ABILITY beyond disability – this is how we should see the disabled people in society. Gone are the days when persons with disability were thought to be a nuisance and an object of pity to the Zambian society.
The notion that their work was only to beg by the street corners or when they were not considered as part of mainstream society.
This week I bring the life of Evangelist Nick Vujicic and I believe he will encourage and inspire persons with disability that there is life beyond disability and that every life come with a purpose and mission.
Vujicic was born December 4, 1982 in Serbian Australian and born with tetra-amelia syndrome, a rare disorder characterised by the absence of all four limbs.
As a child, he struggled mentally, emotionally and physically, but eventually, came to terms with his disability, at the age of seventeen, he started his own non-profit organization called Life without Limits.
As an evangelist and motivational speaker Vujicic presents motivational speeches worldwide, 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 and all disabilities.
Nick Vujicic was born to Dushka and Boris Vujicic as a healthy baby despite the fact that he was born without arms and legs he had no legs, but two small feet, one of which had two toes. Nick has two siblings, Michelle and Aaron.
Initially, a Victoria state law prevented Nick from attending a mainstream school due to his physical disability in spite of a lack of mental impairment.
However, Vujicic became one of the first physically disabled students integrated into a mainstream school once those laws changed.
However, his lack of limbs made him a target for school bullies, and he fell into a severe depression.
At age eight, he contemplated suicide and even tried to drown himself in his bathtub at age ten his love for his parents prevented him from following through.
He also started in his music video “Something More” that God had a plan for his life and he could not bring himself to drown because of this.
Nick prayed very hard that God would give him arms and legs, and initially told God that, if his prayer remained unanswered, Nick would not praise him indefinitely.
However, a key turning point in his faith came when his mother showed him a newspaper article about a man dealing with a severe disability.
Vujicic realised he wasn’t unique in his struggles and began to embrace his lack of limbs. After this, Nick realised his accomplishments could inspire others and became grateful for his life.
Nick gradually figured out how to live a full life without limbs, adapting many of the daily skills limbed people accomplish without thinking.
Nick writes with two toes on his left foot and a special grip that slid onto his big toe. He knows how to use a computer and can type up to 45 words per minute using the “heel and toe” method. He has also learned to throw tennis balls, play drum pedals, get a glass of water, comb his hair, brush his teeth, answer the phone and shave, in addition to participating in golf, swimming, and even sky-diving.
During secondary school, he was elected captain of MacGregor State in Queensland and worked with the student council on fundraising events for local charities and disability campaigns.
When he was seventeen, he started to give talks at his prayer group and in 2005 Vujicic was nominated for the Young Australian of the Year Award.
Vujicic speaking during the session “Inspired for a Lifetime” at the Annual Meeting 2011 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on 30 January 2011.
Vujicic graduated from Griffith University at the age of 21 with a double major in accountancy and financial planning.
As motivational speaker Vujicic has been travelling internationally and focusing on teen issues. Having addressed over three million people in over 24 countries on five continents and he speaks to corporate audiences, congregations, and schools.
Vujicic promotes his work through television shows and through his writing. His first book, Life without Limbs: Inspiration for a Ridiculously Good Life.
He markets a motivational D, Life’s Greater Purpose, a short documentary filmed in 2005 highlighting his home life and regular activities.
The second part of the D was filmed at his local church in Brisbane one of his first professional motivational speeches. He markets a D for young people titled: No Arms, No Legs, No Worries: Youth Version.
Nick Vujicic lives in Los Angeles, California, United States and on February 12, 2012, he married his fianceacutee, Kanae Miyahara, and by the grace of God on February 13, 2013, their son Kiyoshi James Vujicic was born weighing 8 pounds 10 ounces.
This is true love. This is better than any fairy tale or movie. Nick has had such an amazing life. Prince William and Catherine Middleton are just another famous rich couple. Nothing special about them. But Nick Vujicic has given hope to millions of people around the world.
In almost every nation, they know and love Nick Vujicic. In China Nick Vujicic is known as Lectra Zhe Hu.
If wealth was measured by how many people cared about you. Nick would be the richest man on earth.
So who is the lucky lady that gets to marry such a great man, Kanae Miyahara is a beautiful angel sent by God from Japan.Miyahara has a sister that is a teacher and she comes from a well respected family.
According to Vujicic, had he been born in a third world country, his condition would have been considered a curse or a shame by his parents and he would have been killed at his birth, last week i communicated to him and he sent me this email
My name is Nick Vujicic and I am thankful to have been born 30 years ago with no arms and no legs.
I won’t pretend my life is easy, but through the love of my parents, loved ones, and faith in God, I have overcome my aersity and my life is now filled with joy and purpose.
I reside now in California with my wife, Kanae, and we both love seeing people’s lives changed for the better or touched in some way. It is my hope that your life is positively impacted by my story.
Born and raised in Melbourne, Australia, Pastor Nick told me that it was a shock to his parents that he arrived without limbs.
There is no medical reason for it. My parents did their very best to keep me in the mainstream school system and give me every opportunity to live to the fullest. I was blessed to have a brother and a sister as my best friends too.
We later moved to Brisbane, Australia, where I lived for 14 years before I made the move to California. At age eight, I could not see a bright future ahead and I became depressed. When I was ten years old, I decided to end my life by drowning myself in a bathtub. After a couple attempts, I realised that I did not want to leave my loved ones with the burden and guilt that would result from my suicide. I could not do that to them.
I wasn’t depressed my entire childhood, but I did have ups and downs. At age thirteen I hurt my foot, which I use for many things like typing, writing and swimming.
That injury made me realize that I need to be more thankful for my abilities and less focused on my disabilities.
When I was fifteen years old, I sealed my faith in God and from there it has been an amazing journey.
A janitor at my high school inspired me to start speaking about my faith and overcoming aersity when I was seventeen. I spoke only a dozen times to very small groups over the next two years.
Then I found myself in front of three hundred sophomore (grade 10) students and I was very nervous.
My knees were shaking. Within the first three minutes of my talk, half the girls were crying, and most of the boys were struggling to hold their emotions together.
One girl in particular was sobbing very hard. We all looked at her and she put her hand up. She said, “I am so sorry to interrupt, but can I come up and hug you?”
She came hugged me in front of everyone, and whispered in my ear, “Thank you, thank you, thank you. No one has ever told me that they loved me and that I am beautiful the way I am.”
Her gratitude inspired me to go across 44 countries and speak 2,000 times.
I realised that we all need love and hope and that I was in a unique position to share that with people around the world.
While majoring in both accounting and financial planning at a university, I also worked on developing my abilities as a speaker. I worked with a speaking coach who helped to cultivate me as a presenter. He especially worked on my body language as my hands flew everywhere at first!
I spoke on motivational topics after creating the company, attitude is altitude. I also launched a non-profit ministry, life without limbs, to spread my messages of faith and hope around the world.
Whoever you are, wherever you’re from and whatever you are dealing with, I hope that you will be inspired by my story and my message.
I share with you my thoughts on faith, hope and love to encourage you and to help you overcome your own challenges.
Dream big my friend and never give up. We all make mistakes, but none of us are mistakes. Take one day at a time. Embrace the positive attitudes, perspectives, principles and truths I share, and you too will overcome.
An evangelist who was born without limbs and has inspired millions of people through his testimony of faith and determination announced the birth of his son on Wednesday.
Nick Vujicic, president and CEO of Life without Limbs, and his wife, Kanae, celebrated their first anniversary on Tuesday, and their first child arrived just one day later – the day before Valentine’s Day.
May this life change many Zambian more especially persons with disabilities, parent with children with disability because Nick has told us that his parents supported him from day one but most children with disabilities in Zambia are been hidden in homes and their future is not known.
For your letters please send to us on P.O. BOX 34490 Lusaka, Zambia or use our South African Address Johannesburg Project Office, P.O. BOX 1981 New Castle, and 2940 Republic of South Africa.
The author is Regional Disability policy Analyst for SADC and Inclusive Development Aisor for Centre for Disability Development Research, Law and Policy, Johannesburg
Source : The Times of Zambia