The 74-year-old Christian apologist was told by his oncologist that his metastasizing cancer has reached a point where doctors are unable to help him any more, according to a letter from his daughter, Sarah Davis.
Davis, the CEO of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM), said that despite her father’s many surgeries and chemotherapy treatments, the tumor in his sacrum (lower back), had metastasized and was “very rare in its aggression,” leaving no other options for future treatment.
Zacharias was first diagnosed with a form of bone cancer in March, which doctors discovered during a back surgery the Christian Post reported. The tumor, which was located in a shield-shaped bone connected to the pelvis and the base of the lumbar vertebrae, caused Zacharias so much pain that the could not sleep.
We are trusting the Lord in this, and we believe we have already seen evidence of His hand. For example, the tumor did not show up on any previous scans and was only discovered by my surgeon identifying it during surgery … I still have a journey ahead of me, but I know the prayers of people and God’s strength will carry me through.
The news of his new, more dire diagnosis, however, suggests that he will not recover. Evangelist Franklin Graham has asked for people to pray for Zacharias to “lift him up.”
Davis thanked his supporters, the doctors and others working in the field of evangelism for their support.
We know that God has purposed and numbered each of our days, and only He knows how many more Ravi will experience on this earth. One day, likely sooner than later, we will be serving without our beloved founder, though I know his love and legacy will convict and inspire us to service of his Lord even greater than we have seen before. While we are full of so many emotions, we are also at peace, resting in the truth that God knows all and sees all and is sovereign and good. I think of the great joy my dad will have and I am comforted.
Zacharias just celebrated his 48th anniversary with his wife Margie, with whom he has three adult children.
Davis said family will return to Atlanta from Houston to spend what remaining time they have left with Zacharias.
Zacharias Is A Skeptic-Turned-Apologist
Zacharias, an Indian-born dual Canadian and American citizen, started out life as an atheist and attempted suicide at the age of 17. However, he said finding religion brought him back from the brink.
Zacharias, spurred by his former skepticism to convert others, founded his international apologetics ministry in 1984.
With more than 200 employees, the church has become an international affair with sixteen offices in states such as Canada, Peru, Kenya, South Africa, the United Kingdom, Austria and Spain. According to the website, the church’s mission is to encourage evangelism, apologetics, spiritual discipline, training and humanitarian support.
In an interview with Christian Broadcasting Network, he said he was committed to evangelism, despite its decline in popularity:
Evangelism in our time is now looking at a generation that’s wearied of terminology and wearied of bad answers that do not connect. It is almost going to be like it used to be when I was growing up in India. It was always tough there. It’s now becoming tough here, but that does not mean it doesn’t happen.