Charlotte, North Carolina, July 23, 2019
Hank Hanegraaff, the host of the nationally-syndicated “Bible Answer Man” radio show and convert to Orthodoxy, revealed last week that he had to be taken to the ICU following a recent allogeneic stem cell transplantation. “The Lord supernaturally saved me from dying,” he says in a video posted on his YouTube page on July 17:
Hanegraaff and his wife Kathy were received into the Orthodox Church on the feast of Palm Sunday in 2017. The president and chairman of the board of the North Carolina-based Christian Research Institute (CRI) announced in May 2017 that he had been diagnosed with the rare cancer mantle cell lymphoma. Though he announced in November 2018 that his cancer was in remission, he was back in the hospital in June this year for a potentially curative stem cell transplant.
According to the Bible Answer Man, the surgery was successful. 69 years old, Hanegraaff also said he used his time in the hospital to reflect upon what God wills for him in his remaining years. “And I do believe God’s going to give me many more years,” he added.
“I don't want to be presumptive, but I almost died... I had passed out, I had gone unconscious. And the time in ICU is just a blur. I remember little bits and pieces of it, but when my kids and my wife told me about what I went through in the ICU, it was like they were talking about a different person,” he explained.
And, as Hanegraaff explains, it is thanks to his son David visiting him in the hospital at just the right time that he is still alive today. “He's the one that saw that all of a sudden my speech was incoherent and then I went unconscious and got the nurses in and got me into ICU. And that was a close brush with death,” he shared. “I’m still feeling a lot of the effects of that.”
As he explains it, he “came within a whisper of being in the presence of the Lord… That makes you look at life completely differently.”
“The Lord supernaturally saved me from dying,” he said. “Again, I don't want to be presumptive; only the Lord knows our days... But the doctors that I've talked to are very, very optimistic about the success of the stem cell transplant.”
Hanegraaff’s body is still resisting the transplant, though he is feeling stronger every day. “To see the finger of God, visible yet invisible, is a wondrous thing,” he said. “I know that every experience that we have is precious to the Lord. The suffering that we go through is being used by the Lord for our salvation.”
He also thanked supporters for their prayers, which he said showed the “invisible yet visible hand of God prolonging my life and giving me a new lease on life.”
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