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Ravi Zacharias Starts Chemotherapy Ahead of Schedule

Ravi Zacharias update

Apologist Ravi Zacharias has shared another update on his health. The 74-year-old leader of Ravi Zacharias Ministries (RZIM) says he has begun chemotherapy to address a recently-diagnosed case of sarcoma. 

“Our doctors in Atlanta were initially concerned that I couldn’t start cancer treatment until fully healing from the back surgery,” Zacharias writes in an update posted to RZIM’s site. Since that time, though, Zacharias’ doctors have consulted with specialists at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, who determined it would be ok to start chemotherapy sooner. Zacharias goes on to explain:

Since then we have been able to consult with doctors at the renowned MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. Truly God did a miracle in getting me here, literally a day or two just before they had to close to treating any patients outside of Texas. My doctor, a Sarcoma specialist, feels confident in starting a regimen of chemotherapy and we have begun that. Since this treatment is coinciding with the COVID-19 pandemic, I will remain here in Houston for the next few months until I finish the chemotherapy treatment. I am so grateful that both Margie and Naomi can be here with me. God has given me the best doctor, and I look forward to gradually seeing this disease mend.

Ravi Zacharias Diagnosed with Sarcoma

Zacharias was diagnosed with sarcoma, a rare form of cancer, after undergoing emergency surgery on his back. The renowned apologist has had many back issues over the years, and an emergency surgery in February of this year was necessary to address some underlying issues. On Wednesday, February 19, Zacharias posted on the RZIM website, explaining that he needed emergency back surgery and requesting prayer. He began, “Dear Friends, I seldom go to any lengths to talk about personal challenges but am making an exception because I know you will pray for me—and for my family and the team.” God used two previous surgeries to bring him “comfort and strength” and “eighteen good years.” However, he said, “over the last year, I have battled several flare-ups, and after my last trip to the Philippines and Sri Lanka, it’s a miracle I got home on my own two feet.”

This most recent surgery involved removing two loose screws and anchoring Zacharias’s sacrum (which was fractured) to his pelvis in two places. His medical team cares about his ministry, said Zacharias, and they “want to see me positioned for the distance.” 

During that surgery, the surgeon noticed an abnormal growth on Zacharias’ sacrum and did a biopsy. If it weren’t for the surgery, it’s not likely the doctors would have found the cancer until much later. Zacharias said, “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.”

Zacharias Determined to ‘serve the Lord from here’

While Zacharias is says “it is too soon to begin making plans to speak and travel” at the time being, he is determined to continue his work with RZIM in whatever form that may take. “I believe God still has more for me to do. I will serve the Lord from here whether on my back or on my feet.”

Zacharias also thanked supporters for their prayers and asked them to continue praying for him and his family:

We are grateful for you, our brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ. And we do not take your prayers for granted. Our prayers are for you in these challenging times. I have come to know that the greatest family on earth is the family of God.

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Megan Briggs is a writer and editor for churchleaders.com. Her experience in ministry, an extensive amount of which was garnered overseas, gives her a unique perspective on the global church. She has the longsuffering and altruistic nature of foreign friends and missionaries to humbly thank for this experience. Megan is passionate about seeking and proclaiming the truth. When she’s not writing, Megan likes to explore God’s magnificent creation.