After having his entire stomach removed due to complications associated with stage IV stomach cancer, Christian apologist Nabeel Qureshi is making a "great recovery" and is preparing to celebrate his 12th "spiritual birthday".
In a Facebook update published Thursday, Qureshi's friend - identified as Marie W. - revealed that the "Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus" author is making progress since the surgery earlier this month.
"His vitals are good, his pain is manageable, he's taking walks, he's starting to sip clear liquids, and his tube feedings are on track," reads the update.
Qureshi, a Pakistani-American Muslim convert to Christianity who is an author and has also served with Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, received the cancer diagnosis on August 24, 2016 - eleven years from the very day he acknowledged and received Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.
"Rather than being disheartened by this 'coincidence,' Nabeel and his loved ones have been deeply encouraged, trusting that this is a sign of divine meaning and purpose within the sovereign will of God," the update continues.
"There is so much to be thankful for as we approach Nabeel's 12th spiritual birthday!...We are grateful that this is another year in Nabeel's life that might not have been, and it is another year in Nabeel's life which he has continued to serve the Lord by sharing the gospel and teaching His people, being empowered by the Holy Spirit to demonstrate perseverance in faith, even in the midst of incredible pain and loss."
On August 24, supporters are encouraged to post personal notes of thanksgiving and praise to God on Qureshi's Facebook page.
"You are also welcome, as you feel led, to share notes of encouragement or expressions of gratitude for how you have been impacted by Nabeel's ministry, along with intercessory prayers of healing, strength, and hope for Nabeel and his family," the update continues. "But most importantly, we want to celebrate by magnifying God above all kingdoms and thrones, and thanking Him for the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ who by conquering death itself gave us the greatest demonstration of how God causes all things to work together for the good to those who love Him, to those who are called according to His purpose."
As reported, Qureshi, who lives in Houston, Texas, with his wife Michelle and daughter Ayah, revealed doctors had to remove his entire stomach due to "bleeding issues".
"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!"
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."