This morning Nick Vujicic from Life Without Limbs ministry spoke at a brunch for families of children with special needs. It ended up being for parents and caregivers as well as children and adults with special needs, but it was really a great thing! We enjoyed it very much and a few different points really stood out to me.
One thing he referenced in John Chapter 9 is the man that was born blind. The people asked Jesus "who sinned? This man or his parents?" and Jesus answered "neither sinned, he was born this way so that his life could be a testimony of God." Yes, that's paraphrased big time :) Click HERE for the NIV version :) What Nick said was that his parents and himself all questioned why God had made him the way he was. After all, he has no arms and no legs, just one toe which he calls his little "chicken drumstick" and it is on a footlike appendage, but no legs, arms, hands... He saw from that story that his disability was meant to enable him to spread the word and be an evangelist, not to disable him or cause him to suffer.
He pointed out that though he doesn't have mental disabilities (ok, so maybe not the term we prefer, but we all know what he means...) he still believes the same for any disability. People are not sent afflictions to disable them, but to be teachers, to share testimonies, etc. and each person is built in God's image- whole and perfect in His sight.
Another part that struck me is his trip to the orphanages in Romania where he said he visited with orphans that were laying in thier cribs. They were given up 3 years ago and had never left that one room. It was 85 or 90 degrees outside and there wasn't even a window cracked for fear that the children would 'catch a draft'. The medical care they were providing was just not up to par with what the children needed and even daily care was much lacking. Wow, that was all SO very familiar to me. After all, it wasn't 3 but 5 years that Emma laid in that room. And Micah for 18 months. After he spoke he allowed questions and one person asked how it could be that these children are discarded? How can this society still exist that doesn't accept people simply because they're different?
I had the opportunity as we left to briefly share about our children to Nick and I'm glad to have another opportunity to meet with him in a small group at a lunch on Sunday that's just for the small team that brought him in to town and their spouses. Emma will be with us and I hope to introduce him to her. His voice is a strong one and is an additional voice of advocacy for the orphans around the world that are discarded because they're different. And what a powerful one he has!
I look forward to hearing him speak tonight and possibly again tomorrow then lunch with him and the team tomorrow. If you're local and can come by, he's speaking at Park Avenue Baptist Church at 6pm tonight and then 10am Sunday (and maybe... there might be a Sun. Ni ght meeting, they're going to decide that based on the turnout tonight and whether they end up having to turn people away, I'll post if they do!).
Now I'm off to get my kids ready for church. We're going to be there nice and early so we can get in :)