Evangelist Luis Palau now in hospice care as the 'end seems near,' son says

Luis Palau
Renowned Christian evangelist Luis Palau speaks at the closing ceremony of the "Movement Day Global Cities" conference at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City on Thursday, October 27, 2016. |

Prominent evangelist Luis Palau, who has been battling lung cancer for the past few years, has entered hospice care, his son reported Monday night.  

Andrew Palau posted a statement to the Luis Palau Facebook page explaining that his 86-year-old father's battle with stage 4 lung cancer "took a turn for the worse" at the start of 2021. 

"He spent two weeks in the hospital in January, dealing with heart and lung issues. Although the doctors thought they had stabilized his condition and [we're] happy to send him home, he returned to the hospital on Friday, February 19th," stated Palau.

"After meeting with doctors, the decision was made to stop all treatment and start on hospice care. All the medications and treatments were proving to be too much for his body to handle."

Palau was returned home to spend his final days with his family, the statement notes. 

“We don’t know exactly how much time we have left with Dad, but the end seems near,” the son added. “He is in good spirits and not in pain. We know this is probably hard for you to hear. Please know that the entire family is so thankful for your encouragement, prayers, and friendship.”

Andrew Palau thanked supporters for their love and prayers. 

“We are all at peace. We serve a good God who loves us beyond compare," Palau’s statement continued. 

"Dad is pushing hard to the finish line just to see each of the grandchildren as his final heart’s desire. The Lord knows his actual timing, and Dad keeps reminding us in these last few days, 'As for God, His way is perfect.'"

Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1934, Palau moved to the United States in 1960 to engage in ministry work, eventually headquartering his efforts in Portland, Oregon.

Overseeing his efforts through the Luis Palau Association, the evangelist was known for gathering large numbers of people for outdoor revival events, often cooperating with local churches.

He is also said to have had a close relationship with legendary evangelist Billy Graham, whom he met at the age of 26. Graham invited Palau to speak at several events worldwide over the years.   

In 2015, Palau brought together more than 1,000 New York City churches to organize around 60,000 people in Central Park for an evangelism event.

In 2010, Palau held an event celebrating 50 years of ministry at the Oregon Convention Center, which was attended by figures including Portland Mayor Sam Adams and award-winning music artist Steven Curtis Chapman.

Palau posted on his Facebook page at the time that his years in ministry work have been a “blessing and privilege.” 

In 2018, the autobiographical film "Palau the Movie" was released depicting the evangelist's life story. 

In January 2018, Luis and his sons Andrew and Kevin announced that the elderly preacher was diagnosed with lung cancer.

“To me, the first thing you do is cry,” the evangelist said in the announcement. “I think 'oh wow, I can be gone in a few months' and one silly thought that came to mind is that I won't be able to pick up the phone and talk to the boys and hear their voice and talk to my wife.”

"So everything is ready, and if the Lord wants to take me home in the next two months or two years, then I'm ready,” he stated. 

Palau continued to battle over the next couple of years. The evangelist reported in February 2020 that he was “actually feeling quite well,” with the disease being “kept at bay.”

“It’s still there to be sure. But the doctors are very optimistic given the way things are going,” Palau said in a statement at the time. 

Andrew Palau's statement echoed an earlier statement the Palau family posted to the website of Christian radio outlet K-LOVE late last week. 

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