Blind Surfer Derek Rabelo Conquers Waves Fearlessly

Derek Rabelo’s father prayed that his son would be a professional surfer. But Derek was born blind in 1992, and his father’s dream seemed impossible. Seventeen years later, however, Derek decided that not only did he want to surf — he wanted to surf the legendary waves on the North Shore of Oahu. Derek’s courage both in and out of the water shows that the best journeys in life are guided by faith, and not by sight.

Derek Rabelo is one of my heroes (I just discovered him last week, thanks to K-LOVE Radio and Audio Adrenaline‘s amazing track, “Believer”). As if Bethany Hamilton (Soul Surfer) wasn’t inspiring enough, he’s joined her ranks as yet another fearless adventurer who loves Jesus and won’t let anything–not even being blind–hold him back from pursuing his dreams.

It would be impressive enough to me to hear he surfs the massive waves off Oahu (I’m terrified of sharks, coral reefs, and piranhas, so you will likely never find me on a surfboard off any coast anywhere), but that’s not all he does. The facts are that he’s a 20-year-old Brazilian who was born blind, but that didn’t stop him from learning to surf when he was just three years old.

“I swim, surf, ride skateboards and bikes,” Rabelo said in a recent interview. “With God, everything is possible.”

This, my friends, is a miracle. Why? Because it brings “walking by faith, not by sight” to a whole other level. To me, this video is proof that nothing is impossible with God. And it makes me wonder: Am I holding myself back from accomplishing everything God wants me to do? Am I taking risks and living life to the fullest, or letting my insecurities take hold?

His story reminds me how important it is to #dreambig!

Here’s a brief video about Derek’s life story, and a link to the biographical movie, Beyond Sight, coming out next spring. You better believe I’m going to be there!


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