Editor's Note: As the end of 2018 approaches, Charisma is looking back at the major events of the year, from Billy Graham's death to sexual assault stories to wildfires to the historic North Korea summit and everything in between. The following is one of our top stories of the year. The information presented in the story was accurate at the time of reporting. Continue to follow Charisma News for all the latest updates for these stories and more.
This article was published March 12th.
Evangelist Nick Vujicic has tetra-amelia syndrome, a disorder that caused him to be born without limbs. But despite some major challenges, Vujicic and his Life Without Limbs ministry have reached millions of people across 68 countries—a feat he credits to God.
The inspirational Christian speaker, who recently published a new book titled, Be the Hands and Feet, shared his personal story during a recent appearance on "The Billy Hallowell Podcast" of overcoming depression to become a well-known force for the gospel.
He also discussed faith, life —and his recent claims about an experience with spiritual forces that led to quite a bit of online discussion and debate.
"Being born and raised in a loving home in Australia to immigrant parents from Yugoslavia, I was the first disabled child to go into the mainstream school system of Victoria in Australia," Vujicic said. "And in that, I had a great life, yet very deep struggles, and went into depression at age 8."
He was plagued as a young man by tragic thoughts about his life and future—questions that led him to wonder what God was doing with his life.
"Looking ahead in my life, thinking am I ever going to be independent? Am I just a burden to my parents? I'm never going to get married. And not going to have any purpose in my life," he said. "And when I went through that depression, it was hard because I heard about the loving God who loved me, yet made me this way or allowed me to be this way, and yet not given me a miracle to give me arms and legs miraculously."
By age 10, Vujicic attempted to commit suicide in his bathtub and failed. It wasn't until two years later that he was able to get out of his depression. Then, a few years later, he read John 9 in the Bible about a man who was born blind, and the story affected him profoundly.
"No one knew why he was born that way. Jesus said it was done so that the works of God will be revealed through him," he continued. "And at age 15, God's like, 'Hey, you've been wanting me to give you my plan for your life? It's not about that. It's about Nick, do you trust me with the plan that I have, and not just give you a blueprint?'"
Everything clicked for Vujicic at that point and he proceeded to become a speaker by age 17. Before long, he was traveling the world with his story of overcoming the odds, all while inspiring young people to persist through their own challenges. His message has been shared by media outlets across the globe.
And as Faithwire previously reported, Vujicic sparked quite a bit of discussion after a Facebook Live back in January when he made some fascinating claims surrounding why he believes God is real.
"I can't show you God, I can't show you an angel, but one of the reasons why I'm not an atheist, and one of the reasons why I don't believe science explains everything, is because I have seen miracles, and I've seen demons," Vujicic said. "I've seen 10-foot-tall demons, 5-foot wide walk in through my San Francisco hotel room/ And I felt the demon's presence, demonic presence, before the demon actually walked through the wall. And so when you understand that science can't explain everything ... there is a spiritual realm."
The evangelist didn't go much deeper into the story, but of course we asked him for more details, considering how much interest the story generated.
Vujicic said that people must realize that there is a spiritual realm and he shared some of his past experiences in more detail.
As for the San Francisco story, Vujicic described the demons' massive size and went on to share yet another similar story involving a recent Uber ride.
He said he felt that something wasn't quite right when he was in the vehicle—a presence that he described as "spiritual demonic oppression." Then, when he got out of the car he saw that the woman had Satanic-themed stickers in the front of the car.
Listen to the full interview , and find out more about Vujicic and his ministry in his new book, Be the Hands and Feet.
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