Like so many people around the world I was so sad to hear of the passing of the remarkable evangelist Luis Palau at the age of 86 after his three-year battle with cancer.
But I was also grateful that as a journalist over the past 25 years, I’ve had the privilege of interviewing him several times whenever he came to the UK.
When his sons announced just a few days ago that the ‘end was near’ for their father, I started reflecting on my last ever interview with Luis on a cold, wet day in Manchester in November 2017. None of us knew at the time that he would be diagnosed with lung cancer just a few days later.
On that day, as he always was when we met, I was struck by his sheer humility, despite the fact that he’d achieved so much in his lifetime. Having ministered in more than 80 nations he presented a clear case for Christianity to more than one billion people.
Yet as he walked into the room on his own, where my camera was set up, the first thing he said was, ‘I hope I can give you a decent interview today.’
The other aspect that hit me was even in his early 80s he was still just as passionate as ever about proclaiming the Gospel and excitedly told me about their plans for 2020 to mobilise the next generation of evangelists. He was in Manchester to speak at the Message Trust 25 Year Anniversary Conference and that excitement was very clear when he literally ran to the podium to share his message.
So what did he say when I asked him about plans to ever retire from his preaching ministry?
“As long as people want me to come and they think I have a message for this generation I will continue for now. I constantly ask younger leaders ‘do you think it’s time that I step aside completely?’ Myself and my son Andrew will preach at alternate evenings at our festivals. So that’s one way I can still rejoice in participating, while delegating to Andrew so that people recognize he also has the gift of an evangelist.”
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SOURCE: Assist News Service