Awakening Australia: Christians descend on Melbourne

ALMOST 60 years ago, US evangelist Billy Graham set a crowd record at the MCG that has never been surpassed by any sporting event.

More than 130,000 people - some estimate as many as 143,750 - packed the Melbourne Cricket Ground to hear the legendary preacher share the Christian gospel.

Over the past weekend, tens of thousands of Christians from around Australia and the world have descended on Melbourne's renamed Marvel Stadium for Awakening Australia.

It's the start of what organisers hope will be a mission to see 100,000 Australians come to the Christian faith this year.

Already, thousands of Christians have 'flooded Melbourne', taking their Christian message to the streets, 'loving on people', singing songs and shouting the name of Jesus.

The street evangelism has not gone unnoticed with some warning on Twitter of 'Jesus freaks' near Marvel Stadium while others questioning the theology of those behind the event.

Thousands at Melbourne's Marvel Stadium for Awakening Australia. Photo: Stuart White
Thousands at Melbourne's Marvel Stadium for Awakening Australia. Photo: Stuart White

Inside the stadium, the crusade kicked off on Friday night with inspirational motivational speaker and Life without Limbs author Nick Vujicic.

Since 2005, Vujicic says he has shared the Christian message with 8 million people face to face and another 730 million through digital media.

He has been on 2500 flights, given 3500 speeches in 69 countries, met with 18 presidents and 32 governments and spoken in about 2000 prisons.

WATCH: NICK VUJICIC SPEAKS (2 HOURS INTO VIDEO)

"God can use a man without arms and legs to be his hands and feet,'' he told the crowd.

He admits his faith journey hasn't been easy with much anger and many questions as a child.

"I was looking for him (God) but he did not make sense to me because I was waiting for arms and legs."

At 10, he said he contemplated trying to kill himself but realised the pain it would cause to his parents.

"By God's grace I'm still here.''

Life without Limbs author Nick Vujicic.
Life without Limbs author Nick Vujicic.

While he says he still would love to be healed, he says it wasn't for his incredible story he would not have been able to motivate and share with so many people around the world.

"When you don't get a miracle you can still be a miracle to someone else.''

He said one of most powerful moments of his life came while preaching in California when a 19-month old boy with no limbs was in the meeting.

He said the boy's mother said she knew then that God still had a purpose for her son's life.

But he says he has had his own miracles, including a degenerative spinal condition which should have left him with metal rods in his back by now.

Nick Vujicic talks to students at Willows State School. Picture: Stewart Mclean
Nick Vujicic talks to students at Willows State School. Picture: Stewart Mclean

He said successive MRI scans had shown three holes in his spine disappear one by one.

Vujicic claims he has seen more than  dozen people with blindness see after being prayed for, has seen deaf people hearing, lame people walking again and crooked backs straightened.

The motivational speaker said everyone was looking for meaning, hope and purpose in their lives which they would never find through things.

"If you put your happiness in temporary things your happiness will be temporary."

"I have found something to live for and I have found something to die for,'' Vujicic said of his faith.

While he said he was bullied at school, he now taught children not to tease those who were different.

And he says his faith had given him incredible confidence and boldness.

"I am a child of God. I am an ambassador of the King of Kings and the Lords of Lords,'' Vujicic declared to huge applause from the crowd.

News Corp Australia


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