Christian apologist Nabeel Qureshi, who is battling stage IV stomach cancer, has revealed doctors had to remove his entire stomach due to "bleeding issues" - but he is recovering well.
On August 11, Qureshi, a Pakistani-American Muslim convert to Christianity who is an author and has also served with Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, took to Facebook to ask for prayer ahead of the surgery.
"Saints! I need your prayers," he wrote. "We have to urgently remove my stomach tonight, as it has been bleeding for weeks. Please pray for me, that God's hand would be over the surgery and outcome!"
The following day, a friend updated Qureshi's status for him, revealing the procedure went well.
"We are grateful to share that Nabeel's surgery went well, and he is now recuperating," reads the status. "As he shared yesterday, due to bleeding issues, his entire stomach had to be removed. During the surgery, it was discovered that the J-tube placement was also causing an obstruction, so it has been repositioned. His post-operative pain is now, thankfully, under control."
Overall, Qureshi's medical team is "happy with his progress", and he has "begun practicing sitting in a chair, and it is possible he could be moved from the intensive care unit to the regular floor soon."
The update continues: "Please do keep Nabeel and his family in your prayers, just as you have been so faithfully and generously! Pray for the Lord to give him profound peace and relief to overcome any pangs of anxiety. Pray for ease of breathing and of sitting, so that Nabeel can transition out of the ICU and eventually back into the warmth and comfort of his own home with his dear family."
Qureshi, who is now living in Houston, Texas, with his wife Michelle and daughter Ayah, first announced his cancer diagnosis last August.
"My family and I have received the news that I have advanced stomach cancer, and the clinical prognosis is quite grim," he wrote at the time. "Nonetheless, we are going to pursue healing aggressively, both medical and miraculous, relying on God and the fact that He is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine."
Since then, the "Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus" author has regularly updated fans regarding his progress via social media and YouTube videos. While he is unable to make public appearances, he also uses his video updates to share the Gospel with his followers.
On July 28, Qureshi shared a video filmed from his hospital bed and explained he had been hospitalized after a stent placed in his stomach was dislodged and traveled up to his esophagus, causing extreme pain.
While waiting several days to get the stent removed from his throat, a series of hiccups caused Qureshi to have repeated spasms of severe pain.
During the worst of the pain, Qureshi said he felt an overwhelming spiritual presence, as if God or angels were comforting him.
"As I was going through this tremendous pain that I had only ever conceived of ... I felt like I heard voices of reassurance. I don't know if it was just my head or if the Lord was speaking to me or if angels were whispering assurances. I just felt a presence - that even though I knew it wasn't physically there I just knew there was a presence there," Qureshi said.
"I had some friends come to pray for me. As they were praying for me, I was thinking, 'Did they lay their hands on my head? Did they lay their hands on my stomach?' I would look to see what they were doing and they were standing next to me and they weren't laying hands. But, I could feel hands on my stomach and on my head."