An open letter to Ravi

Dear Ravi,

I have been thinking about writing you for some time as there are many things I have wanted to say to you. I know I speak for millions around the globe from all the different countries, cultures and individuals you have impacted.

First, I want to say, “Thank you” for your faith in Jesus Christ and how you have lived it each day for His glory. We are the grateful recipients of that blessing and overflow. The thing that became noticeable from early on is, not only did you have Jesus, but Jesus had you, too.

Thank you for the way you love and cherish your wife. I saw a recent beautiful picture of you two strolling hand in hand on someone’s Instagram post. What a testimony to the world of the long haul commitment and faithfulness of God to His Bride.

Thank you for the example you have been to your family. Leading your children as a faithful father so that they are now leading others by your example.

Thank you for RZIM and the many avenues that have been utilized - podcast, lectures, Connect, books, etc., to call out the words of life to the sons of glory, even the sons of dust.

Thank you for all the hours you spent in airports, airplanes, taxis and hotel rooms when I’m sure one or two of those times you wished your were home in your own bed. Because you weren’t, the kingdom has advanced further and the gospel has been preached to more souls.

Thank you for the times when you shared the gospel through a whisper because your voice was almost gone from overuse. It was still powerful and clear. I know because I heard it.

Thank you for enduring with those two rods in your back, That can’t be easy. I’ve often wondered if it was somehow symbolic of Aaron and Hur holding up the arms of Moses to enable the fulfillment of the plans of God that resulted in victory for the multitudes.

In closing, I have one more thing that I would like to say. I realize my words don’t have the weight or meaning of Someone else’s. Nor should they. Nevertheless, it sums up, like no other phrase I can think of, the impact that you have had on my life:

“Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”

mary beth

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4 posts were merged into an existing topic: #ThankYouRavi

A post was merged into an existing topic: #ThankYouRavi

6 posts were merged into an existing topic: #ThankYouRavi

6 posts were merged into an existing topic: #ThankYouRavi

2 posts were merged into an existing topic: #ThankYouRavi

Please accept our love and gratefulness, not only to Ravi, but to his supportive loving wife and family as they travel this last trip on earth together. Ravi is an amazing person; however, I believe that his devotion to God and His message would not have spanned the earth as it has if he had not been blessed with his strong, devoted wife. Ministry, particularly international ministry cannot attain the results that Ravi’s and Billy Graham’s ministries did unless he has an intelligent, loving, loyal,strong and supportive wife. Mrs. Graham was as equal a partner for Billy as Ravi’s equally amazing wife. We will mourn for earth’s loss as we read, re-read, and listen and watch Ravi’s past messages and those his team will share in the future. We will strive to pass RZIM’s message to our children and the world at large, striving to keep planting seeds RZIM’s ministry sowed within our hearts and souls. Blessings and peace to all the Zacharias family and RZIM Ministries. We are all better people for having been touched by you. We are never ready to bid goodbye to those we love. It’s hard to accept that goodbyes on one side are hellos on the other. While we’re sad now, we are also joyful for having had you. Until we meet again…

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Dear Wanda: I know the entire team would want to join me in thank you for posting at this. We agree with you about the devotion of @Margie who has been steadfastly alongside our Founder and boss Ravi every step of the way!

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Ravi, I am so thankful for you and your ministry. I became a Christian when I was 18 and I was at a secular University studying the Bible. And then I discovered a message from you about a year-and-a-half into my Christian Journey. You gave me the foundations for being able to think through the Christian faith and withstand the onslaught of secularism and other worldviews. There has not been a more formative person upon the ministry of my mind than you. If I never get to say thank you to your face on this side of Glory I’m sure I will be able to on the next side of Glory. I remember either listening to a message of yours or in your biography you mentioned how you’ve never looked back since becoming a Christian on that bed of suicide. And I just think how wonderful it must be to be able to stand before the Lord with a clear conscience. You have run this race faithfully and your ministry has demonstrated that fact by its power and its influence. I love you so much. -Mitch

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Oh Ravi! I want God to perform a healing miracle in you! Thank you for your steadfast commitment to Jesus, to promoting the gospel and teaching us how to love Jesus by loving others so well. Your integrity and engaging the mind as well as the heart and spirit has been so refreshing to me! My son first introduced me to you and your ministry some 5 years ago. Since that time I’ve listened to countless hours of your teaching and have taken four RZIM courses which have strengthened my walk and my witness immensely. I have loved Jesus for years but prior to finding your ministry I longed for well thought out reasoning and even intellectual meatiness in examining the Word and the authenticity of Christ and the Bible. You’ve made it not only okay to engage the mind, but promoted a beautiful meld between it and the heart. I’ve led so many others to you and they too have been incredibly blessed to learn from you and your team. Thank you for investing in so many other leaders, for building an incredible and diverse team of teachers and evangelists to carry on the mission. And absolutely a thank you to your wonderful wife and family who loaned you to us for all these years and sacrificed so much time with you. Their selflessness has made all the difference in the world! What a greeting from the Father you will receive, and what joy awaits you! (But would it be okay if I continue to pray for a miracle and that He lets us keep you a little while longer? tee hee…selfishness overcomes me sometimes.)

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I wanted to share what I posted on my personal Facebook about Ravi…most of my friends are not Christ followers so I wanted to introduce them to this man…

"I’m sad right now and my heart is heavy. Over the years I’ve had few heros. Sure when I was a kid my heros were hockey goalies- stuff like that.

But after becoming a Christian my affections seemed to change.

At Bowling Green when I was leading our church there I learned about an Indian man named Ravi Zacharias and I started listening to his talks.

I heard him speak powerfully, logically, cogently and gracefully about Jesus and the thinking behind Christianity.

I loved his radio show titled “Let My People Think”.

I even drove up to his First Principles Forum in Toronto where I was surrounded with highly intelligent, deep thinkers who were passionate about communicating the faith but in a respectful and gracious manner…the way Ravi wanted it.

I heard him speak at Ivy League college campuses where hostile, arrogant students would ask him questions and he would graciously and kindly dismantle their assertions.

As Ravi would say “always remember there’s a QUESTIONER behind the question”…he saw PEOPLE and not arguments. He treated people with dignity.

He would always say “it’s important that we can disagree but without being disagreeable” and “when we sling mud we lose alot of ground”.

He had the respect of national leaders, atheists, and even potentially militant Muslims would invite him to speak publicly on Christianity. He was special and his ability to be kind while communicating deeply about thorny issues was something that I aspired to. Very simply he became sort of a hero to me.

So on that weekend I drove up to Toronto with a friend for the First Principles Forum I didn’t plan real well…and had no place to stay. We got put up at Ravi’s brother’s house and we had dinner with Ravi, Ajit and his family and spent the evening together.

There he was…I had this incredible mind all to myself. Guess what we talked about for the first hour? Hockey. Of course.

Yep…he spent a lot of time in Toronto and loved the Leafs so we had a wonderful time talking about old time hockey. I told him about my high school coach who played for the Canadiens and we talked about Maple Leaf Gardens.

We laughed, we told funny stories, he treated us like family, he even knew I would want ice in my drink because I’m a typical American lol.

He laughed from the heart as he and his friend Sunder made fun of each other like kids.

Finally we got into philosophy, world religions and the faith and his experiences and conversations with fascinating people from all over the world…including the Minister of Education of Russia who told him privately…”I know of no hope beyond the Resurrection of Jesus”

I didn’t want the night to end.

Well…Ravi was found to have cancer recently. Today his daughter said it had gotten worse and the doctors at MD Anderson sent him home saying they had no further treatment options.

I’m sad. My hero won’t be here much longer…but this is what he always spoke of…the hope that Jesus offered. Soon he will be with Jesus.

That’s MY hero- an Indian man with grey hair from Madres, India (ironically the city where “doubting Thomas” took the gospel message to and died for it) who had befriended those who disagreed with them and did it without being disagreeable…who could single handedly de-escalate a room of hostile people with his logic, his delivery, his kindness and his humility…and the Gospel.

He helped doubters, atheists, agnostics and everyone in between see how Christianity offers cogent answers for the biggest questions in life that we ponder- our origin, meaning, purpose and destiny.

Thank you Ravi for your example and for your labor of love. God has used you to help change the trajectory of many peoples lives…and you did it the right way…with love, compassion and truth.

I want to be like you when I grow up.

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Could not have said it better ma’am…I see God’s hand on your life as well…one of God’s gifts of grace, I feel you have is a loving “encourager” Everything you said put a smile on my face. God continue to fill you with Himself young lady.

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I know what my heart desires. But if Ravi will not be restored and be allowed to continue here without the suffering; then my heart bows to the will and wisdom of our LORD. Having said that, My heart hurts with a rain of sorrow and tears to see one more warrior run past us and leave us behind. Selfishly perhaps, I don’t want to be left behind. I don’t want to traverse this journey without any of you. But I get it. For us to live is CHRIST but for us to die is gain. I certainly want GOD’s best for each and all of HIS people. His children.

To Margie, each of Ravi’s children, his siblings and their families, and his precious grandbabies. To the starlet members of the Rzim Ministries, and to Rzim Connect special, I just want to say, "I love you guys. Loving you and will continue the journey alongside.

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A post was merged into an existing topic: #ThankYouRavi

Dear Ravi,
I am so thankful for you and your eloquent defence of the gospel. You have helped me articulate my faith in so many ways. I often stand in awe of your brilliant answers to tough, challenging questions from those outside the faith.
My heart grieves that you will be taken from this world prematurely through cancer.
I know that you will be greeted in heaven with the words, “well done my good and faithful servant”.
2 years ago I read your book, Why Suffering?..6 months later I was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer.
I know your book has helped me face cancer with strong faith in God’s goodness.
I prayed this morning in tears, that God would not let you physically suffer as you wait for Him to call you home.
You will leave a gaping hole in the kingdom on earth, but you can take satisfaction that you have trained so many of us in the art and skill of apologetics.
Thank you for your selfless service to God’s kingdom. And for “Letting God’s people think.” God bless you sir.

In Christ’s love and mine,

Christie Fetzer

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Dear Ravi,
It’s taken weeks to write to you, because my heart is so heavy and sad, but have been praying for you, your family and ministry since hearing of your illness . As an adult convert, accepting Christ as my Savior while in college, I have listened to you, and your teaching has walked me through lifes changes and challenges these last 20+ years. As an avid studier, I appreciate your seemingly photographic memory of Bible passages, the discernment God gives you to answer the heart issues behind the questions being asked, but have mostly grown in heart from your balanced approach of teaching. There is truly no evangelist like you, so balanced in head and heart, as you humbly defend the gospel, and so respectfully and courageously reach anyone willing to come and ask. We will miss you greatly! Surely your reward will be great in heaven. I was recently reading Zephaniah and know that God rejoices over you with singing. We love you brother Ravi! God bless your family!
Jeannie (and Van) Seabaugh

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@jeesea

Beautiful and beautifully said. Well done.

Mary Beth

I am deeply saddened by the news today and at the same time very grateful for Ravi’s life and how God worked in and through his life.

I also lived in utter hopelessness and struggled with suicide before I came to know Jesus. Ravi’s messages / podcasts always helped me when I was struggling with questions about my faith.

Thank you Ravi for helping us see the beauty of the Gospel and for showing us how it to truly live a life of faith. You are one of the people I will always look up to.

@ Ravi’s Reception in Heaven would be like:

His Mom & Dad: Welcome home, son.

Malcolm Muggeridge: Ravi, you don’t need to quote me anymore.

Norman Geisler to Jesus: Lord, here is my student.

Ravi to Billy Graham: Did you ask your question of ‘Why God has chosen you to be the Evangelist to the World?’

Jesus comes in….

Jesus holding Ravi’s hand introducing him to His friends, Wesley’s family, Martin Luther, C.S. Lewis, John Bunyan, David Livingstone, William Carey, Hudson Taylor and to many others face-to-face.

Jesus Christ to Ravi: Ravi, I would also like to introduce you to another friend whom I greatly loved while I was on earth. His friends there called him ‘Lazarus, twice dead and friend of Jesus’.

Ravi to Jesus: Lord, I’m so excited to see Lazarus.

Jesus calls Lazarus to his presence….

Jesus to Lazarus: Lazarus, here is my friend Frederick Antony Ravi Kumar Zacharias, of whom I told his coming today to heaven.

Ravi wondered and with tearful eyes: Lord, You called me your friend!! that’s what I always wanted to hear from you and the accolade of well done, my faithful servant!

As Ravi talks, Jesus wipes his tears off his face and hugs him. Ravi overwhelms with joy, peace and comfort that nobody can give in the world.

Ravi to Jesus: Lord, I want to hear a sermon from you.

Jesus to Ravi: Sermon??

Ravi to Jesus: Yes, Lord the one sermon you’ve preached to two disciples on the Emmaus Road.

As Jesus begins the sermon they walk not on streets of Emmaus, but on golden streets.

@ Ravi’s Departure here on earth is like:

Universal Church: We wish you were here on this earth for some more time to navigate us through this dark and evil world. Nevertheless, you’ve given us the light that we needed. Ravi, Thank you!!

We will be missing you! We will see you soon!
#ThankYouRavi #letmypeoplethink

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Poignant.
Wonderful…

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