Two years ago, Luis Palau was facing the end of his life from 4th-stage lung cancer. But several weeks ago, the international evangelist celebrated his 85th birthday with a public party at the Downtown Bible Class, sponsored by Southwest Bible Church of Beaverton and held at Portland Art Museum.
The Nov. 27 event marked a milestone in a life that’s already full of them. Initially told by doctors in 2017 that he had just months to live, Palau has undergone chemotherapy and the cancer is now at bay, with one tumor even shrinking some.
Speaking to an overflow crowd, Palau admitted he was surprised as anyone to be celebrating his 85th but is grateful to God. He displayed his usual zeal and energy as he blew out the candles on a large cake and then preached about living a joyful Christian life.
Southwest Bible Pastor Scott Gilchris hosted the event. “Luis has faced some real health challenges the last two years, but God has kept him here and kept him vibrant,” Gilchrist said.
Also featured were video birthday greetings from Rev. Franklin Graham and contemporary Christian musicians Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith. Also shown in the photo are Gilchrist’s wife Kristi, second from left; Palau’s wife Pat, third from left; and his evangelist son Andrew, far right. Palau hopes his health will allow him to join Andrew in an outreach in his native Argentina in November.