Nigerian Bishop Jwan Zhumbes has had a difficult time.

Many of you will know that he came to this country at our invitation to address Christian persecution. While here, he complained of stomach pains and so we had him examined by a GI specialist. Much to our shock, he was diagnosed with aggressive stomach cancer. Jwan was scheduled to go home after a few weeks’ visit with us, but that would have been a death sentence. So we decided to provide him with accommodations with us if St. Vincent’s would agree to treat him. They did.

We are now into Jwan’s third month with us. He has started his chemotherapy and has received three of six treatments so far. He has been in and out of the hospital (St. Vincent’s) three times with uncontrollable nausea. So Lauri and I have been back and forth between Duck River Ranch and Birmingham because our loft in Birmingham is too small to accommodate him. It seems that we are daily going to various doctor appointments, the hospital, or somewhere else related to his treatment. The good news is that the tumor (in his stomach) has already shrunk by a third and the nausea, while miserable, is not life-threatening. (They continue to pump fluids into him via a PICC line.)

Please pray for us all as we navigate this. In addition to Jwan’s own obvious health challenges and need for your prayer, this is a challenge for Lauri and me as we try to move forward with the things on our own schedule: family, rebuilding Fixed Point, writing and traveling commitments, and so on. Bishop Zhumbes will be with us for an additional 3 – 4 months, so we have a long way to go.

Again, on Jwan’s behalf, let me thank St. Vincent’s Hospital and the wonderful team of physicians who have taken him on as a charity case. They have been truly exceptional in circumstances where there is nothing to be gained for themselves. These are things you do that store treasure in heaven. They are the things where the Christian faith becomes real, not just a label or a social membership as if to a country club. So we are grateful to the fine people at St. Vincent’s and the physicians involved.

Let me emphasize, especially for my Nigerian readers, that there is nothing in what I have written above that should alarm you. At present, his medical team expect a full recovery. His repeated hospitalizations are to address dehydration more than the cancer. And he really couldn’t be in better hands.

We move forward and trust in a sovereign, loving God.

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Larry Alex Taunton is an author, cultural commentator, and freelance columnist contributing to USA TODAYFox NewsFirst ThingsThe AtlanticCNN, and The American Spectator.  In addition to being a frequent radio and television guest, he is also the author of The Grace Effect and The Gospel Coalition Arts and Culture Book of the Year, The Faith of Christopher Hitchens. You can subscribe to his blog at

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