“You talk about Jesus Christ?” the woman in the brothel asked. I told her that I did. “Make my sister walk,” she said, pointing to a woman sitting on the floor. “That is my sister. She hasn’t walked in four years. And for the last 15 days she hasn’t moved off of that floor. She is dying.”
Nick Vujicic astounded the world when he was born. His pastoral parents had just planted a new church in Australia when their first child arrived. He was born without arms or legs.
Shockwaves reverberated through the fledgling church, testing the faith of the entire congregation. Why would God allow such a thing to happen? If the Lord loves and blesses His children, especially those who give their lives to serve Him, why this?
“I didn’t always want to go to church,” Nick admits. “I didn’t always want to hear my dad when he said, ‘God has a plan for everybody,’ because I questioned how he could say that when his own son was born without hope.”
“I was taught, ‘Ask and you shall receive. God can do all things. He is a miracle.’ So I asked for arms and legs, and I didn’t receive arms and legs.”
One full wall of this room inside the Mumbai brothel was covered with Indian gods whom they worship every day. I told the Lord, “I’ve seen blind people see, I’ve seen deaf people hear, I’ve seen crooked backs straighten, skin disease fall off of bodies. Make this woman walk…do this for You, not for me. She is not really testing my faith; she is testing You and Your power.”
With that faith I told the sister, “Okay, we will pray,” and asked some other ladies to massage the legs of the woman on the mat. We prayed for about five minutes and I said, “Get up and walk in Jesus’ name.”
With a man on each side of her, she stood up with an expression of excruciating pain on her face. I suddenly wondered if what I was doing was crazy. “I’m putting her through so much pain,” I thought. So I prayed, “God, please, please come through with this. What if they don’t see it and don’t give their lives to You. How else will they?”
She hobbled across the room then sat in a plastic chair with armrests, still in a lot of pain. She could move her legs a little bit, but they were stiff. I looked at her sister and knew this wasn’t a miracle. This wasn’t going to convince anybody of anything.
As a boy, Nick experienced such depression that he considered drowning himself in the bathtub. Fortunately, he reflected on his love for his parents and decided against leaving them with a lifetime of guilt. He didn’t want them to grieve and think, “I wish we could have done more for our son.”
Nick realized that he could either remain angry with God for what he didn’t have or be thankful for things he did have. He chose to be thankful, though it wasn’t easy, and to give what He could to the Lord.
“I want to pray more,” I told the women. About three minutes later, the crippled woman’s countenance changed. She had a glow and a strength came across her. She grabbed the chair’s armrests and said, ‘Alright, I’m ready! I’m ready!’
“I told her, ‘No, no. We have to pray more!’ She insisted that she was ready, but I kept telling her, ‘Not yet! Not yet!’ After two more minutes, I told her that she could get up.
The woman got up and began to walk. Then she began to jump up and down. Her sister couldn’t believe it and went to the wall of gods, put her hands together, and began to thank them.
By the age of 15, Nick began to sense that there was a bigger purpose for his life. Jesus’ story of the blind man in John 9 changed his perspective forever. “Even though the blind man didn’t know why he was born that way,” Nick says, “it doesn’t mean that God doesn’t know. Just because I don’t know the plans that He has for me, doesn’t mean that God has none.”
“You don’t need arms and legs to love your neighbor as yourself,” Nick proclaims to all who will listen — which means 3.5 million people so far. “Which would you choose: Arms and legs for a lifetime or a long line of people in heaven who are grateful because you were faithful with what God had given you?”
As the woman prayed to her Hindu gods, I asked her, “Haven’t you been praying to your gods for four years that your sister would walk?” She said that she had and I told her, “That was Jesus Christ. Jesus healed your sister.” It turned out that the woman who was healed that day was not just any old woman; she was the woman who started that entire block of brothels in Mumbai and Jesus changed her life!
“I thank God that He didn’t give me arms and legs,” Nick now says, “because there is no greater thing than to bring someone to the knowledge and hope of Jesus Christ.”