Originally published in The Christian Post
Naomi Zacharias taped a video tribute to her father, world-renowned apologist Ravi Zacharias, just days before the family announced that no other treatment options are available for the minister’s advanced stage of cancer.
In the heartfelt message, Naomi, who serves as the director of Wellspring International, sported a hat with the message: “I love my dad”.
“I’m in more casual attire today, primarily because I am proud to let you know that I do love my dad very much,” she said in the video tribute that’s now posted on Zacharias’ Instagram page.
The tribute featured a virtual performance by Metro Music Therapy of their rendition of Zacharias’ favourite hymn, “How Great Thou Art”.
At the time, Naomi and her parents were in Houston, Texas, where her father was undergoing treatment at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.
Zacharias has been battling a rare form of bone cancer since March and was recently informed by doctors that there’s nothing more they can do.
On Friday, Ravi Zacharias International Ministries shared a health update from Zacharias’ eldest daughter, Sarah Davis, who is also CEO of RZIM. “We have just learned that while the tumour in my dad’s sacrum has been responding to the chemotherapy, the area where the cancer metastasized has actually worsened,” Davis wrote. “His oncologist informed us that this cancer is very rare in its aggression and that no options for further treatment remain. Medically speaking, they have done all they are able.”
Although Naomi Zacharias’ video message was recorded before her father was discharged from the hospital, it wasn’t posted on Ravi Zacharias’ social media platforms until Monday. He thanked his daughter for her words as well as the Atlanta based singers of Metro Music Therapy.
Music “can call forth life” and “honour both life and grief,” Naomi said in the tribute. She thanked Metro Music Therapy for sharing the song with her father.
“I want to thank you guys so much. Mallory Bailey, Laura Haley, Haley, Kevin, Camilla and Maria, I want to thank you for this labour of love. This act of love. I don’t even know how you guys did it. With all my heart, we’re so grateful to you. Thank you for your friendship,” she said. “Thank you for what you did for him, for breathing life into his soul. It truly was food for the soul. It blessed him, it blessed us, and we wanted to share it with you guys because we know that it’ll bless you too.
“I got to sit next to my dad and push play and see the look on his face as he heard them using their beautiful voices to sing for him — singing for him and singing one of his favourite songs of all time. Words that he knows and has clung to for years and words that he knows and clings to even today,” Naomi said.