Tributes paid to 'tireless witness for Christ' Luis Palau

(Photo: The Luis Palau Association)

Christian leaders have been paying tribute to respected evangelist Luis Palau, who died from lung cancer on Thursday aged 86. 

Palau was a close friend of the late evangelist Billy Graham, serving as an intern with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) as a young man, and occasionally assisting with Spanish translation at some of his events. 

The BGEA paid tribute to Palau as a "longtime friend of the Graham family and tireless witness for Christ." 

Harvest pastor Greg Laurie, said, "It was my privilege to know Luis, and he was full of passion for Christ and for lost people. God used him to lead thousands to Christ.

"I know the Lord has said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of the Lord!'" 

The Case for Christ author Lee Strobel shared some of Palau's last words to him during a recent visit.

"He told me he was ready — even anxious — for heaven. Today he finally went Home," he said on Twitter.

"Thank you, Luis, for your faithful and fruitful ministry among us." 

He added: "Among Luis Palau's last words to me: 'At the end of your life, when all is said and done, you'll never regret being courageous for Christ.'"

The Moody Bible Institute said: "We join with the Palau family in prayer as they grieve the loss while rejoicing in the promise that Luis Palau is now with his Lord and Savior. Grateful for the remarkable ways that God used Luis throughout the years to minister to people across the globe with the hope of Jesus." 

Palau died at home surrounded by his family after a three year battle against lung cancer. A small funeral is being planned, which will be broadcast live via the Luis Palau website