This month for Champions for the Brokenhearted we are highlighting The Bullied, an issue that has been close to Nick’s heart for most of his life. As a kid, Nick never thought that anything good could ever come from his broken pieces. He attempted to use humor to diffuse the uncomfortable stares that accompanied my rare physical disability, which frankly and understandably, rattled his peers.
Born without arms or legs, in school Nick was deeply affected by bullying and isolation. Ostracized and different, he was sure that his life was a mistake. The idea that we all have a greater purpose in life made Nick angry because he couldn’t imagine ever doing anything significant given his seemingly limited opportunities. It wasn’t until he was 15 years old when Nick had an encounter which radically changed his perspective. Nick’s limbless body was the same, but his sense of hope and worth was dramatically different.
Find out what gave Nick hope and purpose in his White Chair Interview with I Am Second:
Have you ever questioned this world and your place in it? Have you wondered why suffering exists under the watch of a God who is supposed to be good? Nick has asked both of those questions. Here are two things he has learned so far in life: God is indeed good, and we live in a broken, imperfect world and should expect hardship. It’s how we respond to it that has the power to transform our lives and our communities for a greater, eternal good.
Hope Together Conference
In an effort to help provide resources and knowledge for those who want to help the brokenhearted, like the bullied, we have expanded our partnership with Hope for the Heart, founded by June Hunt. It was announced at the 2023 Hope Together Conference the release of a powerful and unique Online Training and Certification program, “Champions for the Brokenheart, Caregiver Training“. This training includes a Core Training and offers 12 specialization training and certifications in each of our 12 Champion initiatives. One of the creators and trainers of this course is Eric Scalise, PhD, LPC, LMFT, who currently serves as Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) with Hope for the Heart. In his estimation this kind of training does not exist and is desperately needed in the body of Christ for the brokenhearted. You can check out a sample course on the homepage of ChampionCargiver.org.
In addition to the announcement of our Champions Caregiver Training, 450 coaches, counselors and caregivers gathered in-person and another 500 online at the Hope Together Conference. The theme this year was “Answering the call to Care, Coach & Counsel with God’s Word”. Nick and Jay Smith, COO of NickV Ministries, opened the conference with a 3 hour pre-Conference workshop in the main hall on “Becoming a Champion for the Brokenhearted”. Jay did a conference workshop on “Caring for the Brokenhearted”. Nick ended the conference main session with a message on being “Champions of Hope”.
Until Next Time
It’s important to find the purpose in your pain, which often comes from looking outward and finding a community to lean on. As human beings, we need a sense of belonging, and that sense of belonging is often what ushers in a renewed sense of value and direction. Nick knows from experience that feeling broken can be very isolating. Which is why we hope resources like Hope for the Bullied and Champions for the Brokenhearted as a whole provide healing and solutions.