Christian preacher Voddie Baucham is asking fellow believers for prayers as he and his wife, Bridget, are “walking through the darkest valley we have ever faced.”
In a Facebook post published over the weekend, Baucham, who serves as dean of theology at African Christian University in Zambia, revealed he is battling “full-blown heart failure.”
Baucham said he began feeling ill toward the end of his preaching tour in Zambia. Initially, he thought he had just overworked himself. But Baucham soon realized it was something more than that.
“I had first noticed the symptoms at the end of December when Bridget and I returned to Dallas to bury her mother,” he wrote. “I experience fatigue, and shortness of breath, among other things. However, I chalked it up to traveling with heavy bags and restrictive masks (not the trifecta of heart defect, last February’s mysterious ‘pneumonia,’ and untreated sleep apnea).”
The preacher described feeling like he was “being waterboarded every two or three minutes,” symptoms that led him to check in at a medical center, where he underwent “a series of labs and tests that revealed the worst.”
Now, he’s traveling back to the U.S. to undergo treatment.
In addition to prayers for safe traveling, Baucham is asking for his followers to “pray for God’s providential healing,” for his “terrified” children, and “for my dear wife as she walks through yet another valley — this time with her ‘rock’ leaning on her.”
“Please pray for the doctors who will treat me,” he continued. “Please pray for finances to come through as we are currently uninsured and will have to cover everything out-of-pocket.”
Tom Ascol, senior pastor at Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, Florida, set up a GoFundMe account for Baucham, which has, so far, raised more than $820,000.
“Voddie Baucham is a faithful servant of Christ,” Ascol wrote. “He has been a dear friend for nearly 20 years and serves with me as a board member for Founders Ministries and [is a] founding faculty member of the Institute of Public Theology.”
Baucham thanked Ascol for setting up the account, writing, “We have no idea how much all of this will cost and every bit helps.”
In a follow-up Facebook post, Baucham said his journey thus far has revealed his own sense of pridefulness.
“I hate being the guy pushed around in a wheelchair,” he admitted. “What I hate even more is the pride that the Lord is revealing. I have always been bigger than most … stronger than most … but now I can’t walk through the airport under my own steam. I was ‘the voice’ of the Genesis 3D movie, but now holding conversations can be a challenge.”
He referenced 2 Corinthians 4:7, in which the Apostle Paul wrote, “But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not us.”
“I want my strength back,” Baucham added. “I want my stamina back. I want my voice back. I want my healthy heart back. But what I want more is to be content when I don’t have those things, knowing that ‘godliness with contentment is great gain.’”
If you would like to donate to the GoFundMe for Baucham, click here. For those unable to contribute financially, please continue to be in prayer for the Baucham family.