppable," Vujicic said, before embracing Winfrey on stage in a hug.
In a separate interview on "CBS Sunday Morning," Vujicic explained that he doesn't even see himself as a disabled person: "I really forget that I have no arms or legs sometimes."
As the evangelist recalls in his book, Unstoppable, which he discussed with The Christian Post, despite his recent marriage and present success with his ministry, as a young child he was often targeted by bullies and made fun of for the way he looked.
"Nearly every day I would come home, for weeks straight, crying. I didn't want to go to school. There were some days in which I would actually hide myself in the gardens of school hoping that no one would see me. So it was very, very difficult," Vujicic said. The bullying got so bad that he even got close to drowning himself in the bathtub when he was 10 years old.
"(My father) put me in and he shut the door. I thought that was the last time I would see my family. I said that's it, I'm done," the evangelist shared.
However, he realized how much his suicide would hurt his family, and decided not to go through with it. Ever since, he has reclaimed his life and, as shown on CBS, he has touched many other people with disabilities or those struggling with life in general who now see him as a figure to look up to.
"I have seen the grace of God," Vujicic concluded. "I have seen Him take even the most broken pieces of my life and make it into something beautiful. And I think I went through that so I can share this story with the world as well. There are a lot of hurting people out there. This life is full of great experiences if we only give it a shot."