Ravi Zacharias announces cancer diagnosis

by Tess Schoonhoven, posted Friday, March 13, 2020 (22 days ago)

ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP) -- Ravi Zacharias, 73-year-old Christian apologist and evangelist, announced through Facebook that he has been diagnosed with a rare cancer called Sarcoma after doctors discovered a malignant tumor on his sacrum.

Ravi Zacharias addressed the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in Dallas in 2018.
BP file photo
In his post, Zacharias explained that the tumor was discovered when he underwent back surgery. Treatment for the tumor will not begin until Zacharias is fully recovered from back surgery. Speaking plans have been postponed until the summer.

"We are trusting the Lord in this, and we believe we have already seen evidence of His hand," Zacharias said in his post. "For example, the tumor did not show up on any previous scans and was only discovered by my surgeon identifying it during surgery."

Ruth Malhotra, public relations manager at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM), said the organization is grateful for the support shown to Zacharias and the team at this time.

"The heartfelt prayers being offered and kind messages pouring in from around the world are a tremendous source of encouragement to Ravi and Margie and our entire global team," Malhotra said.

RZIM is a team of apologists, evangelists, humanitarian workers and Christian teachers. Members of the RZIM team have begun to step in to help as Zacharias is off the road, Malhotra noted.

"RZIM's team includes nearly 100 speakers who are deployed all over the world at any given moment," Malhotra said. "God has blessed RZIM with what Ravi has repeatedly called 'a deep bench,' and our speaking team has risen to the challenge by stepping in for Ravi on key speaking engagements since he underwent emergency back surgery last month."

Malhotra said the plan going forward is to tap into the available speakers through the RZIM team to step in for Zacharias until he is recovered and ready to resume travel.

"We believe God has prepared our ministry for such a time as this -- when hope-filled voices are needed in culture -- even as one of our strongest voices is temporarily sidelined," Malhotra said.

Zacharias also emphasized in his post that the ministry of RZIM will continue across the globe as individuals continue to step up in his absence.

"We are trusting the Lord for His purpose. Please do also pray that God will take away this horrific night pain, which is the most difficult part of waiting," Zacharias said in his post. "In the meantime, I want to express my heartfelt thanks for supporting the ministry as it goes forward around the world unabated. We need you to continue to stand with us."

Malhotra expressed thankfulness and a hopeful attitude in the midst of challenges to come.

"We ask you to continue to stand with us in prayer," Malhotra said. "Ravi and Margie continually demonstrate remarkable trust in our Savior and joyfully point countless others to the reason for our hope, and we are confident that God will sustain them during this season and use their example to point many to His life-giving truth."

Tess Schoonhoven is a Baptist Press staff writer.
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