In a video announcement on his ministry's website on Thursday, international evangelist Luis Palau asked for prayer after being diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer.
Palau's son, Kevin, explained that Palau, 83, and his wife Patricia “had a super busy fall … traveling around the world sharing the Good News like they always do," but the evangelist returned from a long visit to the United Kingdom in December “with kind of a chest cold … that wouldn’t go away.”
“We finally got Dad to go into the doctor,” continued Kevin, president and CEO of the Luis Palau Association. “And to our surprise, the early report we got, just before Christmas, was that there was some cancer in one of Dad’s lungs.”
More recently, the Palau family learned that the cancer is in stage 4, which is the most advanced stage with a five-year survival rate of less than 10 percent.
“That’s the reality we are dealing with now,” said Kevin. “[We’re] praying about what that means. … Mostly we are asking for people’s prayers.”
“It was a shock,” said Luis of his diagnosis. “I haven’t been in a hospital one night, except when I broke a bone back in 1984 after Mission to London.”
“The first thing you do, in my case, is cry. I think, ‘oh wow, I could be gone in a few months,’” said the senior Palau. But he doesn’t feel “panic or horror.”
“Many people are praying that the Lord would do a miracle,” he said. “It would literally take a miracle. Medically speaking…stage 4 is big time.”
"In many ways, I feel the Lord has much more in store for me. Yet whatever tomorrow holds—I’m completely at peace," Palau wrote in the website's health update section. "Both Patricia and I are. As we look back, we praise the Lord. Fifty-seven years of marriage. How many places we’ve been. How many people we’ve reached with the Gospel."
“If the Lord wants to take me home in the next few months, or two years, or whatever it is, I’m ready,” Palau said. “I know it sounds crazy, it’s not like, ‘Ooh, I can’t wait to go to heaven.’ Yes it’s true. I actually [am].”
Palau explained that he has preached about heaven often, because his own father died when he was young. “Now, it’s reality for me.”
His other son Andrew then noted that his father can rest peacefully knowing that his sons and the ministry will persevere in their calling: “We don’t know how many days are left, and every one is like gold to us, Dad...You are proving day by day the power of faith.”
Hear the Palau family's full announcement in the video below: