Limbless Evangelist Preaches Joy In Christ

Nick Vujicic is a 25-year-old evangelist whose message about being content in all circumstances takes on new meaning when people see his physical condition – he was born without limbs.

But rather than blaming God for his unique physical condition, he credits his Creator for allowing him to connect with a wide range of audiences including insecure teenagers, unmotivated corporate executives, and hopeless prisoners.

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.

"No matter who you are, no matter what you're going through, God knows it," said the Australian-born motivational speaker , according to ABC News, which aired his story Friday on "20/20." "He is with you. He is going to pull you through."

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."

He noted that in some Third World countries, his condition would be seen as a curse or shame on the family, and that he would have been killed at his birth. But Vujicic's parents did not see him as such and raised him to look at the bright side of life. His father is pastor of a local church in Brisbane, Australia.

After Vujicic's birth, his parents did spend months in grief and confusion as to why their son was born without limbs and only a small foot with two toes on his left side. They wondered if they or the doctors had made a mistake, but no answer was to be found. To this day, doctors still do not know what caused Vujicic's condition.

Vujicic can recall praying for arms and legs before hitting his teens.

"It said in the Bible, 'Ask and you shall receive.' I had faith, and I was actually very angry at God. I didn't understand it," Vujicic said. "And I thought maybe I wasn't good enough. Maybe that's the reason why He's not answering my prayer. I mean, arms and legs are nothing for God, the Creator of the universe. And so, I prayed for my circumstance to change, but it didn't happen."

Vujicic's mother, understanding her son's heart, advised him to focus on his good qualities – his charming personality and friendly gaze.

"Because when people see me talking and speaking, they forget that I have no arms and no legs, and they just treat me like any other person," he explained. "And I remember ... when I was 6 or 7 years old, I looked at myself in the mirror one day. I wanted to pick out something of my physical features that I knew was good. And I looked at my eyes, and I said, 'You know what? No one can change my eyes.'"

At 17, Vujicic began giving inspirational speeches at school and church-sponsored events. He said his message is especially understood by teenagers, who often feel lonely, rejected, confused and broken.

"That's the level that I come in on, and they (teenagers) can see that straight away," the evangelist said. "When I get up onstage, they know that I've been broken."

Speaking from his own personal experience, the preacher urges people to not go by the world's definition of who can have a productive life, a sense of humor, or who can love life.

"We stereotype people in this world. And so ... if the world thinks you're not good enough, it's a lie, you know. Get a second opinion."

Vujicic's non-profit ministry is now based in southern California where he lives. The limbless preacher said he has made 1,600 speaking appearances in 12 nations.

"I would be obviously elated if I had arms and legs right now ... but I know that God's in full control," Vujicic said. "And do I believe that He can give me arms and legs? Yes, sir ... The world doesn't understand how you can have these two parallel thoughts, where you can say, on one hand ... 'yes, I believe in the miracle,' and on the other ... say, 'You know what? I'm fully content. I'm not discouraged if He doesn't give me arms and legs.'

"That's where I am," he added. "That's the freedom and victory I have. I believe in a God who can do all things, but if He chooses not to give me arms and legs, I know it's for the better. And I may not understand it, but all I need to know is that He's going to carry me through – that there is a purpose for it."

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