Dr. Voddie Baucham, Dean of Theology at African Christian University in Lusaka, Zambia, has shared an urgent prayer request. The Christian leader says he has “full-blown heart failure”—a condition he only learned about last week after he experienced symptoms he presumed were resultant of a busy ministry schedule and fatigue.
“Brethren, if you have ever considered supporting us in prayer, please do so now,” Baucham wrote on his personal Facebook page on Friday.
In late December, Baucham and his wife traveled to the United States to attend his mother-in-law’s funeral. It was during this time Baucham said he first noticed symptoms: “fatigue, and shortness of breath, among other things.” He thought the fatigue was a result of traveling and “restrictive masks (not the trifecta of a hereditary heart defect, last February’s mysterious “pneumonia,” and untreated sleep apnea).”
VBM’s president told his followers that, “six days after bringing Bridget back to Lusaka [from her mother’s funeral], I turned around and embarked on what ended up being the busiest tour I’ve ever done. On the way home, there were stretches when I felt what I could only describe as being waterboarded every two or three minutes.” Baucham contacted his family doctor the night he arrived back in Lusaka. “The next morning I was at a medical center doing a series of labs and tests that revealed the worst. I was experiencing full-blown heart failure,” he wrote.
Baucham is currently traveling to the United States to undergo treatment having had to initially delay the trip due to his condition. After being stabilized in a local hospital, Baucham shared on Sunday that he and Bridget have embarked.
Please keep the Baucham family in your prayers for healing and navigating the unknown that is currently ahead of them. Baucham shared a list of prayer requests on his Facebook page, which we have included below.
Baucham’s social media post reads:
Allow me to clear up some confusion. I sent out a newsletter earlier that was subsequently shared on a number of Social Media platforms. Some of them provided links for donation. My newsletter, however, did not. This is not a VBM issue, but a personal one and anyone wanting to help needs to know that. For now, we are 1) soliciting prayers, and 2) trying to get ahead of rumors. Here is the content of the newsletter:
Brethren, if you have ever considered supporting us in prayer, please do so now. We are walking through the darkest valley we have ever faced. Not only have we experienced a great deal of loss in recent weeks, but we are also facing a family health crisis.At the end of my Winter Preaching Tour, I felt unwell. I thought I had just worked too hard (17 preaching dates in 18 days, 7 sessions the last 3 days, etc.). However, as it turns out, I was experiencing heart failure!
I had first noticed the symptoms at the end of December when Bridget and I returned to Dallas to bury her mother. I experienced 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 a hereditary heart defect, last February’s mysterious “pneumonia,” and untreated sleep apnea).
Six days after bringing Bridget back to Lusaka, I turned around and embarked on what ended up being the busiest tour I’ve ever done. On the way home, there were stretches when I felt what I could only describe as being waterboarded every two or three minutes. That night, upon arriving in Lusaka, I contacted our family doctor. The next morning I was at a medical center doing a series of labs and tests that revealed the worst. I was experiencing full-blown heart failure.
As I write this update, Bridget and I are making arrangements to fly back to the USA, where I will undergo a series of labs, exams, and treatments. Some of those will be significant. Hence, the call to prayer and plea for help.
1 Please pray that the Lord will grant us traveling mercies.
2 Please pray that he will grant me strength for the journey. Right now, it is challenging just walking from the bedroom to the kitchen table; I don’t know how I am going to survive a 36-hour trip.*
3 Please pray for God’s providential healing.
4 Please pray for my dear wife as she walks through yet another valley—this time with her ‘rock’ leaning on her.
5 Please pray for our children. They are terrified. May the Lord use this to teach them to trust in the Father who never gets weak or sick.
6 Please pray for the doctors who will treat me.
7 Please pray for finances to come through as we are currently uninsured and will have to cover everything out-of-pocket.
8 Please pray for our witness as we endure this trial. We often think our faith shines brightest when we are on mountain tops when in fact, it is the dark valley that offers the sharpest relief and clearest contours.
9 Please pray for me as I strive to lead my family while facing the reality of my own dependence.
*Update: On yesterday (Thursday), things took a turn for the worse, and I had to be admitted for treatment to stabilize me for our upcoming trip. By God’s grace, things have improved, and we are clear to travel on Saturday.
Voddie posted an update Sunday morning:
After spending the night in Joburg due to a cancellation, we are back at it today. We go from here to Doha tonight. Bridget and I are overwhelmed by the encouragement and support we continue to receive. But the struggle is real, in more ways than one.
I hate being the guy pushed around in a wheelchair. 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 Genesis3D movie, but now holding conversations can be a challenge.
The Lord is reminding me once again, “But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.” (2 Corinthians 4:7 ESV)
I want my strength back. 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.” (1 Timothy 6:6 ESV)
So when you look at this pic, pray for the guy in the wheelchair… and don’t just pray that he gets up.
Voddie Baucham Medical Expense Fund
President of Founders Ministries, Tom Ascol set up a GoFundMe page for Baucham and said, “Voddie Baucham is a faithful servant of Christ. He has been a dear friend for nearly twenty years and serves with me as a board member of Founders Ministries and founding faculty member of the Institute of Public Theology…In response to many requests to help out directly, I am setting up this fundraiser to assist the Bauchams as expenses mount. All gifts given will go directly to the Bauchams. As the President of Founders Ministries, and in behalf of our board I encourage you to give as you are able to help our brother.
Voddie Baucham’s GoFundMe page can me found here.