BEAVERTON, OR – Mention “the lost” or “un-reached” to evangelist Luis Palau, and his eyes immediately light up.
Not even a fatal diagnosis can dim the glow.
It’s a visible expression of his passion for people to discover the love of Jesus, which has been his life mission over the last five decades.
Palau’s battle with stage 4 lung cancer adds a final chapter to a remarkable life story – rising out of poverty to influence presidents and popes while reaching one billion people with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Palau offered the benediction at the official prayer service for President Bill Clinton’s second inauguration in 1997. He also prayed regularly with fellow Argentine Fr. Jorge Mario Bergoglio before he became Pope Francis. He called the pontiff a real friend of evangelical Christians when Bergoglio was elected pope in 2013.
What began as a suspected lingering cold eventually forced Palau to go to the hospital. After running medical tests, doctors delivered unexpected news.
“He said, ‘It’s incurable,”‘ Palau recounted. An oncologist confirmed that he only had anywhere between nine to twelve months to live if he underwent chemotherapy. If he chose not to, the prognosis was four months.